It’s National Aesthetician Day, and we’re still in a pandemic. We’re in this strange half open/half closed scenario that makes doing our jobs…well, pretty dang risky. In fact, I got coronavirus while on the job. I’ve had several people outside the industry ask why I would keep being an aesthetician (also spelled esthetician – they mean the same thing) after that, especially since it permanently affected me. In casual conversation, it’s hard to go through, so I give a simple “I love it,” and move on to the next topic of conversation before I can be grilled further.

Why did I become and aesthetician? Really, it was obvious. I’d spent six weeks in bed recovering from surgery scouring the internet for new, interesting skincare brands. I’d researched ingredients for years – just for fun. I’d downloaded apps for herbalists and massage therapists to understand natural ingredients and see how they could benefit people with different skin conditions, purely out of curiosity. I’d struggled with acne-prone, combination skin my entire life, and come from a family where you got a skin care regimen in kindergarten or earlier. After touring two beauty schools, I decided: I needed to be an aesthetician.

So, how can you support the aesthetician in your life, especially if their services are limited during the pandemic? It’s something I’ve gotten asked a lot, and here are some suggestions I have based on what my fellow esthys and I have wished for.

1. Follow us on social media. Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, whatever social media the aesthetician has, follow them on it. This is where we give helpful tips, advertise any sales or specials we might have, and keep you in the loop on what’s going on.

2. Follow us in person. No, don’t be a stalker, but do follow us if we leave a spa or salon for somewhere else. This is how we maintain our books, and ultimately our livelihood. You’ll also be going to someone who gets to know your skin better and better the longer you go to them, which ultimately is how you’ll get the best results. If we’re leaving the area or changing fields, we’ll often give suggestions on who else you can go to as well.

3. Tip us. Tips are our livelihood. We often say that commission is what pays our bills, and tips are what put gas in the car and food on the table. Even if someone owns their business, tips are still used to keep that person and their family thriving. I know a few who are doing so well that they don’t need tips, per se, but use their tip money for continuing education and investment in their business, which ultimately leaves a better experience for you in the future. Tips in our industry aren’t simply a gesture to show we did well. They’re crucial in our budget planning.

4. Show your appreciation. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but something to show you appreciate the time and effort they put into your services and advice they give you. I had one client who, each time she came in to get waxed, would bring me a Snickers bar and a can of coke to help keep me fueled for the day. It was small, but it honestly would make my whole day.

5. Respect our time. When you schedule an appointment, we’ve set aside that slot of time to you and solely you. If you have a habit of running late, set your appointment time in your planner fifteen or even thirty minutes early to ensure you’re there for your appointment in a timely manner. If you are going to be running late, let us know. There’s a window of time where we can still make it work, but if it’s past that window? Don’t be mad when we ask you to reschedule. Life happens, and we get that. But this is our livelihood, and that deserves to be respected.

6. Respect our bodies. Please, please, please don’t come if you’re sick. We’d rather reschedule something five times to make sure you’re healthy when you come in than have you come in and us get sick, thus putting us out of work until we’re better (or even worse, having us get so sick we can no longer work, or must take an extended hiatus – which is a reality now). And please don’t come immediately after doing something smelly. Whether it’s a 12-hour shift at the hospital, a Soul Cycle class, or yard work…please shower before coming in, especially if you’re getting waxed. You’d think that these would be obvious, but it’s not for a lot of people.

Charlotte Smith is an esthetician licensed in Tennessee and Georgia. She’s married to a lumberjack version of Deadpool, is obsessed with huskies, is straight up in quarter-life crisis mode, and loves pretty much anything that could be considered creepy.

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