Nevada City Advocate
Esthetician? What is that exactly? We’ve all heard and seen the word and many people visit estheticians, but what does it mean?
Esthetics, or aesthetics, is the philosophy related to all things involving the senses and matters of beauty. But, when it comes to our skin, esthetics refers directly to the health and revitalization of the skin and the non-medical procedures to enhance the skin’s appearance and health.
“The business has changed drastically in the last 20 years,” says Suzanne Hall, owner of Suzanne’s Esthetique in Nevada City. “Twenty years ago, when I first got my license, the most we could do were facial peels. But as a result of long-term, anti-aging research and technology we are able to offer a wide variety of services to meet the individual needs and budgets of our clientele.”
Perhaps much of that progress has been driven by the Baby Boomers, who are getting older and seeking to maintain their youthful look a little bit longer. But whatever the reason for the uptick in interest in matters of esthetics, it is a science that women and men have employed for centuries.
Dating back to ancient Greece and Egypt, the care and decorating of skin was used for beautification and ceremonial purposes such as preparing the dead for a funeral. Ancient Romans used oils with their baths, and Europeans used wine to soften the skin.
Much has changed over time.
“When I began working as an esthetician in 1999, the industry was just beginning to shift from simply “foo-foo facials” (relaxing/indulgent) to results-oriented and science-based products and treatments. Mild acid peels were being used to exfoliate the skin at that time, and very soon microdermabrasion devices became available as a mechanical means of exfoliating. Both these methods served to remove dead skin cells to reveal smoother, clearer skin,” Suzanne says. “What was not known at that time is that removing those dead cells sends a chemical message to the dermis to create new skin cells, cells that move up more quickly and more organized than they did before, resulting in healthier-looking skin. That’s just one example of the deepening of our understanding of skin physiology.”
Estheticians attend school and are licensed with some basic skills and knowledge. It’s continuing education, however, that makes the difference.
“Classes, conferences, and training were all on-site the first many years of my career, but now there are excellent online training opportunities. Social media professional groups are a fabulous source of these,” Suzanne says. “I completed an intensive course in eyebrow artistry and have taken many webinars about new skin care treatments and ingredients. Updating my knowledge, as well as experience, for instance, has shifted my focus from exfoliation of the skin to gentle yet effective methods of exfoliation. There are new restorative treatments, thanks to modalities such as microcurrent, radiofrequency, and microneedling, as well as new ingredient discoveries, mostly plant-based, that treat challenges of mature skin. Protection of our skin has expanded from UV protection to products that protect our skin from infrared, LED from computer screens, and airborne pollutants.”
Suzanne confirms that one thing that has been a constant since she was in school is that skin-care professionals are on the front lines when it comes to noting suspicious lesions that may appear on a client’s skin.
“This happened in my practice last month. My client took my recommendation and saw her dermatologist immediately. Melanoma! A deadly form of skin cancer that must be caught early.”
And it was thanks to the trained eye of an esthetician.
“I feel fortunate to have a career that is about helping people with the health of their skin, improving their appearance and self-confidence. People often tell me as soon as they come in the door, they feel their bodies relaxing. This can’t be overlooked as a part of the care we offer people.”
For more information, contact Suzanne Hall at 530-265-2135 or visit her website at www.suzannesesthetique.com.
About the photo:
Suzanne Hall in front of her current location on 207 N. Pine Street. Over the last 20 years, she has seen many very positive advances in the industry.