So what can you do when a client returns from a holiday in the sun, sounding refreshed but looking a little – um, how shall we say – “crispy” around the edges? Wimpole Aesthetics’ Dr Joshie explains his approach in the July/August edition of Beauty Salon Magazine.
Being the founder of a cosmetic medical clinic and with over thirty years of experience as a medical doctor, I’ve probably treated thousands of patients and I’ve always felt that being tanned to the shade of an old saddlebag is a difficult look to pull off. It can be quite ageing, even on the most youthful or attractive person.
Working in anti-ageing medicine, my team is trained to identify photo damaged skin, which often goes bright red at first and then the dark pigmentation spots start to appear. Both are worrying signs of UV damage and that’s when fast, restorative medical treatment is needed.
Beauty professionals working with regular clients play a vital role in helping to identify who needs specialist medical help following their sun worship. Of course you’ll need to be tactful in order to preserve a cordial relationship with your client (don’t call their tan “crispy”, they won’t like it). So it’s probably best if you initially respond to any visible signs of sun damage in a way that’s professionally neutral but perceived as positive. I usually find that saying, with great gusto, “Wow, you’ve been sunbathing!” works a treat (well you can’t NOT notice, can you?). Chances are your client will be so dazzled and pleased by the “wow factor” of your exclamation that they won’t notice you sucking your teeth in horror at their peeling nose and flame-red shoulders.
My patients always love to hear about the latest skin health treatments and quickly book whenever we send out an e-newsletter to introduce them to new services. So what else can you offer your clients when they return from their holidays? One of the best ways to differentiate your own salon or spa in a pretty crowded marketplace is to give the best customer service experience.
You can show your clients that you value their custom by taking their overall skin health and wellbeing seriously. Pay close attention to their post summer skin and allocate enough appointment time to help them identify signs of actual skin damage; you will also be showing them that you are on the ball and that they are in safe hands.
Notice the signs
What should you look out for? Typical signs that your client needs immediate specialist treatment are any moles that have grown or changed shape since you saw them last time, or any sun-caused blisters that haven’t healed properly. It’s vital that you always refer those clients to their GP or to a specialist medical aesthetic clinic for diagnosis in a properly licensed centre that can do minor surgical interventions such as mole removal and analysis. Only doctors can prescribe any necessary anti inflammatory medication to treat very damaged skin.
I do worry about my clients’ skin health and I always ban them from maintaining their tan with sunbeds. I know that is a very controversial statement in a magazine that’s read by beauty professionals and salon owners. If sunbed sessions have been an additional or significant revenue stream for your business, I can appreciate that offering other options may be a difficult choice. My own professional opinion as an anti-ageing specialist, and having had to remove many moles that were in danger of becoming pre-cancerous, is that the only truly safe ways to maintain a tan are to use artificial tanning creams or to have a spray tan, and only allow your client to start these when all their sunburn is properly healed.
We all know it’s tempting to pick at blisters, to scratch and peel away any flaky bits of dry skin. However there is nothing attractive about opening new wounds that leave you vulnerable to infection. If that wasn’t enough, stripy skin with uneven patches of pigmentation is probably not a grooming look that discerning clients want to cultivate. Your timely guidance and wise words of warning can prevent all manner of skin health disasters.
The cornerstones of post summer skin health are ensuring that clients have good skin hydration combined with deep cleanliness.Your skilled attention, using prescriptive skin treatments and gentle hydrating products, are the best remedies to soothe inflamed or damaged skin and to restore it to optimum health.
You’ll perhaps be surprised how many professionals forget to advise clients on how to choose skin protection lotions that have a high SPF factor. These aren’t just for use on the beach or abroad in hotter climates; it’s really important to continue using these every day where there is exposure to bright sunlight. Even better is to advise clients to use products that offer a total sun block, to protect their skin from harmful UV rays, reduce scar tissue and maintain the thickness of their skin. Thicker skin retains its plumpness better and better resists the signs of ageing such as fine lines around the mouth and eyes.