My first facial was a disaster. I was 16 years old and had 2 zits. I used my babysitting money for a facial with a celebrated esthetician at a very well known spa and came out looking like I had done an exhibition round with Mike Tyson. And the ugliness didn’t end quickly either, My skin retained the marks of resulting hyperpigmentation for months. I was totally traumatized and resisted facials for years afterward.
I have thought about this experience many times since then. Was the esthetician really knowledgeable, skilled, worthy of her fame? Probably so. Was she experienced with ethnic skin? Obviously not.  Sometimes depending upon the area in which a spa is located opportunities may not exist for a lot of interaction with a diverse clientele.
If you are of Asian, African, Latino, East Indian or Native American descent, you may have had a similar experience. And if you are blessed to be bi or multi-racial unfortunately you also run the risk of a bad experience. It is essential that in seeking out your esthetician you ask the right questions to ensure that she is familiar with your skin type, its unique characteristics and quirks. But neither you nor she should paint your ethnic type with broad strokes as fine subdivisions exist in each one.
I know-you don’t want to offend anyone. You feel that this is a touchy topic. How do you even broach the subject? Oh pleeze, can we say “President Barack Obama?” Brown skin is not exactly in the closet anymore. Chat with the spa concierge before scheduling an appointment. A good spa will recognize the need for estheticians who are knowledgeable about diverse skin types. Rescue Rittenhouse Spa’s concierge staff is a virtual United Nations of gorgeousness. One of our concierges actually has an esthetic background. They can recommend skin specialists who understand your skin and the type of care it needs. And our product lines, handpicked by Danuta Mieloch encompass treatments for every
skin type around the globe. This summer my love affair was with Environ’s AVST gel moisturizer. Super light, perfect for normal to oily skin, made my skin glow. Environ hails from South Africa and has some of the best products I’ve seen for gently fading hyperpigmentation caused by squeezing those pimples in your bathroom mirror.
Often a consultation with your potential esthetician prior to scheduling an appointment will make you feel more at ease. Use your time wisely, an in demand esthetician is performing a courtesy when she does not charge you for a consultation. Narrow your concerns down to topics that can be addressed in 10-15 minutes.  You do not have to regale her with tales of bad facial experiences. She knows. Instead talk about what bothers you the most and a possible plan of action to place you on the road to beautiliciousness. Give her an idea of your skin care budget and the time frame you are working with. Your consultation is your first step to developing a relationship with your personal skin guru that can help you realize your vision.
Personally, I die for ethnic skin. As our world gets smaller I find myself even more intrigued by the “new” multi-racial combination skin types. Customization of skin regime and facials is now required to provide the ultimate service and experience. As a client you should demand no less for your skin. You can cherry pick and perform your due diligence or just relax and make an appointment with us at Rescue Rittenhouse Spa.
Love Ya,
Linda Harding