Living in a big metropolis like Hong Kong takes its toll on the skin, so getting a tune-up from a properly qualified aesthetician can work miracles to revive and rejuvenate. Since moving here I have been on the hunt for the right beautician who understands western skin and can offer multiple treatments without further damaging my sensitive skin.
I was very fortunate to find Gillian Elsworth from Dr. Lauren Bramley & Partners Partners which specializes in anti-aging medical grade beauty treatments. You can read my first interview with Gillian, who reveals the most important treatments to get and why they work.
In answer to my question “How are we to choose the right medical aesthetic clinic, beautician or salon?” Gillian gave us six points to follow:
What most people do is go by recommendation. This is the first step and a great way to see the results from someone who has already gone through the process.
2.DON’T GO TOO CHEAP
If an offer for a treatment is too good to be true, it probably is. Non invasive beauty treatments are a high end product. The equipment is costly, the training has been an investment of time and money and some treatments can take hours to perform.
There are also businesses out there that lure you in with a great deal on a short tester (not a whole treatment), but then try to upsell you afterwards.
3. LOOK AT PRODUCTS
Be wary of cheap products used in the treatments. There are many brands out there, but we also have the power of the internet to investigate some of the products that you find on the aesthetician’s table. Don’t be shy to ask the names of the products and jot them down.
Another thing that is important, but difficult to assess is if the products have been diluted. You may have a reputable brand on the table, but if it doesn’t have what’s inside, then you are throwing your money away. This is where the recommendation from a friend is important. You want results.
4. USE QUALIFIED AESTHETICIANS
Look for qualifications on the wall or displayed. Professionals put a lot of time and effort into their training and are proud to show it off. It is a badge of honor and proof that they are qualified. If you don’t see any certifications on display, ask! The most recognized international certifications from Europe are CIBTAC (Confederation of International Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology), CIDESCO (Comité International d’Esthétique et de Cosmétologie), ITEC (International Therapy Examination Council) and City and Guilds.
Note: In the US, look for aestheticians that are trained by schools accredited by the NACCAS (National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences). Currently, there are over 1,500 of them, but the ones that made the top of the list and are accessible throughout the country are Aveda Institutes, Paul Mitchell Schools, Empire Beauty Schools and Marinello Schools of Beauty.
5. DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE
Do some research. We all have the power of internet in our hands and can do some research on medical aesthetic centers, salons and aestheticians. Look for centers that have professional staff trained in a school accredited by the NACCAS. Read unbiased client reviews and don’t worry if there are a few bad ones. Not everyone responds to the same treatment in the same way. If the majority of the reviews are positive, then you’re probably safe to test it out. In any industry and with any product, it is impossible to find 100% client satisfaction.
6. BEWARE OF PUSHY SALESPEOPLE
Watch out for the pushy staff selling packages. Investing in a package of 5 or 10 treatments may prove cost effective, but the package, just like skin care products, should be gently offered. Before you consider a package, I recommend you try a few treatments first and see how you react and get along with your aesthetician. If you have a great rapport and you are confident that you are not going to have any major life changes (move, sudden change in financial situation, etc.), then look into the conditions of the package. Ask if you can transfer them to someone else in case you have an unpredicted move or situation. How long does the package last, i.e. does it expire after one year? Consider the conditions of the package.
Beware of packages of 50 or 100. Packages of 3 – 5 sessions is reasonable. It is in your interest to invest in a package if you are satisfied, so you can get a discounted rate, however be careful of large packages. You never know if the business will close in a year or so.
Some aestheticians are trained to push their products and treatments without much consideration of the client. Although the packages and products may be beneficial, you want to be sure that your cosmetologist is genuinely concerned about your skin and can offer the best advice. Trust takes time, so give it a chance and then decide.
Gillian Elsworth studied aesthetics in the UK and holds international certifications from CIDESCO, CIBTAC, ITEC and City & Guilds of London. Gillian has trained staff globally at some of the top 5 star hotels in the world. With over 25 years of experience in the beauty industry, Gillian continues to partner with hospitals, dermatologists and other professionals to make as many people be the best version of themselves via the many treatments and advice she offers. Gillian is highly qualified and also has studied laser sciences. To contact Gillian directly, email gillian.elsworth@