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Helping Reactive Skin Clients

Melissa Bivelacque has years of experience working with reactive skin clients.  She’s a trainer for Hale & Hush, a brand with a cult like following for its ability to help clients with sensitive, compromised and reactive skin.

Melissa Bivelacque’s Approach To Reactive Skin Client Care

Many times when a new client uses your online booking software, they choose a facial from your menu that they “think” is what they want. 

Then, the moment that they walk in the door you instantly know that specific service is not going to be the best option for them. Every esthetician has been in this situation.  

When situations like these arise, the educated, licensed professional esthetician must use their education and training to help this new client navigate their skin care needs. 

Get to know the client, find out what they like about their skin, what they’d like to see changed, get to know their past experience with home care and past experience with skin care treatments – use open ended questions during this process.  

Much of this information can be gathered by having the client complete an intake form and in the initial skin evaluation. 

Consultation Form

Melissa Bivelacque suggests a consultation form as a great resource to learn about your client from their eyes.  Do they burn easily?  Flush easily after certain foods/drinks?  Consultations are a must for all clients, it is through this form that you can discover if a client will react to products. 

The forms can also help your discover the root cause of their skin condition and help you properly treat their skin. 

Find out if they are taking medications? 

Do they have an autoimmune disease?

Have they or are they undergoing cancer treatments? 

Are they doctor-diagnosed with Rosacea or any other skin diseases or disorders? 

These are just a few of the very important questions you may want to include on your intake form because they will help you to easily determine how your client may react to your treatment selection.

Ask Questions

Clients are unaware of how home care products or different types of services can cause reactions when paired with back bar products in your treatment. 

They don’t know that it’s important to tell you that they had their lip waxed the day before they booked chemical peel with you. 

They may not know that their under-eye cream contains a Vitamin A or don’t understand that this ingredient can cause an issue. It is important to follow up your consultation form with additional questions.  

Questions to ask could include: 

“Is the XYZ disorder diagnosed by a doctor?” 
“When was the last time you used XYZ product?” 
“How did your skin react to your last facial service and what was that treatment?” 

It is also important to find out the root cause of their sensitivity. Questions about their lifestyle, job, and recreational habits are often good indicators.  Don’t forget to ask for any known allergies and cross check them to your ingredient decks.  These simple questions will give you ease while working on your new sensitive skin client.

total wellness

Start Slow And Proceed With Caution

It’s best to not introduce a reactive client to a full facial protocol. Instead, introduce them to a handful of products initially such as a cleanser, toner, mask and moisturizer. 

Base your products on information gained from the consultation for  and their answers to your questions.

“My favorite line for health compromised or reactive clientele are the amazing products from Hale & Hush. Regardless of skin type or condition I begin every new client with Hale & Hush products because it is such a clean skincare line. I am confident the vast majority of clients will not receive any reactions from these sensitive skin products and coinciding protocols.”

Melissa Bivelacque

Expert Esthetician

Heal at Home

Monthly skin care treatments with an esthetician are not going to be the only way to help get clients skin challenges under control.  It’s best to recommend home care products to help the client’s skin barrier function for optimal skin health. 

Hale & Hush has products for home care that are ideal. 

Their Quiet Wash Cleanser is a must have since it is infused with a blend of botanical extracts for healing inflammation and calming reactive skin.
The Soothe Essence Serum, is a one stop shop to heal the skin by preventing irritation and redness.  Sooth Essence Serum also helps to improve the skin’s NMF to protect against oxidative stress and heal the barrier function.
Relief Bio Powder and the Hush Hydrate Gel
This must-have duo will hydrate and calm!
These 4 combined products at home will be miracle workers for your sensitive skin clients.

Manage Expectations 

Manage the client’s expectations on this healing, restorative process. Make sure they understand that these changes to their skin are not going to happen overnight. 

Suggest the best choice of future services and explain to them the time frame for repeat visits. Ensure they understand that home care compliance is crucial – so make sure you’re suggesting a protocol of products they will actually use.  

They need to understand that it’s a process and there may need to be adjustments to products, so they need to keep a line of communication with you about how their skin is progressing.  

With patience and dedication the reactive skin client will be one of your best clients. Once you set them on the right path on how to care for their skin, it is important to stress that for the time being, less is more.  This reactive client will continue to be dedicated to improving the health of their skin.  Once they see and feel the results, their trust in you will last a lifetime.

Melissa Bivelacque

Owner of The Nail and Wax Room is an Award-Winning Licensed Esthetician, Nail and Lash Technician.

Melissa is a 2003 graduate of Gal-Mar Academy of Cosmetology. She has worked as a licensed esthetician, salon and spa manager, day spa owner, esthetics educator as well as a leader and mentor to many.  

She is a 2018 & 2019 Award-Winning Esthetician and international finalist at THE SKIN GAMES. Her specialties include body waxing and clinical skincare treatments.

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