I want help with my skin but where do I start? Start with putting price LAST!

So, you have noticed some ‘issues’ with your skin; a few more wrinkles, some broken capillaries and freckles that, once cute, are now getting blotchier and more unsightly.  In the big scheme of things, not ground shattering issues, but if addressing them makes you feel better about yourself and your confidence, then where is the harm?

Most of the people I meet in my line of work have finally come to peace with the fact that it is OK to accept a little help in order to age gracefully. They are now at the stage that they want some honest, expert advice about what can be done, where to go and what is realistic to expect from treatment.

The million dollar question, though, is where to start? Your friends talk about trying this cream and that treatment, but how do you know what worked for them is right for you? Where do you go for honest advice – a beautician, dermatologist or cosmetic/plastic surgeon?

It really does depend on your needs. If your beauty regime to date has consisted of the occasional facial, and you are now looking to just refresh your appearance, you are unlikely to need a cosmetic or plastic surgeon. Similarly, if you are to step it up a notch and have laser resurfacing , going for the  cheapest option may not be the wisest choice.


What you are looking for is the right ‘fit’ for you; what you feel comfortable with. Many of us would never feel comfortable seeing a plastic surgeon because we only want to freshen our appearance and don’t see ourselves as a cosmetic patient. But if you have dabbled a bit in the cosmetic arena and are looking something more, a cosmetic or plastic surgeon is for you.

Laser clinics seem to be popping up everywhere and I get asked all the time if they are ok to go to. Some are, some aren’t. Most laser clinics are staffed by beauticians who have undergone training in the use of light based therapies, and are often referred to as Dermal Therapists or Dermal Technicians. Many laser clinics are chains that have flooded the market, so be wary, and do your homework before launching in and having anything done.

Once you have some idea of what type of professional you are looking for to guide you, you now have to find a good one; someone you can trust.

Look for a clinic/surgery that has a clear commitment to ‘best practice’. What does that mean? It is your assurance that you will be treated with respect, your expectations will be met, if not exceeded and your overall experience will be meaningful and enriching. Sounds too good to be true? Well, they are out there; you just have to know what it is you are looking for.

Look for a clinic that has a clear leader, a real person.  The clinic may have a business name but there is an identifiable person behind that. Why is that important? Because if someone is happy to stake their professional and personal reputation on the quality of the service they offer, then that is a fantastic indication to you that you are in the right place.

I front all the advertising and marketing for our clinics and not because I like seeing my face everywhere. Believe me, I don’t. I do it because I want clients to know that I am responsible for their experience with our clinics, and for the results we achieve for them. It is rare to find people in any business willing to stick their neck out like that, especially so in this industry, so if you find one, you are onto something.

Find a clinic with a culture that you feel comfortable with. So many surgeries and practices still engage in the typical doctor-patient model where you, as the patient, are vulnerable and disempowered. You are told what your ‘problem areas’ are, what you are going have done about them and when. I strongly believe this doesn’t constitute ‘best practice’ and isn’t conducive to achieving a long, collaborative and supportive relationship that ultimately leads to the best outcomes for you, the client.

We have a wellness model in the clinics, not sickness one. What I mean by that is that you are a client, rather than a patient. You have made a conscious decision to use our service that is driven by want and not need. You are a paying consumer and because of that, are in the ‘box seat’.  You are in a position of power in the relationship and it is how it should be.

Our clinics are modelled on the culture of collaboration and empowerment. We work with you, not on you. It is about building rapport and establishing a relationship based on respect. Our nurses have a deep seeded desire to get you the results you are after and take that responsibility seriously. This all sounds a little airy fairy but, in this day and age, we emotionally disconnect from people, to all of our detriment. There are few experiences more revealing than talking about your appearance and how it makes you feel. You need to be in a place of complete trust.

how young is too young

Call the clinic and ask some questions to get a ‘feel’ for the place. In a reputable clinic, the customer service should be impeccable. By and large, we are pretty bad at this in Australia, especially in the medical field. There is still that view that you, as the client/patient are just lucky the doctor/practitioner is willing to see you, let alone give you great customer service. It is getting old.

I am a customer service junkie. I expect great service wherever I go and am disappointed when it falls short. When choosing a clinic or practice that you will be entrusting your face to, friendly, informative service is a great indicator as to whether you can move to the next step of spending time having a consultation with them. Because let’s face it, our time is precious.

Find a clinic that is clearly still engaged in the industry, where the staff attend conferences, and are constantly up skilling. Definitely look for a clinic that keeps abreast of emerging technologies and is willing to bring them into the clinic. Technology moves so quickly in this industry, it is exciting, and you want to be along for the ride!

Lastly, lets talk about price. Price is a spectrum and where you fit in that spectrum will also dictate who you select as your practitioner. While expensive does not always guarantee the best results, going cheap is a gamble I would never recommend.  Avoid the discount coupons like the plaque. Discounted price means discounted service. Come on, we are talking about your face! There is middle ground here, where quality service meets reasonable price.

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For more information on how to care for your skin, contact a Clear Complexions Clinic near you. www.clearcomplexions.com.au.

About the author: Suzie Hoitink is a Registered Nurse and the Founder of the award winning Clear Complexions Clinics. At Suzie’s clinics the doctors and nurses treat everyday skin conditions using the latest technology available. Not only do they improve the health and appearance of their client’s skin, but their overall confidence as well.