Before you provide any aesthetic services to new clients, you will want to have them fill out a thorough client intake form. Asking the right questions will help your esthetician determine the most appropriate treatment options based on the client’s skin type, lifestyle, in addition to determining whether or not they have any pre-existing or genetic conditions.

While the skin analysis begins when the client walks in the door with what is visible to the eye, a magnifying lamp will give you even further information about their skin. Magnification helps measure oil, hydration, pigmentation depth, skin thickness, vascularity, sun damage, and Fitzpatrick type. This information will ensure that peels, facials, and home care products are appropriate and effective.

But, it is important to ask new clients other questions that may not be answered simply by looking at the skin. Below you will find the top six questions you need to be asking your clients during the initial consultation.

Are You Under The Care Of A Dermatologist?

Some new clients will be under the care of a dermatologist—especially if they have acne that requires the use of antibiotics or other prescribed medications. Medications such as Accutane will limit the types of services you can offer these clients since Accutane causes the skin renewal process to speed up significantly and can also cause skin sensitivity. So services like waxing, lasers, and other resurfacing treatments may need to be avoided since they remove layers of the skin and can make the skin more sensitive, especially to the sun.

What Are Your Skincare Goals?

Everyone wants great looking skin. Since each client coming into your beauty location will have different goals based on their age, skin type, and skin concerns—it is important to know what each of your clients would like to achieve so you can set expectations accordingly. Setting expectations appropriately is important since some skin concerns like acne scarring may take several treatments spaced out, especially to smooth the skin out and lighten the pigmentation that is typically associated with the scars. Communication is key and that needs to be a two-way street for both the client and the practitioner.

What Is Your Current Skincare Regimen?

There are so many types of skincare products on the market. If clients have chosen a skin care protocol on their own, they could have chosen the wrong one, which could lead to breakouts and irritation. Furthermore, some skincare products like retinoids may limit or alter your treatment protocol for your clients since chemical peels and certain lasers can add to the irritation. Other questions you may want to ask when it comes to their daily regimen, is how often they wash their face and if they are using daily sunscreen year round? Your clients’ responses will not only help you with treatment selection, but also let you know where there are gaps in their daily routine so you can direct them to products that could work better for their skin type and skin goals.

How Much Water Are You Drinking Daily And What Does Your Diet Consist Of?

These questions may seem invasive, but if your clients aren’t drinking enough water their skin could be dehydrated. If their diet is lacking in dense nutrients or is heavy on food that is fried, processed, or high in sugar, these choices could also contribute to skin that is oily or breaks out. The old saying we are what we eat is true. So if your clients are making dietary choices that are less than ideal, you may want to politely explain how this is affecting their skin.

Is Your Skin Oily, Dry, Normal, Or Sensitive?

Each skin type will need a different treatment protocol. Oily skin, for example, tends to have follicles that appear more open when an esthetician looks at it under a magnifying lamp. Determining the sebaceous activity of your clients’ skin will help determine the scope of work for a facial or peel, especially since skin that is oily will require extra work to break through the protective layer. On the other hand, skin that is dry or dehydrated will require the protective barrier to be built back up to remain healthy, especially if a chemical peel has been given to clients with this skin type. Sensitive skin requires the use of products created for this skin type as well as treatments that don’t agitate the skin further.

Do You Smoke?

It is important to ask your clients if they smoke since smoking starves the skin of oxygen and accelerates the aging process that contributes to wrinkles. Smoking can also make the skin look yellow or leathery, in addition to causing age spots. If your clients smoke, politely (and without judgment) let them know that these side effects are possible.

Final Thoughts...

The goal of an esthetician should be to take some of the guesswork out of achieving skin that is healthy. So, the more information you know about your clients, the easier it will be to help them achieve their skin care goals and effectively address their aesthetic concerns.