Whilst our clients are becoming increasingly savvy about their skin and what’s available on
the market, it’s surprising how many clients out there don’t actually know their primary skin
type never mind their skin conditions and base their needs on their own social media
influenced perception rather than knowing the facts.

As professional therapists we are able to assess our client’s needs and determine, through our
skill and understanding of the skin, the right advice for the best treatment and product
recommendations.

Accurate skin analysis consists of two finely balanced elements which ensure we are giving
our clients a professional and thorough service.

Under the skin
The first element to any successful analysis or treatment is in-depth consultation. Although
often overlooked this is actually the paramount step within the overall analysis process, no
matter how good our analyzing skills, we cannot know the origin of the skins issues without
interacting with our client to gather greater understanding of their lifestyle, health history and
other variables which impact.

Ultimately, as professional therapists we need to ensure we give our clients what their skin
needs not what they think they need; our consultation process allows us to take an objective
view and treat the root cause of their skin issues rather than recommending products to
subdue the symptom. We should never under estimate how valuable consultation is to
achieving the most effective outcome.

Rather than just handing the client a questionnaire and leaving them to maneuverer their
way through the ambiguous questions, the most effective way is for us to sit with them one to
one, ask them the questions and complete the form as you conduct the consultation, this
helps to build up trust and rapport and portrays a more professional image.

Our consultation should start by asking the client about their health history, this allows us to
determine whether any ailments or prescribed medication are impacting their skin. It’s
always valuable to ask our clients to bring a list of the medication they are currently taking
for us to do some basic homework and determine any effects the drug/s have on the skin.

Asking questions about their diet, lifestyle and occupation is valuable too as these greatly
impact the skin condition; their low-fat diet could be the reason for their dry skin, those late
nights could be the cause of their dull tired complexion or that hot kitchen they work in could
be the reason for their congested oily skin. As we spend a high percentage of our time at
work we should always consider this to be a contributing factor to our complexion.

Ascertaining their current skincare regime is critical, allowing you to get a glimpse of their
daily routine, what they are using and how they are using it. Asking them to provide a list of
all skincare and make-up products used within their regime allows us to assess if any of their
products are impacting their skin condition.

Determining our client’s expectations should never be over looked and is important to ensure
their satisfaction. With selfie culture, photoshop, filters and heavy social media influences our
clients can often aspire to have unattainable skincare goals – we need to offer realism in a
tactful caring way without belittling what they wish to achieve.

The consultation also serves as the prime time to discuss the realistic steps to achieve their
skin care goals. Unlike retailing at the end of a treatment where the client is often zoned out
and not as receptive to listening to our recommendations, in the consultation you have a
captive audience where you can talk objectively about devising the right plan for their
needs, the commitment to consistent homecare, lifestyle adjustments and any issues they
may need to overcome. Even though we are not recommending specific products at this
stage, ensuring our client knows in advance what is expected of them will pay dividends to
the overall outcome.

Time to analyse
The second element is the actual skin analysis, which would directly follow the consultation
with our client sitting in an upright position allowing us to see the natural pull of gravity. We
should ensure we are working in a methodical way around the face looking and feeling the
entirety of each area; skin analysis should never just be a visual approach but also a tactile
approach using our hands to feel the skin and define its story.

Whilst there are a number of tools and modalities available to assist our analysis we should
never be dependent on them. As effective as trolley mounted magnifying lamps are, they
don’t offer practicality for one to one consultations. A small hand-held battery powered
illuminating magnifying lamp will suffice perfectly as a subtle addition to your service.
When analysing the skin, we should look for several characteristics segmented into the skins
colour, moisture levels, texture and tone.

The skins colour will show us any inflammation, touch sensitivity, capillary activity,
pigmentation and sallowness. Any inflammation presenting visually on the skin should flag up
as the main priority to treat as this will be causing a negative impact and damage to the
skin. Inflammation is also a sign of potential barrier impairment. Feeling the skin for heat spots
will identify inflammation in the deeper skin layers.

Moisture levels are determined by the amount of sebaceous activity within the skin and show
visually with high shine from sebum over production or a dull matte appearance from lack of
sebum. Using the majority rule of sebum production will assist us determining the skin type not
just the skin condition.

The texture of the skin is highly important to skin analysis, showing us anything from a smooth
surface or rough texture from lack of exfoliation creating areas of dead skin build up, to
congestion, dehydration lines, ageing lines and open pores. Our tactile sense comes into its
own at this point with an array of textures to feel and differentiate.

Finally the tone of the skin allows us to determine how the ageing process is treating the
client, with great elasticity and snap back being a sign of slower ageing, loose or drooping
areas can denote premature or advanced ageing characteristics.

Ongoing consultation
When offering the full service to our clients we should look to book out approximately 30
minutes; the time for thorough consultation with regime advice should last approximately
15 – 20 minutes with the actual skin analysis and product recommendations taking another 10
minutes. This standalone consultation and skin analysis service should be charged for as it’s as
important as any other offering on our menu. As an incentive to our clients and to generate
retail revenue, offset any product sales against the cost of the service to encourage clients
to buy products on the day and return for repeat purchases.

Ongoing analysis is highly important for us to reassess the skin at regular intervals. Lifestyle and
seasonal influences may determine different needs now to what it did only a few months
ago. An updated skincare wardrobe may be required for the autumn and winter months,
adding more nourishment and emollience, as opposed to the lightweight sheer based
products used during the spring and summer season. Analysis at three monthly intervals will
offer our clients the most accurate ongoing advice

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