Facials are typically some of the most tranquil skincare treatments out there (yes, even when extractions are involved). But, just like with any dermatological service, such as deep-cleaning and exfoliation, adverse reactions aren’t uncommon. What’s more: They can happen to anyone, regardless of skin type.
I, for instance, have skin that’s as finicky as a toddler being told to sit down in church. It’s easily irritated—even by products and treatments deemed suitable for sensitive skin—and becomes beet-red and itchy at the first sign of fragrance or any harsh ingredients. Still, I’ve been lucky enough to experience my fair share of soothing facials that have been nothing short of amazing, though that wasn’t the case with a recent treatment I had in January. The service left my skin alarmingly red and puffy with white welts spattered across my cheeks and chin. Embarrassed, I’d never bolted from an appointment so fast, and for once, was thankful for the frigid New York City air that felt calming against my flaming-hot complexion.
The following morning, as I babied my still-raw skin with my favourite redness relief masks, I felt stupid and ashamed for not speaking up when I knew something was wrong. What had stopped me? Why did I let the (very kind and undoubtedly talented) aesthetician keep going despite the itchy, irritated sensations I was undergoing?
I’d almost forgotten about the unfortunate incident until a few weeks ago when I was scrolling through Instagram and paused on a post from Heather Muir, the beauty director of Real Simple and Health. The photo in question detailed the longtime editor’s own experience of a facial-gone-wrong. After reading and re-reading her post, it really sunk in: I am not the only one who has encountered this sort of experience.
Hence why we’re here. After having my own ill-fated facial and learning I was far from alone, I couldn’t stop asking myself: How do you actually talk to your aesthetician when something feels off? It felt like my duty to find out—and relay the information to all you—which is why I tapped Amy Wechsler, a dermatologist and psychiatrist in New York City, for her expert insight on the subject. Ahead, find her best advice for addressing your aesthetician when something feels wrong. With her help, hopefully, all of you will feel confident speaking up during a facial, or any service for that matter, that isn’t up to snuff.
Why don’t some people say anything?
I continuously asked myself this question for days after my facial. Turns out, many stay silent in these situations (ie under an expert’s care) for a couple of reasons. For starters, when being treated by a professional—in any field—most people tend to assume that said expert knows exactly what they’re doing, which is why clients might choose to keep quiet out of respect for the person providing the service, even if something feels amiss.
“I think it’s a tough position to be in for a lot of [people] because they’re trusting the person that’s working on their skin to know what they’re doing,” explains Wechsler. “They might think, ‘Oh I’m sure that’s just supposed to sting, it’s fine,’ even though it might not be.” The reality, though, is that even experts don’t get it right 100 percent of the time, which is why it’s so crucial to speak up at the first sign of irritation. Even if what you’re experiencing is mild (ie redness, itching, burning), Wechsler says it can never hurt to ask your aesthetician to check on your skin and make sure it’s holding up OK.
Another common reason people don’t speak up is anxiety. When a licensed professional is working on your skin and it starts to feel uncomfortable when it shouldn’t, that can be super-scary, stressful, and even awkward. But it doesn’t have to be.
What should I say if something feels off?
Off the bat, Wechsler says something that makes a lot of sense: “Really good aestheticians don’t make clients feel bad for asking questions or speaking up—in fact, they encourage it.” She explains that if they’re not willing to hear you out, or if they make you feel weird for being honest with them, you should walk away. No questions asked.
In regards to dialogue, Wechsler says it doesn’t have to be confrontational at all—just direct. “You could say something like, ‘I’m feeling uncomfortable and would really like you to look at my skin to make sure it’s alright’ or even blame it on your dermatologist and tell them your doctor says you have sensitive skin and should get it checked throughout a facial.” Please and thank yous go a long way in these types of situations, but never should you ever feel sorry for speaking up, so go ahead and delete the word from your vocabulary right now.
Renowned aesthetician and founder of her eponymous skin-care line, Joanna Vargas, also stresses the importance of speaking up whenever a facial feels off. “I always tell clients if something doesn’t feel right about a product or a step in the process that they should always feel like they can speak up and it will be received in the right way,” she says. “I embrace straight talk, especially if someone is nervous or has some issue; it’s always best for the client so we can talk it out.” All of this to say: If you keep it direct, polite, and to the point, you should have nothing to worry about. If you’re in the hands of a true professional, they’ll tend to your needs immediately and make sure you’re comfortable and cared for.
What if I’ve been traumatised from a previous facial?
If you’ve ever had a traumatising skin-care treatment or procedure, then you know first-hand it can be tough getting back in the ring—even when it’s a service that’s supposed to be as exquisite as a facial. In this instance, Wechsler recommends talking to your aesthetician beforehand to explain your previous experience, and to discuss any apprehensions you might be having going into a new one.
“Talk to them over the phone or face-to-face when you’re clothed and feel in control of the situation,” she says. “Express your feelings, tell them about your last facial and what went wrong, and if they’re not receptive, then that’s never somewhere you’d want to go anyway.” Wechsler also advises doing your research and asking friends if they go to an aesthetician they love and would recommend. Don’t be afraid to pick people’s brains or hop on the phone to learn more about the facialist and their treatments beforehand. Knowledge is power, people.
Resource Blog: https://tinyurl.com/y45pcdwe
Deepa is a writer and a passionate blogger. She has years of experience in writing articles, blogs and press releases after a deep research. At http://healthcaretipstoday.com she writes interesting topics on all health, beauty, fitness and healthy life. She loves exploring, researching and providing the best information to readers. In her free times, she loves to read books.
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