My oncology esthetic journey began a couple years ago, when a client who was a two-time cancer survivor, re-entered my treatment room. She had postponed her facials and eyelashes while she was battling cancer. It had then dawned on me that I did not know much about cancer in general. I had no personal experience nor did I really know anyone close to me who experienced it. Then I thought, how many clients have stopped coming because they were battling cancer? I did not realize just how much of an impact I could truly make or how I could have been of better service to her or others. This ignited my interest to understand and learn more. Over the next year, we played with her eyelash extensions since her natural lashes had not fully regained their original strength and fullness. One time, when she came in for a facial treatment, her lashes were thick and full. She said she was using a particular product, and that’s when it hit. I was really determined to help women through and after their cancer journey.
I went on to get the proper esthetic-ritual practice in education and I familiarized myself with different industry-leading oncology-approved products for skin care and makeup. I applied for a grant to help grow this area in my business; I received the grant, which helped with product and marketing tools. I got involved in the Piper Cancer Center’s Facing Forward Program, and I volunteer to do makeovers and share what safe products are out there for women to use, while extending an invite to experience a spa treatment at a highly discounted rate. I partnered with two local companies that are oncology-safe products. I developed an entire service menu for oncology services. I also got certified in the basics of areola tattoo so that one day I can implement it. I also have an entire page dedicated to oncology on my website.
During my education course, one of the women I worked with is now a long-standing client. We do her skin care routine and help restore her skin's health and we play with her eyelashes. I recently helped another woman who is currently going through treatment and came to me because her son was getting married and she wanted to be able to wear makeup that did not irritate her skin. I did a complete makeup application and let her experience it to determine if she had any reaction. The next day she called and was so happy! No irritation! She purchased all the items I used and even switched a few of her friends to it. She felt and looked absolutely amazing.
I originally became an esthetician to heal the skin and make people feel pretty because I had seen how it esthetic work impacted my life. I never thought about how much esthetics would make people feel alive. I've dedicated 15 years in my profession. I have the privilege of living my passion, and I realize that cancer does not discriminate and it could be me, so my passion has become my purpose. I've discovered the real meaning of beauty, and I want to be able to help these women in their journey so that they can share their stories.
Story of inspiration provided by
Alicia Neal, LE and owner of Beauty by Alicia
Esthetician for 15 years
Practicing oncology skin care for 2.5 years
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