Lexli continues its series of interviews with leaders within the field of esthetics to get their take on industry trends, learn their top skin care recommendations, hear their tips for those just beginning their career as an esthetician, and more. Whether you're someone who is working to improve the health and aesthetics of your skin or a professional looking for inspiration, we're confident the articles in this series will benefit you.
Meet Eti Elison.
As a licensed aesthetician in Israel, Switzerland and the United States, Eti has spent 30 years working to improve the skin of thousands of clients. From her Los Angeles studio, “Skin by Eti Elison,” she today offers a full portfolio of treatments ranging from red carpet facials and chemical peels to microneedling and collagen treatments.
Your years of industry experience in multiple countries has no doubt provided you with a broad perspective on aesthetics. How would you describe your approach to skin care and the philosophy behind it?
EE: For me, it is simple: a healthy lifestyle must take priority over skin care. Our skin is the largest organ in our body and, while we cannot see our inner organs, the quality of our skin is an indicator of how well our inner organs are functioning. This is why it is very important to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. Diet, sleep, stress, smoking of any kind, alcohol consumption – these all have an effect on our cells and can produce premature signs of aging and damage to our skin. So, my philosophy is that to achieve beautiful, healthy, ageless skin, you must start with your lifestyle.
It’s obvious that you are passionate about aesthetics. What is your favorite part of this career and, beyond that, what inspires you?
EE: Being an aesthetician does not come with a one-dimensional goal of perfecting your client’s skin. My practice is multi-dimensional and requires a trusting relationship. My clients not only trust me with their skin but also share personal aspects from their life. I have created a space that allows them to detach from the stress of their day and step into a tranquil, positive environment. The connection I share with each and every one of my clients brings so much more meaning to my practice. It is inspiring to see my clients becoming happier and more confident with themselves as their skin improves. By helping them achieve their skin care goals, I have been able to improve their overall quality of life and nothing is more inspiring than that!
How do you determine the products and treatments you offer in your practice? Also, what are some of your favorite treatments?
EE: Despite practicing for 30 years, I continue to think of myself as a student and work to stay up to date with current advances in the field. I diligently research ingredients before I incorporate anything into my spa. There is a lot out there and I take the time to find only the best products and tools. The time I take to do this is reflected in the quality of my results-oriented treatments.
Treatments we didn’t have when I began practicing include stem cell, growth factor and LED light therapies, more advanced chemical peels and microneedling. Today, microneedling is one of my favorite treatments because it is non-invasive yet addresses all issues of the skin, including production of collagen and elastin, fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, pigmentation and large pores. Add in the minimal downtime and lack of side of effects, when you compare it to lasers, which thin out the skin. Because of all this, I refer to it as a “skin remodeling” treatment.
In my signature facial, I incorporate the stem cell and growth factor of a snail that is found only in Santander, Spain. My clients love it and have seen first-hand that it helps to keep their skin luminous and youthful.
What is your most important piece of advice for new aesthetic graduates who are just entering the field and want to emulate your success?
EE: You must love connecting with your clients and going above and beyond what is required of you. To create a trusting relationship you must be honest and humble while keeping up with the newest products and tools. As I said, I remain a student today and work to stay fresh and green with my education. I look at it this way: if I become too ripe, I will become rotten. Always look ahead, remain green, and attend as many seminars, classes and trade shows as you can.
If a client was limited by budget and time, what would you suggest as the most vital skin care steps and, beyond that, the most important professional treatments?
EE: In my opinion, the most important basic elements of a skin care regimen are a good cleanser, SPF, vitamin C serum and a night moisturizer. And never go to bed without washing your face! I am also a huge proponent of secondary protection from UVA and UVB rays; with my encouragement, my clients where wide brimmed hats any time they are outdoors.
I often have college students see me who are sincerely trying to achieve healthier skin but are on a budget. The imperfections in their skin cause lower self-confidence. My recommendation to them is to prioritize their skin care over other things, such as clothing and other wanted items. We only have one skin for the rest of our lives and we need to take care of it! In addition to customizing for them a simple, medical-grade skin care regimen, I advise them to see me every six weeks for in-office treatments.
You’ve already had an incredible career. What do you envision for yourself in the future?
EE: I used to work in big luxury spas with branches in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and West Hollywood. While they were successful, each client was treated the same. This lack of a personal touch was out of tune with my personal philosophy. That is why I created my own spa, which is today an oasis in the heart of Los Angeles. My business has thrived because I am personally invested in each of my clients and take the extra time necessary to answer their questions, give in-depth answers and customize regimens and treatments to their needs – an approach that is becoming increasingly rare. I want to maintain this level of service for my clients who are so dearly appreciated and, therefore, will not expand my spa. I’m proud of the homey, private essence that has made it so popular. Despite this, I will continue to evolve to bring my clients the latest treatments and products to meet their needs. Additionally, I will also begin applying my experience and expertise to the training of future aestheticians. Skin care is my passion and I will always be dedicated to it!
What advice do you have for aestheticians who are either not currently working or who are trying to manage their business during COVID-19?
EE: These are difficult times for us, but also for our clients. We must continue to offer advice, help and in-home regimens. I advise others in the industry to use the power of social media to post videos detailing in-home treatments and to check up on your clients. It’s not unusual for our skin to react during times of stress so clients may begin experiencing an increase in inflammation that can lead to breakouts or a worsening of rosacea. Therefore, we must be ready to help them modify their skin care routines. I am also doing virtual consultations for current and new clients, while posting tutorials on how to use certain products and tools.
Overall, our goal during these challenging times should be to show our clients the level of care they’ve become accustomed to receiving.