Do you change your clients’ skin care routine, your menu, or your services according to the seasons? Estheticians are often trained to analyze the skin in the moment, what’s changed from the previous visit, and whether the client is experiencing any skin issues they’d like to address—never the weather. But adapting your menu offerings and changing your clients’ routine to accommodate for seasonal shifts presents a lot of opportunities not just for the client, but also the esthetician. In this episode of ASCP Esty Talk, Maggie and Ella discuss why it’s good to understand how seasonal changes can impact the skin, how to transition a skin care routine, and why you would in the first place.
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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0:02:02.9 Maggie Staszcuk: Hello and welcome to ASCP's Esty Talk. I'm your co-host, Maggie Staszcuk and ACSP's Education Program manager.
0:02:09.3 Ella Cressman: I'm Ella Cressman, licensed esthetician, certified organic formulator, international educator and content contributor for Associated Skincare Professionals.
0:02:18.2 MS: Ella, here's the question for you. Do you change your routine, your menu, your services for the changing seasons?
0:02:27.3 EC: No.
0:02:28.3 MS: No?
0:02:29.7 EC: No. Not really.
0:02:29.8 MS: Podcast over.
0:02:30.2 MS: Okay.
0:02:34.1 MS: When I was an esthetician, I focused on the skin in front of me at that moment, what's changed from the previous visit and how's my client been experiencing any issues they'd like to address. Never the weather. Like why would I change anything when I found the perfect routine?
0:02:49.6 EC: Yeah. Absolutely.
0:02:51.5 MS: Yeah.
0:02:52.9 MS: Okay. But nonetheless, it's good to understand how seasonal changes can impact the skin. How to transition a skincare routine and why you would in the first place.
0:03:01.1 EC: Something... Okay. This just... I just wanna bring it up right now, is because being in tune and I think a lot of people have seasonal menus and seasonal facials and that's a good way to bring in business or to keep people engaged in business. And then the other part of that is, what you were explaining when you were practicing is that you were constantly tuning in with your clients 'cause you had them on a regular schedule. That's a goal. And I think what this is, is also... I know I just wanna drop it in there, but this is retail. And I'm saying this because a lot of estheticians are professionals, are afraid of that word as if somehow it's disingenuous to sell home care. But this is really important. So with seasonal changes, these could be the four seasons. Some places don't have all four, or this could be life seasons too.
0:03:52.8 MS: Oh. I love that. Life seasons. And you're so right. Retail is a big factor in estheticians. Some estheticians shy away from that. And it's all perspective too. Because if you look at it like, "I'm evaluating my client's skin in the moment. And last time they were dry and today they are oily. So I'm treating them as oily." Maybe that is a seasonal issue. Or are you adding it like we're transitioning from Summer to Fall, so there's going to be some seasonal change in your skin. We're going to treat it as such.
0:04:27.6 EC: I think the latter is probably... I think both combined.
0:04:31.9 MS: Yeah. I mean, it's all perspective, I think probably. So let's talk about Fall and Winter 'cause we're transitioning from Summer now into Fall. Our skin is the first to notice Summer's transition. You start to feel that dryness in the skin a little bit.
0:04:45.3 EC: Like a sponge going from fluffy to flat and crispy.
0:04:52.6 EC: I'm just saying in some cases.
0:04:54.8 MS: Yeah. In some cases, yeah. Those falling temperatures bring colder, drier air. And with less moisture in the air, the skin can't keep up. So your clients may start to experience trans epidermal water loss. There's dehydration, dryness, cracked skin, flaking. Cracked skin's may be a exaggeration, but I know in the knuckles of the hands, that's something that happens a lot in the winter. Sensitive, irritated and inflamed skin can also be side effects of cold, dry air. So if you've got clients that are experiencing rosacea or eczema, this could all be a result of seasonal change.
0:05:30.6 EC: There's... I mean, literal environmental stuff too happening. Especially here in Colorado we can have... They call them evaporative coolers, which is a swamp cooler is what I learned them as. And this is pumping moisture into your home and cooling it. One of my clients, she has an evaporative cooler in the summer. Her skin is, ah. Chef's kiss. In the winter, she gets a lot of, it's not even milia and it's not sebaceous hyperplasia, it's something else. And she has rosacea to top it all off. And so this just reminded me when you talked about flare-ups, that there is, that... There's a definite change for that. And in adding into that in the Fall and in the Winter, a lot of times you have heaters kicking on forced air heat which also draws moisture from the air. So yeah. There is definitely a connection.
0:06:19.3 MS: Yeah. Entirely. And the other thing I think about too is that it's cold season. So you're potentially taking cold medications that's drying your sinuses, but also drying the skin, wiping with a tissue. So, incorporating more of those hydrating products even balms or barrier products that are preventing that trans epidermal water loss. And maintaining the barrier.
0:06:42.0 EC: That would be a good home treatment for like to prescribe as something they can do in between like coming to see you would be... That would be an awesome opportunity for that.
0:06:51.5 MS: I agree. So Spring and Summer. Spring is allergy season. Allergy meds can dry out the skin just like our cold medications can dry out the skin. We have increased heat and humidity. And you were talking about those evaporative coolers and humidity. And so for some people, this is great for the skin, but for other people it means clammy, sweaty, oily skin.
0:07:13.4 EC: I love that. Yeah.
0:07:15.2 MS: And this means congestion, potential for breakouts, blackheads, milia, things like that. We're also outdoors more so we have sunburn and chance for pigmentation.
0:07:28.1 EC: I love summer though. I feel like I missed it. Do you feel like this last summer was quick?
0:07:34.3 MS: I hate summer.
0:07:34.4 EC: You do?
0:07:35.8 MS: I do. I'm a Fall, Winter kind of girl.
0:07:38.1 EC: Are you?
0:07:39.4 MS: Yeah.
0:07:39.8 EC: I'm a Spring, Summer. That's why we get along. It's perfect.
0:07:42.0 MS: Yes. Opposites attract. I like it cold and crisp. And if it rains or if it snows and you feel the damp coldness in the air, it just, ugh. It feels so good.
0:07:55.0 EC: One time I lived in Houston, Texas for few years.
0:07:57.2 MS: Oh God. That sounds horrible.
0:07:58.6 EC: That's what everybody said. So my friend came to visit and she's like... Long story short, she's like, "How do you even handle it here?" And I looked, I was like, "I just love it." And I went on this tangent about how I love it. And she goes, "The whole time you're telling me how much you love it, you had this like beaded mustache on your upper lips of sweat or condensation or something. And I couldn't even hear what you were saying."
0:08:18.6 EC: And I was like, my skin looked great. My hair was long and illustrious. Like I love hot and humid. But I don't know, like... 'Cause you have air conditioners, just go inside [chuckle]
0:08:28.5 MS: Yeah. True. True. I get that. Yeah. So Spring and Summer. You're maybe gonna be incorporating for your clients more gel-foaming cleansers to target that congestion. Regular exfoliation, that's all time a year, but especially Spring and Summer to target potential breakouts and cut back on Winter's heavy moisturizers and any occlusive products you may have incorporated. And then of course SPF.
0:08:53.2 S2: Hold that thought. We'll be right back.
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0:09:57.4 S2: Okay. Here we go. Let's give back to the podcast.
0:10:00.7 EC: So how do you incorporate new products or shift those seasonal changes for your clients? First you wanna start with an audit of their routine. And this is key. I do this with initial consultations. I should incorporate it in some kind of, you know what? That would be a really good seasonal special, like a skincare audit. Let's see what you're using. Even you can audit some of their like makeup because sometimes... I mean, I have an eyeshadow that is... I mean, a decade old. I need to let it go. And I need somebody to tell me that.
0:10:32.2 MS: That's probably like all my eyeshadows.
0:10:36.4 EC: You know what?
0:10:38.9 MS: That's like dating back to high school.
0:10:41.7 EC: Bring those and all your skincare products, including your eye creams and to me, and we will try... Let's go through them. The key is to introduce one product at a time when you're incorporating new products. This is for an established. For a new client, maybe two or three. The reason is you don't wanna freak the skin out too much. You don't wanna disrupt anything. So just introducing one. And this also encourages... They have to come back for follow up or reevaluation. And then of course, if you have... If you're introducing any kind of exfoliators or any kind of active product, you wanna make sure that you're patch testing even sometimes with the moisturizers 'cause a lot of moisturizers now have really active agents, even if they're not... Have a hydroxy acids, they're still stimulating. And then understanding how to layer products. Winter may call for more hydration and moisturizer and then Spring and Summer, you can eliminate that step. So what are you doing? I like to say you're cleansing. Well, you know the rule. Thickest to thinness. That's probably pretty good.
0:11:41.2 EC: And then purging is not a thing. If your client is experiencing rashes or mass breakouts, this could possibly be a bad reaction. So, just monitor it, have them... Explaining this is as part of understanding what to expect is gonna be key in having them reach out so you can market or chart it.
0:12:00.7 MS: So why change up your client's routines to begin with? So we're talking about potential for retail, but also your client's skin's needs may change. So again, this could be change in climate and even climate change. So, we were talking off air that here where we're located in Colorado, typically we're very dry, but I feel like it has been actually quite humid this past Summer. So I may need to change my entire regimen to accommodate for this change in climate. And then it could be that your client's products aren't meeting the needs of their goals or the routine is just boring. After a while using the same product day in and day out, it's boring for the client. And maybe it's boring for the skin too.
0:12:46.0 EC: 100% It's like doing bicep curls, bicep curls, bicep curls, bicep curls. When you could be doing like tennis or... That sounds boring to me too. But...
0:12:58.0 EC: Yoga, check. Boring too. But I mean, you know what I mean? Whatever your thing is. I would do... I mean, I used to work out all the time and we would switch it up to keep your muscles guessing. So same here. Keep your skin cells guessing.
0:13:09.1 MS: Yeah. Yeah. Entirely. And then changing and tailoring the routine brings change to the skin. So again, going back to if you're just doing the bicep curls day in and day out, you potentially are not meeting the needs of the skin and achieving those goals. So you wanna get that clear complexion, healthy skin barrier, brighter skin tone, hydrated skin. All of these things are going to be accomplished with different products. So incorporating those new products and rotating through to get those goals. But don't switch too often because you need to allow time for the skin to adapt to that product and then create that change.
0:13:44.2 EC: And if you are not a professional listening in, you really should follow the advice of a professional or the guidance of a professional who is aware of some of those other factors that you won't find wherever you're procuring, whether it's an online search or whatnot. But using a professional practitioner to guide some of these changes is gonna be key. It's gonna be a lot more expeditious and it's gonna be a lot less expensive and exploratory. Says the girl who has a lot of stuff I bought on Instagram. I'm just saying.
0:14:15.1 EC: I think what's key when you're switching anything in your life, but especially your skincare, is that being in tune with what's going on, being aware of some other factors. I mean, the industry's kind of taught us there's boxes, right? Acne, oily, dry, dehydrated. But like what we just talked about, you can be both within a year. So being aware of not just those boxes that we're saying the industry, but the marketing machine has taught us about. But when you're following a professional who has an awareness of these other factors, then you can keep in mind different things like what's going on and are they traveling a lot? There's other lifestyle considerations to think of. So I think, for sure, professional guidance is key.
0:14:58.6 MS: Yeah. And in addition to that, we're talking about changing it up so it's not boring for the client. It's also so it's not boring for you, the practitioner. And this is increasing your revenue opportunity. You're selling new products, you're selling new services, you can switch up your menu. I think that there are some estheticians out there who maybe look at changing for the seasons might be kind of kitschy and not professional maybe, but do it. Why not? Have fun with it.
0:15:28.8 EC: Change it to where it's not just a kitschy and... Or like a pumpkin spice. But there's a lot of cool ways you could do that too, by the way. But change it to where it's like the audit or something more technical if that's your style.
0:15:39.0 MS: Yeah. 100%. Now listeners, we wanna hear from you. What is your opinion of seasonal skincare? And do you change things up for your clients when the weather shifts? Share with us on social media through Instagram, Facebook, or by email and get connected at ascpskincare.com. Thank you for listening to ASCP Esty Talk. And as always, for more information on this episode or for ways to connect with Ella and myself, or to learn more about ASCP, check out the show notes.