The most important part of any aesthetic appointment, regardless of treatment, is the consultation. Without a thorough consultation, you may not be providing the best treatment for the client’s well-being. The client’s motives are most important; therefore, the first and most essential question to ask every client is, “What are your concerns with your skin?” or “What can I help you accomplish today?” Such an open-ended question lays the groundwork for willing communication about treatments and products that will best help your client look and feel better.
The next step is to inquire about treatments and products the client has tried in the past. This will help you accurately gauge the direction in which to steer your recommendation for treatment. For example, if someone has had several glycolic peels and did not see any improvements, it would be wise to choose another method of exfoliation.
Not only do you need to understand your client’s desires, but their lifestyle and schedule is important to know as well. You will need to consider the time it will take your client to recover from the treatments you recommend or any adverse effects the treatments might have. Also consider the client’s regard to overall health, including diet and possible negative habits. Not only does health affect the appearance of the skin, the body’s largest organ, but an unhealthy lifestyle could alter outcomes of certain treatments.
If a client is currently on a home skin care routine, ensure that the products are compatible with in-office treatments. There are certain ingredients, including vitamin A derivatives, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), and cortisone, that must be discontinued before specific treatments. .For those clients who are not used to caring for their skin at home, it is better to start with rebalancing skin care products and hydrating facials before proceeding to more advanced treatments.
This is a sensitive but crucial aspect of the client consultation. Two of the most important medical conditions to be aware of are pregnancy and breast-feeding. There are several treatments and even home care products that are contraindicated due to the unknown side effects on the fetus or child. Other medical conditions can have adverse effects on the skin, including dryness, irritation, and poor wound healing. Sensitivity, dehydration, and inflammation can all show up on the skin due to medical conditions and certain medications being taken to treat them. In this case, any treatment that can create a wound response (i.e. deeper chemical peels) should be avoided.