Despite such an advanced beauty and skin care culture, it is disappointing that a majority of the skin analysis conducted in beauty therapy and skin treatment clinics is still of insufficient detail to be useful. The main reason for this is that in many clinics, detailed consultations and skin diagnostic tools are not being used.
It could be argued that without these two fundamentals, we are providing diagnostic services which is often no better than what a client could get at a department store. Is it any wonder we have not grown past 8-9% market share of the personal care industry?
|None of this reflects well for the image of the skin treatment therapy profession, and the lack of use of credible procedures and diagnostic tools in conjunction with outdated knowledge is being used as a reflection of our base knowledge, which in all truth is far higher than perceived by the public.
Example: If you still think that dehydration is a skin condition, then you are not likely to have considered how oil and water work in synergy, the physics of trans epidermal water loss and how the relevant ambient humidity affects water evaporation.
Today, we should be far more aware of how the leading causes of a skin conditions will affect the cells and systems of skin. Today’s clients are more informed and want information and knowledge from you that they will not be reading in the weekly women’s magazines on the Internet. The client should be seeing you as an expert in “skin” and one that has an extensive understanding of skin structure and function.
|Many skin treatment practitioners however, apply the approach of treating the symptoms and not the cause of skin conditions, and this can be why many treatment protocols fail to deliver the kind of results clients expect and deserve. By determining the cause of the condition(s), and what subsystems of the skin have been affected, more appropriate and effective plans of action can be formulated.
One of the reasons I believe we are not growing as quickly as we should in the “skin” industry is perhaps a reluctance to invest time to learn about new analysis methods and diagnostic technology.
|Even with a detailed examination and consultation, how can we be sure that everything we see or hear is exactly what is actually happening within the skin?|
How dry is dry, and how oily is oily?
We can’t assess this by looking or guessing and this is where skin diagnostic tools become absolutely imperative as part of a skin treatment therapists clinic and diagnostic service.
I have observed over the years, clinics spending tens of thousands of dollars on a modality to treat the skin but without one diagnostic tool being used to ascertain if that modality was even suitable to use on some skins. The term “suitable for all skin types” should be approached with caution. There are always risk factors to be considered.
Over twenty years ago, I began teaching a progressive method of skin analysis now known globally as the Pastiche Method®. At the time, it was the first non-product aligned, intensive program covering the major relevant aspects of effective, contemporary analysis and consultation.
In addition to a complete update of the relevant anatomy and physiology of the skin, The Pastiche Method® brought new competencies and skills including:
- How to link skin structure and function to skin conditions
- How to quickly determine leading causes and to link that cause to skin structure and function.
- Understand the "cascade" effect that is a result of related conditions
- Determine triggers and contributing factors of the conditions
- How to prioritise condition treatment order for maximum results
Not only should you know the clients:
- Genetic history
- Nutrition & Lifestyle
- Cosmetic & medical history
- Client skin type and risk for pigmentation
- Intrinsic characteristics (born with a genetic predisposition)
- Extrinsic characteristics (developed through clients work/play lifestyle)
- Treatment risk factors & Client protocols for home care
- The leading cause of conditions
- The secondary effect on cells & systems
- Priority skin conditions
- Secondary skin conditions for treatment preparation
- Identifying the FIRST priority skin condition for clinical intervention
- Second priority skin condition for client home care and treatment preparation
- What treatment modalities to use and in what order
|Only with this knowledge can you prepare a credible summary report on clients skin conditions and prescribe effective treatment plans.
As mentioned, the fundamentals of determining cause and identifying affected cells and systems are the cornerstones of treatment success. Without this information, it can be a “hit or miss” approach to prescribing an effective treatment plan.
Many skin conditions require a multiple treatment modality approach, but which one to use first? What order and frequency will be required?
|Most often, when the cause of the skin condition is addressed first, the levels of improvement of subsequent treatment steps are accelerated; delivering faster and better results.|
Thankfully, this approach to professional skin analysis is now becoming "the point of difference" in professional clinics in many parts of the world, however there is still much work to be done by our professional organisations and educators to promote, foster and support this type of thinking both here in New Zealand and Australia.
Professional career credibility along with increased earning potential and greater client satisfaction will be the obvious outcomes.
Article written by Florence Barrett-Hill from Pastiche Resources & Training.