Ep 196 - Intimate Esthetics (but not what you think)

esthetician waxing client legs

Esthetics professionals offer an environment that could allow many to feel calm, comfortable, and safe. There is no doubt the client-practitioner relationship is valuable, and the professional’s perspective is beneficial. A current study sparks this episode’s conversation around professional relationships, responsibilities, and future opportunities for understanding and outreach. Tune in to ASCP Esty Talk to hear Maggie’s and Ella’s perspectives (and then be sure to let us know yours).

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.

Connect with Ella Cressman:

Website: www.ellacress.com

Website: www.hhpcollective.com


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. 

Connect with Maggie Staszcuk:

P 800.789.0411 EXT 1636

MStaszcuk@ascpskincare.com or AMI@ascpskincare.com


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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.

Connect with ASCP:

Website: www.ascpskincare.com

Email: getconnected@ascpskincare.com

Phone: 800-789-0411

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ASCPskincare

Instagram: www.instagram.com/ascpskincare

0:00:00.0 Intro: Do you see yourself as the rebel who challenges the status quo on skin health? Learn how to be a critical thinker. Discover innovative solutions to skin conditions and facilitate individualized healing on a deeper level with truth treatment systems. Truth treatment systems provides you the products and tools to unveil the truth behind skin conditions. Sign up for a wholesale account today at truthtreatmentspro.com and receive 10% off your first order. That's truthtreatmentspro.com. Reverse aging and boost collagen with Rhonda Allison Skincare. Peptides help increase collagen in elastin reducing fine lines, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and increasing firmness. RA skincare has created several peptides serums, ideal for photo-aging due to years of UV exposure, toxic environments, and premature in general aging. Our serums are perfect for restoring and maintaining moisture and hydration levels within the skin. Whether you have sensitive, normal or severely photo aged skin, RA skincare has a cutting age peptide just for you. Learn more at rhondaallison.com. 


0:01:29.8 Ella Cressman: Hello and welcome to ASCP Esty Talk. I'm Ella Cressman, licensed Esthetician certified organic skincare formulator and content contributor for Associated Skincare Professionals. 


0:01:41.9 Maggie Staszcuk: I am Maggie Staszcuk, licensed esthetician and ASCP's education program manager. 


0:01:47.8 EC: And today's shout out is to Debra Laporte. Thank you for your support and especially thank you for listening to the podcast. So today, we have like a very interesting topic. I wanted to bring it to the table because I think it's important. So I run that group of estheticians for Colorado, the Colorado group, and every day, I check to see who's requested membership. 'cause they have put parameters on there just to ensure the integrity of the group, blah, blah, blah. Well, one of the requests came from this group and I thought, oh, this is very interesting. It's the esthetician's Perspectives and Practices study. Have you heard about that?  


0:02:28.4 MS: No, I haven't heard. 


0:02:30.4 EC: Neither had I. So I went to work, I tried to look at their profile on Facebook. It wasn't a lot of information. I sent some messages. None had been returned, but I know sometimes when you're a group or a business or something, they don't always come in super easy. So finally, I was able to find some research. It's actually a study that was started in September, 2021 and it's gonna go through September, 2023. So I'm saying this just in case you wanna be part of this. It's From the Indiana University and it's funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. So, very interesting. You can reach out and we will give you the website address if you want. But let's talk about, I wanted to read this in its entirety so that we are not going to leave anything out. 


0:03:22.1 EC: And then I wanna talk through it with you, Maggie, because I want to, I have some thoughts on it and invoke some curiosities not just on the content of this study, but the aesthetics industry and our responsibilities. So let's talk about it. When you go to their website, it talks about the project abstract and what this means. And so it's a little bit of a long read, but I'm going to do it in its entirety. The abstract is on sexual and reproductive health. It is critical public health issue among young people in the United States, especially as it relates to sexually transmitted infections. Campaigns promoting sexually transmitted infection preventions, contraceptive use and other preventative health behaviors have demonstrated positive impacts among young people. However, given the massive increase in sexually transmitted infection rates, there is a critical need to further these efforts in new and creative venues. This is the important part. New and creative venues to better reach important priority populations. More than 85% of women in the US aged 18 to 24, and almost as many young men participate in some method of pubic hair removal like barbershops, beauty salons. 


0:04:38.5 EC: And they may cultivate a safe culturally relevant space for estheticians. In parentheses, skincare professionals to deliver interventions. People who seek pubic hair removal services, especially young women and men and sexual gender minorities may be at higher sexual reproductive health risk. Accordingly, pubic hair removal salons may exemplify novel and innovative venues for healthy promotion risk reduction interventions. Little is known about this setting and even less is known about estheticians and how these professionals may be engaged in possible intervention efforts. In previous work, the Sexual health and estheticians or S-H-E, SHE has an acronym, what you might See Steady. We found the esthetician noticed clients' possible health concerns such as skin cancer, herpes, genital wart, and evidence of physical abuse. Estheticians interactions with clients often turn towards sex related discussions, creating spaces where otherwise taboo conversations take place with ease. 


0:05:50.1 EC: And where estheticians provide resources and support. Accordingly, estheticians may be ideal intervention facilitators. However, how those intervention components may look will depend on additional formative research. Moreover, many aestheticians in our initial study did not serve men. Given that men engage in pubic hair removal and gay bisexual men especially, this is an important population on which to focus. The objective of this proposed project is to build on the sexual health and esthetician study, focusing on estheticians who serve men and determine the acceptability of/feasibility for salon based interventions. We will accomplish this objective employing an exploratory sequentially mixed method design via three specific aims. We will replicate the sexual health and esthetician study with estheticians who primarily serve men, including gay bisexual men. Two, assess the transferability of sexual health and esthetician study, Aim one findings to a large national sample of licensed esthetician who perform pubic hair removal. 


0:07:01.9 EC: Three, triangulate findings from the sexual health and esthetician study. Aim one and Aim two, using focus groups to determine specific components forming the development of salon based esthetician facilitated health related intervention for young people. Information from this research will lead to the development and pilot testing of mutually beneficial salon based health promotion and risk reduction intervention. Example R-21. This is designed through a community engaged research process and randomized control trial evaluation. Such innovative efforts are sorely needed to address significant sexual reproductive health issues that disproportionately affect young people and sexual gender minorities. So basically this study is intent to take a sampling the opinion of the perspective of, that's why it's called the esthetician perspective and practice studies. It's a sister to the SHE study and they want to understand if there is a role for estheticians to intervene in a certain, like in basically certain types of waxing services. 


0:08:11.0 MS: First of all, this is very, very interesting. I think at the onset, the people putting together this study are very misinformed. 


0:08:19.7 EC: Amen. 


0:08:23.3 MS: And as a whole, this is wonderful. Yes, estheticians can intervene, but to say that estheticians are ill-informed or that they don't often perform services on men, or that conversation is very focused on sex or taboo topics. It's like, who wrote this? I mean, so ridiculous. But yeah, there should be intervention programs for anybody in the beauty space, not just estheticians to step in. And there are. I don't think it's broad strokes, it may be a salon has a program or a state has a program. 


0:09:00.1 EC: Right. Absolutely. I think what's interesting is getting the perspectives step one. So for those of you who are listening who are waxers and very specific waxers, you might wanna reach out again, send me an Instagram dms, let into my dms or email, get connected at ascpskincare.com and we'll get you that website address. But to me there's a lot of layers. The same thing for you. When I read the front of this, I was like, we don't always, it would imply as if there's some kind of unprofessionalism because we're not, like, maybe it's more comfortable, but also it's kind of awkward, especially the first couple of times potentially for either practitioner or the client. 


0:09:37.1 MS: It's almost like they're saying that estheticians are in some kind of like risque business and that all day long we're waxing people's private parts and I don't know, they don't present estheticians as professionals is how I read it. 


0:09:58.2 EC: I felt the same way, very similar. So maybe it's a good opportunity for anyone who wants to participate to set that straight, give them the perspective that they're obviously missing. Because this is piggybacking on another study. I'm curious who those other people were. I'm thinking in my head there was probably someone who had a waxing experience. Maybe they're very familiar with their waxer, maybe they do talk about waxers and they're sitting around a table going, I've got a good one for us. And this is going to be great because it's talking about health. And this is just general speaking, but I can see that happening. Could you?  


0:10:30.6 MS: Yeah. Oh totally. 


0:10:32.6 Speaker 4: Hold that thought. We'll be right back. 


0:10:36.1 Speaker 5: DMK is the world leader in paramedical skin revision education with certification programs designed to give licensed professionals a thorough understanding of the skin and in-depth study of the DMK concept of remove, rebuild, protect, maintain, created by the botanical visionary Danne Montague King, DMK offers skin revision training and education for all ages, skin conditions and ethnicities in more than 35 countries, harnessing the body's innate healing mechanisms to change the health of the skin. Learn more at dannemking.com. That's D-A-N-N-E-M-K-I-N-G.com. 


0:11:22.4 S4: Okay, here we go. Let's get back to the podcast. 


0:11:25.5 EC: I was telling you earlier about experience that I had in school and it was so uncomfortable and it just had to do with like a facial. But basically someone came in, they filled up, we welcomed them like we were taught, and when we went to school, the place we went to was off the beaten path. So we didn't often get clients off of the street. We mostly did on each other, if I'm being honest. So we got someone off the street, they came in, they wanted to have a service, and she filled out our paperwork and a teacher comes to check and she goes, oh no, we can't do your... Anything on you because you have a cold sore. You have a cold sore. And I remember thinking, oh my gosh, the client was uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable. Everyone was uncomfortable. So if you're, I'm remembering that how I felt in that moment and imagining, I don't know what this expectation of, are we leaving pamphlets in the room? Or are we gonna be like, have you ever thought about... 


0:12:24.0 EC: No. Oh my gosh, I just remember this teacher coming in and saying something. So what is our scope of practice? What's your thoughts? You worked in a school too, like. 


0:12:35.9 MS: Yeah I mean that's a good question and obviously we don't diagnose. It's not our place to say you have X, Y, Z, I'm seeing it. And sorry, no treatment for you today, but certainly you can address a situation with tact and say, I don't know, it depends on the situation, depends on the client. Have you not, have you never seen that client before or are they a longtime client? But there's a way to say I am seeing something that I feel I shouldn't treat you today and based on what I'm seeing, I'm recommending you go and see your doctor or once this clears up, then let's get back to your regular waxing sessions. If we're specifically talking about pubic hair removal as it's written in this study, I mean, most definitely you could see some things that you should not proceed, whether it's yeast infection or herpes or who knows what. So you don't want to say you've got a yeast infection. We're not diagnosing that. It's not for us to recognize that and call it out on the client, but to say things aren't looking right and I think you need to see your doctor before we proceed with the service. 


0:13:45.9 EC: And that is really hard. 


0:13:48.0 MS: Yeah. 


0:13:52.6 EC: Having those uncomfortable conversations, but still being able to encourage those client relations. So it happened to me where I had, this is crude, but I had this client and it was in like the back area. There was a buildup of yeast. And so I mentioned it to her, Hey, you might wanna get that checked out. Never saw her again. And I don't blame her. I would be mortified, like thinking now back, I would be mortified, but I was in the moment thinking, I can't see back there. She can't see back there. Anyways, the other thing that that brings up then is the responsibility. Again, like I said, I'm curious what their suggestions will be. Maybe they're wanting our perspective, but what would be their suggestions? Are they wanting us to look and say something? Or are they wanting us to go? Have you ever thought about condoms or what's your like, is this turning into... Like are you on prep or whatever, what is this turning into?  


0:14:45.9 MS: Listen, No wax till you've had a blood test. 


0:14:48.3 EC: Yeah. 


0:14:52.6 EC: Or like have are we suggestive or are we telling? Are we directing? I'm not sure. 


0:14:57.8 MS: That, I mean, that would totally change our scope of practice as estheticians. If they are suggesting that we are telling our clients you've got X, Y, and z. If we're telling, and you mentioned like pamphlets in the room, that would completely change scope of practice as aestheticians. 


0:15:14.4 EC: And experience. 


0:15:15.9 MS: And experience. And I think that's not what we do. I mean, even though we have people de roping and we are waxing intimate areas, this is a service, it's not a medical treatment. 


0:15:28.9 EC: So I wonder if they're wanting us, not necessarily to diagnose, but to warn of the potential, Hey, you don't have anything lucky, but you could. So have you thought about, did you get that impression?  


0:15:44.2 MS: No, not necessarily. I'm not sure entirely what they are aiming for other than they want information obviously, and they're thinking estheticians can provide it. 


0:15:56.8 EC: Yeah. I know that this is also a topic that in the parallel, not that there's like super close related, but when we're talking about outside of our scope, do you want it waxed? Do you want it an effect... Do you want facial? Those are what we do. I know that particularly in some states where you have continuing education requirements for licensure, like Florida, a lot of states have it, but Florida and Texas particularly have a requirement that in those CEUs, there is a section usually about 50 minutes required to address human trafficking and things to look for and such. So now we're that scope of practice change. 


0:16:34.9 MS: Yeah. And I think that that's great. I think that's something every state should be implementing. And I know that like for massage therapy, that's a thing, but they also have nationwide testing where with aesthetics, every state is different. But I've had situations where a man has brought a woman in for waxing and then insisted on sitting in the treatment room, which for me as the technician is very awkward, very weird. And it really almost felt like sexual, why is this man insisting on watching like a Brazilian wax? And I'm not saying it was a human trafficking situation, but it's things like that where I feel like estheticians are aware and they're seeing things and it's an opportunity to assist somebody if they're in trouble. 


0:17:27.9 EC: So what did you do?  


0:17:29.5 MS: That man is not allowed in the treatment room. 


0:17:33.1 EC: So having policies in place. I was on a panel and they were discussing a lot of different topics and the safety seem to be a main theme on there, the safety of the guests and then also the safety of the practitioner. So setting a boundary like that I think is important. But there's also, in Colorado, particularly for beauty professionals, at one point they were trying to mandate that we become like mandatory reporters for domestic abuse. And it didn't pass that I'm aware of, but that's another thing that we see. So this is where my mind went when we're reading this abstract. Like, are we, I wish I understood more of what they need, but what are your thoughts on that, on domestic violence or... 


0:18:17.7 MS: Same thing because you as an esthetician, you may be seeing things like bruises or things that put up a red flag. As far as being a mandatory reporter. I don't know if that should be a requirement or not, but we become very intimate with our clients. So seeing something like that where you can assist that person sometimes you have clients too, or just people in general who do not want to be helped so if you're forced to report them, I don't know if that puts them in a worse position than they were but it... 


0:18:55.9 EC: Or what if you get it wrong?  


0:18:56.0 MS: Or what if you get it wrong entirely? Yeah. I don't know. 


0:19:00.9 EC: I guess you'd have to have a training and we don't have continuing education requirements here, so. 


0:19:04.7 MS: Right. 


0:19:05.4 EC: It'd be very, very hard. At any rate, if this is something that you're interested in providing your opinion for the esthetician's perspective and practices study, reach out, seek them out and give your opinion. And the study goes through September 20th, 2023. So time is of the essence. Let them know and let us know, because we're very curious listeners, we really wanna hear from you. What are your thoughts on health promotion/risk reduction in aesthetics? What's your perspective? Be sure to let us know. Comment on our social media posts or send us an email at Getconnected@ascpskincare.com. We wanna know all the details. In the meantime, thank you for listening to ASCP Esty Talk. For more information on this episode or for ways to connect with Maggie or myself, or to learn more about ASCP, check out the show notes and stay tuned for the next episode of ASCP Esty Talk.

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