I just left the hospital after visiting my father, and although I am not in the habit of talking about personal issues on a public discussion forum, I felt compelled to share some thoughts with you all.
Most of you on skincareprofessionals.com are estheticians, and I trust that you know and care how damaging smoking cigarettes can be to the skin. Some of you who have built a close relationship with a client who smokes will, most likely, gently let that client know that smoking can wreak havoc on the external appearance of their skin, just as sun damage can. (I am certain that you don’t hesitate in the least to advise your clients to wear sunscreen if they want to protect their skin.)
We all know the medical risks that come with smoking. This year I have learned first hand how devastating those can be. Two months ago, my father lost his left leg, due in large part to smoking for more than 60 years. My family just found out that he may soon lose his other leg for the same reason. Granted, my father is 87 years old, so he is lucky that his body was strong enough to withstand this for so long. Others might not be so lucky.
It’s not an esthetician’s role to give health advice, but you can remind clients that smoking is a sneaky thief of their looks. That information might just be the tipping point that makes someone decide to quit, and leads to a huge positive difference in their (and their families’) quality of life. And, if you yourself smoke, as I once did, I hope you’ll try whatever it takes to quit. Believe me, I know it’s not easy. I quit 15 years ago after smoking for more than 20 years. It has been the best thing I’ve ever done for my health. It is heartbreaking to see what my father is going through. And knowing that it could have been prevented makes it even worse.