This morning I had a conversation with a potential client in regards to how my services can help improve her skin. We will refer to her as Jane. She messaged me several photos of herself and based on pictures I recommended a brightening peel and a series of micro-needling sessions. She innocently responded with a simple, but extremely significant question “Do you have any before and after pics of your clients with similar problems as mine.” This inquiry immediately triggered my brain. There were so many ways I wanted to respond to her, because the question (and answer) are both multi-layered in factual and perceptional data.
I had so many thoughts develop to answer this intricate question, based on my professional and personal experience in the aesthetic industry. The summary of my thought bubble is this: it is my job to realistically manage your expectations. Your own beliefs, perspective, and personal actions will contribute to the majority of your before and after transformation. I will break it down in detail.
Firstly, Jane’s verbage indicated disapproval of her current skin as she asked for pictures of clients with “similar problems as mine”. In the pictures, I saw a beautiful woman with a friendly smile, big brown eyes shaped nicely with sharp eyebrows, soft skin that had a few spots of pigmentation, which likely came from pregnancy/stress hormones as she mentioned she had young children. In her eyes, the same picture showed an array of “problems”. She probably saw more things to improve than I did in my analysis, which is pretty standard as we are all our own worst critic. Her physical skin issues were mild in comparison to many, but her perception of her own appearance is what will truly impact the results. For example, I can treat a client with deep acne scars and desperate for any progress, with a 35% texture improvement after a few microneedle sessions they will be ecstatic and love their results. On the other hand, an insecure, self conscious client looking to smooth fine wrinkles may still be disappointed with a major improvement in the lines. That is because this client is always looking for her flaws, she is expecting negative outcomes, she is discouraged, and this impacts her perspective (results). Therefore, results are always shaped by a clients personal self- perception, which is something totally out of the service providers control.
The second factor in any transformation is that I am only a small part of the skin improvement process. When my treatment is done, it is my clients responsibility to follow product protocols and make effort in caring for their skin all day. It is vital for anyone who receives a chemical peel to avoid complete sun exposure for 2 weeks prior, and consistently protect with SPF to keep the results long term. I can perform a chemical peel on two people with the exact same skin tone, one will obsessively wear a hat when outside and apply sunscreen daily. The other will forget her sunscreen most of the time and spend time exercising outside. Their after photos will show far different results because of their own actions and involvement in the journey. You have to meet me half way, we both play a role in the difference from your before to your after photo.
Thirdly, and most annoyingly, everyone responds differently and uniquely to various services. This is a fact of life and it applies to almost everything. My body will not react the same exact way to anyone else when given a specific diet plan, laser treatment, prescription medicine, or anything that is supposed to trigger a physical response. Genetics and environment play a huge roll in outcomes and this is something out of our control.
Its important to acknowledge all of the factors in your expectations before investing in any treatments. Trying to keep it real with you, and I hope it helps !