I attended Esthetician school in 2006, where I learned what products and treatments work best for what skin type, how to apply make-up, how to wax body and facial hair, and the importance of exfoliation, especially for aging, mature skin.
In 2016 I became an Esthetic Instructor. I had to follow the guidelines put out by the school and the state board which included education on what products and treatments work best for what skin type, how to apply make-up, how to wax body and facial hair, and the importance of exfoliation, especially for aging, mature skin. Sounds familiar?
In 10 years what we were learning/teaching Estheticians had not changed, except for the addition of some cosmetic enhancements.
Everything we have learned and everything we teach is about the appearance of the skin.
Our society has convinced us that our skin needs to be flawless to be beautiful. We have this misconception that if our skin is free of blemishes, scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, then it is “healthy”. We are trained in treatments that scrape, burn, shave, and inflame the skin to “fix its imperfections”, and then how to cover it up with make-up because its never enough. We are also trained to be skin care sales specialists by whatever product line we choose to work with. We are taught features and benefits, what the product is going to do to the clients skin, and how to sell it to make top dollar.
This superficial view on skin health and beauty is doing more damage than good.
This quote from the documentary Toxic Beauty has really struck a nerve with me, “The cosmetic industry is destroying womens cells, c-e-l-l-s.” If you are an Esthetician then you know all about the basic building blocks to life, cells being the basic structure of all living organisms, the foundation of our existence. When cells are being destroyed, this means our tissues start to degenerate, our organs start to fail, and our life can no longer go on. So cellular health is a pretty important part of our body functioning, and of course plays an important role in our skin health. Yet we are selling treatments and products to women that destroy them, and we call it “anti-aging” or “blemish-fighting” or whatever buzz phrase we can think of to make the consumer think they need this product.
This needs to end now, this needs to end with us.
We as Estheticians have to EMPOWER women to take control of their own health, to feel BEAUTIFUL in their skin at every stage of life, no matter what. People come to us, yes because they want their skin to look better, but ultimately they come to us because they want to feel better, and if they feel better then this cascade effect starts, and they will LOOK better because they FEEL better, I know that’s a tongue twister.
We need to redefine beauty, we need to end this superficial, artificial, purely physical appearance driven definition of beauty.
What does beauty mean to you? Think about this, create your own definition, and ingrain it into every aspect of your life and your practice. Live it, teach it, put it out into the world.