Teaching by example: From aesthetician to aspiring health & beauty columnist

by Imee Ong-Maghanoy
“THOSE who know, do. Those that understand, teach.” – Aristotle
When people ask me why I do what I do, I always tell them that my calling is in helping people achieve their health and beauty goals, but what I look forward to every day is seeing them take the first step.
In my line of business, “partnership” is the key. As an aesthetician and an entrepreneur for over 20 years, I’ve made it my goal to empower my clients and help them make informed decisions (regarding their skin and body) by educating them every step of the way. In the same token, I want to be able to share that knowledge via every medium possible. This ignited my vision to become a health and beauty columnist. It was also made possible by the staff of the Asian Journal to whom I’d forever be indebted.
Being an aesthetician is my passion but teaching is in my blood. Like I said in the beginning, I love helping people but my main goal is to teach them how to take care of themselves. As co-owner and managing director of a medical spa, I am blessed with the opportunity to do this every day. It would be an injustice not to impart what I know. Writing about my experience and expertise is like giving back to the community. It is through my column that I wish to inspire my readers and educate them about health and beauty.
What started my journey in the medical field, is my fascination to medical treatment. It’s probably the reason I earned my bachelor’s of science degree in Biology and Dentistry in college. Though I graduated with a degree in Biology and Doctor of Dental Medicine, I fell in love with a different career. And it happened when I was seeking treatment for my own skin problem.
Having acne as a young woman was not a good feeling. I was determined to do whatever it takes to get rid of it. When I sought treatment, I was always around dermatologists and skincare specialists. That’s where I became exposed to the practice and got more and more into it as I saw improvements in my own skin. And before I knew it, I was already interviewing for a staff position at the same center who treated my acne.
Back then, there was no medical spa. The facilities and the technology were outdated compared to what we have now. People would have their pimples extracted and leave with some creams and medicated soaps. It sure does the work but the treatment is not as focused and customized as I hoped it to be. Right now, we can customize the treatment plan for each and every client. It’s very personalized and yields amazing results!
What I love most about my job is talking to people. I can talk to them all day and not get tired of it! When a client walks into my clinic, I get excited knowing that I’d have someone to talk to and help at the same time. With these clients, we don’t look at them as means to earn. While it is true that they are willing to pay to fix their problem areas, I don’t see them as an “income-source” but as someone who will be part of my crusade in promoting great skin and health. And that is what makes it all worth it.  Anybody can do what I do but what sets our business apart is how we treat our clients. I go above and beyond for my them by formulating a treatment plan that may not be what they initially wanted but what would work best for them.
Yet like any other profession, we cannot please everybody. Handling people’s objections is an obstacle I face every day but I tackle it by exercising transparency.  I make sure clients are aware of the probabilities and risks. There is no such thing as “guarantees.” We don’t make empty promises and false hopes. We tell them the plan and we evaluate the results every step of the way.
As far weight loss is concerned, we see to it that clients know that as their coach and medical practitioner, we help them start the process of losing weight but we don’t stop at making them look good. We train them to change their lifestyle and maintain their ideal weight.
To be a successful aesthetician is not rocket science. But he or she must have passion and love for the craft. Also, one should be willing to learn something new every day. The best way to learn is by teaching. I’ve decided that aside from teaching my clients, I want to reach an even wider audience. It is my hope that I achieve that goal through this column.
Imee is an established aesthetician, a business owner and a managing partner for Image Spa MD and CEO of Image Body SPA. She has a degree in Biology and Doctor of Dental Medicine. Image Spa is now one of the most reputable medical spa facilities in LA and has branches in Rancho Cucamonga and Encinitas for Image SPA MD and Image Body SPA-West Hollywood. Imee has been in the aesthetics industry for over 20 years.

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