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Aesthetics Practice Today

Educate Patients and Recommend Products

Published October 29, 2013 4:13 PM by Mina Grasso
NPs and PAs often times feel awkward retailing skin care products to patients in a medical spa setting. Various factors contribute to lack of sales and patient guidance on skin care products appropriate to their skin condition. The following are just a few:
  1. Underlying feelings of violating medical ethics
  2. Lack of knowledge of skin care products
  3. Fear of coming across as "too salesy"
  4. Lack of confidence in the products sold in the clinic.
  5. Fear of the patient rejecting the product.

Surveys of patients visiting a spa or medical spa revealed 90% of patients purchased an over-the-counter skin care product when skincare products were not recommended by the clinic. Clinics who perform a range of skin rejuvenation procedures from microdermabrasion to CO2 laser resurfacing should have a plan to provide or have specific recommendations for patients to use after the procedure. 

It's not unusual for patients to report that they purchased several items over-the-counter but found them to be too irritating or were afraid to break out. In my experience, there are quite a few patients who developed allergic contact dermatitis using over-the-counter antibiotic ointments after chemical peels, permanent makeup or tattoo removal.

Patients go to professional skin care clinics to get the advice of experts. The following have been very helpful in educating our patients on skin care:

  1. Computer analysis of the patient's skin care condition: UV damage, brown spots, redness, texture, pore size and porphyrins.
  2. Educate yourself and staff on effective skin care products for the skin conditions that you see in your clinic.
  3. If you choose not to sell skin care products, have a list of your recommendations for your patients to take home including guidance on sunscreen/block for protection.
  4. Follow-up appointments after skin care products sold or recommended and make adjustments if necessary.
  5. Provide retail sales product education as well as education on techniques of retailing.
  6. Keep patients' expectations realistic. Explain that skin quality improvement with skin care is usually not visible for 2-3 months.
  7. Have confidence in your approach in "prescribing" skin care for your patients.

Patients seek your advice. Educate and recommend products appropriate for their skin type and condition, and they will respect your professionalism and guidance especially when they start to see results.


Your 7 tips to educating staff on how to educate patients about skin care products are really good. This is great advice for professionals in the medical industry who might feel uncomfortable selling retail.

S. G., Education - President, Aesthetic VideoSource November 8, 2013 3:21 PM

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About this Blog

    Occupation: Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner
    Setting: Miami & Upland, Calif.
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