Skin Hacks: Great Skin is Easier Than You Think!

In this episode of the Skin Wellness Pro Show, co-hosts Rachael Pontillo and Tara Swagger discuss skin hacks for healthy and youthful-looking skin. They emphasize the importance of integrating healthy practices and lifestyle choices into one's skincare routine, as what we eat and our environment directly affect our skin. They also share their own personal nighttime skincare routines, plus their own tried-and-true skin hacks, which include things like staying hydrated, using a humidifier, and practicing stress-reducing activities. This episode offers practical tips for anyone looking to improve their skin health.

Watch "Skin Hacks: Great Skin is Easier Than You Think!" here:

Listen to (or download) the audio here:

Read the show notes here:

In this episode, Rachael and Tara also discuss the diverse approaches to Nutritional Aesthetics® and emphasize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. They acknowledge that people come from different backgrounds and ideologies regarding skincare and aesthetics, and that our programs welcome everyone. They have students who identify as hardcore medical aestheticians, as well as those who are as crunchy and granola holistic as you can possibly imagine. They believe that whatever your ideology is regarding skincare or aesthetics, there is always more to learn!

The Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance offers a range of resources and classes on their website at They have NCEA CE classes and a comprehensive Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioner Training Program. They welcome everyone with different ideologies regarding skincare or aesthetics and aim to provide good inspiration through their podcast and website resources.

Rachael and Tara also discuss the importance of considering both internal and external factors that affect skin health when discussing health hacks and skin hacks. As Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioners, their skin hacks are very similar to their health hacks, as what you eat and your environment have a direct effect on your skin.

In this episode they also discuss how conventional aesthetics can undo the work of building healthy, glowing skin from within, and how science has shown that keeping the stratum corneum and skin microbiome intact and balanced is essential for skin health. This is best achieved by eating the right foods, getting enough sleep, and using nourishing products on the skin to age naturally and look one's best. They also mention the resurgence of ancient remedies from all over the world in the beauty industry. Overall, the episode highlights the interconnectedness of internal and external factors in achieving healthy, glowing skin.


[00:03:23] Sleep as a Skin Health Hack.

[00:04:06] Importance of sleep for skin.

[00:08:26] Facial Manipulation with Oil.

[00:12:49] Facial manipulations for healthy skin.

[00:16:24] Water in Oil Emulsion.

[00:20:49] Frownies for preventing frowning.

[00:24:26] Aging and beauty.

[00:28:26] Natural skin care hacks.

[00:33:06] Skincare industry truth.

[00:37:04] Animal-based skincare resurgence.

[00:41:44] Natural remedies outshine conventional medicine.

[00:44:33] Skin health and nourishment.

[00:48:28] Harsh skincare practices.


It is clear that developing a healthy skincare routine means far more than just using the right products. Our lifestyle choices are critical for skin health and have a big impact on how our skin looks and feels.

Fortunately, taking care of our skin doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming. There are simple steps like hydration, relaxation and protecting against environmental factors like pollution, that we can integrate into our routines for an effortless path to vibrant-at-any-age skin.

Now go forth to apply any of these hacks in your own routine to see the fantastic results! And if you need help helping your even your most stubborn clients implement skin-healthy routines into their lifestyles, check out our CNAP Training Program for comprehensive integrative skin wellness education, specifically designed for aestheticians, nutritionists, and health coaches. Start your path towards CNAP certification today!

Health Hacks: Daily Habits for Optimal Wellness

In this episode of the Skin Wellness Pro Show, NAA President, Rachael Pontillo, and Education Specialist, Tara Swagger, sit down and discuss health hacks they incorporate into their daily lives to optimize their energy, creativity, and ability to be present in different areas of their lives. They share personal experiences and tips on how to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the long list of "shoulds" associated with being healthy--and get real with the ups and downs that often accompany this journey.

Watch the Health Hacks to Help You Look and Feel Your Best episode here:

Listen to the audio here:

Read the show notes here:

In this episode, co-hosts Rachael and Tara discuss their favorite health hacks in the three key areas of food, movement, and mindset that are crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They encourage listeners to focus on making small changes by reducing one negative thing and adding one positive thing in each area.

The hosts emphasize the importance of organizing one's mindset and taking time to breathe in nature to achieve a healthy lifestyle. They suggest that implementing some of these practices to some degree is necessary to stay healthy. The hosts also recommend starting with one thing, adding one thing, subtracting one thing, and trying that for a week before checking in with oneself to see how they feel and what has shifted. They encourage listeners to be honest with themselves, eliminate what's not serving them, and keep what's serving them to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Rachael and Tara also discuss the importance of focusing on what works for each individual person when it comes to health and wellness. They acknowledge that there are many "shoulds" in the wellness industry, but that these can often be overwhelming and discouraging. Instead, they suggest that people experiment with different approaches and find what works best for them.

This might involve trying different types of exercise or eating patterns and paying attention to how their body responds. They also emphasize the importance of consistency, suggesting that even short bouts of movement done consistently can be more effective than sporadic, intense workouts. The message is that all health hacks should prioritize individual preferences and needs over external expectations or pressures.

Rachael and Tara also discuss the importance of recognizing that life is constantly changing, embracing this organic flux, and adapting accordingly. They acknowledge that as we age, our bodies change, and unexpected shifts can occur in our health and family dynamics. The speakers emphasize the importance of self-reflection and being open to new experiences and knowledge. They also discuss the importance of being malleable in our health ideologies and not being too rigid in our choices.

The speakers suggest that mindfulness practices and spending time in nature can help us stay grounded and adaptable in the face of change. Overall, the message is to embrace change and be open to new experiences and knowledge, recognizing that life constantly evolves.


[00:00:38] Daily habits for optimal wellness.

[00:04:52] Removing items for new beginnings.

[00:09:47] Food as a journey.

[00:12:40] Holistic nutrition and health coaching.

[00:19:47] Home-cooked meals and compromise.

[00:21:21] Chicken broth and wellness balance.

[00:25:28] Detriments of high vegetable intake.

[00:28:50] Simple meal prep.

[00:34:56] Movement and exercise.

[00:36:19] Exercising in nature.

[00:40:06] Walking and enjoying nature.

[00:45:48] Importance of strength training.

[00:48:14] Aging and Movement.

[00:53:27] Removing negativity from your life.

[00:56:59] Eliminating TV for mindset.

[01:00:38] Feng shui for your life.

Leave a comment about aromatherapy in the spa!We'd love to hear about your favorite health hacks!

What health hacks or daily habits have worked well to help you show up at your best in different aspects of your life? Please share with us in the comments below!

Want more easy-to-implement skin-health hacks?

Download this season's complimentary Integrative Guide to Healthy Skin HERE!

Balancing parenthood with running a skincare business

Balancing Parenting with Running Your Skincare Business

The latest episode of The Skin Wellness Pro Show features a very special guest, our wonderful Advisory Board member, Jackie Johnson! Jackie is not only a Holistic Brand Strategist, but is also an advocate for spreading love, positivity, and encouragement to all those around her. Rachael and Tara were thrilled to have Jackie on the show to discuss a topic that affects so many of us - balancing motherhood with entrepreneurship. In this episode, Jackie shares her wisdom on the importance of setting boundaries, the art of saying no, and taking time for yourself. The conversation is filled with genuine insights and moments of laughter and understanding. Join us on the podcast as we delve into the complexities of balancing parenting with running your skincare business, and learn from Jackie's experiences.

Watch Balancing Parenting with Running Your Skincare Business below:

Listen to the audio here:

Read the edited transcript below:

Rachael Pontillo:

Today, we have a topic that a lot of people will be able to relate to, because many of our audience members are aestheticians, health and wellness coaches, and people who are supporting other people who have skin issues; and I think many of them wear a lot of hats in life. And I know the three of us all wear a lot of hats in our lives. So we're going talk about work-life balance. Is that even a thing? What does that look like, and what does that look like for each of us? I just want to have a very real conversation and get down to the nitty-gritty of how we each manage that in our lives so that hopefully those of you who are listening can relate to that and feel seen, heard, and supported.

Before we dive right in, Jackie, I would love it if you would give a quick introduction to our audience, just so that they can get a better sense of who you are and how you got involved with us here at the Nutritional Aesthetics® Alliance. And what are your thoughts on this topic?

Jackie Johnson:

Oh yeah, I love loaded questions like that. I'm Jackie Johnson. I am the owner and founder of Wildling Botanicals, Wildling Herbs, and Wildling Dreams Consulting. You're probably like, man, you do a lot! But that's a multifaceted part of who I am. Wildling Botanicals is my skin and haircare line that sprung off from my wellness journey of my hair falling out--70% of my hair--and having a head-to-toe rash. Wildling Herbs is the herbal supplements--that kind of ethnobotanist side of me, the apothecary side. That's how I formulate and get to know plants and how their synergy works. And the consulting for Wildling Dreams happened because other brands and people in the holistic field, needed support. So those are just my brands, but I've worked in various backgrounds from retail to hospitality, and martial arts.

I also work with nonprofits, so I have had all of that backing in my career. And I feel like those places have prepared me for understanding products and services. Ultimately being a mom, I feel like I pull from every well of every experience on how to treat people, how to guide them, what products I want my kids to have, and which ones I do not want them to have. And then, ultimately, serving others is just every being of what I do. I tried to be quick because this is a great topic of balance. Since I just rattled off the array of things that I did and all the array of things in my businesses and background, you can see that I have to have some level of balance or some level of awareness of what my capacities are.

This is a really sensitive topic for me because I think I, as a mom or a solo parent, I'm always trying to figure out where I'm going to be and where my kids are going to be. What do I need to do with them? How can I be the best for my clients? What can I grow and formulate? I'm always trying to do that juggle, and I've landed on trying to be the best version of myself for all of the things that I do. I have to pause, and I have to be very mindful and aware. So pause, mindful, and aware is really how I view work-life balance.

Rachael Pontillo:

I love that. Pause. Mindful. Aware. That's a great little mantra to help us see what that looks like. So one thing, Jackie, that I also know you do--you farm. You have an organic farm.

Jackie Johnson:


Rachael Pontillo:

More to do, right? More to add to the plate.

Jackie Johnson:

Yeah. And then even with that, I've scaled back on certain things I produce because it's a family farm, and if I'm not able to put the right compost, and then have the right pH, and have everything be the hundred percent productivity I want and quality, I won't grow it. Other people say, oh, I'll grow it, or I'll just kind of scrimp or pull things off. No, if it's not the high quality I would put on my five-year-old daughter's face, then I'm not putting it on anyone's face. So with the farming stuff, I've had to say, "Nope, I'm not doing that product," or it may be a seasonal thing, or I may never do it again because I'm not going to push for quantity and lose quality. And that affects your bottom line, right? Taking products that people like off the shelves? But that's part of the balance. I don't want to put out things that aren't good quality.

Rachael Pontillo:

So I'm hearing that part of how you are finding balance is by really focusing on your top priorities and what you won't compromise on. And being clear on that.

Jackie Johnson:

Oh, we have to be clear. It's a day-to-day struggle or a conversation I have with myself. I don't touch products and services if I'm not in the right mindset. Because I do believe in the energy that's transferred. If I have love, light, and kindness coming out, I know that that will be the best energetic properties of anything I do. I won't do it if I don't have that to give. I've rescheduled consulting calls, or things with my kids, because if I can't put that best self in, then I don't want to do it at all. And I guess that's something I struggled with in the past, but I've seen my best work happen when I am more aware of that.

Tara Swagger:

Jackie, what I'm noticing with your conversation and just talking about all the things you do, is that it resonates a lot with me because I have a lot of things on my plate. I'm sure it's resonating with Rachael a lot too. But one of the things that I'm noticing is that--and I can see this from you-- it's easy, I think, in many ways, for people like us. We're driven because we love it. And so this is a very interesting part because I think many people look at people like us and wonder how we do all these things. And I think a piece of this comes in where when you love what you do, it's not a job, right?

Right. So you're a mother, have a farm, do all these different things with business, and have this array of things in your background. People have told me, "Oh man, you've done all these things." I did them because was really excited about them, because I like them, and because my focus was on fueling myself. And I can see that in you--that as you have fueled yourself, it cultivates a lot of stuff. But I'm certain you've had the experience where maybe you get overloaded. Even though you love all those things, you get overloaded. And then that's how you learn more about reeling back and being like, "Okay, well, I love all these things, and I can still love them, but I can direct my energy differently."

I think that that only comes with the experience obviously that you've had. And once you have children, that changes the perspective differently. I think it's great when you say that you don't want to do something because you're not able to do it at a hundred percent. A unique thing that I think pertains to this topic is that when you decide what you want to do and how you want to do it, it helps cultivate balance. Because you're saying, "I only want it this way." And so I think directing that energy back to yourself and your personal choices is the most powerful thing. I think people in general, but women more often, outsource many of these things without realizing that they can do it because they choose to. It can be about them.

We oftentimes get pulled apart, like, we have to do for this and this and this and this. But when the focus comes back to "What do I want to produce," while that seems and sounds kind of selfish sometimes, it's really like putting the oxygen mask on yourself. That's what it sounds like!

I think that's a great piece to share about how the work-life balance works. Because like, it's not always in balance, and we know that, and that's unrealistic. But if we're doing that oxygen mask for ourselves and focusing on what we choose, then it makes it easier. It sounds like you seem to have found that as being a key element there.

Jackie Johnson:

Oh, I completely agree. If I am pulling from my well and my water jug, you can't pour something that's not in there. You just can't. There's nothing in there. So if I don't pause and I'm not mindful, and I'm not aware, then there's nothing in there. I also don't expect other people or my kids, out there trying to hustle and bustle and deplete themselves. That's just not constructive. We saw it during COVID. We had our go time, and we really hit it hard, but we hit hard in a whole new way. And we had to scale back. The people that didn't scale back got burnt out. A lot of them closed their businesses or ended up selling to conglomerates, and now they regret it because they realized that if they would've just paused and pulled back, they would still have their business, and their brand would still have its integrity.

But when you push so hard, and there's nothing there, you lose your mind, your emotions, and your business. And clients see it too. People can tell when your product is not the same. We knew that brands changed ownership by using the products. We knew the ingredient list when we used it before. It isn't the same consistency now. This fragrance isn't the same. Why does this package look smaller? We're smart individuals. Rachael knows as a formulator that people notice if you change the formula. That's why you need all the special ingredients. Time, attention, education, and coaching.

If you take one of those ingredients out, it's not going to work. People are going to notice and then that discredits your brand. If I'm always talking about loving kindness, and I'm depleted, snapping at people, and being rude to clients, they're going to notice, right? So think about all those examples I just put out there for clients, your kids, and your resources.

If we don't fill our water jug with love and kindness, reading, being mindful, walking, yoga, and doing our own self-care--if we don't fill it up, then there is nothing to give. And that'll affect every facet of your life, and every facet of your products and services. When you're in board meetings, you'll be snapping on podcasts; you're going to have big bags under your eyes. You'll look like you're barely there when people see you. None of that's worth it.

This is real stuff. I've seen people I love with the best brands, and I've seen them on lives, and I'm like, "Girl, you look like you need some sleep!"

And then they'll say, "Yeah, I've been doing all these podcasts, and I'm just trying to do all these lives."

And I said, "Girl, you need some sleep. You look terrible. You talk about self-care. You talk about self-love. You talk about self-awareness, and you're depleted. And I could see that, and I love you so much, I don't want to see you be depleted."

I don't expect anyone to do something that I wouldn't do. I love myself. I'm going to put it in my awareness. I'm going to pause, be mindful, and aware, and I want everyone around me to do the same. I encourage that. And if that means you have to tell me no, or not right now, then great. That means you're saying no, not never, and that's great because I'm going to celebrate you. And I would hope that they would celebrate me in the same way.

Tara Swagger:

A lot of the things you're talking about is about the energetic process too, because I think that's what I notice most when I work with clients. This is a piece that no one is really addressing. And everything you said, like being mindful, yoga, taking the pause, all of these things aren't holdable things. It's the energetic value. It's interesting you brought up the COVID part because I think up until COVID, the energy discussion was not even on the table. We know because we're in this business, and I think when you're a woman too, we're more connected to energy a little bit easier than, you know, other people can be.

When I talk with clients, now I'm addressing the energetic value more so than I ever did before. Because, like you said, all the things you listed for your balance; it wasn't like, "Oh, I need to have a few fewer hours of work or maybe be on fewer podcasts." Energetically when you shift--and it sounds like that's at the forefront of how you're keeping that balance--it's different. Everything changes, like how you say yes and how you say no, and how you can protect yourself is completely different. But it's all coming from this energetic perspective. And I think that's probably what people aren't paying attention to enough when it comes to the work-life balance. And so I think those are very good points for people to pay attention to.

Rachael Pontillo:

Yeah. And I think that what's really interesting is this being really mindful and aware of what the priorities are. What are the non-negotiables, what are the things that we love to do the most so that when we're doing them, it's not work. And then when we think about all of the other stuff that has to fall into place in order for us to be able to do that, that's where that connection happens. Sometimes to be able to do some of the stuff takes us away from our families, or takes us away from something else that we have to do for our business to keep the wheels turning. It can be hard to prioritize. What do you say yes to and what can you say no to? Because sometimes there are points in your business where it might be a slower time of year. And the idea of slowing down means that you might not be making the money that you need to make during that time of year.

So I'm curious what you guys think about that. When it's a slow time, when it's maybe a lower point, and the dollars are not coming in as regularly as maybe they do during busier times of year, and we're still feeling drained or tired. And maybe we start to worry about, "Oh my goodness, it's really slow and I'm really trying the best I can, but the numbers are just not coming in. I don't feel like I can slow down even though my body is telling me that it needs to." How do you navigate times like that?

Jackie Johnson:

Oh, so that is the time when I know that my values are faith, family, and service. That's what I live in service. Everything around my service of life. Just faith, faith, family, and service. And when those low times come, I build myself up spiritually. I start pulling from every resource that I can. I start sharpening my craft. I start pulling it in. I start reading old notes and formulations. I read client testimonials.

That's how I recharge myself spiritually. I really get more into that, more intentional with my reading and honing in my craft. I schedule days to actually just rest, which was the hardest thing for me because I'm like, go, go, go. I'm like, nope, I'm going to push hard, and then I'm gonna schedule time to rest so I can let everything soak in. Like everything I learned, every mantra, I always let them soak in on those days. But yeah, if anyone's saying that they're making the same level of money all the time, and it's just increasing all year, they're lying. That's not true.

Rachael Pontillo:

Especially in a business like ours where certain times of the year it slows down. Like when people go on summer vacation or after the "new year, new you" rush, and February, March it's like, okay, who's coming in for facials? Who's booking coaching sessions? Who's buying the new skincare? The summer phase hasn't come yet. So I I'm glad you're calling it out like that.

Jackie Johnson:

It's just a lie. I worked at Walgreens, CVS, I worked P and L reports, I was training in stores, and training people. No industry is on this high rise and doesn't have downtimes. So if you're saying that, or a coach or a consultant is telling you that, they are lying. I'm just going to put that out there because I think, as entrepreneurs, we judge ourselves way too hard on stuff that is fake and false and phony. You'll look at a business and think they're doing so good, but they're actually laying off people. So stop judging yourself on what you think is happening in someone else's business. I consult people all the time and I look at their papers and sometimes it's mortifying with how much money they poured out when they didn't have anything coming in, and they are sustained on actual loans.

And I'm not talking about loans of $20,000. I'm talking about $250,000 and $300,000 loans, to push product lines that they never should have launched to begin with. This is real. We have to recharge or we're not going to survive in our businesses. We're going to get burnt out on our love, our passion, and our purpose. And we aren't designed for this. That's why, if we don't have anything in our jug, it doesn't make sense. I'm calling out liars. I don't think I've ever said that on a podcast!

Rachael Pontillo:

I'm here for it!

Jackie Johnson:

But it's true. Someone needs to debunk that baloney, and the coaches and consultants that are saying this baloney need to stop because it actually messes with women's self-esteem. It messes with their passion. And it makes them feel like they cannot pause because they're like, "If I don't do this, I'm going to have all these bad things happen."

So we have to be listening to podcasts like this, listening to people like Tara and Rachel, people who have lived it, and people in the industry. They're telling us real things. If someone's on telling you all the good things you want to hear, they're probably not telling you the truth, because there are ups and downs in business.

If you don't pause, you'll get burnout. You have to. And yes, it'll be hard. The money isn't going to be there, but think about the money's not gonna be there either if you're sick. The money's not gonna be there either if you're depleted because you're not going to be able to say yes to the great opportunities because you're going to be burned out. You're going to look terrible like my friend that I was like, "Girl, stop." And she did stop by the way! She did stop. She took like two weeks off. She said "You told me I looked terrible and you've never said those kinds of words to me."

And I said, "I'm in a different season of life. I'm going to add some truth with some love and I love you so much and I don't want to see you get sick." Because that's what happens to women. Our hormones dip, our health definitely dips, and our families will suffer if we don't say no. We have to.

Tara Swagger:

I love that you are being honest like that too because I think everybody can fall into these traps, but taking that downtime to recharge is the energy. The more we remind people that that needs to be in the front. You focus on spirituality, you focus on your faith, and your family. It's so refreshing to hear that because we just did a podcast we were talking about Instagram and how the influencers are really marketing this idealistic look. You know, "I'm an aesthetician, but I'm in the hot tub with my boyfriend in Puerto Rico."  We look at it that we're like, "Well that's wonderful," but when you see that over and over again, there's some kind of idea that you have to work so hard and so fast so you can get there.

And it's not real. It's part of that marketing scam where people are pushing this idea on women and entrepreneurs that it's not natural, and those people aren't showing the real part, which is how do you recharge? Maybe you're recharging because you're on vacation and that's great, but with a lot of these people, that's all you see. I'm like, "Are any of these girls doing facials? I mean what are they doing?" I'm glad you brought that up because that's kind of what we're talking about. I think people are really distracted by those posts and worry that they won't be successful because they're not at a place where they can go on vacation whenever they want.

They become very stressed out and then they're probably depleting themselves even more. And so I love that you just said when it's slow that you focus on those other things because I think that's a really beautiful message for people to hear. That's the number one thing we're not hearing--people in our industry and women, in general. Even if you don't have a business and you're a stay-at-home mom, there are times when things aren't as busy. So what are you doing with that time? Are you using it to really refill yourself, bring your frequency back up, and make sure that you feel energetically rejuvenated so that when it does get busy you can sustain that? I'm glad you shared that. And then I'm glad you, of course, you called out the people that are "perfect," telling people the wrong things.

Jackie Johnson:

It's really rubbing me badly. If you look at my photos on Instagram, when I post about my kids a lot of times, it looks like they don't have lotion on. That's because we've been in the river. Like I'm not going to say, "Oh, mommy's taking an Instagram photo so you need to go and put some lotion and some oil, and I need to make sure like Jayla won't have twigs in her hair!"

I just posted one a few days ago from our vacation. I said, "This is what the picture looks before you get the picture you want." And I'm pulling her arm and my son, I'm pulling both of their arms, and we're at the beach, and we looked ridiculous, and my daughter is laughing. My son's all like, what? Three days later I posted what I actually got from the photo. But I think we are so to the point that everything has to be Instagram ready, Facebook ready, LinkedIn ready, that we're, that's not life.

Tara Swagger:

No, it's not.

Jackie Johnson:

And then you've got kids scared to get their clothes dirty because "Mom's gonna do a Facebook Live or a webinar, and if I'm in the camera and I don't look picture perfect, I'll get in trouble." No one's kid looks like that all the time.

I think just even with our own lives, if you are looking at someone's social media, and you only see someone wine and dine a hundred percent all the time, they are putting that on to display. That is not reality. Not everybody feels amazing every day.

Tara Swagger:

And it's common in the beauty industry. I think the people that are victimized by that more are women in the beauty industry. We're the ones we're often doing careers and being moms, a lot of us are motivated to have our own businesses. I also am a master gardener. I have a very large garden and I know what you mean about growing. Now I don't utilize mine for products, but I know how many hours it takes to cultivate something. You don't just wanna throw a bunch of stuff in there and then, you know, then it just goes to hell in a handbasket. I get that. My husband now works from home and he's like, "Oh, I wanna help in the garden."

I'm like, "Okay look, we can't plant all this stuff becaues we don't have the time."  I think all of that messaging is really important because the reality is, we don't always have the time, and then sometimes we do. But if we don't have time, we can say "Ot's okay. We don't have the time."

The beauty industry is really struggling, I think, and that's something that's bothering me, just like you said about the falsehoods that you're getting through marketing and through consultants. I feel that way about the beauty industry because I think it's such a false message that people just don't think they can live up to this standard that doesn't really exist. It's not real.

When you own your own business--we all know this--it is a ton of blood, sweat, and tears. It's a ton of lack of money, more so in the beginning, but it can happen throughout your career. That's rough stuff to live through. Sometimes you look at these things on Instagram and all it does is look like people are on vacation. I'm like, wait a minute.

I'm older now. I've learned to take those vacations. I carve out that time. I've learned to hone my energy. I think it's the most important thing. But I look at some of young people on Instagram, and it seems like they're all on vacation all the time. I don't know how real that is or not. If they're all lucky enough to be able to do that, I guess I might have missed something about how how to do things differently in the beginning!

Jackie Johnson:

Nobody's doing that!

Tara Swagger:

But ultimately I just don't think that's the 99% of everybody else. It's hard because they're taking over social media and that's all you see, and it does seem like that's the majority. But it's definitely not.

Jackie Johnson:

That's why it's important to talk about these things. We know it's not realistic. I see people all the time with the nonprofit I work with right now--I have to take meetings there--and I see people coming in to take pictures for their social media. I see them outside. I'm like, "Girl, you didn't even come inside." I see people all the time taking 15, 20, 50 pictures, and I have friends that talk about it. They ask me, "Why don't you do all these social media posts when you're gardening?"

Tara Swagger:

It's because you don't have time! Because you're working!

That's what I keep saying. I'm like, how do these people get every single client to let them photograph them on the table? When I see my clients, that's not in my mind. I'm there to serve them. I'm there to treat them. I'm there to give them my best service. So I never really think to ask, "Hey, can I take photos of you during your service today?" So same thing, I always feel like, how are these people working if they have so much time to create all of this picture content with different people?

Jackie Johnson:

The realistic side is, I have clients that you'll never know that I create products for, because of where they are in the industry. So when people ask me, "Why don't you have a bunch of testimonials?" I'm like, "If you knew the people I was formulating for...."

Rachael Pontillo:

Well and you sign an NDA, you can't say who you're formulating for.

Jackie Johnson:

Right. My clients usually hire me because they had an issue and they need me to correct it. They're not trying to broadcast to the industry that they have an issue and they need it corrected. So when I see stuff like that, it is weird to me because high-level clients are hiring consultants for you to be discree and confidential.

So that's another thing like on balance; just because you don't see something on my social media doesn't mean it's not happening. Just because someone is fake-posting on social media, that doesn't mean it is happening, either. So, just be genuine! It's okay not to post every single matcha tea that you're having, and every time you make a latte. It's okay that your kid has twigs in their hair. It's okay if your shoe is scuffed that day. No, I'm not going to set up a tripod to take an extra 20 minutes to make sure that I'm gardening with the best light and angle so you can see it. That is not a good use of my time. It actually takes away from the quality of the products.

Rachael Pontillo:

And it takes so much longer when you're trying to document the process. When I make a big batch of skincare for gifts or if I'm doing swag bags, or something like that, and "I'm like, ooh, I'm actually making product. This is a great time to create content for social media!" It takes me three times as long to make the batch right and bottle it because I'm trying to like, "Ooh, is this Instagram worthy? Is this the right angle?" And if I'm pouring it if I have to get it at the right moment and I grab one of my kids to hold the camera. It's this whole production, and for what? How many people actually see it, and do they really care?

So, as I'm listening to this conversation, a couple of things are coming to mind for me that might sound controversial. Since we're calling stuff out, I do feel the need to call out some of these themes in entrepreneurship that are inherently sexist.

And the first thing is a quote that I'm sure you guys have heard a million times, and I've probably even repeated it. And that is the quote that says that "Entrepreneurs work harder than most people are willing to so that they can live the way most people can't."

Let's think about this, let's break this down a little bit. It was probably some dude, some "bro-marketer" or "bro-entrepreneur" who coined that. I don't know who originally coined that. So, if the person who originally said that is listening to this episode and they're not some bro marketer dude, then my apologies. But I'm guessing that it was probably by one of these male entrepreneurs over the years.

You know, men can put in all this work, and all these hours, and you know, go on trips and do the stuff--if they have a wife at home taking care of the kids. But what happens when the wife wants to have her own business and wants to put in hours to grow something really special, but her husband has a full-time job, or maybe she's a single mom with kids? That's where there's a discrepancy, and where we start to have a double standard because we can't expect that we're all going to be able to grow a business at the same rate, or that we're all going to be able to put in as many hours as is necessary to grow something if we don't all have the same level of support at home, whether that's through a spouse, or through family, or neighbors, or anybody who's helping you with your family.

I realize that I am speaking specifically about women who have families. I think a lot of our audience falls into that category. But people who don't have families also have other obligations. They might have family members who need to be taken care of because maybe they're elderly or because something is going on. So this really applies not just to moms who have kids and are trying to have a business, but it also applies to just anyone who does not have a full 24 hours a day to devote to growing a business.

I mean, nobody should be devoting 24 hours a day to the business, as we've talked about. But we're so focused on this destination, this journey of, "Oh, if I do all this right, if I stay on this hamster wheel and I keep going, I keep going, I keep burning the candle at both ends, then finally I'm going to be able to be on that Caribbean vacation anytime I want. I'm gonna be able to take a river cruise in Europe. I'm gonna be able to go to Hawaii and take pictures and show everybody how successful I am once I get there."

Okay. But think about it, how realistic is it that you're actually going to get there if you are suffering? Because you're not taking that time, you're not taking those pauses, you're not moving things to the back burner temporarily if you need to. You're not being, what was it Jackie? Mindful...

Jackie Johnson:

And aware.

Rachael Pontillo:

Aware. And being really honest with yourself about how you're feeling and what demands there are on you at that time. And as I said, I will call it out that it is mostly women that struggle with this because in most families, it is usually the woman that is taking care of the house and the kids and probably also is working. I'm not here to bash men or anything like that, but, but we have to support our women.

Jackie Johnson:

We do. We need to. Not everybody has that support in their household. I hear it on the calls now. "I need to check with my husband. We have the money, but I'm not sure he is going to let me use it," or "I made the money, but I'm not sure he is going to let me pull that out."

A lot of the big beauty brands are run by men. Small-scale skincare entrepreneurs tend to be more women. It depends on the side of the size of the brand. So I hear these conversations. So Rachael, I don't think you're being controversial. I mean women need real support. Some people are taking care of elderly people, family members, and they're like, "Well I need to pause or stop on something because my mom is now sick."

I've mapped out on a vision board what I want my life to look like. So when people are like, "Well you're not doing all that, but I'm like, I vacation and go on about 12 to 15 trips a year. That's a lot of trips. Now are you going to see it on Instagram? But some of it is three hours away with my kids because we're going on a hike. Some of it is we just stayed out there instead of staying at our house on our acreage, we went to the river and we did stuff there. Or it's going to see my pastor, whatever it is.

I think every journey is individualized and we need to stop reaching for this fantasy and reality tv. People say, why isn't your brand bigger, Jackie? I'm like, because I don't want it that big. I don't want to give out my distribution. Yeah. I don't want to give out my manufacturing. I want to know that every flower, from seed to flower, to the product--that it is up to my standard. And I do not believe someone will do it better than me. And if you can, contact me, I'll hire you. Because I need some help over here!

In the meantime, I'm not going to do that. So these journeys and this fakeness, we have to stop. It just, it ruins us.

Tara Swagger:

That's a great point too. When you say about how individualized it is. I think one of the greatest things about our industry is that there is no end game. Unless you've created this space where you say, "I want to make a million dollars, then I'm gonna walk away." But when we're passionate about what we do, this is never going away. We're always going to be in some way, shape, or form creating and making, and it's going to look different in different parts of our lives, which is why it's individual.  And then the idea that you don't want to expand is so fun to hear because I think people really create this idea that success comes from some big splashy thing.

What it sounds like to me, from what you just said, is 12 to 15 trips a year--that is a success. Success is where you can take your kids to the river. Success is when you have the things that you, as an individual want. So if those are the things you want, it sounds like you've created success in there. Whereas other people are creating these plans or putting these ideas in their minds of what success is, and it actually isn't what they want, it's what they think they're supposed to have.

So we can keep doing all the things that we love and cultivate the life that we want, and it doesn't necessarily look like we're having this huge company that's making a million dollars a year. People don't realize what all of that comes with.

That doesn't look like a lot of time with your kids. So if you're okay with that, then that's okay. But I don't think most people want that really in their minds. They shoot for it, but what they really want is that time with their kids, even for small trips or time with them. I am exactly the same way. I don't care about fancy cars in a big house. I love being an entrepreneur in my business because it gives me the ability to say no and choose my time. It gives me the ability to be with my family when we want to do a weekend away, I mark it off of my calendar, and I have control.

My husband has to take the time out of his job. He has to ask permission. I don't want to ask permission from anybody to do what I want. So that's the beauty. And to me, no one's going to pay me enough. People have asked me over the years, "Why don't you hire more aestheticians?" And I'm like, "I don't want all of that amount of work." I've grown my business, I've shrunk my business, I've grown it again. Now I own two businesses. So, it's a lot like you, Jackie, where you ebb and flow. I know Rachael's done the same thing based on what you want or what's being offered to you at the time.

But all of it really comes down to this idea that success is really about what is fueling you and what's making you feel good. You're getting your why, and that's really providing you with the success you want. I think people undervalue and underestimate what that really looks like and feels like. But it's such a great point because scaling up isn't always what you think it's going to be.

Jackie Johnson:

I scaled back. With my wholesale orders, I crop it and package it, and it's already sold. It's sold before the seed hits the ground because I already know who's going to buy it. That is a great security that I know in this quarter, this is who's buying. They've already paid. Wholesaling; that's my business model. I know who's going to buy it before I even plant it, and it's already paid for. And that's great. That gives me that flexibility to be with my kids when they need me. I will drive 12 hours to go tell my daughter I love her. Their dad and I are divorced. My daughter's like, "I want to see you." So I got in my truck, and I got there. No one stopped me. I can do that for my daughter. I can do that for my son. She's five. My son is 10.

I got into this game because I like to serve, but my family came before that, and I will serve my family first. Why would it matter if I have the money, but I still don't have the time with the people that I was doing it for?

Think about that, ladies. I mean, if you're doing it for time and you're spending all your time on your business, why did you start the business, to begin with? Instead of you working your business, your business is working you. So stop being over-worked by your business.

Tara Swagger:


In my little world, it's all interconnected because all these bits and pieces are not a linear situation. They're not in compartments. It all exists at the same time, which makes it really difficult for most because it's a lot to organize when it's all one big thing. And I think certainly experience helps with that time, helps with that age helps with that. I think becoming a parent helps with that because when you're driven by what you're passionate about, and have children, you're like, "Well, I want both of these things in my life." I was married for 10 years and owned a business for a little bit longer than that. And then I had my kids, and there was no way I was giving up my business because I loved it.

But I knew I wanted to be with my kids, and I homeschooled. So like all of those things were very important to me. You have to create what the package looks like. And I think we're lucky because when women get involved in this industry, whether it's beauty or formulation or anything like that, or any small business or, idea that they want to grow, the beauty of it is that we can make the package look the way that we want. So That's great.

Rachael Pontillo:

I love it. I think that we have just to remember when we're thinking about work-life balance, it's a good practice to take a glimpse into the future. Close your eyes and think about it.  Where do you want to be in 10 years, 15 years, 20 years? And when you're looking back at your life, what do you want to remember? What moments do you want to stand out to you? Do you want to remember the hustle and the hamster wheel and the Instagram and trying to keep up with everything, and managing all of the pieces, and keeping the plates spinning?

Or do you want to think back at the things that you were able to do with the people that you love, the things that you were able to do that you were truly passionate about, the things that you were able to create because it came from that spirit inside of you that was your calling to create something to put out into the world as your gift to the world. And if we're focusing on the hamster wheel because we're just like, "I have to keep going, keep going so I can get to the place and get to the thing and get to the goal and get to the six figures and the seven figures..." then we lose those moments.

Tara Swagger:


Rachael Pontillo:

And life's too short. Totally. We don't know how long any of us have. Not to sound dramatic, but it's true. So yes, there are going to be times when you have a business, that it is going to feel like the hamster wheel. And there are going to be times where you're at the top of the roller coaster, and then there's going to be times when you're at the bottom, slowly trying to climb your way back up.

I'm not here to say that it's neat, pretty, predictable, and clean. Like yes, there are some things that once we get in a groove and we've maybe launched a product or a service, a few times; that we can predict what kind of revenue might come in from it. Sure. But if we only focus on the input with the goal of one output based on somebody else's fantasy, that's when I think we lose ourselves. And when we lose ourselves, then we can't do anything well, and that's not how you achieve the happiness that you're trying to achieve by having a business in the first place.

Jackie Johnson:

I thank you guys for this, Rachael and Tara, for giving the platform to talk about real things and real issues. Most people are not this candid. So I really just thank you guys for pouring out your hearts and just really sharing and allowing me to share just so other women and women entrepreneurs don't go down that road. They know that it's just a trap, and I appreciate it.

Rachael Pontillo:

Well thank you so much for being here, Jackie. And where can people find you online if they want to connect with you and learn more from you?

Jackie Johnson:

I'm everywhere. I'm on all social media. Well, not TikTok, so I sure can't say everywhere.

Rachael Pontillo:

That's where I draw the line too.

Jackie Johnson

Yeah, I'm not dancing and pointing. I'm not that talented. The best way to find me be Wildling Botanicals on Facebook, Instagram, and on LinkedIn. So that's more when I talk about more about that pausing, that mindfulness and awareness. So if you're dealing with that on your journey, connect with me on Wildling Botanicals. I do all my personal correspondence, so you are talking to me directly.

Rachael Pontillo:

Awesome. Awesome. Jackie Johnson, thank you so much for being here with us. And Tara, thank you always for being my partner in crime here, at the Skin Wellness Pro Show. And thanks to everyone who joined us and listened or watched. And while you happen to be wherever you are, whether you're on YouTube or iTunes, apple Podcasts, Spotify, we would so appreciate it if you would give us five-star rating, like us, share us, do all the things so that we can keep making more content like this for you.

We'd love to hear from you!

Leave a comment about aromatherapy in the spa!Thank you for joining us on this special episode of The Skin Wellness Pro Show with guest Jackie Johnson! We hope that our conversation has left you feeling informed, inspired, and connected. Our intention is to provide tools necessary to help you own your health and beauty business journey. While balancing motherhood with entrepreneurship may be difficult, it is possible when you take the time to set boundaries, understand yourself better, and believe in yourself. It may also be helpful to get support from family members or professionals when needed. After all, taking the time to nourish both relationships and ourselves is essential for a fulfilled life. Having talked about this incredible topic with Jackie - we urge you to use her advice and give yourself permission to prioritize self-care.

What are your thoughts on this episode? We'd love to read your comments below.

Finally, if you would like further support for your clients looking for guidance regarding their skin wellness and lifestyle issues; don’t forget to check out our CNAP Training Program!


Setting Boundaries to Prevent Burnout

Setting Boundaries to Prevent Burnout

Are you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and overworked? Do you feel like your professional obligations keep piling up - to the point where it threatens your sanity and overall well-being? If so, then it sounds like you need a boundary reset. That's right; creating healthy boundaries can help you effectively maintain balance while managing a busy workload without burning out. In today's episode of the Skin Wellness Pro Show, Rachael and Tara share their strategies for aestheticians, bodyworkers, health coaches, and wellness pros to set boundaries to prevent burnout and avoid the pitfalls of taking on too much work or responsibility!

Watch "Setting Boundaries to Prevent Burnout" below:

Listen to the episode here:

Read the edited transcript below:

Rachael Pontillo:

Today's topic is one that I think many of you will be able to relate to. It's not a topic that we initially were going to bring up today, but Tara, you had a massage last night, which got you thinking about what we're going to discuss today. So why don't you tell our listeners what happened? 

Tara Swagger:

So, I went and had my massage last night, and the conversation between my therapist and me was about burnout. So many of us are working hard in our businesses, and we might also be juggling families. We're wearing all the hats. And my therapist was talking about how she's been in business long enough to know how important it is to set boundaries and carve out time for leisure or self-care, but sometimes it gets away from you. 

And that got me thinking about why that happens. Number one, I think it happens because we're excited about our businesses. We love what we do, and we're in the position of pleasing people whether it's through our coaching businesses or working in the beauty industry and offering facial treatments or massage--we're passionate about delivering those services. So it sometimes can be hard to reel ourselves back in and take the time we need for ourselves. I think it's true that no one is hidden from this issue of burnout. I've certainly ebbed and flowed through it, and you mentioned right before we started that you're maybe dealing with that right now.

Rachael Pontillo:

Ultimately I know what balance looks like on paper, but with what's going on in my life right now, like my personal life, it's just not happening right now. 

Tara Swagger:

Well, isn't that the thing though? There's this idea that there IS a balance. And I think that that's sort of not real because I think balance is more about a seesaw. You know, it can go back and forth, and back and forth. And I think the problem that most people have in our industry is that they keep hearing the advice to find work-life balance. I think that that's sort of not a real concept, because even if you could put it on paper--let's face it--that paper doesn't necessarily translate to reality. You have to create space where there's nothing going on. Because if you don't, eventually, as you energetically move through working with clients, that will deplete you and you won't have much left. 

When you're in the stage where you're building your business, the energy of that is not necessarily conducive to creating enough space for downtime and relaxation. And then once you've got your business into a good flow, more time opens up where you can step back. And then it ebbs and flows again. I think that this conversation is really about giving everybody that space and permission to say it's okay in this portion of time to maybe not have that space that you're looking for. 

We also have to factor in important things in our personal lives. For instance, my son just started baseball again, so all our weekends will be baseball. All the nights have practices, and that's a healthy, wonderful thing. So we shouldn't necessarily just stare down that busy season and say, "Oh my God, I'm not gonna have any balance." The balance comes when there's space it. Sometimes we don't give ourselves permission, or it gets out of hand, and then we can't even see that we've become so defunct from carving out the space that we need to replenish ourselves. 

Rachael Pontillo:

For me, it starts with too much multitasking. Right now, I'm coming off of a few--I was gonna say a few weeks, but it's actually been a few months--of absolutely burning the candle at both ends, with frequent launches in both my businesses. Then in my personal life, both my daughters are dancers. We've had competitions, we've had performances, they've had rehearsals till 8:30, 9 o'clock at night, six days a week. It's been ridiculous. And then at the same time, my older daughter is a senior, so we are finally winding down the college application, admissions, and financial aid process.

We have a college visit trip tomorrow, and I had to reschedule my calls and a class I would teach. But I figured, this is a decision that will impact my daughter's life for long term, so it's kind of important! So we have to get up at like five in the morning to be at this event that starts at 8:00am, so that she can attend classes with students and shadow students for the day, and really get a sense of what that's like. And of course, in the back of my mind, I'm stressing because I'm missing an office hours call with my Facebook ads coach. I had to make sure that I scheduled an email to go out at a certain time, since I wasn't going to be there to send it manually. It will be challenging being able to be present at that event while still thinking about the 10 things that I should be doing at the same time, even though, I know I don't have to do it all at that moment.

But this is what we do. And then, how many times when we're focused on work do we think, "I wish I could be doing this with my family or with my spouse, or go on this vacation, and not have to work so much." So I think the multitasking and just reminding ourselves to be present on whatever it is that we're supposed to be focusing on for that time, that's something that I've really been trying to work on, albeit not too successfully, over the past few months. That's something that's come into my consciousness as one thing that I can do to help me avoid that burnout. Because for me, burnout is definitely a mental and emotional thing. It's not about the physical amount of tasks. It's not about how many things I have to check off my list, because usually when I'm lamenting about something that I'm putting off, when I actually sit down and do it, it only takes me 15 minutes.

Isn't that how it always goes, with time and energy? You spend time avoiding or worrying about a thing, and then you do the thing and it's done, and you wonder how much energy did you just expend putting that off? So giving myself permission to just not think about work, and focus on this school and whether or not it's right for my kid is huge. And then the following day, I'm back to client calls and teaching classes, and I can focus on those, and not worry about what might be going on in the background with my daughter's college process. Having that ability to separate the compartments, if you will, and be present on the one thing and not feel guilty because you're not doing the other thing too. 

Tara Swagger:

I recently to somebody that I , personally at 43, just started to learn about boundaries about three or four years ago. There has to be boundaries. And I think like for you, compartmentalizing is a way of setting boundaries. It's saying, "Tomorrow I'm gonna be with my child and that is gonna be my focus. That's where my energy's gonna lie. Nothing else needs to happen." So that's the boundary.

I create boundaries around my client schedule. I see lots of people in our industry who say that they work four days a week, but then, "So and so really needed to come in on Saturday, so I'm gonna go in on my Saturday off." That's not a hard boundary. If you're in the beginning of your business, you've probably got the energy for things like that, right? It's a very different space and time where you might be doing that because you're building something, and trying to get your name out there. I think we've all done that. But what I'm talking about is this sense where you are allowing everybody else to pull you out of what your focus is, right? We talked about in the last podcast, finding your focus, and this is a little bit part of that too, because the boundaries that you make are saying, "These are my hours, and this is what I can do." And if that doesn't fit in there, then there's an emotional space that people have to find themselves in where they can accept that that client may not be your client because they can't come during the hours that you work. And that's OK!

People just don't give themselves permission. You feel that you have to give yourself permission to enjoy your day tomorrow. I think most of the time people really fall victim when they open up those spaces and allow their boundaries to be crossed. Once you create those boundaries, if you stay within them, that can be one of the biggest ways to cultivate a space where you don't have burnout, because you know when you're working, and it's not impeding on the rest of your life that you want to have outside of that. Cultivating those really clear work hours is a good start, whatever that looks like. 

At the end of the day, if the clients can't understand your boundaries and they're kind of pushy or aggressive about it, then that might not be the energetic person that you want on your schedule, right? It's OK to not accommodate everyone. This is the ebb and flow of your career, and your life, and your business. 

Another way people allow their boundaries to get crossed is by holding on to services they no longer want to do, or clients they really don't wanna see because they are draining. And this is where the burnout comes from, right? Because we're not creating boundaries, determining what our time really is, and how we would like to spend it. We're not making sure that we have space to rejuvenate.

I just got back from Florida, and, I had so many things leading up to that, that I drooling to get to Florida to re-energize. But during that timeframe before the trip, I was probably overworking myself, but it felt okay because I knew I there was a light at the end of the tunnel, right? I like to get all the things done ahead of time, so when I go, I can really unwind. 

I think something people are missing is that it's OK to be over-busy or overbooked or maybe working too hard for a little while, but we have to have the boundaries of knowing when is the stopping point. When are you going to rejuvenate? When will you make sure that your you-time is carved out, whether it's on the weekends or a couple of days during the week?

You have to prioritize self-care and schedule around that. I make sure I get my massage every month. This is not a frivolous thing. This is about making sure that my body feels good, that I'm getting good blood flow, that I'm managing my tissue. I don't miss it.

Rachael Pontillo:

I like what you said about being really realistic with your time and understanding that if there is a timeframe--whether it's a few weeks or maybe even over a month that things are gonna be busy--whether it's in the business or in personal life or both together, that you carve out enough time deliberately after that is over with to recuperate from that.

For me, an example is when I created a new program called the Design Your Star Product Workshop last fall. I was working with a new business coach, and we did this whole new launch strategy and funnel. It involved new technology, new everything for me. I don't think I have ever worked that many hours for that period of time. It was from August to November, that I was just  go, go, go every single day. 

I remember having conversations with family members, saying things like "Don't ask me for anything until after Thanksgiving. Don't ask me for anything until December after that my brain is free." And Tara, I think I probably said that to you when we were planning this podcast! I was like, "I can't even think. Wait until my brain is available," because I knew that come December and even early January, I would have less on my forward-facing plate that I had to actively put in those hours.

And then I was able to just focus more on being in receiving mode, and delivering to my clients and students what I had promised during that launch. Launching is definitely a tiring experience between the momentum that you have to gather and the high energy that you have to produce during whatever the launch event is. But behind the scenes, it's an exorbitant amount of tasks, technologies, and people helping you, which is great. But,I realize that for every launch, I usually need a good solid week after that, so that I don't have to use my brain. 

Tara Swagger:

So that's the boundaries, that's the plan. Right. So while you were going through that, I was opening a second business. When I opened the store and I was working seven days a week, it was the same thing in my mind. I knew I was going to get a break afterward.

When we talked last about finding your focus, I mentioned the importance of having a yearly business plan. You could also do it every quarter. And that's really something that comes back into this topic of burnout too, because if you look at your year when you know where your busiest times are, then you can mentally prepare for the fact that you don't want to take on any other mental challenges at that time. For example, you don't want to take on redesigning your website during your busiest time of the year, the holiday season. I know January to May is my best time to do admin and behind-the-scenes stuff like that. It's not because I'm not busy at work, it's because I'm not in the marketing flows of the holiday, or the back-to-school season. Because when summer comes, I still work, but don't want my extra time inundated with things on my brain because I want to spend it with my kids. So, this is setting boundaries. We make these determinations about what exactly it can look like. 

I've always been really good about scheduling my monthly massage, and I book that ahead of time, because I'm a hyper-scheduled person. I know you are too.

I was talking to you earlier about the circadian rhythm. So, besides planning months ahead and scheduling your massage way in advance, you also have to ask yourself what are you doing daily too, to create the recharge? Because the small pieces of your daily activity that can help you recharge and rebalance can be just as valuable as those long-term investments. I always recommend them as a coach to my clients because it's usually the most palatable place to start. 

Ask yourself, what does your morning look like? If you can create a space or a ritual every morning that is nourishing to you, that adds up every day. It's like saving a dollar a day, right? It doesn't sound like much, but let's face it, in six months, you know, you're gonna have a little bit of pocket cash. If you do that little bit every day for your rejuvenation, it does the same thing.

I am very organized in how I keep my circadian rhythm working and primed. For me, that comes with morning sunlight a walk every day. You do have to carve out the time, but once you carve that small bit of time, whatever it looks like, then it's a daily routine. My husband and I will walk for an hour at sunrise. You don't have to do an hour, just do 10 minutes. It can be that small. But when you're focused on those little, small daily habits, what ends up happening is you start to get all of these health benefits that start to align, and then no matter how busy you are, your health is intact enough so that you can sustain those more prolonged stressful timeframes. 

That all leads back down to sleep. If your circadian rhythm is intact, that sleep is so much better for you when you're sleeping at night. When that happens, you have more energy for all of that taxing stuff feels overbearing. So it comes in two forms: long-term planning and daily activity, which is just as important.

Sometimes people will say, "I don't have time or the extra funds to go do the massage or a treatment like that." It's free to take a walk. The sunrise is free. So balancing your circadian rhythm is actually a free thing that you can do.  Utilizing nature is free, and I think it's undervalued, but the science of this is strong. We're working on a new masterclass to help practitioners integrate practices like this, because it's hard to be a burnt-out practitioner, and your clients are coming in burnt out too, right? Because they're counting on you to help them feel less burnt out. And I know that I have clients that I'm the person that they come to, and they're getting that whole package when they come to see me.

When my clients find some of that success in their daily practices, they are amazed at how easy it is, and how good they feel. This all leads to better health, better skin, healthier aging--all the things people want, without all the cost, or the really big time investments.

Rachael Pontillo:

Absolutely. And to find out when that masterclass and other future events that we have coming up are--free events, paid masterclasses, or our main practitioner training program--sign up for our newsletter by downloading our seasonal integrative guide to healthy skin.

I brought up "seasonal" for a reason, because we're going to bring seasonality into our discussion about burnout in a moment. Before we started recording today, I was talking about how it's warm out today here in the Philadelphia area. I carved out a little self-care time, and enjoyed coffee with a friend. In this instance, self-care came in the form of socialization at this lovely little French cafe in Philadelphia. It was like 78 degrees when I got out of there and I was like, "Oh my God, the sun!" It felt so good because this is the first day that it's been actually warm since October. It just instantly puts you in a better mood, just feeling that sunlight. When I was walking from my car to the cafe, I was breathing in the fresh-cut grass, and I just walked in there with a smile on my face.

Whereas yesterday it was cold and gloomy and gray and I had kind of a down day yesterday. I was not in the greatest place. And it is amazing how just a change of weather and a little sunlight, fresh air, and warmth can shift your emotional state. I realized that burnout seems to be so much worse for me, and I find it so much harder to dig myself out of it when it is wintertime or gray, dank, damp, chilly, cold, cold, unpleasant weather.

Tara Swagger:

Well, this is the most underestimated issue that we have if you're in the northern latitude. I'm in Connecticut, and it's not warm here today. But the great thing is that the sun is out, and that can make all the difference, even if it's cold. But if you're in the northern latitude, the winter can be long.

The truth is, that this actually has a very dark biological effect on the body. And while some people, you'll notice, and you'll notice this in your clients, are gonna be affected by it easier and quicker than other people. But mostly everybody will be affected by it. Some people just aren't in tune enough with themselves to really notice it, but certainly it is going on and there's a reason for that.

Your electrons and protons are not in the same excitation as they are when the sunlight is out. And one of the things that happens, depending on your haplotype (which is a longer conversation), but everybody's nationality can play a part in whether or not you need to be in the sun more than other people. This is a genetic predisposition that most people are completely unaware of.

You don't have to even dig too deep to know, but essentially, darker skin type people belong more south because their light absorption is very different from lighter skin type people. This is why there are higher rates of chronic illnesses in darker skin types in the northern latitude. Their genetics are meant to be in the sunlight. You know, for thousands of years we lived with no indoor lighting. So our DNA is coded already for a process by which the sun comes up and the sun goes down, the sun comes up and the sun goes down. And we've really distorted that in our modern-day conveniences. So this is another part of that. For example, you don't think as clearly during the wintertime, the longer it goes on, the more your biology is suppressed by the lack of sunlight, and the exposure to unnatural indoor light.

I find that my clients start to get really scratchy at the like end of February or the beginning of March. This is when everyone starts to have a real impairment in how they're able to handle stuff. Most of it just really has to do with the fact that we're just in these different latitudes, and I think that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is probably the most underrated issue that we have in these northern latitudes. And people aren't paying attention to it.

I often recommend my clients get their vitamin D levels checked because vitamin D levels in our region are so incredibly low, but vitamin D is a hormone and it affects our personalities. It's not just important for our immune system. It plays a really large role in regulatory processes in the body, which also has to do with how our neurological functioning is happening. So, as that lack goes on and on, and your vitamin D levels are dropping, dropping, dropping, and we're getting to March--if people aren't aware of that and they're not paying attention to that, then that's making it worse. All of these things are going to contribute to high-stress scenarios during the times when maybe your, your schedule is out of whack, or you are experiencing a little more burnout. There are things you can do with your health, and then there are also things you can physically do with your schedule, and they all encompass a little bit of something having to do with long-term planning, and short-term every day planning.

This is where organizing your quantum health and your circadian rhythms really make the biggest difference in every single way, because you can tackle that in a small portion of your day every single day. You know, once I started studying quantum health, and balancing my circadian rhythm, it's been incredible. I mean, I've worked through these timeframes where I was working seven days a week for a few months when I was opening the new store, and I did not feel burnt out. And that's remarkable. I should have. It was during the fall and winter, and going into the holiday season is always a crazy time.

Obviously that's not a long-term situation. You don't wanna be doing that if you can help it. But I believe that my attention to my health and these practices truly kept my biology functioning well enough to manage through that time. So, you know, as coaches, we really want to learn these aspects of how we can help our clients every day find ways to stay healthy enough with small changes, incrementally, so that their minds are intact to create those long-term goals for the year for their business or household.

Rachael Pontillo:

I just think that this time of year is such a great time to discuss this because we're just in the midst of this transition from cold into warmth.

Tara Swagger:

Well, the other missing piece is daylight savings. We forget that these things are playing a part because they're all part of this culture that we're in. And then we get lost in the mix and we're like, why are we so messed up? And so I mentally prepare myself for daylight savings because I find that to be like jet lag for me. I'm used to getting up for sunrise when the hour changes, and it takes me a couple of weeks to recalibrate.

Rachael Pontillo:

It's because we don't have a choice if we're on a schedule that we can't control, like you have to go into work, or your child has to go into school at the same time every day. And that schedule doesn't care that it's not natural. I've seen so many articles over the past couple of years about how people in different countries are looking at a workday to start at 10:00 AM instead of 8:00 AM or a school day to start at 10:00 AM instead of 8:00 AM because it's so much better for most people. But it's just not happening here. , 

Tara Swagger:

Even the 9 to 5 is not normal for most people. The data for health disorders shows that daylight savings really wreaks havoc on people's health. It's incredible how strong a role the rise and fall of the sun plays on your day-to-day health; that when daylight savings happens, we see these major increases in heart attacks and other issues. It's really interesting to me that these changes happen quickly, and are due to changing just one hour. You wouldn't think that. The more you become aware and you can create pathways to keeping yourself together, the more you can sustain those shifts and changes. 

Rachael Pontillo:

Yeah. So other than your morning routine, what are some non-negotiables you have to avoid burnout? 

Tara Swagger:

Well, it's never negotiable for me when it comes to taking care of myself, like I said, with massage. I also do other things that are really important to me. For instance, about 3.5 years ago, I reduced my usage of social media and television. That is a big non-negotiable for me because, when you stream negative things into your daily life, it adds a layer that you don't realize is happening. And I think that's going on for so many people. They're inundated. They're on their social media. They've got the TV on every single day with the news, and all that media. We don't have the TV on in my house during the week. My kids homeschool, so if they want to watch a little tv, they'll watch a documentary, but that's pretty rare nowadays. I don't put the news on in my house. It's negative. And I think that people underestimate the frequency of what's going on when they have all these things on. Even if it's in the background, the frequency of those messages is still playing a part in your cellular wellbeing. And I think that that's something that people aren't realizing. But that's not negotiable for me because I have things that are of value that I want my energy to be available for. Aside from that, I stay on top of my self-care. I have that scheduled out regularly. So I'm never feel really tired, or scrambling to book my massage. No, it's in there every month.

Sunlight in the morning is a non-negotiable because what happens in your brain when you are exposed to that morning light is incredible. I'm really big on my morning ritual. I'm big on meditation. I do a little bit of meditation almost every single day. When you take the TV and social media out, it gives you a little bit more time for those things. It does. And that's going to look different for different people.

When I talk to clients, I always ask them what they're into and what they like. I always try to get them to go out for some morning sunlight. People who have adopted that practice feel like it's changed their lives. Pet owners are always the easiest sell on that because their pets have to go out. Right? So I'm like, "Ooh, you have a dog, so why don't you make the time to go out at sunrise?" They have an easier time implementing that. I think it's good if you can go out for an hour, but if you're even getting out for five or 10 minutes to see that sun, and breathe in that fresh air wherever you are, you gain such a vitality from the ions in the air when you're in nature. And there's so much science for this! It's so undervalued in our society.

When people start to reintroduce some of these daily practices, and their stress levels go down, they just can't believe how simple it was. And that helps you sustain those crazy periods of time when your kids are, doing all their activities, or when your business is crazy. And it's those basic things that really help you sustain comfortability to get through.

Rachael Pontillo:

It's important that we find one thing, at the minimum, that is our self-care thing every day. As for me, I love my nighttime skin routine and my shower and all of that. I feel like I can't go to bed without it. I haven't put the day away until I've done my nighttime routine. And it doesn't take very long. It's not very elaborate. I'm not one of these people who uses like seven skincare products. I use literally three products, except for on days that I'm doing a mask or something like that. I have this visualization that I do while I'm in the shower, and it helps me to wash the day away. And then I do my skincare, and I put my Frownies® on, and I have my sleep mask, because my husband insists on having his phone in the room, and, even that tiny bit of light from the phone distracts me.

If I don't do that routine, then I don't feel right. My mind is racing. I keep repeating conversations that I had during the day, or thinking about how I might have done something differently. My brain just won't shut off. But when I do that routine, it really helps me just put the day away. And then when I wake up, I don't wake up thinking of stuff I hadn't finished processing the day before. So that's one thing that I do.

Another thing that I wanted to share that I do to help with establishing those boundaries--and I know we touched on this a little earlier with scheduling and planning and knowing your hours--is that when you have your own business, and it's not a physical practice that has specific hours; if you work from home it's very easy for the entire day, night, and weekend to become available work hours. 

We have to actually carve out what our daily work hours are, and that can look different from day to day. So there might be days that you have an obligation during the day that is non-negotiable. I used to have this morning dance fitness class that I would schedule around because I got so much from going to that class. On other days you might have more time in the evening because maybe your kids are occupied, so it doesn't have to look the same every day. But I do think it's really helpful to plot out on a week weekly planner, whether it's a Google calendar or a paper planner or calendar if you're a pen and paper person. 

On a Sunday afternoon, just look at the next week and start by scheduling your non-negotiables either for work, for your family, or for yourself. Every day you X out those non-negotiables, and nothing else gets scheduled in that time slot. If your Google calendar is linked to your online scheduling system, mark those as unavailable so that nobody can book that space at the last minute. And then, once you're closed for the day, that's it. You put the work away; you're done. You don't think about it. And then, other than just knowing what your daily work hours are for that week, I recommend deliberately scheduling in flex time or wild card time, because who has had a perfect week where everything goes exactly as you planned? It doesn't usually happen. There's always something that changes. 

Maybe one day you get backed up with a client who came in late, or maybe you had a doctor's appointment come up, or just something where one activity or appointment cut into something else. And then you freak out, and you're like, "Oh crap. Now I'm not going to get that done this week!" Well, if you have scheduled flex time--I usually recommend to my students and clients like one or two hours a week--then that is your dedicated overflow time. So if you didn't get to something on Monday or Tuesday, you would plan to do it during that hour on Wednesday. And then if you don't finish something the rest of the day on Wednesday and Thursday, you may have some flex time built in to catch up on Friday. And I always say that if there is nothing that needs to go into the flex time because the week went well, well then you get to take that as an extra hour of downtime or self-care time. But the rule is that you don't fill flex time with scheduled work. It's supposed to be either overflow or self-care.

Tara Swagger:

That's great advice. We do that with our kids because we homeschool, and so every week we do the paper and pen schedule. We do our schedules every week, and we do the same thing. You know, we always keep our overflow; we try to accomplish all of the work Monday through Thursday, and then whatever doesn't get finished, we do it on Friday morning. So we do the same thing. And it's great advice because I think it's easy to overbook. I mean, my book is always full!

My book is always full, but I always reserve those pockets for if something does come up or something has to move. I think that's another thing that people, some people are not doing, and I think it's causing them a lot of disarray in their personal life. They might have their schedule for their clients, but then everything else isn't organized enough. I always say, whatever you want to do on the regular, book it out. If you don't have it scheduled, and it's not in your mind's eye, then what happens is, you forget all about it, and six months go by, and you haven't done the yoga class, or date night, or whatever it might look like in terms of the downtime that you need. Because if it's not on the schedule, then it's not going to happen. It's like goals. If you want to achieve goals, you write them down.

Rachael Pontillo:

I think the first time I heard it specifically like this was from Marie Forleo years ago, when she said something like, "If it isn't scheduled, then it isn't real." How true is that? We have so many things on our minds. How many times do you think, "Oh, I'm going to remember that. I'm not gonna write it down." And then you can't even remember what you said you would remember.

When I'm talking to my skincare formulation students, I tell them, "Anytime you're just messing around in the kitchen, mixing ingredients, write everything down, because so many times you will come up with this brilliant formula that you think you'll remember and then you don't, because you didn't note it."

Tara Swagger:

There are way too many things going on in the world and in our minds. You know, our ancestors were not inundated with all of this stuff. This is why our ancestors spent a lot of time in rituals, in community--taking care of the members of their community, very differently than we do today. It's because they didn't have to have a schedule. They lived different lives, whereas this modern society is so hyper. If you're a person that doesn't subscribe to all that and you've, you're leading a much simpler life then that is amazing. I applaud that because that's amazing. I think that's a wonderful thing. I'd like to think of myself as someone who craves that. 

I think I do to a certain extent, but I'm also very type A--I like to get my hands into stuff. I like to work on projects. So, there's a lot of fuel in that for me. So having that schedule will keep that balance enough so that you're not burning out, and that you're still tracking along with the things that are needed in your home, or needed for you, or for your business.

When you create a plan, and you want it to actually execute, you need to write all the pieces down. What do you want to be in this world? What do you want to be in your life? What do you want your future? Write it down. Whatever it is, write it down. That's the power of the frequency. You think it, then you say it, and then you write it.

Rachael Pontillo:

And you're assigning it a value. Like, that's your reward for a job well done. My accountant does this really well. Right now, accountants and bookkeepers, they're all at the end of tax season. And at the end of tax season, my accountant emails all her clients, and says something to the effect of "I'm going to be deeply unavailable for the next two weeks."

Tara Swagger:

Yeah. Well, I mean, that's the thing, right? So, you know, we just got back from Florida, and we don't have something else booked, but I said to my husband,"We've got about 24 hours until we get something on the schedule and something booked," because it's fuel. For this many weeks, I'm going to drive a little bit hard to get things accomplished, and then I'm going to have my reward. And it doesn't have to be a vacation. If it's a day off and it's a day that you're going to drive to the beach or you're going to go to the mountains--whatever it is, all of those things refuel you enough that you can continue to have that busy life. But again, you have to put it on the schedule. That makes such a difference in actually accomplishing that goal. 

Rachael Pontillo:

And for me, especially when it's the cold, dark months, I feel like I have to schedule those little stopping points even more frequently. You can think "I just have to get through day by day, and then I get to go to the theater," or something like that. When it's warm out, it's not that I don't still schedule fun things as rewards for my hard work, but I feel like I don't have to do so as much. Because just being able to go outside and soak in the warmth is sometimes enough reward for buckling down and focusing for a few solid hours every workday. 

Tara Swagger:

Yeah. If you're in the northern latitude, everybody is so different during the spring and summer. It's unbelievable. I know a lot of people will say New Englanders are harsh, and I think that might be true. I was just in Florida, and found that people are so nice--like cashiers and grocery store attendants--everyone. And my husband just keeps saying it's because they're in the sunshine all the time. And then you come up here and people are really scratchy and cranky. They get cranky because they're not feeling that excitation, that fulfillment, that balance, or that comfort. They're feeling the darkness. They're feeling that low mood and low energy, and then that frequency imparts itself onto everybody else in the room.

If you are in a northern latitude and you're able to create a pathway to balance yourself a little bit better, your frequency will impart itself on your family and the people around you in a more positive way. As you start to dive into some of these things with quantum health and arranging your circadian rhythm a little bit better, and your frequency starts to shift, then you'll sustain those winters a little bit better--because I know I do. I mean, that doesn't mean I couldn't wait to get to Florida, I was so excited to get into the sunlight! But I definitely think that patterning in my biology has made it a lot different. And I know this for sure with my clients that have created that pathway too.

Rachael Pontillo:

Yeah. Well, I, for one, am very excited about your next masterclass about this because just listening to you now, I'm like, yeah, I don't do that, and maybe it would help me if I did.  

Tara Swagger:

Well, the thing is, it's never going to be perfect all the time.

Rachael Pontillo:

I think that there are so many things that people could be doing that they just don't think of. 

Tara Swagger:

It's true. When I explain this and teach people about this topic, I'm attaching the science so that they can understand what is actually biologically happening, and why it's a thing. It's not just that people just feel good in the sun. You feel good in the sun because there is a chemical component to what's biologically shifting in your brain. And that makes a big difference. The way that I'll be teaching this masterclass isn't so much about how you impart this to your clients. It's a little bit of both, but most of it is just teaching the basics of what you want to know. Because as a practitioner or a wellness coach, you want to learn it and incorporate it for yourself. And when that starts to happen, you'll start to see how it benefits you in such a deep way. 

And then you're going to wanna teach it to your clients because a lot of them are struggling. They may or may not be on a lot of different medications. They may or may not have their diet aligned. Some of that might be really tough for them to do. These are the kinds of things that you can help them do that cost no money, but also have a great impact on their overall health. So it'll be a great class. I'm getting excited about sharing it with everybody.

Rachael Pontillo:

Leave a comment about aromatherapy in the spa!Very cool. Well, hopefully, what we shared today about burnout and some of how we each deal with that was helpful. Hopefully, those of you who are watching and listening are able to find one little tidbit that you're able to implement that hopefully can help you either avoid burnout in the first place or snap out of it if you're already there. So we would love to hear what you think about this topic. If you have any strategies of your own that have worked for you to avoid burnout or to prevent it from happening in the first place, please tell us in the comments below.

When it comes to our professional journey, having healthy boundaries can be the difference between success and burnout.

It's essential to take care of ourselves in this demanding world of work and taking some time to reset those boundaries is a crucial part of the process. When done correctly, setting boundaries to prevent burnout can lead to improved mental health, clarity, and peace of mind, which would then give you much more room for success professionally and personally. Let’s leave today with the knowledge that it’s okay to put yourself first sometimes. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of The Skin Wellness Pro Show!

Do you want to learn how to help your clients implement skin-healthy lifestyle upgrades like this?

Check out our professionally accredited Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioner Training Program! Click HERE to learn more and start earning your certification today!


How to Avoid Shiny Object Syndrome in Your Practice

Are you an aesthetician or skin wellness professional who is feeling stuck and overwhelmed by the abundance of treatment and program options out there? Don’t worry; you are not alone! We’ve all been in that position before, trying to decide which products, machines, programs, or modalities to focus on; what services our clients need most, and how to differentiate ourselves from other professionals. That feeling of fear and uncertainty can often lead us to "Shiny Object Syndrome" — when we jump from one shiny new product or modality to another without any clear direction or strategy for success. But don't despair! With just a few small steps and careful planning, you can unlock the door to your ideal practice niche — no matter how specific or unique it might be!

On this episode of The Skin Wellness Pro Show, Rachael and Tara discuss how to find your focus and avoid Shiny Object Syndrome in your aesthetics, coaching, or skin wellness practice.

Watch Episode 1.04, How to Find Your Focus and Avoid Distraction below:

Listen to the audio here:

Read the edited transcript here:

Rachael Pontillo:

Today I want to talk about something that I think many of our skin wellness pros struggle with. And that is, how do you find your focus and stay focused in your business? And on the flip side of the same coin, how do you avoid distraction? We're not just talking about distraction in that everybody has a personal and professional life. I'm talking more specifically about how to avoid distraction and find your focus in your practice. Because I don't know about you, but anytime I go to a conference or a trade show, there's always something new and exciting that looks so great and promises such great results. So, do you buy it? Do you try it? Or do you just kind of stick to what's working? How do you figure all that out and how do you find what should be your focus?

Tara Swagger:

I think people need to find their focus, and then at the same time know that their focus can change, right? Because I think there are two parts. There's the part where people don't find their focus and they're all over the place, spread out in different directions. They're not really honing their skill, and then they're struggling to make the kind of money that they want to make or grow their business. And then are times when you might find your focus, and then you stay so rigid that you eliminate opportunity, right? It's like finding your focus, but then being willing to shift your focus. And so it's the big package. And I think certainly, as aestheticians, health coaches, or wellness professionals, we have our personal direction in how our businesses run, but this is something that anybody deals with.

I've noticed over the last few years, even more particularly that I've noticed that a lot of aestheticians coming out of school are choosing a "path." Sometimes you find that they focus on waxing, which is great. That's not something I like to focus on, so I don't have that as part of my business. But sometimes, they don't feel as connected to doing the hands-on skin treatments. As I've grown older and my practice has evolved, I've moved more into coaching.

I think when you are new, especially, there are so many groups on Facebook where people are recommending buying this and that product, sending the message that if you don't do this, then you're not going to make enough money. Or they say things like, "you need to add this so you can make $500 a person." When trying to find your niche, it's hard to decide what you should buy and what product you should use. Sometimes I see these girls in some of these groups where they've used a certain product line, but then someone's trying to tell them that their product line is better, and then they have this, this fomo. Right? I'm fear of missing out on being the best because I don't have that. But, you know, I think we both know that you can get dragged around in the commercialization of what you should or shouldn't be doing in the business. Right? I think that it is also really tempting. I mean, talk about the FOMO!

Rachael Pontillo:

There are a lot of aesthetician coaches and influencers out there who are talking about how much money some of these machines and types of facials and modalities deliver. And then I see people invest in these machines that are $20,000 or $30,000 machines and put that service on their menu, but then it's either not what it's cracked up to be, or they don't enjoy delivering that service as much as they thought they would, or it isn't selling as well as they thought it would. Even though it was a big thing that works for many people, it might not have been the right fit for that person's particular clientele.

It's really easy to think that just because something is new and popular that everybody will like it, but that might not be the right fit. So I think it's really important when you're making decisions on what modalities to bring in, that you listen to what your clients are saying, what they're asking for, and what their feedback is. For instance, if there's anything that they feel that they aren't not getting from you, what would that be? And then, is that something that you feel comfortable providing? Like, I'm with you on the waxing--all the power to the waxers out there--but personally, I've literally turned down jobs before because it would've required waxing, and that's just not my jam. Even though I know it makes money! Brazilian waxing makes money. Male Brazilian waxing, especially, makes a lot of money, but no thank you! I have no interest.

Tara Swagger:

That's a prime example.  I've been in the business for a long time now. I definitely did body waxing earlier on. I did just about everything that you would learn and apply as an esthetician. But, as you start to determine, what services you really want on your menu, you do want to do just that. You want to look at what services you're offering on a list and say, "okay, let me rank these from one, being my favorite thing to do, and then what's on the least of my favorite things to do."

Another important thing I think to do is to take a look at your numbers as well; at what is producing you the most. A lot of times there's a reason why what's producing you the most is producing you the most. Either A, you really like to do it, so you're probably selling a lot of it because you're really into it, or B, the passion is coming through. Usually, the thing that you hate to do is not the one that's giving you the most money! That does happen sometimes, though.

You need to know your numbers, and then also take a sharp look at your menu. I always do my business planning every year. I think that that's something that a lot of people in our industry--even health coaches--are not doing. But you really want to look at what that looks like every year and determine what you want to do. What's this year going to look like? Am I finally going to shift and remove this item from my menu? You can probably strategically do that if you can find someone you can partner with in the area who does a lot of waxing. You don't want to do the waxing anymore. Maybe they don't like to do facials. And so they get to send you those clients.

Taking a look at what you're offering and honing in on what you really, really like is a huge way to find your focus. Because when you love what you're executing, then you're creating the frequency to continue to attract the people that want that. That's really where you're going to make the most money. That's also where you're going to find how to focus on what you're either buying for equipment or what you're using for products. And instead of just someone saying, "you have to do this service, everybody wants it, and it's $150 every time you do this." Those things are distracting.

So to find your focus, you have to figure out what you want to do. Because if you look at your business and, yes, you're doing a lot of what you don't want to do, then you need to find a way to establish a shift. If you're making your business plan every year, you might look at that and say, "Okay, I'm no longer going to take new waxing clients this year. I want to keep my schedule available so that I can get some new clients for skincare." And then you can create your marketing plan around that. If you can find what you really like to do, and then hone in on that, it establishes all the other pieces around how you're going to get the results you want. I think more people need to take that deeper look, and most people aren't doing that.

Rachael Pontillo:

I think you're right. I think that, unfortunately, so many aesthetics and coaching programs here in the United States are shorter programs, that don't have enough time to teach business and marketing skills in their curriculum because the state boards don't cover that. The certification exams don't cover that. People graduate from these programs, and they might have had some suggestions about how to, I don't know, send an email newsletter or have a Facebook group that you invite people into, and post a bunch of content to, and hopefully, they'll love you enough to buy from you, and stuff like that. But overall, I think that the whole business development, business planning, and marketing side of things is something that many people still need to learn.

So maybe the practitioner has created their own wonderful custom facial protocol. They carry a skincare line that they love, or maybe they have their own skincare line that they love, and they open for business, hang up their sign, and they're ready to go. They have a website; they have their online scheduler. And because they're not getting enough clients, because the marketing, planning, and sales skills aren't developed enough yet, they assume that the products or service is not selling. It's not necessarily that; it's possible that maybe it's not positioned correctly, being marketed effectively, or the selling skills might not be there because I know a lot of people just are afraid of selling. They feel that they're not good at it, or they're intimidated by it, or they feel that their clients will feel a certain way being sold to and that they won't come back.

But the fact of the matter is, that any new service, especially, takes time to get established. And it has to be positioned correctly so that whoever your ideal customer is for that service, is attracted to it. The service is put right in front of where that customer is. If it's an in-person practice, maybe you have local referral partners that let you put some signage or brochures out, or maybe you do some events together locally that you can cross-promote with another practitioner. Or if you're online, figure out where that customer hangs out online, so you can put your information, and your services right in front of them so that they can't help but see you. And then your product or service can have a real chance. But I think that people get frustrated quickly. They blame the service, or they might blame themselves and say, "I'm just not good at it. It's not working, so I'm going to have to try something else."

So they hop around and try the next best thing or new thing because they think it's going to sell better this time, and then it doesn't. And we end up having a jack of all trades and master of none, which can be a problem because then you don't get great at any one particular thing. And while you might be a good generalist, it might not give you a deep enough skillset to truly make an impactful change in that client's life, and get them the results they're looking for. So my advice would also be, if you feel like you want to bring on a new modality, or you have to learn a new thing, that's fine. We're all for learning. We're all for trying new things. But make sure you've also honed your marketing skills and your business development and sales skills so that you know that what you're doing now has been given a real shot at working and attracting those clients. And if it's not, then maybe that's an area to get support on first before buying that new machine or something like that.

Tara Swagger:

Yeah, I think that unfortunately, there are so many products too in our industry. I notice this a lot in groups on Facebook. I used to mentor in some of these groups, and, someone would ask, for instance, what's a good line for acne? And, of course, you get all these different people making 20 different suggestions.

What you need to do is choose a line that you want to work with, and then get really good with that line, and understand the ingredients. That requires that you're not just learning about the line itself, but you're breaking down ingredient knowledge, and you understand how they will work synergistically on your clients. I'm a big fan of product testing. I never, ever, ever utilize products with my clients or sell products that I have not tested on my own self or in my practice enough, to have confidence about what the results are going to be. And I think many people don't do this either because they're chasing what some random person on Facebook is recommending. They've been chasing all kinds of things. Today, this product sounds really good to them because they used it and had some results with their one client or their own selves with acne; and now all of a sudden it's a great product. But then a year later, they find that maybe they didn't understand the product enough to get it to work with all their clients. And I think that all of that "advice" becomes super distracting.

Another example is girls that do lashes in this business too--they're the same way. This lash glue is the best lash glue, that lash glue is the best lash glue, etc. Well, I hate to break it to everybody, but a lot of these glues have pretty much the same ingredients. And most of the time, it's about your skillset and application, and it's not necessarily the product itself. Almost all those products are going to work well once you become at using them.

The other thing I find with a lot of people in the industry is that they train once, and then they're like, "oh, now I, I'm, I'm good at this service because I, I'm certified!" You would be surprised by how incredibly good you can get by training in the same modality over and over again, which I know for some people seems ridiculous. But, you know, I used to do lash extensions years ago, and I trained with five different companies. And that's not because I wanted to be like, "look at me! I trained with five companies!" It was because I knew that in each training, while I already knew how to do that service, I knew I was going to get something more profound each time because I came into it differently, and different information when I left. I see a lot of people thinking that they get all the training they'll need in a one-day class, and then that's it. And then they start product chasing. But it's really the practitioner that needs to hone their skills.

If you are struggling to get your products to work, then you need more education on how to do the service, so that you can get good at what you have already. When you do that, then it's a very different story. Once you go out into the world, you're not chasing products, but because people are putting a lot more weight on whether the product is performing than themselves, they get very distracted. I think that way too about a lot of the machines for skincare. I use some machines in my practice, but not a lot. I certainly feel that my clients are coming to me for my education, and what I am providing in my service--not just for what machines I use or products I carry.

For example, a lot of people do great with HydraFacial®. I've never felt like it was a modality that fit for me. When clients call asking for that, I tend to think that maybe they're not looking for what I do, which is a customized service. So if that's the case, if that's what you provide, then don't decide you have to bring in a machine--just keep providing your customized service and let someone else who really likes HydraFacial and wants to use that modality, do that down the road and be successful in their own right. You will be successful with what you like to do by becoming really good at it--by getting the right education so that you can provide what you like and not get distracted by a $30,000 machine.

Rachael Pontillo:

You know, I really like that you brought that up-- that, if people are calling, just looking for a particular machine, or if they're calling just looking for a particular skincare line and you're looking to market that you are a practitioner of that machine or you carry that skincare line, that's all fine and good. But I feel--and this might not be a popular opinion--but I feel almost like it devalues you as a person, as a practitioner, and it puts you more in the category of just being a technician of that machine and of that skincare product. I understand that skincare product lines have their branded protocols, and that's how they like their practitioners to do their facials. Okay, fine. Same thing with machines--there's a certain way to use machines. I understand that there are some customizations that you can offer with those machines. But as a professional, I would not want to be less important to the client than the machine I use or the product line I use.

Before I became an aesthetician, I spent years in retail cosmetics. And in retail cosmetics, customers come looking for the product; they look for the brand, or they look for the free gift. They're not coming to you because you give great advice or that you do a particularly great job with makeup. If it's a cosmetic line that's more known for makeup artistry, and people are going to get their makeup done before a wedding or something, that's a little bit different. But if we're talking just retail skincare in a department store, they're not coming to you because of your skincare knowledge. They're coming because you sell the product they want, and that's all they want from you. I don't want it to sound crass, but I almost feel like the same thing happens when, as a licensed professional or a certified professional, we hide behind these brand name modalities and machines and products, and we only bank on that to sell the service. We need to be valuing ourselves as practitioners.

Tara Swagger:

I think that's exactly the whole thing with product chasing, right?  If you feel you're not successful because you don't have the right product, then you're probably missing something. There's actually deeper education to have. And I think personally, the beauty industry does not have a lot of great education. I mean, we have a great program with The Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioner® Training Program. And to be honest with you, I've taken just about all the programs there are, you know, so I can say that most programs in the beauty industry, are one-day classes. There's not a lot of in-depth programming, or they're very product specific.

People need to dive deeper into their education. That might mean that you take a class in a product or service that you already know how to do. I've done that so many times, and I cannot stress enough how that has so made me better in my business. When I go I learn a lot of the same stuff, I always learn that level just a little bit more each time. So many people think, "Well, I already took that class. I already know how to lash lift. I already know how to be a coach. I already know nutrition. I already know holistic health." The truth is that these are growing, changing industries all the time. And so, you might take another health coaching course, and might learn about nutrition differently.

This is what makes you better. And these are the parts that make you find your focus and attract more of the right clients. I tell people there's no such thing as a magic product. There are thousands upon thousands of professional companies that all have great products. People don't realize how vast this industry is, and how much is out there. So it's never going to be about the machine. It's never going to be about the product. It will always be about your skills, your education, and continued learning so you can be better at what you do.

It's never going to be the product. It's never going to be the machine. My service menu is 100% custom treatments, every single time. The protocols for the treatments that I offer are all written by me. I do not just blindly do services based on the facials or treatments that are put forth by the company. Sure, It's a great place to start. I think it gives you a basis to understand how that product line works. But how successful you'll ultimately become is not going to come from the company or machine. It's also not going to come from these girls in these Facebook groups. I really wish that people would put less value into what information they're getting there, because a lot of those people are fresh out of school too.

I always feel really bad because a lot of these people are just not getting good advice about how to be better at their job or how to handle situations.

Rachael Pontillo:

Absolutely. And you know, what works for someone else is not necessarily going to work for your practice, for your clients. And like you said, a lot of the people who post in these groups are newer practitioners who might only have experience with one product line. So that's the line that they're going to say is good.

Tara Swagger:

I think that's what happens with machines too. You go to a trade show and you're like, oh my God, they told me that I'm gonna make $80 off every treatment! Right. That might be true depending on where you are or what kind of aesthetician you want to be. And maybe if you're in a place where that's what a lot of people are looking for, it's attractive. It can be a modality that can maybe bridge the gap between what you're offering, what you really wanna offer, and what people wanna come in for. I think there's space for all those things.

When you want to find your focus, this is where that business plan comes in, once a year. It can be loose--you're not submitting it to a bank necessarily. You're just doing it for yourself. What are your goals for the year? What did you make last year? What do you want it to look like this year? What is the thing that you don't want to do anymore because you don't like doing it? What is the thing that you want to do that you really love? Put that on the list.

How can you support growing that one thing? How do you take the clients that want to come for waxing, and get them to become facial clients if that's what you'd prefer to do? If you do wellness coaching, how do you move your clients from beauty services and, and get them to start to listen and integrate some of your wellness practices?

You do it by starting with that business plan, and writing down your goals. Then highlight those things you want to focus on. And once you start shining the light energetically on, it's incredible how your business will just shift around that, by pure frequency.

And really seek advice from people that you want to advise you. Don't waste time in Facebook groups because you think you're going to get good advice, because you probably won't find yourself a business coach there, or tap into professionals whose opinions are qualified. I find that very distracting. So choose wisely who you're being advised by.

Take advice from successful people. Everybody has a different view of what that should look like. If you think success is that your whole day is filled with one type of service that you love to do, then take advice from somebody who seems to have done that. If your idea of being successful is making a lot of money and you want that big ROI on your services, then take advice from people who are getting that. Don't rely on advice from the manufacturers.

The other thing too, is not everybody is good at business, especially in the beauty industry. I find that most people in the beauty industry have no idea what their numbers are. They really are not great at saying, "Oh, I know what the margin is on this service."

I see people in Facebook groups asking, "How much should I charge for X, Y, and z?" So many variables affect that. I think to myself, "How can you get advice from somebody on what to charge if they don't know what your rent is?" They don't know what your, your costs are. They don't know what your taxes are. They have no idea your product cost, depending on what you buy. You cannot take advice about pricing your service from people who know nothing about your business or your clientele.

One of the other things I've noticed is people complaining about certain nail salons doing cheap brow waxing. They felt like their business was being stolen because our state didn't have licensing. And I said, "Nobody's stealing your business. It doesn't matter if they price their brow wax at $7, because then, they're getting clients that want to pay $7." You need to figure out what your price is based on your value, and stay in your space so that you can be successful. You should never be worried about what the lady down the road is doing. Let the lady down the road do what she wants. You have no idea if she's making money or not. She could be charging $7 for a brow wax and barely be paying her rent.

That's not the model you want to follow. The model you want to follow is the one that fits in your business with your clients, your passion, your direction, and your finances--and that is it. All that distraction is making people feel like they can't make money in the industry. It makes them feel like they're not good enough because they can't afford to charge $7.

So I hope people are listening to this, and are inspired to get some more education and learn some marketing. We have lots of great stuff with the Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance that you can do to get some marketing training, expand your business, and get more focused. So definitely get a little more organized with that because that'll be your biggest asset in the long run.

Rachael Pontillo:

I want to speak to the coaching and wellness side of this too because I know that we have people watching and listening to the podcast and who take our programs who are not hands-on practitioners, and what the distraction looks like. This is something that I've definitely experienced, since coaching has been primarily what I've done in my practice before I got into education. And I remember as a fairly new coach; I was pretty green with marketing; I was learning as I went; I was taking many online courses, hiring business and marketing coaches, and learning everything I could.

What was most distracting to me as a coach was the constant question of what program should I offer. Should I do like a three-day Facebook group challenge? Should I do a 21-day detox? Should I do a 90-day reset? Should I do a "new year, new you" promo? Should I do how to eat healthy around the holidays?

So many of the coaching programs give you pre-packaged programs to get you started. I remember, with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition--I don't know if they still do this because it was a long time ago--but they basically gave us these pre-packaged classes that we could teach. One was called "Sugar Blues" on how to cut your relationship with sugar. I think there was one called "Eat for Energy" or something like that too. And that's a great way to get started. But I remember being so excited to pitch Sugar Blues to my local library. I was going to go teach that, and I got there, and wouldn't you know it, I saw a flyer on their bulletin board for an upcoming Sugar Blues class taught by another health coach. And I was like, oh man! Well, should I pitch the Eat for Energy one then?

Even before I got into coaching, my reasons for getting into coaching were that my skin cleared when I cleaned up my diet. So, it was always about skin for me. Whether it was becoming an aesthetician and working hands-on for the short time that I did, learning to make skincare products and then teaching people to make skincare products, or becoming a health coach and learning more about the holistic nutrition side of things, all of it had to do with how to clear my skin? Once I saw how that worked for me, and I started teaching that to other people in my practice, which was required through my practicum at the time, and then I saw them getting results, I realized it all had to come back to the skin because that's what my story was.

It didn't help me to focus on all these other topics that I didn't resonate with, but they seemed like low-hanging fruit that were easy to teach. I think many people feel like, oh, everybody wants a "get ready for summer" type of cleanse, fall detox, or something like that. And that's when we start to see the market getting saturated with the same stuff over and over again. And it's not necessarily speaking to what your expertise is, your why--your story for why you got into this business in the first place--and what you can offer based on that. It doesn't speak to that unless you know you're putting your own spin on it. So obviously, I could teach a class about sugar and how it affects the skin, and I can talk about glycation, and I can talk about candida and how all of that affects the skin.

But the pre-packaged Sugar Blues class was not that. It was more about overall health, and maybe a little bit about weight loss. Even though weight loss was part of my journey, it was not at all what I wanted to focus on because weight loss is a whole different world than skincare is when it comes to client psychology and what is holding them back from getting results, and all of that. So on the coaching side, figuring out what your focus should be, I always tell you to think about why you wanted to get into this in the first place. Because nine out of 10 times, it's for a personal reason. Either somebody in your family had some health crisis that got better when they took a more holistic approach. Or maybe it didn't, and you thought, well, maybe if they would've been more preventative, this wouldn't have happened. For me, it was acne, and then it was weight gain after pregnancy. But even then, it was still about acne. It's different for everyone.

With the wellness and coaching side of things, people sometimes have more personal reasons for getting into it than for the beauty side of things. Because beauty is kind of seen as more fun and more surface sometimes. People don't always get into it for a specific reason. I've talked to so many aestheticians, and have asked them about their story. Why did they get into this, thinking that they had acne or some kind of skin issue. And a lot of them didn't-- they just like products, or they just thought it would be a great way to help women look and feel their best. So I encourage you to really go back to what that original catalyst was that made you walk this path for yourself and your own life. And that will lead you to how you want to help your clients.

Tara Swagger:

Well, and I think what you just said too, like in the wellness world, is that there are many different ways to apply the knowledge of wellness with your clients, right? You can also be distracted by every single whimsical diet that comes along, orideology.

Rachael Pontillo:

Don't even get me started.

Tara Swagger:

Right! So that particular part too applies just the same because when my clients and I are talking about the structure of their lifestyle, what I do, and what I apply in my life is very different from what a lot of people do. People come from a lot of different backgrounds, either cultural or maybe vegetarian, veganism, all the way up to carnivore. So there's all this spectrum. So again, it goes back to being educated, right? Because at the end of the day, it's about finding what you feel you can hone in on, and gaining a broad spectrum of knowledge. You know, you can take ten nutritional classes, and maybe they'll be a little bit different in some respect, but you keep taking them because you're going to keep getting more nuggets of information that you can then relay to your clients.

If you're in wellness and lifestyle coaching, there's no way you've gained all the knowledge to impart that to someone so they can go off and have the most perfect life. But the more that you stay educated and you keep honing your skills of understanding the biology, and how it applies to wellness, and understanding how to work with people, the better you're going to get at delivering and sharing that information.

In the wellness world, people are like very honed in on one style or one thing, or one diet plan, or maybe they're using the ones from their programs. They haven't honed their skills and their understanding enough, and then maybe they're struggling to keep those people on their books because they need to expand, you know? So keep expanding your education and deciding what you feel resonates with you so you can keep imparting that in both realms.

Rachael Pontillo:

Yeah. I wanted to round out this discussion with the question of when do you know it's the right time to bring on a new skill or learn a new modality or change a skincare line?  I would love to hear what you think because you do a few different things in your practice. I know you've got the coaching, you've got the hands-on, you've got the store. I have my business consulting, I have the online courses, and I have my skin wellness practice where I still work with clients who have skin issues. But for me, it's just evolved over time. It's been shaped by what my clients have either needed more of or needed less of.

I've consistently taken online courses, been consistently involved in masterminds, working with business coaches, or marketing agencies since 2010. I have like-minded colleagues who are not exactly doing what I do so that we can bounce ideas off of each other, collaborate, and brainstorm.

I've found that anytime I've made a change or a pivot, it's been one of two things. It hasn't been because something wasn't selling all that well. Because if something's not selling, then I figure out a different way to sell it. That's, that's how I've always approached it. And I feel like most entrepreneurs do it too. It's usually not the product or the service that's the problem. It's usually the positioning or the selling, or the marketing. There's always a different way to sell something. But if I've dropped or discontinued something, or created something new, it's because maybe the market has changed, and that offering is actually now obsolete, which does happen.

More people are teaching things online now. And even though I might be teaching things a different way than Susie Q in Canada is teaching, there comes a time when you have to decide if you are still really invested in this. Is this still how you want to be spending your time? How much longer do you want to be teaching this same thing? There have been courses that I have discontinued or retired, because I kind of just lost passion for it since I'd been doing it for so long, and now there are other competitors, and I have to make the decision. Is it worth retooling it again to keep it relevant, or is it time to let it go and try something new? So I think when you start to feel disconnected from something because you've lost the passion for it, it's time to make a change--not necessarily because it's not selling. If you still believe in something and feel like it still has life and people still need it, then you just have to find a different way to sell it. Yeah.

But if you go to deliver that service, teach that course, or sell that product, you're thinking, "Ugh, God, I wish I didn't have this on my calendar today. No, I don't want to do it. No." If that's a repeated thing, then that's a clear sign that it's just not in alignment anymore. And then whatever energy you're putting out to try to sell it will not bring back what you want because that negative energy comes through.

Tara Swagger:

Yeah. Well, I think you really summed it up. And the more you become educated, the more direction you'll have about what you should be doing. Because the more you learn, the more you get excited about how that might affect the people you're working with and how that can make them better.

I don't struggle a day in my job to enjoy what I do, because everything I do is some fraction of my personal growth, education, and development. If I'm working with a client--probably tackling lifestyle and wellness--we're also tackling some of their skin issues. Most of the time it always comes back to lifestyle and wellness anyway. But what I'm imparting to them is what I have personally experienced in my life, and what I continue to get educated on.

If you are in the beauty industry and you're obsessed with waxes, and so every time you go to the trade show you're trying and testing all these waxes, and you're able to do this great service in a short amount of time, and you're making top dollar, and you love it, it's never going to be about should you keep doing it or not doing it. Because you're delivering it, it's making you money and it's what you want to do.

I find that we've created a culture in a world where we no longer listen to our intuition, and we are distracted by all of the commercialism on what you should sell, or what you should buy; what you should do in your treatment room, or what machine to buy, or what diet to sell. And so we're looking around and trying to pluck out the things from the environment, but you need to pluck them from yourself. You have to say, "What in my life do I really love?" If you had acne and that's really what drives you, then that's a great thing because then you know that you're helping people with acne because it's what you needed help with.

Same thing if you're in lifestyle and wellness--sometimes it comes down to weight, but a lot of times for people it's just simply about not being sick.

Focus on what you love and what means something to you, and then the rest comes from there. And it sounds so whimsical, but the truth is that if you don't do that, you will find yourself either not doing well or probably unhappy in your job. And you'll find that your clients aren't resonating with you. My clients know that I'm driven by passion and I'm giving them, a very educated perspective.

Rachael Pontillo:

Another reason that I've had to pivot in my life- and I'm sure you've had to do this too- is because my kids' schedules changed. I used to teach evening classes and webinars all the time, but starting around when my one daughter was maybe 12, and my other daughter was ten, they started getting super busy in the afternoons with activities and homework and all that. The idea of then teaching an evening class after mommying for that time period--I, I was like, are you kidding me?

Tara Swagger:

And that's the greatest thing about being an entrepreneur is that we can change that. You can have a structure for what you really want to do, and then you can change it. I have kids too, and so my business has changed over the years. It's never going to stay the same. It's always in flux.

Rachael Pontillo:

We are organic changing beings. Our interests are going to change; our passions are going to change. Our beliefs might change as we age and experience more of life. I mean, my goodness, if I were to talk to a younger version of myself and have some of the conversations that I have as, you know, 45-year-old version of myself, I think the younger version of myself would think I was like some, you know, lame old person. And then, you know, if I were to go back in time and be a fly on the wall and listen to my 20-something-year-old self having conversations with my friends, I'd be like, oh my god. Grow up!

We change and that's normal. I also think that a lot of entrepreneurs are multi-passionate individuals. We have a lot of interests. One tip that I have found really helpful that I hope I can impart onto those of you who are listening is that if you're one of these people who always has great ideas--like once you get an idea, you're like, "oh my God, I gotta do this thing right now"--and then you do the thing and have another great idea before you really had a chance to see that one thing through. It's okay to like write it down and just put it on the back burner. And then, when you are doing your business planning, look and see which of those ideas might fit into that next plan.

If yearly planning seems too overwhelming for you, you can do quarterly planning. Quarterly, and then break it down into weekly planning. Nothing says that you can't try different things and you can't come up with new offers and new products or or services if you truly are passionate about it. But not everything has to happen right now. We're in this for the long haul, and there's time for that. And I think many of us worry that we have to do everything right now.

Tara Swagger:

Yeah. And I think people underestimate the long-term value of education. That return on investment's going to be way higher. It's different because you can't measure it the same. So, it's harder for people to envision how that's going to impart itself. But really, the best investment that you can make is classes, webinars, training, research, and books. Because you'll find that when your machine dies, and you have to buy a new one, can you say that that made you a better aesthetician? Can you say that it made you better at health coaching? Or does the way that you've learned how to help coach people make you better? That long-term investment is the best one. Don't be distracted by tools, lab tests, specific things like that. Stay focused on how you can be smarter, stronger, and better.

Rachael Pontillo:

That's going to make you more resilient. And I know nobody wants to think of the pandemic, but we saw from our perspective as educators that the people who had the most education and the most skills were those who could keep working when they couldn't work hands-on anymore. Those who could easily jump on the computer and figure out what they could do to make money right now with the knowledge and skills they already had, or who chose to learn new skills that were appropriate for that virtual setting kept making money. Once you get the education, it doesn't go away. It doesn't have a shelf life.

We would love to know your thoughts on finding your focus and avoiding distraction in your practice.

What have you experienced? What questions do you have? Please tell us in the comments below!

Are you looking to further your education or learn a new modality?

Check out our professionally accredited Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioner® Training Program! 

Skin Wellness Pro Show Episode 1.03: How to Handle Bad Customer Reviews Professionally title card

How to Handle Bad Customer Reviews Professionally

Are you worried about how to handle bad customer reviews professionally on social media? While it shouldn't often happen, getting blindsided by a 1-star rating or scathing comment on social media is part of being in business. What do you do? Do you respond? Not respond?

Today's episode of The Skin Wellness Pro Show gives you an intro lesson in taking charge of these digital interactions - because no one should ever leave an unhappy customer ignored and unheard! We'll cover our top professional best practices and what NOT to do when you get a bad review.

Watch episode 1.03 of The Skin Wellness Pro Show--How to Handle Bad Customer Reviews Professionally--below:

Listen to (or download) the audio below:

Read the edited transcript below:

Rachael Pontillo:

Hello everyone, and welcome to The Skin Wellness Pro Show, the official podcast of the Nutritional Aesthetics® Alliance. I am Rachael Pontillo, President and Co-founder of the Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance, and I want to say hello to our co-host, Tara Swagger, our Education Specialist. Hey Tara.

Tara Swagger:

Hi. Glad to be here. Excited for another podcast.

Rachael Pontillo: 

Okay. We have to talk about something that I think is one of my biggest pet peeves on social media, whether it's just on Instagram or in a Facebook group. And it's something that has been bothering me for years now to the point that we did an NAA File Card on it in the NAA File Card Library (available exclusively to CNAP students and lifetime NAA Members) about best practices on social media, and how to behave professionally in certain situations. But you brought up a story of something that you saw, and when I heard that, I was like, 'oh, no, she didn't!' And I've seen it happen frequently too. So why don't you kind of rehash what happened, what you saw, and then we'll dig into why we were both triggered by this as professionals, and how this person may have handled that situation more professionally.

Tara Swagger:

Yeah. So being a professional in this industry for this amount of time, certainly, over the last 15 years, we have a very different mode of discussion with our audience as professionals, and it's changed the face of the way things look. Before, in our industry, if like someone had an issue with an unhappy client, it could be damaging to your reputation, but it might have been less splashy than today.

Rachael Pontillo:

It would've been like more word of mouth.

Tara Swagger:

Right. And those things are gonna happen. It really doesn't matter how long you've been in the industry, how amazing you are, how professional you are--it's kind of a numbers game where people have experiences, and maybe their expectations weren't met, or maybe they just set this parameter that that wasn't how you were going to perform the service.

I've seen this topic discussed a million times in social media groups with other professionals. Unfortunately, some of the advice I see in those groups is cringeworthy.  But I think in general, people are trying, doing their best, and working really hard. Things can set you off, you know, they can really turn you on your heel, right? So for me, when I see this these types of issues, it's an energetic thing, right?

I think that, for the most part, when people's energy gets turned by a circumstance with an unhappy client, it can leave you spinning and railing.  Hopefully, if we can converse about this a little bit more, we can find pathways to help support people through these things, right? But this particular one--I can't remember all the specifics about it--but I happened to see an Instagram video, and I'm really not that familiar with who this person is. So the video comes up, and she says, 'I want to talk about something very serious.' And I'm like, 'Ooh, what's going on?' Right? Not thinking that it was something industry-focused. And she begins to talk about this very destructive circumstance she's having with this client and starts revealing a lot of information.

She starts talking about borderline medical information about the client that was shared with her as a professional. So when I hear this, I think, 'oh my goodness, this is not good.' It doesn't matter what the client did or didn't do. I'm listening to this and thinking, I don't ever want any of my clients to think that if there's some issue or maybe it's not working out between a client and me, that I would ever, ever discuss anything that was told to me as a professional.

Obviously in any circumstance, if you're a professional, someone fills out a consultation or intake form, none of that information belongs to anyone else in any manner whatsoever. Right? This also applies to what a client might share with you when you're discussing their personal life or anything else in the treatment room. And while we (as aestheticians) don't have a legal obligation to HIPAA, we should also carry ourselves as professionals in a way that protects important private information, right? So the woman starts to discuss a few of these topics, and she's mad because of X, Y, and Z, and I can't even tell you what the disappointment was in the service because I was so distracted by this, this situation.

And then I thought, well, who is this woman? What is this page? So I look at her profile, and then realize there's a three-part series there discussing this situation. So instantly, I'm like, oh my God, I can't believe this is being discussed. I'm looking through her page, and everything else looks really great and professional, and she seems like a very successful person. And quite honestly, I think this is why this topic is important because it shows that these things can affect us all. A client that leaves disappointed with their service, for whatever reason--none of it could even have to do with you. And a lot of that sucks because we can't necessarily control that. To some degree maybe we can, if we can see the client's having some issues, and we can help hone them in and help let them leave in a better state than what they came in. But that's not necessarily something we're always gonna control.

Rachael Pontillo:

And that's also not on us. That's not our job.

Tara Swagger:

Yeah. So, you know, bad reviews, whatever. This woman obviously felt very pulled off of her game. This is why I say this is an energy thing, right? Because we're being pulled into the fear response about what is happening with this client. Instead of being able to step outside and say, "I have 600 clients, all wonderful clients, all very happy. I have this one person that's struggling and is disappointed with this service..." Focusing on and giving power to that one person is pulling us away from all of the wonderful things that we have in our business or what we're providing. I think that's kind of what's important to discuss because, you know, energetically, we have to work harder at finding a pathway to either release this fear or negative situation that you might have, and not do it on your social media.

It makes me feel like this behavior represents all aestheticians or all nutritional workers. And that's not the case. It also makes me feel really sad that someone had that experience and then spiraled into a space that they probably aren't used to being in. And so I just think it's important to talk about professionalism and how we're portraying ourselves as professionals, and what is okay and what is not. It's not okay for clients to leave, and demand they get all their money back. It's not right for that stuff to necessarily happen to you. Sure. But it does. It does.

Rachael Pontillo:

It's like the old cliche of 'the customer is always right.' You and I, both, I'm sure have had instances over the many, many years we've been in this industry. Before I was in this industry, I was in sales, I was in retail, and I can tell you for sure that there are many instances where the customer is wrong. But if you want the customer to come back, if you want the customer to refer you, if you want other customers to be attracted to wanting to work with you or shop from you, then yes, the customer is always right.

And as the professional, as the business owner, or the brand owner, or the practice owner, you are the one who is asking for people to give you money to serve them. Right? So if I was a client of this person, and the video series or whatever wasn't about me, but if I was a client of hers, and I saw that on her social media, because there's a good chance that if I were her client, I would be following her on Instagram, right? If I saw her ranting and calling out another client for leaving a bad review after she had had a bad experience or whatever, I would be terrified. I would feel like I was walking on eggshells the next time I went for my treatment. I would be like, 'I, I, I don't wanna piss you off or anything. How are you today? Is everything okay? All right, good. I'm just gonna lay here.' That's not, that's not a really great experience at all.

So that energy that she put out, while she felt that she was sticking it to this client who, like, 'I'll show you to leave me a bad review online' or whatever, but she may really at the same time, have screwed herself when it comes to her other clients who may have seen that and are thinking, 'oh crap, what if I piss her off? What if I say something and she does the same thing to me? I don't wanna be called out on social media.' That is a huge risk in general.

Tara Swagger:

Well, it's an act of fear and desperation. I think that sadly, like what I gathered at the end of it too, was that I felt bad for her. Like, that's a really, really crappy situation. But we can't allow that energy to pull us into this place where we're creating this pathway to feed it. Because when you feed into the fear and you feed into the desperation, that gets worse. And just like you said, like, those are unintentional consequences that are going to happen. And I think it's an important reminder that you don't have to work with every client that walks through the door.

Rachael Pontillo:

Right? Not everybody is a fit. And that's one of the reasons why we feel that the Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance, that such a detailed intake is necessary, because you're not going to be for everyone, and not everyone is going to be for you. And that's fine.

One of the beautiful things about competition is that people are not necessarily competing with each other for the same clients because not everybody is going to be everybody's cup of tea. There have been instances where I've started working with clients or done an intake, and it's been clear to me that we're not the right fit to work together. And that's okay. It's not personal. There are no hard feelings. And luckily, I have a lot of wonderful colleagues in my network that I can refer people to, especially because if I know my colleagues' personalities and I know the personality of the person that I just did the intake with, in my head by before we even get off that call, I'm thinking, you know what? This person would be a great fit for so-and-so colleague. And then I do that introduction, and usually, everybody appreciates it. The colleague appreciates the referral, and the client appreciates the honesty because even if I'm not the right person to serve them long term, I've still helped them by giving them the referral to somebody who might be a better fit for them, personality-wise, energy-wise, scope-of-practice-wise, structure of how they work. There are so many reasons.

Tara Swagger:

I think that's why it's important. And I think that people who are newer in the business are going to have different feelings around what they want to accept and what they don't want to accept. And part of that's learning, you know? For me and my practice, there are things I don't do anymore because I don't think they're a right fit for me. And yes, if you know someone else they can be referred to, then that's great. If you're new in the practice, I think it's a different package because you are going to probably take clients that you're probably not as keen as to what's a right fit, right? Like, I'm certain I could think back to the beginning of my career and having some clients that weren't a right fit.

But you learn what the right fit is when you're starting to have issues with people or they're not causing you energetic distress or an energetic deficit. What I mean by that is, if you have clients coming in and you're working with them, but they're not listening to you, or they're not respecting you as a professional. And when you're young, I think you might not have the same confidence in what you're delivering. So maybe you take some of that on.

I can remember a time when I had a client that came in, and I could tell right away that she was going to tell me what kind of facial I was going to give her, right? And even at that point in my career, I knew that this wasn't a person I wanted to work with. She explained to me how she's had facials all over the world, so 'this is what you're gonna give me, or this is what you're gonna do for the treatment.' And first of all, what she rattled off isn't anything I would've given her because I could tell by her skin these were not appropriate treatments for her. And before I even got her into the bed, I said, 'you know those aren't things that I do or that I think are going to be right for you. So I just started to open the door to leave the treatment room, and I said, 'I just don't think that I'm probably the right aesthetician for you.' And I just walked her up to the desk, and I think I said 'no charge for today, and I'm certain you'll find who you want to work with, and, nice to meet you, have a great day.'

And the shock on her face was great, because I remember my front desk staff being like, 'I can't believe you did that.' She ended up leaving and she didn't come back. But I was at a place in my career where I wasn't going to have someone tell me what to do on their skin, if it's not right for them. I'm the professional.

Now, when you're younger and you have a client like that, you may not realize it until you have a few experiences with them. But if you have a few experiences with a client that's telling you what to do, or who's trying to pressure you into treatments that you don't believe are correct for their skin; then you'll start to have an experience where then you say, 'you know what? This is a person that's energetically depleting me. This is giving me a net negative.'

You shouldn't be nervous when you go to see your client. So if you see them in your schedule and you're feeling anxious, then you need to find a way to exit from that client. Now, I'm not saying that's easy to do. I mean, it's easy for me to do. I don't have any issues with that, but I've also been doing this for a while. But I think that it's valuable for people to understand that you don't have to fit in with everybody.

If you're listening to this podcast and you start to be like, 'yeah, that is true. I have that client. I'm sick of it. Every time they come in, I'm having anxiety...' that is not what we're supposed to be doing. So find a pathway to release them from you in some way. Hopefully, you can find it to be a professional breakup in a way. But certainly, as you get older and you have an experience where somebody is leaving you a bad review, again, don't feed the energy. You need to be able to say, 'this doesn't represent me or my business, but I can't control this person.' And stay in your space of growth and light so that, hopefully, your response is, 'I'm so sorry.' You know, send that person healthy, energetic light so you can release them from you and then make room for who you DO want to work with.

Because otherwise, you're just attracting the negative and the fear; and you're then displacing it on all these clients you already have who've heard you talk about this person. And I don't think this woman's intention was any of those things, but it's what happens. I also think that no dollar amount's worth the client energetically depleting you either.

I'm not gonna get into whether you should or shouldn't return or refund money, but I think that differs. When people value that dollar so desperately that they're willing to stay in the energetic loop of negativity, those dollars are not amounting to more than what you're losing by keeping that client. So I think you have to take a deep look at that for yourself.

Rachael Pontillo:

But you might get bad customer reviews. It's just part of doing business. If you don't have a type of business model where you're getting reviews, but maybe you're getting things like trolls online--people who are trolling your comments and putting nasty stuff that happened, people who are leaving nasty blog post blog comments, or YouTube comments, that happens. And, I will say, knock on wood, I've been fortunate that over the, gosh, it's almost 13 years that I've been online, that I've had the blog, and that I've been on social media for business--I can count less than one handful of times that I've had negative experiences, negative reviews, bad client experiences, or trolls.

You have to be able to decipher whether or not it's constructive. Because if somebody leaves a review or a comment that is constructive and specific, like, 'I didn't enjoy this experience because I don't feel I got what was advertised....I don't feel my expectations were met because X, Y, Z... I don't feel my personality and the practitioner's personality we're the right fit...' If it's something that is worded in a way that is helpful for you to improve, then I think it's a good idea to let that review or comment stay on your website or on whatever platform it is, and then respond to it professionally.

I think that the opportunity to show professionalism in how you respond to a bad review or a troll is something that everybody should take seriously. And I think that as you get more experienced, your impulse control grows a little bit. But when you're first getting started and somebody writes something nasty, and you're like, 'oh my God, how dare she, what, who does she think she is?' And then you might type a nasty response, or create a video where you take a screenshot and post it in your stories and tag them. I'm not big on the whole call-out culture thing.

That's not how I like to present myself online. I also don't see it as being all that effective. But responding professionally, responding ethically, responding gracefully--I think there's a lot of value in that because it can help diffuse whatever anger or disappointment that that client or that person was feeling. And then when they respond back, they might be like, 'oh my gosh, okay. You know, thank you so much for addressing that.' And then whoever is reading that in the future can see that exchange, and they can see how you handled yourself professionally. And then maybe they responded in a way that was a little bit less inflammatory. And I've had that happen. I've had blog comments from people who got mad at me about something like parabens, for example, and I had to like, take many, many deep breaths to calm myself down before I responded.

And then I'd respond, and type the response, and then edit it multiple times to make sure that it was, again, constructive and professional. Like I said, it hasn't happened a lot, but there have definitely been times, and that's when you are in business and when you are online, that you will encounter this. So I want to encourage anyone afraid of receiving bad reviews, or afraid of dealing with negative commenters online. that if it is constructive and something that you can grow from or improve, take the time to really process it. Let that initial sting, that raw feeling pass, take a breath, and then sit with it and be like, 'okay, what is this person actually saying? Are they just ranting because they were in a bad mood and they were just hell-bent on having a bad experience and they're just taking me with them?'

You could just say 'I'm sorry that happened. Good luck to you.' You know, peace out, God bless, whatever. But if the person is genuinely trying to communicate that they were disappointed by what you offered because they were expecting something different based on what you put out there, well, then that's something that, as a professional, you need to know. After all, you don't want that to happen again. So then you should respond back and ask for specifics and say, 'How can I have made that what you were expecting? What would you have liked to have seen communicated about the service differently so that it would've been clearer for you?' These are ways that we can grow as professionals.

When it comes to outright trolls--people who are just nasty for the sake of being nasty--there's something called the block button on social media. That's a beautiful thing. And if it's not somebody who is a customer, or who you care if they come back or whatever, if it's legitimately just some nasty person who's in a bad mood, you can block them. You don't owe anybody anything unless you're in a customer relationship. Period. And you don't have to feel bad about blocking them. It's really okay.

Tara Swagger:

I think that it's important that people know that, at different stages of your career, you're going to make different choices about what you're willing to deal with. Always know that if you keep making space for someone who is not treating you well, or who making you feel anxious because they bring in, maybe a demeaning attitude or a belittling attitude; if you make space for that, then you don't have space for the client that wants to give you the opposite of that. And I think it's really important to know that.

During a good portion of my career, my space was either rented at a hair salon or adjacent to that. I have seen clients say terrible things to their practitioners, and the practitioners take it. And I have let clients go because of the way they treated my staff. I've never had room for that kind of energy in my business or my life. If you talk down to my staff, I'm just not sure you're a good fit for my space. I was confident to do that, but I think that people should hear at least once that they don't deserve that. You don't deserve to have trolls around, but they're gonna be there.

So, make your choice to not give energy to that. Use the block button. You can also remove negative things from your social media feed. If something comes up in your social media that you think is negative, and is not something you wanna keep seeing, unfollow it. Because you should only create space for stuff that's giving to you and feeding you. You have to protect yourself, you know? And, and I think that's a learning experience for some. Always know that none of that is a requirement of these positions. You know? It's not.

We can control who's booked on our schedule. It's your schedule. You can take control of that. If you work for somebody, sometimes there are inevitable scheduling circumstances. If that's the case, then decide what you're going to do to protect your energy and create your boundaries so that you don't get pulled into some negative correspondence with somebody.

While it's easier said than done sometimes to smile and wave, do it anyway. At the end of the day, the person that was making that video trilogy about this person--and obviously it was upsetting to them, and I agree the circumstance was very, probably very jarring and upsetting. It's hard to imagine that if you spend that much time focusing on how negative and feeling the need to protect yourself or fearing backlash, all those negative things have now taken away days of your life. At the end of it all, I, I wonder if you look back and, and that person says, geez, I really wish I didn't spin in that direction.  So maybe you need to do a little reading or, or find somebody in your area that you can work with for some energy healing and say, 'look, I, I need to learn how to hold a boundary or protect myself so that I'm not attracting or entangling too much with some things that I can't control.'

If you're in a business where you can't control who's on your books, you don't have to live like that. And certainly, as a professional, I do not want to see other professionals behaving in an inflammatory way online, because it makes us all look a little questionable in a sense. You know, like, 'is that what people do if you see them?'

Rachael Pontillo:

Right. It's like, if I'm gonna go get a facial, I saw that this person who did a three-video series to call out somebody who had a bad experience, am I going to experience that too? I think especially when we're working in aesthetics and skin wellness, that's a vulnerable position for a client to be in. If you're getting a facial or getting a massage, you're literally  naked under the sheets.

Tara Swagger:

It's a trusting scenario. And if you're in those positions and you are with your therapist, you probably say things, people tell me things all the time. I never discuss a client with anybody. Even when I have clients that know each other. Even if they were in, I don't say 'I saw Joanne the other day. She came in for a facial.' I don't tell them that. Joanne doesn't necessarily want everybody to know how many facials she's getting! That's not anyone's business.

I also don't tell anybody who's a client of mine. I think that's because--and I believe truly that ultimately when people stay very committed to you, it's because they have built a lot of major trust. And you're not going to have trust from clients you've been seeing or new ones that you're going to get if you have any videos on your Instagram page or anywhere else where you're talking about other clients. It's just bad, negative energy. And you know, it's not going to give you the result you think, because ultimately in the end, I'm certain she doesn't feel better or more confident about the scenario.

Rachael Pontillo:

I don't think it got her any new clients. I don't think it benefited her in any way. Maybe she might have gotten some other people who were like, 'oh my God, I can't believe that happened. That sucks for you!' But that didn't fix the problem. And I can guarantee it probably scared away other current clients, and potentially deterred potential clients.

Tara Swagger:

And the poor lady is still left with dealing with this negative energy that she now has to figure out. So had she just at least focused on how to figure that out first, she probably could have missed the days of spinning out and doing probably all the wrong things professionally that could negatively affect her business.

Rachael Pontillo:

Yeah. So if you're someone who finds yourself in this situation frequently with unhappy customers or customers that you feel drain you energetically, or that you're just not looking forward to seeing, like, you look at your schedule for the day and you're like, 'oh my God, seriously?' So what do you do if that's you?

These are times that it's a good opportunity to pause and look at why you might be attracting these clients that are just not the right fit for you. Is it something that you're putting out energetically like we've been talking about? Do you put out this energy that's maybe chaotic or fear-based or kind of tabloid-ish clickbait? Because then that will attract very dramatic clients and not in a good way. Right? Totally. That's going to tend to attract people who are coming in there looking for a fight, looking for, you know, 'maybe I'll show up on her social media if I do this.' So is that something that you're putting out energetically? Is it a lack of professional boundaries, like Tara was saying? Is it a case where you've allowed a person to cross the boundary because you didn't have that established? Or is it something that there could have been clarification or a boundary set in a policy that is part of your intake form, or your website policy that they read, and they check a box, and they sign, or they have to agree to it before they book?

Tara Swagger:

Well, that's an excellent point.

Rachael Pontillo:

Yeah. These are things that can be prevented.

Tara Swagger:

Well, I think that, many people have been in the industry for a long time without a policy. And lack of policy also creates a lack of professionalism in your business in a way that allows clients or new people to create their own space over you.  Cancellation policies are a big one. I have a very strict cancellation policy, and I have wonderful, wonderful, amazing clients that I have had for years that spend lots of money with me, which I value very much in my practice. And they all know that I still have to hold space for this policy because my schedule demands it. They know that it doesn't matter how long you've been with me, unfortunately, if you cancel at this point in time, then there will be a charge.

This allows you to have a professional relationship with them, because now you're not resenting that client because you're still recouping what you need. I remember once having a client who would come in and see me for something simple. I think it was brows. She would have to cancel all the time, last minute, "I'm stuck in a meeting, I'm this and that, and this and that, and this and that.' And I would charge her every time. And then eventually, I know she was disappointed with the situation. And she said, 'well, I just can't control that.' And I'm just like, 'I'm sorry, that doesn't work for my practice. I'm not mad at you that you had to cancel because I have a policy to protect that.' So again, it's focusing on your boundaries and your energy. That policy is a big one, I think. Um, and most aestheticians or people in practice don't have that, but that is how you establish boundaries.

Rachael Pontillo:

It's setting clear expectations from the start before the relationship even begins. If you have an online practice only, you can still have an intake form built into your scheduling system that they have to read and agree to before they can even book a session. You also on your website can have a terms of use policy. You're required to have a privacy policy. And you can also have a comment and review policy. If you have a blog, you can have a policy about what comments you'll allow and which comments you will not. If you have a website where reviews are able to be posted by your customers, you can have a review policy that, you know, if the review meets these criteria, A, B, C, D, then it will stay. But then, this type of review is not allowed. Any review that is like this will be deleted. That's up to you.

And that policy can also extend to your social media if you want. You can have a story highlight that explains your policy on posts, comments, on DMs, on sharing content. These are all things that you can post in visible places. And if people don't choose to read them, that's on them, that's not on you. And you can say 'that violates my policy,' and then link to the policy period done. And then the problem is usually not going to happen again. At least not with that customer.

Tara Swagger:

Yeah. Those things are great. I think a lot of people skip over a lot of that stuff, unfortunately, but, or they just don't think about it. Lke you said, if someone is constantly dealing with this in their practice, I think that you should take a look at what's going on. Maybe you need to seek a consultant, someone that can help you take a deeper look, or just set some fresh eyes on things. I think that if you're struggling through some of those things, there might be some easy tweaks to do. And maybe it is policy, maybe someone needs to say to you, 'you need to reframe how you're marketing yourself so that people can see what you do differently.' In my practice, you have to have a skin health consultation first with me, before I work with you in any capacity. I often get people that will stop by in my store, and want to come in and have a really nice relaxing facial. And I always say 'well, you have to have a skin health consultation first.' And sometimes they don't want to do that. And I'm like, 'okay. That's just how my practice is. So I'm not mad that you don't wanna see me because of that.'

Those defining terms aren't, aren't for everybody. But I think you have to have some defining terms that create that passage for the right person. If you have a schedule with a hundred different kinds of services and you've got a hundred different Groupons out there, and you're constantly trying to give away your service, or you're constantly in a state of need or want or lack, then that is what's gonna happen for you.

You're going to open the door for people that aren't going to work with you energetically the way that you deserve. So you have to take a keener look at that and see what you're attracting. That's probably a great podcast for another time!

Rachael Pontillo:

Absolutely! We'll have to discuss that in an upcoming episode, but I think we covered a lot today. And I think the bottom line is when something happens that upsets you as a professional, just take a breath, take a pause, and also realize that you don't have to respond right away.

You can just sit with it for a little while. Maybe ask advice from a colleague, or if you do work with a business coach or consultant and see how somebody else might handle it. And then take your time in crafting your response if a response is appropriate, or if it is something that should just be blocked, then by all means, block it. Okay. We're not expected always to be available, like instantaneously if somebody sends in a review or leaves a review, we don't have to respond that minute with whatever we're feeling. It's usually best to just take a beat and then think it through and respond accordingly or not at that point. Totally.

So with that, we will be back soon with another episode, but this was a great talk today, Tara.

Tara Swagger:

Yeah, definitely. Awesome.

Periodic bad customer reviews are just part of being in business.

It can feel like the world is ending, but it doesn’t have to be that way! With the right mindset and strategy, you can convert even the toughest critics into loyal fans. You can turn good intentions into great results, and how you manage negative feedback will determine your success or failure. We're here to tell you just that – you CAN reclaim ownership of any negative review with grace and effectiveness.

Do you want to learn more practice-building strategies for your skin-wellness practice?

We address practice-related issues and offer solutions and best practices in each month of our Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioner® Training Program curriculum. Learn more, download our syllabus, or enroll HERE!

Beans, legumes and green sprouts. Dried, raw and fresh, top view

Micronutrients for Radiant Skin

Achieving clear and healthy skin is a goal for many people, but it can be challenging to know where to start. While many skincare products and treatments can help improve your skin's appearance, paying attention to what you're eating is essential. A healthy, well-balanced diet, rich with the right macro-and micronutrients, can significantly impact the health and appearance of your skin and can help prevent blemishes, inflammation, and other unwanted skin conditions. While dietary supplements are sometimes helpful, there's no substitute for real food-based micronutrients for radiant skin.


Here are critical micronutrients for radiant skin and their food sources:

Healthy foods high in antioxidants.


Antioxidants can help to protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals and environmental toxins. Foods rich in antioxidants include berries, turmeric, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and green tea.


Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy skin, as they help to reduce inflammation and promote hydration. Foods high in omega-3s include fatty fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts


Vitamin C

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for collagen production, which can help to improve skin elasticity and prevent wrinkles. Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, kiwi, tomatoes, and broccoli


Healthy product sources of zinc.


Zinc is important for wound healing and can help reduce inflammation and acne. Foods high in zinc include wild-caught shrimp, pumpkin seeds, grass-fed beef, and lentils.


Assortment food sources of vitamin E

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant that helps to protect your skin from damage caused by environmental factors like pollution and UV radiation. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe and calm irritated skin. Foods high in Vitamin E include pistachios, hemp seeds, and avocados.


Healthy products rich in vitamin A

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is important for maintaining healthy skin cells and promoting cell turnover. It also helps regulate sebum production, preventing acne and other skin issues. Foods naturally high in Vitamin A include beef liver, fish oils, milk (whole milk from organic, pasture-based cows is best), and eggs (organic, pasture-based eggs are best).

While plant foods do not naturally contain fully formed Vitamin A, many are rich in beta carotene--a ProVitamin A carotenoid antioxidant that the body stores and converts to Vitamin A when it needs to. These foods include carrots, red bell peppers, tomatoes, cantaloupe, and spinach.


Natural sources of vitamin B7 biotin


Biotin (B7) is a vitamin essential for maintaining healthy hair, skin, and nails. It plays a crucial role in cell growth and metabolism and can help improve your skin's strength and appearance. Foods high in Biotin include egg yolks, almonds, and salmon.


Hyaluronic acid and hyaluronic gel on stone table.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring substance that helps retain moisture and keep your skin plump and hydrated. Foods that support hyaluronic acid levels are bone broth, tofu, kale, and sweet potatoes.


In conclusion

In addition to eating a balanced diet that includes these micronutrients for radiant skin, it's also important to avoid foods that can trigger inflammation and breakouts — processed foods and foods high in refined sugar and carbohydrates.

By making healthy food choices and avoiding inflammatory foods, you can help improve your skin's health and appearance. While a healthy diet might not solve all your skincare problems, it can be a foundational step in achieving clear, radiant skin.


Do you want to learn how to help your clients make skin-healthier food choices (while staying within your scope of practice?)

Check out our professionally accredited Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioner® Training Program! Learn more, download our syllabus, and enroll HERE.

About the author:

Today’s post was written by our Advisory Board member, Jules Annen, PhD. Learn more about Dr. Annen HERE.

podcast episode: Environmental Toxins and Your Skin

Environmental Toxins and Your Skin (Video)

Have you ever had a client whose skin just doesn’t improve…even if they use professional skincare, eat clean, exercise, drink lots of water, get great sleep, all the things they're supposed to do?

The reason they’re not getting results might have nothing to do with their skincare or diet…the cause might be lurking in their home or office instead in the form of toxic mold, blue light, indoor air pollution, or another environmental toxicant (commonly referred to as "toxin").

If you’re an aesthetician or health coach looking for a more profound knowledge of how environmental toxins contribute to premature aging and common skin issues, look no further! We have a fantastic masterclass coming up for you on March 7, 2023, where we will take a deep dive into environmental toxins. By the end of the class, you'll know how to help your clients identify and avoid toxins that might harm their skin and overall health.

Learn more and enroll HERE.

But in the meantime, watch Episode 1.02, Environmental Toxins and Your Skin,of The Skin Wellness Pro Show for a preview!

Listen to (and download) the episode here:

For more information, enroll in our upcoming 2-hour masterclass about environmental toxins!

Click HERE to save your spot.

Happy young woman sleeping sunny morning on the bed.

It's Called "Beauty Sleep" for A Reason

Everyone knows the importance of getting enough sleep for overall health and well-being, but did you know that the quality of your sleep can also impact the health of your skin? It's true! It's called "beauty sleep" for a reason. The relationship between sleep and skin health is a two-way street — not only can poor sleep quality lead to skin problems, but skin problems can also affect the quality of your sleep.

When we sleep, our bodies go into repair mode. During this time, our skin undergoes a number of important processes that help keep it healthy and looking its best. For example, the production of collagen, a protein that keeps skin firm and elastic, increases at night. Additionally, skin cell turnover — the process by which old skin cells are replaced by new ones — also accelerates during sleep.

However, if you're not getting enough quality sleep, these processes can be disrupted.


Woman sleeping in bright room

Here are some common skin conditions that can result from not getting enough beauty sleep:

  1. Acne: Lack of sleep can disrupt hormone levels and increase inflammation, which can lead to breakouts.
  2. Dark circles and puffiness: When you're sleep-deprived, blood vessels under your eyes can dilate, leading to dark circles. Puffiness can also result from fluid buildup.
  3. Wrinkles and fine lines: Sleep helps the skin regenerate, and when you don't get enough sleep, the skin may not have enough time to repair itself, leading to wrinkles and fine lines.
  4. Dry skin: Lack of sleep can cause the skin to become dry and flaky, as the skin's natural oils are not produced in sufficient quantities.
  5. Eczema and psoriasis: These skin conditions can be exacerbated by lack of sleep, as sleep deprivation can increase inflammation in the body.
  6. Rosacea: This skin condition, characterized by redness and bumps on the face, can be made worse by lack of sleep, as sleep deprivation can increase inflammation and cause blood vessels to dilate.

So, what can you do to ensure that you get the quality sleep that your skin needs to stay healthy and look its best?


Woman waking up and stretching

Here are a few tips to maximize your beauty sleep:

  1. Establish a consistent sleep schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This helps regulate your body's circadian rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up.
  2. Create a sleep-friendly environment: Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool. Keep the temperature between 60-67°F and invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  3. Avoid screens before bedtime: The blue light emitted by screens like phones, computers, and televisions can interfere with sleep by suppressing the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Avoid using these devices for at least an hour before bed.
  4. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large meals before bed: Caffeine and alcohol can interfere with sleep, while large meals can cause discomfort and indigestion. If you need to eat, have a light snack a few hours before bedtime.
  5. Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help improve sleep quality but avoid exercising close to bedtime as it can make it harder to fall asleep.
  6. Relax before bedtime: Establish a relaxing bedtime routine, such as meditating, listening to music, or taking an aromatherapy bath. This can help you wind down and prepare for sleep.

Sleep rituals can help you get the quality beauty sleep you need for your health — inside and out. So, go ahead and catch some Z's, your skin will thank you!


Woman sleeping with eye mask

Did you know...

Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioners are trained to support their clients' skin wellness with solid education in lifestyle habits like sleep, in addition to nine other pillars of integrative skin curriculum?

Click HERE to learn more about our program, accreditation, and enroll today to start your path to certification.

About the author:

Today’s post was written by our Advisory Board member, Jules Annen, PhD. Learn more about Dr. Annen HERE.

The Skin Wellness Pro Show Ep. 1.01: Understanding Skin Wellness

We are so excited to announce the launch of The Skin Wellness Pro Show: The Official Podcast of the Nutritional Aesthetics® Alliance!

Watch (or listen to) the first episode of The Skin Wellness Pro Show, "Understanding Skin Wellness," below:

Or read the edited transcript here:

Rachael Pontillo (00:04):

Hello everyone. Welcome to the first episode of the Skin Wellness Pro Show, which is the official podcast of the Nutritional Aesthetics© Alliance. I am your host Rachael Pontillo, and I'm the President and co-founder of the Nutritional Aesthetics© Alliance. I'm also an aesthetician, health coach, skincare formulator, and business owner, and I am really excited to be here with you all today. And I also want to introduce my co-host, Tara Swagger, who is our Education Specialist at the Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance. Tara, how are you?

Tara Swagger (00:41):

Hi. Good, Rachael. So excited to be here. I'm a nationally certified licensed aesthetician. I am a Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioner® and business owner as well. I operate my own practice and we're both really excited to be here because we have so much to offer wellness professionals, aestheticians, and people that are seeing clients every day in their businesses, and working through some of the challenges that we see. We specialize in skin and align with health coaching, and we're dealing with so many issues today, not just with the clients but also as professionals. It's really exciting to be able to bring the chats that we get to have behind the scenes yes to people, as we start to unravel so many of these things that we think are going to be really great discussion topics for professionals and clients alike.

Rachael Pontillo (01:51):

Yeah, I agree. So many times when you and I are having our weekly calls for planning things for the Nutritional Aesthetics® Alliance, I'm like, you know what, that would be such a great podcast episode because you and I both get into, I don't wanna say rants, but we, go off on tangents sometimes of things that we see on social media, or that we see people asking for support within groups. And we realize that the support they sometimes get in the groups is maybe not so helpful.

But you know, I also want to point out that even though you and I have both been in the industry for probably around the same time, because I know we're similar in age, the way we practice is very different because you are practicing hands-on in the treatment room as an aesthetician and you also have a store; whereas my work has been virtual almost entirely the entire time that I've been licensed. I was in hands-on practice for a very short amount of time, and then I really focused solely on more of the skin wellness or skin-health coaching side of things rather than the hands-on treatments. Then I became more of an entrepreneur.

I think that the benefit for our audience of having both of us here is that we are showing what's possible in practice for practitioners in the world of Nutritional Aesthetics, and we're also able to share perspectives on things that we see, you know, you in your in-person treatment room and in your store and me, on the virtual side of things. I work with clients with skin issues on the coaching side, but I also do consult with business owners to help them with practice management, practice growth, and skincare formulation issues. So we're really covering a wide gamut of the entire industry just by putting our two heads together.

Tara Swagger (03:47):

Yeah, well, I mean, I think every time we talk, we always touch upon all of these pieces to the pie with our industry between beauty and wellness that have gaps; whether it's gaps in education or gaps in places for people to get information. And you know, I've been in a lot of different Facebook groups over the years and I hear and see a lot of people mentoring other people that are not giving good information and it's kind of difficult because, you know, while social media is really great for so many things, I think that there's such a plethora of people who think that they have answers for people. And a lot of times I think they're perpetuating bad information. Our industries are becoming so multi-layered. If you're in this industry and you're an esthetician, maybe your practice is really just waxing or lashes, or something more strictly to the beauty end, it doesn't mean that you're not having clients come in with other issues where you could provide them with great information that can help them.

If you're in the health and wellness field singularly and you're not in skin, you might get clients that come in with skin issues like psoriasis or eczema, and while you're dealing with their health from the coaching perspective, which is great, there's also knowledge to be shared in the middle there.

So I think what's really fun between the two of us when we chat is always that there's so much that we see going on out there, especially between the experience that we have. I think there are so many gaps in the conversation for most, and a lot of what I'm seeing too with social media is that things are not as realistically portrayed as I think most people in our industry are dealing with or working with, you know?

I think it's wonderful when you're an aesthetician, and you're on a vacation, showing pics of that; or showing very upscale fancy spa images, or things like that. That's great. It's wonderful. We want to see our industry thriving and growing, and it's wonderful that social media is giving a lot of people space to do that. But I think there's lots and lots of people that are working in this industry, either one-on-one, virtually,  or you're working hands-on--you're a single aesthetician or a single health coach and that's not what your business really looks like.

So I think we're looking to get something brewing here with our conversations that give people a space to come where they're going to hear some real-world information, and not feel like this isn't about the glitz and the glam. I mean, there are a lot of things that we deal with that are difficult to maneuver in our practices with ourselves, with our clients. And I think this will be a really great space for us to chat about what it looks like in practice and from the perspective of maybe what doesn't seem as fancy on Instagram, but in the real trenches of the kind of work that we're doing.

Rachael Pontillo (07:12):

Yeah. And look, we're not knocking people who have gorgeous spaces, and really nice cameras, and who are great with their lighting, and have learned the skill of beautiful social media photography--because that is a skill for sure--and it takes time. But, you know, it's not a reality for so many practitioners, whether you're on the aesthetics side or the skincare side. I mean, I'm in a basement home office that I've decorated to look professional. It's been through multiple iterations, but this is certainly not, you know, some swanky high-rise corporate office building where I have a conference room, and all these things available to me. This is stuff that I've pieced together over the years because I started my businesses when my children were in, I think, kindergarten and early preschool. So I was just able to do little bits at a time, invest little bits at a time as money started coming in.

And it grows. I mean, if you look at videos that I do nowadays versus videos that I did back in 2011, 2012, <laugh>, let's just say, I don't even like to look at them because <laugh>, the lighting is awful. And it's not even perfect now, but it's better now. And that's the really cool thing about being in business today with technology on our side. There's always a version 1.2 or 1.4 or 2.0. We can always improve. And I think letting the idea that it has to look a certain way, hold you back from getting yourself out there, is something that I really want to help our students and other professionals in our community to overcome. Because just like having a baby or buying a house, there's maybe an ideal time that you might plan, but usually there's never the right time or the perfect time.

If you keep waiting for when it's going to look perfect or when you're going to be fully ready, then that day sometimes just never comes. And then you're missing out on all of the amazing benefits that you could be having by being in practice. And your clients--people who need you--are also missing out because they don't know how to find you since you're not putting yourself out there for them. So I also hope that this show will help our skin wellness pros feel confident that they can get out there, and they should be talking about topics that are important to their clients so that their clients--current and future--can find them, and see them as a resource.

Tara Swagger (10:08):

Yeah. It's funny because, I mean, I've been in practice for 25 years, and it wasn't until right before Covid that I had to get on the computer in a way that I wasn't before. I always had a website and I had some social media. I had a successful practice. So from that perspective, for most aestheticians in this industry and maybe probably from our age group that have been working all this time, social media wasn't the thing. That wasn't how you built your clientele. I mean, mine was built on my referrals, my clients, and recommendations. And certainly, after 25 years, it's been a while. So I've created a reputation, but you know, right before Covid,  things were already shifting, and now the perspective of everybody's business has changed.

There's no doubt about that. If you're an aesthetician, health coach--if you're doing any kind of health and wellness work--even if you were hands-on in a different part of the wellness industry, that all changed very dramatically. Covid meant that people were doing classes virtually, and that launched my virtual class program with my business. And I went virtual with my consultations, which never really was something I needed to do before with the way my business was. But when, when we were closed, I had to sort of pivot and really take a look at what that was going to be like. I mean, I, I bought some lights, but I was filming actually, in a beautiful camper we had at the time. So I was out there to get quiet, away from my children <laugh>.

When I was filming out there, it was all very new and very nerve-wracking. I am not a social media expert in any way, shape, or form, but we both know our industries really well and we know the ups and downs and challenges it has. And I think there are a lot more people in the field of working in these industries that might even be actually in our age group, sort of in that in-between space. As we look at these social media profiles where people are having more, you know, glamorous-looking stuff, I think it seems intimidating to people because they feel like that's the kind of practitioner they need to be these days.

And like you said, that's great for them that their stuff is beautiful. I'm happy for them that they're having beautiful vacations or are growing great, beautiful spas. But I don't think that's the majority. What we really want to share here is a perspective for clients and professionals alike to learn about things that we do, how we work with clients in the form of nutritional and holistic aesthetics; how we manage our clientele through wellness; and how we do that both virtually and in person. Sort of the real talk, right?

What we're we're hoping is that the audience will really enjoy this kind of content, sharing about our practices even as different as they are. We're looking to expand the conversation where people can get some professional advice that comes from two people in the industry that have been in here for a very long time, as opposed to maybe a Facebook group where, you know, 25 people weigh in on something, with a lot of different answers. People have to be leery about where they're getting their advice from too, and it's easy with the Internet because it's everywhere--but you need to get advice from people that have solid backgrounds in this industry when you're making changes to your business or you know, talking about things like insurance, or scope of practice. And there's a lot of misinformation out there. So I think these conversations are just going to be so great for us to have in a way that hopefully really helps other people.

Rachael Pontillo (14:29):

And I also wanted to address that when it comes to misinformation spreading, or people giving advice that's maybe not great in the groups, it's almost always never intentional. It's, unfortunately, the truth that there are gaps in education because every state has different requirements. There's no way an aesthetician is going to get as much education in 250 hours as they would in a state where they have to have a thousand hours, for example. There, there's just no way. And it's the same thing with so many different health coaching programs, so many different nutrition programs; and even levels of practice that might have a higher scope of practice such as dietitians and even some doctors. They're still being trained in very specific modalities where they're not going to necessarily have all of the information about a complimentary modality, simply because they haven't trained in it. So we're not here to say that one way is better than another way.

We believe that beautiful skin and health and confidence--that's the top of the mountain, and there are multiple paths to get there. We all want our clients to look and feel their best and live a good quality of life. But it absolutely is true that the way that education is delivered in these different philosophies and methods of practice is very different, and there's no way for it to be completely inclusive otherwise, everybody would be practicing in a fully holistic way incorporating all sorts of integrative modalities.

Usually, that's not what happens. You get licensed in one thing, you start working, you're making money, and that's going well. And usually, you don't go for something else until, maybe the numbers start plateauing, and you're not growing anymore. Or maybe you get bored and you want to learn something new to add to it.

We want to make sure that, you know, when the audience comes to us with questions, we give answers from a very integrative background that's cited and valid, and not just based on opinion--but because we do both practice in different ways, we also want to share our experience so that hopefully those of you who might be unclear or struggling with a particular topic can get not only the textbook answer but also the real-world perspective on how people who are working in this field are actually handling these challenges with clients.

Tara Swagger (17:21):

Well, and business too. I think everybody's practice is so different and unique. What I always tell people when we do classes with students is that my practice isn't gonna look like yours. So you can ask me, and I can give you suggestions based on what I do, or what I've seen, or what I've learned, or what I've experienced. But it's never a matter of trying to mimic what I do because you have your own package of skills, and you have your own package of things that make you special as a, as a practitioner. And that's the beauty of our industry too--throughout health, wellness, and skincare--is that people gravitate towards their practitioner for a lot of reasons. And most of those reasons really have to do with you as a person.

We see so many different layers of what different people bring to the table in our field. We're seeing a lot more energy work in health and wellness, and even incorporated into skincare, which is great. Stone medicine is really becoming a movement. And of course, in skincare there are tons of modalities and machines that people say are the best ever. We aren't here to tell you which one's the best. We want you to cultivate your own best practice, and your own relationship with how you deliver your treatment.

I've changed my treatment and my menu plan many, many, many, many times. As a matter of fact, there are always shifts and changes to it yearly in some capacity. And that's based on my continuing education. We wanna talk to talk about the things that are challenging in your environment or in your practice, or with clients that you're seeing in real-time that we have experience with, or we can bring on guests that have experience in those things.

But it's really about how can you cultivate the best practice for you? It's an organic ebbing and flowing thing that continues to happen. So what's great about these conversations is as things change in our industry we can continue to bring forth that information in terms of how it relates to how people are working in their fields, in real-time. You know?  In your practice, you might be a single aesthetician, a single health coach, only virtual, only hands-on, maybe you want to do a mix, or you don't want to do a mix. You love machines, you don't love machines, you like stones, you don't. There are just so many things that I feel are great conversations to be had here on the Skin Wellness Pro Show.

Rachael Pontillo (20:26):

Yes. So that is a nutshell of why we are here, why we decided to launch The Skin Wellness Pro Show, and even have a podcast under the Nutritional Aesthetics® Alliance's umbrella. We kind of switched from talking about Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioners® to simplifying it to skin wellness professionals to skin wellness pros. The background of why that happened, at least on our side of things is because Facebook decided it didn't like the word "nutritional" in our url. So it started blocking any blog posts that we would try posting. So instead of trying to argue with Facebook for them to allow us to post our blog posts again, which was a futile effort since they don't respond <laugh>, we just changed the our url to for our Alliance.

It just made me start to think of how we really are skin wellness pros because, at the Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance, our mission overall is to advance an integrative approach to healthy skin. And that means from the inside out, it means from the outside in, it's the whole big picture.

We chose the word "integrative" instead of "holistic" because the word integrative we just felt was a little bit more inclusive of people who practice in different ways. Whereas if we went with the word holistic, we might not have reached people who are working in the medical aesthetics world, and want to incorporate more natural or holistic things into the more clinical side of things--because there is room for all of it and they can work together.

So for me, a skin wellness pro is a professional, and you don't have to be an aesthetician. You can be a health coach or a body worker or someone else who supports clients with skin issues or who helps clients maintain their outer glow by helping them with mindset, lifestyle, nutrition, and all of that. It's basically any professional who is helping their clients have amazing skin and overall well-being for life in a sustainable way, and in a way that does no harm, and seeks to support the skin and support the body that so that it can do what it was designed to do.

That's my definition of it. But Tara, I would love it if you could share your definition or, how you've come to understand the term "skin wellness," or "skin wellness pro."

Tara Swagger (23:09):

Yeah. Well, I think you really covered a lot of it there too. Just like as a professional, where you have your own very particular bag of tricks, and way about you that's special and unique from every other practitioner; so is your client, right?

We have a world filled with a lot of different things today. There are a lot of different clinical approaches to skin. There are a lot of medical approaches to skin. And when you see clients, whether it's for health, nutrition, wellness, bodywork, whatever, they're all doing an intake. And these intakes are coming with a lot more information today than they used to. More people are taking different medications, there are nuances with different laser treatments that they might be getting with their skin, or chemical peels, or injections.

When I started in the industry, it was rare to see somebody with injections. I worked with a dermatologist and that was sort of the beginning of Botox being easier and more affordable for the average person; and not just for celebrities or for the very rich. I remember those days with that clientele, but that was sort of new, right? And now more and more people are seeing that.

Even if you're a wellness professional or a bodyworker like you said, you might have somebody come in that has had certain work done, and some of that might even be you know, tummy tucks and different types of surgeries that have scar tissue, or things that might change how you're working with the body, or how you're working with the client because of their mindset as well.

And so there's the psychology of your client. This approach is about becoming a more informed professional on the nuances of our businesses; they're so layered these days. They're layered, layered, layered, layered, layered. And quite honestly, I think you can put a lot of these pieces together and never come up with the same outfit twice, right? Because there are so many different kinds of people out there.

These conversations are really important because what we really want to hit upon is all of those nuances. You're gonna see so many different people, and it's good to have conversations about what that looks like for your client. Because your clients are very special in the way that they come to you, and you want to be able to serve them in the way that suits them, right?

I mean, suit yourself too, because that's important. You know, we have to kind of cultivate what kind of practitioner we want to be, but also being able to meet your client where they're at and help them attain small successes is just as important as the client that wants to dive deep and wants to do all the things and all the things at once right now, <laugh>, right?

It's just important that we have these types of conversations as we start to target different topics together where people can come and listen to how they're being handled in the industry, and what that looks like in real-time.

We want to reach people who are maybe new to the industry and don't have a lot of experience, who aren't going to have a lot of stories to tell or learn from yet. So this is a great place for new aestheticians as well, to hear conversations about what those topics might look like in the treatment room with your client. And hopefully, you can pick up some things that help you feel more confident when you are; when you meet a client and you're like, "oh, I remember them talking about this on The Skin Wellness Pro Show. And so I think I can apply some of these, this advice that they were giving in."

Or you might hear something that's new to you about, maybe, a side effect of a medication that might be causing an issue with skin or with someone's health.

Hearing topics like that get discussed as they're coming up, and as things continue to change in the industry, will be helpful for aestheticians and wellness workers alike to hear these conversations, and maybe grab some insight into what they're seeing in their practice. And so it's really exciting to start working together in this capacity. Yay.

Rachael Pontillo (28:18):

Yeah, I'm really excited. So that's pretty much what you can expect from The Skin Wellness Pro Show. We're just gonna have real conversations. We'll talk about some issues that are currently affecting practitioners, as well as clients. You might see some guests joining us from time to time.

We love talking with our Advisory Board members, as well as our Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioner® Training Program graduates and our members, so you might see some of them drop by from time to time.

And we also want to invite you into the conversation. We are brand new with this show, and we want to make sure that what we cover serves you as practitioners. Or if you're not a practitioner, but you're someone who's looking for advice that is valid and credible about skin or skin wellness issues, we would love to hear from you too.

So if you have any questions that you would like us to answer, or topics of conversation that you would love to see featured in an episode of The Skin Wellness Pro Show, we would love for you to let us know by either commenting under the video on YouTube or our social media platforms. Or you can DM us or contact us through our website, which is And while you're there, make you check out our blog. There are several hundred articles on skin wellness topics, and if you are a practitioner looking for a new modality of practice or some continuing education credits, we have classes for you to check out on our website as well.

So I think that's it for our very first introductory episode!

All right. Well, you know, we are such a new show. We don't have a fancy sign-off for you yet, but we're working on it. So between now and when we see you again, we hope you have a beautiful day and gorgeous skin. Something like that. There you go. Yay, <laugh>. Stay well. All right. Thanks everyone. We'll be back again soon with another episode.

Leave a comment about aromatherapy in the spa!We'd love to hear from you!

What does "skin wellness" mean to you? What topics would you love to see featured on The Skin Wellness Pro Show? Tell us in the comments below.