All the blog posts about education and stuff

Cosmetologists’ Campaign Successful in Modifying Proposed Legislation

Depth of Proposed Deregulation Reduced Somewhat

– Word has just come from the Honorable Senator Kathleen Passidomo’s office regarding her sponsored Senate Bill 802 addressing Regulated Professions and Occupations that she has heard our pleas for leaving Cosmetology out of her sweeping deregulation. Below is an excerpt of an analysis of the proposed Bill in its current iteration.

This Bill is still in committee with the Judiciary and is not carved in stone, but the time is short for requesting further modifications. Please take the time to read the language and see if you agree.  If not…more letter writing is needed!

Curious about how other professions will be affected?  Click here to read the entire text of the Judiciary Committee’s Analysis.  Click here to read the entire text of Proposed SB 802.

Cosmetologists at Risk to Lose Their Credentials

If you are an Esthetician, Nail Technician, Hair Braider or Body Wrapper, your credentials are being stripped away! In Florida there are three Bills under consideration to reduce the training needed for cosmetology services–or to deregulate them entirely!

Three Bills Under Consideration in Florida

These Bills are part of a nationwide agenda of deregulation that is racing across all states, so it is bigger than us cosmetologists. We need to band together and let our legislators know in NO uncertain terms that Cosmetologists are different than Auctioneers and Yacht Brokers and Interior Designers—we are laying our hands on people in personal services and we should NOT be lumped in with other non-personal services.

Cosmetology is different!

Take a few minutes to contact your State Legislators and tell them deregulating services in which their voters’ bodies are directly affected is not a good idea!

In Florida, here is the list of your State Senators:  https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/

Your Florida State Representatives are found here:  https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/

Similar lists of other State Legislators are available by simply searching out your state’s Senate and House links.

  • Your License could become worthless.     
  • Any Jane/John Doe could now do your job.
  • You will not be able to work in another state without completing their program.
  • Your clients are now at risk of getting hurt by untrained practioners.
  • No insurance company will cover untrained, unregulated professionals.

Take a few minutes to write your Legislators…

Your Clients Deserve It!  Your Career Demands it!

So You Want to Learn Microblading – Nail Techs

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT – To all Nail Techs who want to “learn MicroBlading”– Get your $10,000.00 ready! (and a beverage–this is going to be a long one!)  If you are not a nail technician, just substitute your discipline into the story–for example if you’re an esthetician, think about someone taking a 2-day peel class and thinking “hey I could do some great facials.” Or if you’re a stylist, think about a 2-day balayage training. You get the idea.

There are gobs of videos going around showing how great MicroBlading is…it’s talked about in salons across the nation. It looks really easy to do! Just draw in better brows than they have!

Nail techs have a good eye for symmetry, and we have good eye-hand

Karen Hodges at PMU Training Jan, 2016.

coordination. And we work with color all the time! Right? “I bet I could totally rock this” you think. “And my clients are asking about it, so why not? Hey! there are even a TON of trainers in my state! I could easily take a 2-day course and then I could do some bangin’ brows!” HOLD THE PRESS!

First of all, how would you feel if a lot of oh—I don’t know—tattoo artists started saying they could take a 2-day Pink & White Sculpture course and whip up some excellent nails? You’d laugh them out the door, right? Well guess what? Tattoo artists are not laughing at nailtechs who think they can take a couple days at learning an advanced technique and capitalize on a high-ticket item for which they’ve spent years investing in training to do! They are angry at all the botch jobs that people come crying to them for any kind of improvement (some are “unfixable!) If you think MB is a good idea for you, then here’s what you need to know.

1. Microblading (MB) is NOT a salon service–Boards of Cosmetology in most states won’t touch it because you break the skin. It is a para-medical procedure governed by the Board of Health in most states under the Tattoo Licensing. The BoH is MUCH more stringent about what they will and will not allow…and guess what? They don’t allow tattooing in a place where there is airborne hair and particulates–like nail dust! Sounds like a salon, right?

2. MB is NOT appropriate for many people–skin type, health considerations and a dozen other informed decisions must be made before the service is ever booked!

3. MB is an ADVANCED technique of implanting pigment in the skin–it is a direct application of the ancient art of hand tattooing. There are many considerations that must be made for successful implantation of pigment 1) must be in the correct layers of the skin–can you easily determine which skin cell separates the “correct” layer from the “incorrect ones? NO! It takes much skill! 2) pigment color choices–yes you may have an excellent understanding of color theory and a good eye for color matching, but do you understand that you will be viewing the pigment THROUGH the skin! Not on top of it! You need to understand what blood and skin cells and oxidation and UV exposure will do to the pigments. 3) Proper after care is vital. Do you know when you should recommend “dry healing” versus a treatment of some sort? No? Because you need training in skin/wound care. There are many more considerations: what about pregnancies? what about medications? what about health conditions? What about lifestyle? and so on.

4. SADLY there is a wave of shysty 2-day trainers popping up everywhere. They charge about $1000 a day for wretched “training” that is actually illegal in many cases–did you know that trainers are required by law to license every training venue as a legal and inspected “tattoo establishment” in order to train? Many states allow for this to be done on a temporary basis…but it does need to be done! These “hotel is not announced until a couple of days before” the training…or the location is changed AFTER you pay…is a clear indication that the venue is not legal. Many times, the training is a “demo” of you watching the trainer…and no foundation work to build upon.

There are more concerns. If you would like to read the story of one person who was totally ripped off by her so-called “training” here is a link that will help you avoid her mistakes: 13 Tips to Avoid Wasting Money on PMU /Microblading Training

If after this, you still think MB might be a good path for your career–here’s what you need to do.

1. Save up about $10K to get a good quality training. You’ll need about 100 hours of “core” education in permanent cosmetics/tattooing before you venture into advanced technique specialties.

2. Research the trainers – there are organizations which certify trainers– the Society of Permanent Cosmetics Professionals, the American Academy of Micropigmentation and the American Institute of Intradermal Cosmetics. Once you find one of their trainers in your area, ask to see their students’ HEALED work…it makes a big difference! Many, many have tried MBing, only to find it looks great immediately after, but in 6 weeks, it’s jacked up.

3. Plan on opening a new space to perform MB in. Your tattooing area will need to be completely closed off from salon contaminates.

If after all that, you still think MB is for you, please feel free to contact me…I will be glad to refer you to some REPUTABLE groups on FB (there are many that allow “back yarders”.)

This has been a public service announcement. You may now return to your regular programming!

Why We Need to Change our Minds about Gloves

Why I Advocate for Gloves During All Services…Even Massage.

-Karen Hodges

I know… I know!  Immediately the heads are thrown back and the umbrage begins! But just for a couple of minutes, open your minds to allow some new thoughts…ok?

Times have changed. Maybe it was acceptable to do things a certain way in the last millennium, but just as so many things have evolved over the last couple of decades…so have certain health considerations:

1. We have new “super bugs” that have evolved and are dangerous, even deadly:

  • MRSA used to be known as HA-MRSA = Hospital Acquired, but it has left the hospital and is colonized by carriers walking around with no symptoms and is now CA-MRSA = Community Associated.
  • C. difficil is much more prevalent AND much more virulent in the last decade.
  • Influenza (flu) strains are evolving – there is a new strain every year HxNx is the nomenclature by which they are identified = H1N1 is swine flu, avian or bird flu is H5N1… and so on.

There are more, but we simply have to conduct ourselves differently.

2. Our demographics have changed and the majority of our population is at risk:

  • The “Baby Boomers” have hit the threshold of “elderly” (over 65) and it’s a fact that as we age we simply are not able to resist and bounce back from attacks on our health.
  • More people are health compromised than ever. When the CDC started tracking diabetes in 1934, they estimated 3.8% of Americans were diabetic. Decades pass and in 2000 the estimates were 4.3% but as of 2012 that had more than doubled to 9.3%
  • More than half – 52% – of Americans have been diagnosed with at least 1 chronic illness – 25% have more than one. Examples of chronic diseases are diabetes and a variety of immuno-deficiencies

We have an aging population with more health issues than ever before…and the diseases are evolving to become harder to treat. Times really have changed and the immediate knee jerk reaction of “I’ve always done things this way for xx years and haven’t had any problems is 1) close minded 2) dangerous 3) possibly untrue – who’s to say you haven’t transferred viable microbes from body to body — I bet you have.

Mythbusters

A myth that is often quickly thrown up “I need to touch my Massage is safer with glovesclients — I can’t work effectively with gloves”. Maybe that used to be true before there were so many varieties, shapes and sizes of gloves, but now it’s possible to find well fitting gloves that glide along the skin smoothly and silently.

Another myth — “I can’t feel what I need to feel.” I personally can state that I have worn gloves the entire facial for 18 years and with the right gloves, I can feel a milium or even a hair lying across the skin.

Myth — “My clients won’t like it.” Maybe a couple decades ago it seemed strange but not these days. Clients are used to being seen and touched by persons wearing gloves. And, our clients like what we tell them to like! They take their cues from us. They trust us and follow our recommendations and our lead. All the time I have worn gloves in services I never heard/saw/witnessed the least objection to my donning gloves. I have had multiple clients remark they were happy I wore gloves – it helped them relax because they felt safe.

Myth “Gloves interfere with the flow of energy when I touch my clients.” Again, this has not been my experience. I put a great deal of energy into my work … my services are massage-centric and at the end of them, both my clients and I have felt the transfer of my intent.

So think about being open to new thinking and new ways of doing things. Don’t push back so fast. Experiment a little. Order several samples of gloves and give them an honest, open trial.

Successfully Build A Sustainable Career in The Salon Industry

Part 1 of a Series

Explore Your Unlimited Possibilities ~ Salon Gurus Provides Online Courses, Guidance &Wisdom for Beauty Professionals

sgwomen

Janet McCormick & Karen Hodges

Fort Myers, FL – Whether you are a full-service salon and spa owner or an independent beauty professional, you need to think long term about how to build a sustainable career. Most owners and independent professionals do not have a sustainable business model or a long term strategy which creates extra daily stress and financial worries. Karen Hodges and Janet McCormick started Salon Gurus as a valuable new online resource for advanced education and industry advice for how to be successful in the business of beauty.  They regularly counsel beauty professionals on the importance of building a rewarding career that will be both profitable and enjoyable.

Examine Your Business Model: Hodges shares, “The biggest issue we are seeing with salons and spas is that they do not create a business model that separates employees versus independent contractors. In order to be profitable, salons should keep their commissions at around 35%. The smaller salons have bumped their commissions to be competitive, paying 50% or more to entice workers. Yet, that high commission structure is not sustainable and they end up needing to cut corners in other ways.”

sglogoThe first thing being cut is holidays and vacations. Then, owners often institute back bar charges, credit card processing fees, receptionist costs and more. Salon owners simply cannot fulfill the obligations of an employer, if they are paying too much commission. Another vital issue is payroll taxes. “If a salon owner is not deducting payroll taxes, then they do not have employees at all. They then have contractors.  If they are treating contractors as employees, there will be a problem if they are audited. The IRS has discovered what a cash cow auditing salons is. They can immediately charge owners for back payroll taxes plus penalties and interest.  For example, an employee who earns around $1,000 a week will have annual gross wages of around $50K. The employment taxes alone on that is 15.3% or $7,650 due to the IRS for one year. Imagine if you had ten employees and were audited! Keep in mind the IRS can audit you for the three previous years. The numbers would be devastating to any business.”

Create Self Awareness: The first step owners and independent practitioners need to do for a sustainable plan is do an analysis of their business model and to create self-awareness. Hodges says, “You can’t fix something that you do not know is broken.  Not having enough clients is not a problem, it is a symptom.  Are you marketing, are you getting sufficient new clients, are you retaining these new clients and are you getting positive referrals? Get some self-awareness and then once you have a feel for your issues and challenges, we can talk about the specific things to target.”  The most common issue for employers is staff and client retention. Owners often do not recognize that if they have recurring retainment problems, it may be them!  Hodges says, “People will stay where their self-interests are being served. So, put your ego aside and consider why employees should want to work with you and what you offer.”  For salon and spa practitioners, the issue is usually commission or whether they are expected to do the duties of an employee versus a contractor, such as folding towels in downtime. Next, take a look at what is going well.  “When you knock the wind out of someone’s sails, then you have to give them a little puff!  What are your strengths and what makes you unique? Once we know what we can highlight about you we can move forward and build a solid and sustainable plan around that.”

Change Your Mindset:  Salon owners and professional beautycare practitioners should recognize their value and the worth of their time. “We have to wedge in the brain the fact that you have a career. If you do something every day for a number of years, that is a career and you need to treat it as such.” Hodges and McCormick teach time management skills and productive scheduling to positively affect success. They advise scheduling clients back-to-back in either the morning or afternoon and using the rest of the day for telephone calls, planning referrals or going out to market yourself. “When clients are scheduled together, it is more efficient and gives the impression you are booked solid!  When you have openings, call clients you haven’t seen lately and tell them you have an opening that would be perfect for them.  People will love that you thought enough of them to call and provide a personal touch!”

Elevate Your Career & Grow Your Business:  For more information about Salon Gurus and their online certification programs for independent estheticians and nail technicians, as well as for spas and cosmetology school education programs, visit  www.Salon-Gurus.com, contact Janet McCormick at [email protected] or call 863-273-9134.

How to Make Money as an Esthetician – Part 2

 

More words of wisdom from waxing Guru, Amber Henson. Look for Part 1 posted on May 12.

Boundaries! Set boundaries from the get-go with clients. ALL NEW CLIENTS should get an email in regards to policies that covers everything from cancelations, reschedules, sick cancelations etc. Are children allowed in your business and if so in what capacity? If not put it in your policies email.

Enforce your policies. Use an online scheduling system so that you can actually follow through and charge the person if they break your rules!! Don’t complain about no-shows/late cancels if you don’t have a security net to back yourself up. Remember this is your business not a hobby. Business is business and nobody messes with my money!

Set the tone for your business from the first interaction. If a new client shows up 15 minutes late and they are booked for 30 minutes are you going to still get them in??? My answer is NO! On principal alone I am not taking this client! They don’t respect my time or my pre-appointment email that clearly states “If you are running late you need to call in order to see if I can get you in late or if you need to reschedule. I book a certain amount of time for your specific appointment and if you aren’t on time it would cut into the next client’s appointment” which, by the way, I refuse to do. I refuse to be late for clients because someone earlier in the day was late! This client may actually be someone who is usually prompt and being late it’s a once-in-a-blue-moon situation, but that one time—the first time—sets the tone for the entire working relation.

DON’T FEEL BAD ABOUT CHARGING FOR YOUR SERVICES! If you turn out an amazing brow don’t charge $10 for it! Charge $20+ and have pics to back up your awesome brow-worthiness. If your Brazilians are amazing and clients love having them done with you, stop charging $40! If you pay for education to become amazing at a service you need to recoup that money and charging what you are worth is important! If you are putting out amazing results and you want clients to respect you and pay you what you are worth, you want to put that out into the universe! Wealth attracts wealth! When I increased my brow prices, I started getting more brow clients who were totally fine paying the $25 for brows and they book out in advance. My facials range $110$-200 (I recently increased again) and clients don’t bat an eye at my prices because they actually see results and find the worth in my treatments!

Do not look to other businesses for your pricing. You need to price based on your skills, your education, your products, etc. You have bills to pay and families to support. You aren’t going to get very far charging $8 brow waxes working like a crazy person. Work smarter not harder. I charge 15-100% more than any business in my area and I am booked. You need to stop the thoughts of “oh I want clients to be able to afford me” and “my work is not good enough.” Thoughts like these actually push wealth away from you and prevent you from making money. Try positive affirmations! How can you expect clients to love you and your work and pay you $175 for a facial if you aren’t 100% sure of yourself or your work?

Learn to set realistic expectations for the services from first interaction. If you don’t, you will regret it. If you’re sick of doing treatments and clients going home, using drugstore crap and complaining you aren’t fixing their skin, then stop offering services to clients who refuse to purchase your products and/or follow other recommended advice! Same thing with hair removal. Deny clients who won’t purchase products to prevent ingrown hairs yet complain they have ingrown hairs. Require new clients to purchase products. Simple! If clients go home and use random crap on their skin post-hair removal it’s a recipe for disaster and it’s your ass on the line. Why allow this to happen?

Remember—boundaries! Stop treating your business like a hobby. Learn the business, work the business. Your business, your rules! And re-read all of the above until you get it!

Amber Henson-Billings, Brazilian Waxing Educator and Acne Specialist can be found in these FB Groups:
Waxaholics Unite
Moon Cycle Manifesting
ASH Aesthetics Mentoring and Training
Look for more wisdom from Amber in Part 1!

 

How to Make Money as an Esthetician – Part 1

by Amber Henson, Licensed Master Aesthetician, who shares some insights and tools she utilizes in her successful esthetics practice.

Continuing education. You need to spend money to make money. However if your main focus is on Brazilian waxing or acne skin care don’t waste money taking lash or brow extension classes. Take classes that will further you along the path you are on. Become amazing at those services.

Keep your rent/lease overhead low. Easy-to-get-to location, well lit, easy and free parking a huge plus; a location clients will feel comfortable coming to.

Don’t immediately jump into product lines that have high buy-ins. Try different lines by sampling and purchase based on the type of skin and clientele you want to focus on. Lines that offer free or discounted continuing education are a huge plus.

Learn to sell retail. Retail sales will be a very large % of your income. If you’re wanting to focus on corrective treatments and have loyal regular clients require an initial consult where you examine the clients skin, talk with the client about their concerns and then make product recommendations based on current skin condition and goals. Require clients to be on your prescribed homecare in order to have treatments done.

Find products that work and that you love. Once you find them, it will be easy to sell them. You know what can happen if clients don’t do anything for ingrown prevention, so education the client on that aspect will help. I tell clients, “Why would you spend $70 on a Brazilian wax and then not take care of your skin properly? You will end up with inflamed ingrown hairs that look ugly. Leaving the hair there would be prettier than ugly ingrown hairs.”

Learn to build your own website through web hosting companies. I personally have used VistaPrint since 2009. The annual cost is a tax write off and allows me to not have to depend on a tech to change things or depend on them for web ranking and SEO.

Make yourself easy to find. List yourself on major search engines like Google and yahoo and link to your website.

Sign up for Yelp and add a check in coupon. Prior to new client appointments in either an email or text message remind them that they can save (for example) $10 off their appointment by signing up for a yelp account and checking in. This will also help limit filtered reviews should these clients write reviews. Also for clients who have come in a few times and who obviously love their services, ask if they will write you a review. Reviews will be the best free advertising a small business owner could ever have.

Scheduling that requires credit card capture for appointments. This will discourage late cancelations and no-shows. Online options allow potential clients and clients to book appointments when it is convenient. Many clients who have been new to me have booked after midnight after researching and reading reviews for the services they are wanting to have done.

Post before and after pictures of the work you have done on clients. Use all your social media—your website, Facebook, Instagram, and Yelp, too. If you love doing brows or lashes post them and tag everything in your area and surrounding cities. If you specialize in corrective facials with clients permission post before and after pictures. Great results and picture proof will drive clients your way.

Electronic consent forms. Sent upon booking, this will save you time and money and create zero clutter. It’s also easier to weed out clients who have contraindications to services if you are able to read over their forms 24 hours before they come in.

Solid cancelation/reschedule/no show policy. Give it to all new clients (I email it along with my new client pre-appointment email tailored to the services they are having done). Always enforce it (it’s only fair.) Change it as needed and make sure to always send updated policies as they change.

Don’t undersell yourself! If you are amazing with brows than charge for them! If you are amazing at Brazilians than don’t be charging $40! If you are good and have amazing reviews to back you up, clients will pay. My most popular facial is $175 and clients pay it and they come in every 4-6 weeks.

Do not offer services you are not educated and proficient in performing. I am a brazilian waxing educator and hear horror stories on a daily basis either from esties or from clients who have been subjected to a Brazilian performed by someone who didn’t have proper education.

Do your research-and then some-before paying for education or mentoring. Make sure the person offering the education or mentoring has reviews to back up what they selling. If someone is telling you they can help you make tons of money if you buy XYZ yet have no reviews for a business they have supposedly been successful at then ask around for reviews. There are Facebook groups where you can write posts asking for reviews on products and education.

Have a positive outlook and attitude. Think “Law of Attraction”– whatever energy you are putting out you, will get back in return. So if you are complaining about not having enough clients and not having enough money you are putting that “I’m not enough and I don’t deserve” energy out into the universe.

Set healthy boundaries. Not every client who walks through our door is going to be a healthy fit. Set healthy boundaries and respect yourself, and you will attract clients who respect and honor you.

Don’t focus negative thoughts. When you have slow times or gaps in your schedule, look at it as the universe giving you time to work on yourself and other aspects of your business or other things that might be neglected.

Self-care is important. Stay healthy, eat well, take care of your skin—practice what you preach! We are in the business of making others look and feel good so we should look the part. If you wear scrubs make sure they are pressed and tidy, if you wear workout clothes make sure they are nice workout clothes (no baggy oversized sloppy stuff). Dress the part and look the part. Like attracts like.

Client follow ups are important. Every contact makes the client feel more comfortable seeing you. Doing a follow up for new clients (or existing clients having new treatments) helps ward off potential issues or reassure what they are experiencing is normal and par for the course.

Purchase supplies wisely. For basic esthetic supplies like gauze, headbands, waxing sticks etc. do not purchase from beauty suppliers or stores. The markups can be 500% or more! Look for deals on Amazon, eBay or medical and dental supply companies. Free or Low cost shipping is always a plus.
For example the average cost of gloves from waxing and esthetic companies is $10-$12, but the same gloves at a medical supply is usually $4-$6 per box. Always shop around.

Set realistic expectations for clients before they even walk through the door. For example for waxing or sugaring clients, an email the day before their appointments explaining the process, explaining hair growth cycles and why they won’t be smooth the first couple of times, explaining expectations for home sending clients home without products to properly care for their skin is negligent, and for those clients prone to in-growns, sets them up for a bad outcome/experience.
Remember this is your business and you set the rules! Don’t let clients tell you how to run your business! And beyond all of these things … Never stop learning, never say never. Be humble, be open minded and be the best you!

Amber Henson-Billings, Brazilian Waxing Educator and Acne Specialist can be found in these FB Groups:
Waxaholics Unite
Moon Cycle Manifesting
ASH Aesthetics Mentoring and Training
Look for more wisdom from Amber in Part 2!

Minnesota Modernizes Cosmetology Rules

In a much-needed revamping process, Minnesota is one of the states looking to bring Cosmetology rules and regulations up to speed. As of 2015 the hours needed to achieve a license were increased to:

  • ESTHETICIAN LICENSE: 600 Hours
  • NAIL TECHNICIAN LICENSE: 350 Hours
  • COSMETOLOGY INSTRUCTOR LICENSE: Cosmetology Lic. + 1400 Hours Work Exp. + 38 Training Hours + 3 Exams
  • HAIR BRAIDER LICENSE: 30 Hours (Sanitation Course)
  • BARBER COURSE: Contact MM Barbering Board

And finally, MN is one of the few states to include PMU in the Board of Cosmetology purview (most states oversee permanent  makeup under “tattoo” regulation by the state’s medical board.)

  • PERMANENT MAKEUP LICENSE: 400 Hours

They are just getting started, however; as of August 2017 MN’s inspections resources will be doubled and a new, more stringent schedule of violation penalties will be put into place.

This is a much needed move to bring cosmetology regulations into alignment with the real-world issues the inadequate inspection staff deals with. One official said it was quite common to walk into a salon only to have workers flee the premises, leaving clients with half done services. Or to observe them throwing “things” into the trash. At present, only about 40% of all MN salons are inspected, but officials hope doubling the number of inspectors on the street will give adequate coverage for annual inspections.

One of the best things to come from this revision is clear, concise language describing exactly what is meant by the new regulations; for example, what is infection control, precisely, and which implements are illegal (razors, rasps and other “cutting” tools). This is an excellent change in the Minnesota salon environment, and those who embrace these changes and make them a positive selling point will find clients are happy to patronize these establishments.

To read more about this story in Minnesota, follow the link here.

Levels of “Clean” – Sanitation, Disinfection, Sterilization

Microblading and other PMU demands high levels of infection control.

As an educator of several advanced safety training programs, I would like comment on the topic of aseptic protocols. ALL salons (or tattoo establishments, in some states) need to strive for perfect infection control – it’s not achievable, of course, but the closer you are, the better. The cost is simply not worth one, single, solitary infection.

First, this is a new field. It’s an ancient art, but permanent makeup is sweeping the land with “brows on fleek” Instagram swiftness. There are no long-standing proven protocols for safety and infection control. Therefore, we are responsible for writing them…and following them…ourselves.

There are three levels of “Clean” –

SANITATION is “removal of gross debris” according to the CDC. This means physically removing anything that might impair disinfection. Scrubbing something with a stiff brush under running water is said to remove 99% of all pathogens…but does not take care of micro cracks, nooks and crannies. This needs to be done BEFORE either disinfection or sterilization to prevent any area from being physically occluded.

DISINFECTION is the “kill of pathogens and spores affected by the particular disinfecting agent.” Not all disinfectants have the same kill rate. None are effective against every pathogen. They all must be done in STRICT accordance with the manufacturer’s labels. It must be mixed FRESH, and kept clean and uncontaminated. I recommend dilution with distilled water (tap water can have so much chemical saturation it can affect the efficacy of the disinfectant) so simply open a new jug of distilled water, pour out a few ounces and pour in the amount recommended per the label. Pour from this to fill your disinfectant tray, and change it out throughout the day as needed. (many implements, many change-outs).

STERILIZATION is the ultimate level of clean – it is defined as “annihilation of all microbial life” – bacteria, fungus, virus and spores. It is the only verifiable level of “clean” – your pouches with indicators on them will tell you whether or not the cycle was completed properly. Spore tests conducted monthly will reassure you of sterilization.

Some things to think about:

There are more “super bugs” out there than ever before. MRSA has left the hospitals and is now called “CA-MRSA” (Community Associated MRSA) and the strains of staph that have evolved are resistant to first line antibiotic drugs. Herpes is very common. C-diff is present nearly every time someone takes antibiotics. All of these are present and viable on the skin for up to 48 hours before a lesion is manifested.

The cost per service of perfect infection control is nominal over many services. You should be charging for your time, your talent and the materials you use: high grade pigments that are proven to be stable, quality needles and cartridges, good hand pieces, excellent numbing products. Why wouldn’t you ALSO spend a few dollars making sure you offer the “cleanest clean” you can?

Black light shows microbe contamination on every surface touched!

This is NOT the time to cut corners! You can buy cheap table covers….or inexpensive head bands, etc. but you don’t want to cheap out on infection control. Better to charge more and have absolute confidence that your clients AND you are protected from carrying infectious pathogens home.

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“Glove Etiquette” – it’s a “Thing”

Glove Etiquette is made up of the various protocols and activities required in the safe and effective use of gloves as a PPE.

Have you noticed on TV the docs holding their newly gloved hands up in the air and awkwardly using their shoulders to push doors open? Yeah…that’s a thing because they don’t want to contaminate their new gloves with any crud that is on every single surface! Even more important is after the skin has been broken, you do not want to touch anything outside your work zone with a contaminated glove.

Gloves are very important barriers between you and pathogens. They are also important as barriers between YOUR CLIENT and pathogens….when used properly. I shudder when I see videos of gloved practitioners reaching into a supposedly sanitary container, or touching every cabinet door around them to get things…ugh!

Set up your work zone properly by dispensing enough disposables, product, prep materials, etc. every time in a Sanitary Materials Area (SMA). Many use a Mayo cart (tray on wheels) or similar hard surface tool holder. Dispense plenty of everything before the service — throwing away a few unused gauze pads is less than a penny…never put them back in with your new ones. If you have to get more out, take both your gloves off, properly turning the first one “inside out” as you pull it off, then holding it in the other hand and turning it inside out over the both of them, containing the contaminated surfaces inside the second glove. Reach over and get whatever you need to continue, then re-glove. Make it a habit to NEVER touch anything in your space wearing contaminated gloves. And nothing comes out of that area and back into the environment without being disinfected on the outsides.
Of course you are going to wipe down every surface after every service, but peace of mind knowing you are wiping away “normal” contamination from daily living instead of blood or blood serum from contaminated gloves is priceless.

Gloved hands? No touching anything but your immediate work materials and your client.