Dying to get out to a cosmetic practitioner to get your skin in check? I feel ya! Just when we think we’re safe to start booking face to face appointments again, yet more lockdown rules come into play. Fortunately, there are ways around the issue, though. Take econsultations - virtual skin consultations with a professional who will be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to your skin and its bespoke needs.
I get that, for some people, the idea of doing this sort of thing via a video call can be worrying but, honestly, there’s nothing to panic about at all. And, at the end of the call, you’ll probably feel like you’re chatting with an old friend. So, how do you prepare for a virtual skin consultation? I spoke to three skin pros to find out…
What are the benefits of a virtual skin consultation?
Dr Emmaline Ashley - aesthetic doctor and owner of Ashley Aesthetics - says, “an econsultation is a virtual consultation via a video-chatting software with a medically-qualified aesthetic professional. While nothing can replace a face-to-face consult, it allows you to have a comfortable and friendly conversation with an expert so that you can ask whatever questions you may have – whether it is about a new treatment or an existing one.
Lockdown is a very difficult time and it's been frustrating for both practitioners and clients to not be able to see one another in clinic. The beauty of the virtual consultation is to reassure you that we're still here and still able to answer your questions and see you, and to make sure that continuity of care always remains. And if you want to start a new medical-grade skincare plan or discuss and plan for a future aesthetic treatment, you can do so virtually, without having to wait for clinics to reopen. We know how important self-care is at this time, so know that we're all still here for you!”
Natalie Haswell of Haswell Aesthetics Medical agrees. She says, “a virtual skin consultation, AKA an online econsult, is so easy! You can attend one anytime, anywhere but, ideally, somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed to maintain confidentiality. Your little ones could even be in bed and you can attend these from the comfort of your own home if having “you time” is rare. Whatspp video, Facetime, Zoom or any way suitable we can connect with you. You could even attend in your lunch break! There is reduced risk of Covid transmission, with ensured social distancing and no need to wear a mask.
And for Dr Claire Ashley of Aethra Aesthetics, the key benefits of a virtual skin consultation are that “there’s no travel time involved, which is a huge benefit. Also, appointments are typically offered flexibly and can fit into your day easily. Not only this, but reduced footfall in clinic means that your practitioner is working in the most Covid secure way possible.”
What should I do to prepare for an online skin consultation?
Thankfully, there isn’t a massive amount of preparation required of you before an econsultation. Here are the few things that our practitioners recommend...
Natalie Haswell recommends “being ready with a fully charged phone or laptop and a cup of tea or drink of your choice at your agreed time.
You do not need to worry about anything before, during or after an econsult and there will be nothing you can’t answer; it’s not a test. Just please be honest so we can recommend the best treatment or products should you be suitable for a treatment plan. It’s all about you and there is no shame in anything you do - even using face wipes. The econsults are completely confidential, just like face-to-face ones. All consults are no obligation, so what’s the harm in having one?”
Dr Claire Ashley suggests ensuring “you have a good wi-fi connection, are sitting with good lighting and have a makeup-free face. If your practitioner requests it, please email photos across prior to the consultation, but they will let you know if this is something they need. Finally, ensure the space you are in is quiet and free from interruptions."
What not to worry about before a virtual skin consultation
Dr Emmaline Ashley explains, “Don't worry if you're not too sure what to ask or what you want yet. It is a friendly conversation and your aesthetic practitioner will work to get to know you and you will come up with a plan together! Everyone is a little bit different. Some people have sat down and done a lot of research so come into a consult with very specific questions that they want answered. Others may be looking into aesthetic medicine or medical-grade skincare for the first time, and might just be looking for more information or clarification. Just know we're happy to answer anything that comes to mind.
Finally, I know some people hate seeing themselves on camera (myself included!), but don't feel self-conscious or like you need to dress up or put on make-up for the consult – unless you want to! It's a completely private interaction between you and a healthcare professional, we are friendly and non-judgmental, and the most important thing is that you feel comfortable.”
And Dr Claire Ashley reassures, “Don’t worry if you’re working from home, self-isolating or have childcare issues. You can reschedule and your practitioner will be happy to accommodate you."
Easy! So, while you can’t get out to see a practitioner face-to-face, at least there’s technology and amazing products in place that allow us to get the amazing skin we’re after. Whether your skin concern is acne, signs of ageing, maskne, rosacea, pigmentation or anything else in between, Glowday is now offering an amazing new Skin Consultation service, which allows you to chat to qualified pros who can give you bespoke skincare recommendations. Check it out and get glowing!