Helping clients face their fears about aesthetic procedures

For many of us that work in the spa and medical spa industries, we are entirely convinced about the benefits of most esthetic procedures. Our clients, however, are not as well-versed and need a lot of encouragement and coaching.

If your spa or clinic offers injectables, deep chemical peels or laser resurfacing, then you know that clients have tons of questions and concerns about these procedures and their outcomes.

Furthermore, because of selfies and social media, more and more clients feel as if they are always being evaluated and judged. They are nervous about having an esthetic service performed and then looking severely altered, bruised, swollen, inflamed or even scarred.

Clients want to look their best but do not want to be criticized by their family members, friends and co-workers. As professionals, it's our job to explain the reasonable outcomes of every procedure and manage our clients' expectations responsibly.

Clients shouldn't be fearful of our amazing offerings — they should expect great results with confidence.

Most injectables have no down-time and few side effects. Injectables fall under two major categories: dermal fillers and neuromodulators.

Dermal fillers are used to add volume, contour, lift and enhance facial features like the lips, cheeks and under-eye areas. Dermal fillers also fill-in wrinkles and assist with the appearance of facial folds.

Neuromodulators are used to temporarily relax muscle groups of the face, in terms of anti-aging. Neuromodulators do not add volume; they smooth wrinkles and fine lines by reducing or eliminating muscle movement.

Clients shouldn’t typically bruise with these injections, but it is possible and usually subtle.

However, most frequently, clients will see a bit of bruising if dermal fillers are used in the lip and eye areas, especially. Mid-face fillers usually do not cause bruising because they are placed far away from the surface of the skin.

Clients have told me that they get very nervous about mouth and eye area bruises because they are difficult to conceal. Many clients have even voiced concerns that people may think that they have suffered abuse or domestic violence and their peers will be suspicious.

I completely empathize with the concern for facial bruising, and you should always let them know that it is a possibility with most dermal fillers. If they want to take time off to let bruises subside in private, then they should be given the opportunity to anticipate this result.

Your spa may also recommend preventative measures against bruising like eating fresh pineapple and/or taking arnica tablets to help the healing process. In summary, dermal fillers may cause bruising in the eye and lip area but neuromodulators usually do not. Manage your clients’ fears in advance so they can decide if these procedures are right for them.

Deep chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing will have some downtime. For those patients who opt for intense, medical-grade chemical peels or laser skin resurfacing, they will be looking at a beautiful result after their skin has healed.

These treatments are not for those patients seeking instant gratification.

We have to explain to our patients that things may look worse before they look better. Redness, puffiness, peeling and skin that can feel raw and sunburned is the norm.

Most patients who are candidates for these types of procedures are those suffering from deep acne scars, wrinkling, hyperpigmentation and other skin textural issues related to breakouts and aging.

For clients that are considering a drastic overhaul of their skin using one or both of these modalities, I always recommend that they think about if they can handle a bit of downtime with their skin condition compromised in the above stated ways. Clients may like to opt for a time in their schedule when they have a three-day weekend or even a full week off so they can be home during the healing process.

Getting an idea of your clients' lifestyle and commitment to skin recovery is also paramount. Will they avoid sun and wear SPF daily? Will they clean and moisturize their post-treatment skin properly?

All of these factors can make the difference between a beautiful outcome and an adverse one. It is a great idea to send clients home with samples or full-size retail products that you want them to use to care for their skin at home.

Don't leave aftercare products to chance and end up jeopardizing a wonderful in-office treatment with insufficient or inappropriate home care products. Clients will feel cared for and confident if they are sent home from these types of office procedures with written instructions and homecare products.

In order to handle our clients' insecurities and fears about spa and medical spa procedures, we must be great communicators. We should verbally and in written form consult, coach and converse with each client in a relaxed and comforting setting before we move forward with any procedures.

Being upfront and managing fears and expectations is crucial if we want to gain our clients trust. We also have to make sure that they themselves are good candidates for these services.

Every employee at your spa or medical spa should be educated on the details of every treatment that you offer. What's more, you and your employees should also be receiving most of these treatments as well. Nothing boosts a client's confidence and quells their fears like seeing the results of the procedures that they are considering firsthand.

Our clients want to look young, healthy and refreshed. We know that many of the spa services that we offer can help them achieve these goals but they must feel certain before they can move forward. It's our job as spa and medical spa providers to explain and ensure this process for amazing results.