Estheticians are notoriously good at caring for others but neglecting our own self-care. If estheticians aren’t mindful of our wants, needs, and self-care, we burn out, hit a wall, and aren’t there for our clients. In this episode of ASCP Esty Talk, Maggie and Ella discuss their self-care habits and rituals as well as the importance of daily personal check-ins.
ASCP Esty Talk with Maggie Staszcuk and Ella Cressman
Produced by Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) for licensed estheticians, ASCP Esty Talk is a weekly podcast hosted by Maggie Staszcuk and Ella Cressman. We see your passion, innovation, and hard work and are here to support you by providing a platform for networking, advocacy, camaraderie, and education. We aim to inspire you to ask the right questions, find your motivation, and give you the courage to have the professional skin care career you desire.
About Ella Cressman:
Ella Cressman is a licensed esthetician, certified organic formulator, business owner, and absolute ingredient junkie! As an educator, she enjoys empowering other estheticians and industry professionals to understand skin care from an ingredient standpoint rather than a product-specific view.
She has spent many hours researching ingredients, understanding how and where they are sourced, as well as phytochemistry, histological access, and complementary compounds for intentional skin benefits. In addition to running a skin care practice, Cressman founded a comprehensive consulting group, the HHP Collective, and has consulted for several skin care lines, including several successful CBD brands.
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About Maggie Staszcuk:
Maggie has been a licensed esthetician since 2006 and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stephens College. She has worked in the spa and med-spa industry and served as an esthetics instructor and a director of education for one of the largest schools in Colorado before coming to ASCP as the Advanced Modality Specialist.
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About Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP):
Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) is the nation’s largest association for skin care professionals and your ONLY all-inclusive source for professional liability insurance, education, community, and career support. For estheticians at every stage of the journey, ASCP is your essential partner. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions or would like to join and become an ASCP member.
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0:01:31.2 Maggie Staszcuk: Hello and welcome to ASCP's Esty Talk. I'm your cohost, Maggie Staszcuk, an ASCP's Education Program Manager.
0:01:38.2 Ella Cressman: And I'm Ella Cressman, licensed esthetician, certified organic formulator, ingredient junky and content contributor for Associated Skin Care Professionals, and I have a shout-out, Maggie. I want to tell you that Jessica Ellis of Jessica Ellis Skincare at Flawless Medspa listens and loves us. So, hi Jessica.
0:01:58.9 MS: Hey, Jessica. Glad you're listening.
0:02:01.0 EC: She's listening from California and Nevada, so she's a talented and very busy esthetician.
0:02:06.0 MS: Wow. Yeah, sounds like it. So, we have discussed in prior podcasts that you are successful in business when you get up and show up in life, but estheticians are notorious for caring for others and neglecting their own self-care. Would you agree?
0:02:22.0 EC: 100%. In fact, on another note, there's another esthetician that I follow on Instagram and she had this Reel the other day, and it was her... It's like her sitting outside with a cup of coffee and leaning back and forth from foot to foot, and it says, "Estheticians on their break," and it was like these thought bubbles and it was like, "Did I put my curling iron away? I should call that person back. I need to schedule a massage." It was so funny 'cause it was like a five-minute break and all these other things, "I wonder if that person is doing okay." It showed, it really illustrated how she was... Her mind was moving and that was her break, so to speak. So, yeah, it's... We definitely... With caring for other peoples, often we are last on the list.
0:03:07.7 MS: Yeah, I would agree too. I wanna read this quote for you from Eleanor Roosevelt. It says, "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one." And I think that says a lot. If we the estheticians are not mindful of our own wants, needs and self-care, we become burned out, we hit a wall and we can't be there for our clients.
0:03:31.5 EC: I love Eleanor Roosevelt, so I love this quote and I think that is 100% true. But do they say you can't put your mask on first in an airplane before you help others, but there's on... I think that's key, but I think there's pressure to define self-care. How do you define self-care?
0:03:52.0 MS: Yeah, good question. When I hear the word self-care, automatically, my mind goes to, oh, that's getting a facial or getting a massage, probably 'cause I'm in this industry, but I do not do those things. And so maybe I'm bad at self-care. But...
0:04:12.0 MS: For me, it is I am on the couch, the TV is on, I'm scrolling my phone and I've got a glass of something in hand.
0:04:21.3 EC: Water with lemon, right? [laughter]
0:04:23.9 MS: Yes, spa water.
0:04:55.8 EC: For me, I think, for me there's... I'm gonna be honest with you, I get anxiety when I think, oh shoot, I have to give myself some care too, but there's so much to do. My self-care is making sure it's all done, that's when I feel really good. So, I'm also like at the end of the day, it's are the dishes done and is laundry done? Is everybody good? Did I call everybody back? Great, now I can relax. That is part of my self-care. Now, I can relax. Now, I could sit with my spa water or my gummy bears and I can watch trash reality TV, and then on commercial breaks, scroll through Instagram. That's my self-care, but I get anxious with all of these other obligations we're supposed to do for self-care. You mentioned facials, massage, meditation. It's too much.
0:05:20.8 MS: Yeah, and you know what? Maybe that's just the pressures of society saying that that is what you need to do for yourself. And if you're not doing those things, then you aren't caring for yourself. But that's not true.
0:05:34.0 EC: Can you say that again, because you just nailed it. Say it again, it's not those... What are we supposed to be doing for self-care. Can this just be a unique definition, like Eleanor Roosevelt says, "We have an obligation to be an individual," so you don't have to feel the pressure of journaling, for example, or you don't have to feel the pressure of an evening meditation. So, one of my friends, so she's dating a lot and so one of the guys that she was dating, he's so regimented in every morning he wakes up, so she starts feeling like she needs to adopt some of these practice. She needs to do a 20-minute meditation when she wakes up, she needs to brush her teeth this way, that way and then floss, and then she's gonna do the Duolingo to try to learn two plus languages this year. I'm like, that's a lot of pressure. She... I watched her take on that... Well, that's what you're supposed to do, that self-care, that's the morning routine. I was like, you know what else is a morning routine? Getting up, pouring a cup of coffee and watching the news, so pick. Right? What do you think?
0:06:34.5 MS: Yeah, no, I totally agree. And honestly, hearing you say that, I love that routine in the morning for me. It doesn't include the news, sometimes it does. But honestly, it's like getting up, I do what I do with the dogs, I get my big cup of coffee and I'm binge-watching Netflix before I start my day.
0:06:53.8 EC: Self-care.
0:06:54.9 MS: Self-care. Yeah. I mean, screw journaling. I'm watching Netflix people.
0:07:00.6 EC: Yeah. Dear journal, I'll be right back. ____.
0:07:06.2 MS: And guess what, it can be on at any time when it's Netflix, baby.
0:07:10.3 EC: Yes, I know. I'm a sucker for that. I'm still home with my ____, but I'm coming back soon. But I gotta tell you, I think I reached the end of Netflix. I'm like, I'm good, I've watched a lot of documentaries. But anyways, I think...
0:07:24.0 MS: I hate when that happens, that's when you transfer to another streaming platform.
0:07:28.9 EC: Hold that thought. We'll be right back.
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0:08:56.4 EC: Okay, here we go. Let's get back to the podcast. So Maggie, you ever asked yourself what do you need or are you good with your Netflix and coffee in the morning?
0:09:05.8 MS: Yeah, sometimes you have to do a little check-in and I think that's part of mental health, if you will, which is also self-care.
0:09:13.1 EC: Absolutely. How are you doing? How are you feeling? Do you need this? Is this gonna be extra? Is this gonna cause more drama in your schedule? Even they say you should hang out with your friends, but sometimes just saying no and staying home is great. But also, saying yes is a good thing too. So, not having the pressure of feeling like you have to stay at home and give yourself a facial or be alone. Sometimes going out, saying yes to social activities is self-care at the end of it.
0:09:43.1 MS: Yeah, I totally agree. And one thing that we haven't quite addressed that I think is important too is as estheticians, we are there for our clients to some degree every day, all day and it's hard not to take on their energy. So, finding a way to not do that or have an outlet for it, I think is important too.
0:10:06.3 EC: I think the ritual like we go in, we set our rooms up or at the end, we clean our rooms up. So, allowing yourself the ritual of even if it's metaphorically clearing their energy, even if it's washing your arms up to your elbows as just a physical and then metaphoric way of cleansing the energy off of your hands if you're not a... I'm a woo-woo girl, so I could tell you other ways. But even just the act of just physically and metaphorically washing it off is good or setting the intention, get a sage spray or even just alcohol sprays sometimes I use. Just spraying in your room just to clear the energy is key because you don't wanna take that on. I had a client once and I had to tell her I couldn't... It just escaped my mouth before I even realized it, but I was like, you're very negative. 'Cause every time she came in, I'd be like, oh. When she left, I just felt heavy. And then the clients that came in after felt heavy, so when I mentioned that it was my key to, oh yeah, I gotta clear the room out of my own field too. Clearing the room out and just wash it off of me too 'cause it's important. Don't take that on, Teflon.
0:11:19.8 MS: Yeah, totally I agree. I remember Ella that you did a video for one of the ASCP summits where you talked just about that, having intention, setting boundaries and you talked about clearing the energy. And estheticians may not associate that with self-care, but I think it truly is because you're not only clearing energy in your treatment space but it's also helping you mentally as the esthetician. Either end your day or prepare for the client that's coming in next.
0:11:49.0 EC: If you think about a professional athlete and how they perform like they warm up and they cool down and... I giving an analogy to working out or some kind of physical activity, but it's very similar. You have to warm up and you have to cool down your room so that it's prepared for the next person. The other part of that too is I mentioned that one client who was just wretched, and she might be fantastic for some people but I... In that time in my career, I would have taken her. And in fact, she was a long-term client of mine. But at that time in my career, I was like, I can't deal with this, I can't have it.
0:12:26.9 EC: And we've talked about this before, but I just wanna remind everyone, including myself, that it's okay to not have them in your life anymore. It's okay to say no, it's okay to break up with them or to set the boundary of things because as caretakers as esthetic professionals, we will cost delete or come in early or stretch our times or provide a discount or throw in this treatment or whatever, but push the boundaries. But it's okay to not do that, it's okay to charge your friends and family full price, it's okay. They love you, they wanna see you successful. It's okay to accept gratuity that is outrageous and it's okay if they don't give you any as well. So, it's okay to set boundaries and be firm in those. It doesn't mean you're mean, it just means that you're... That's self-care too. Would you say?
0:13:24.9 MS: Oh, totally. Well, and as estheticians, generally speaking, we're nurturers. We put everyone first before us and to echo you, don't be afraid to put yourself first every now and then.
0:13:39.0 EC: Absolutely. It's not easy, it's not an easy thing. And sometimes I've seen people, maybe myself who I've like, I'm putting myself first and I had got really stringent on some things and I came off kind of a jerk. No, I am not staying late, I'm not coming in early. In my mind, I felt like I came off... But it's like, no, no, I can see you at 10 or I can see you at four and nope, I don't have anything later. Like it's okay, and I didn't have to... I felt like I compensated on the other side 'cause I felt somehow bad. Does that make sense? I felt bad.
0:14:12.3 MS: But it's never a bad thing.
0:14:13.6 EC: It's never a bad thing, just define and stay in the lines and that is self-care. Also, set time for you to recoup in between clients, whatever that is. One minute, four minutes, 15 minutes, set time for a lunch break so that you're not shoveling it in later, or just the things that will make you a stronger individual, a stronger practitioner, a stronger spouse or sibling or a parent, whatever, or just person, individual as Eleanor Roosevelt said.
0:14:46.9 MS: Now, listeners, we wanna hear from you. Do you make self-care a priority? What are your rituals? Share your thoughts with us on social media by commenting on our Instagram or Facebook posts or by emailing email@example.com.