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The Future of Beauty: Kim Laudati Of The Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences On How Their Technological Innovation Will Shake Up The Beauty Industry

Think “enhance” not “change.” Loving who you are and making enhancements to your natural beauty are key to being happy within yourself, not wanting to make drastic changes. “Buyers remorse” is often a real thing in Medical Esthetics when you make drastic changes! Fixing botches or reversing the outcome isn’t as easy and uncomplicated as returning a shirt you don’t like the day after you purchase it. Sometimes it is not even possible.

As a part of our series about how technology will be changing the beauty industry over the next five years I had the pleasure of interviewing Kim Laudati

Kim is a licensed NYS medical Esthetician, certified NYS phlebotomist and certified NYS Esthetic Teacher. She has a long history of successfully training students via private Advanced Clinical Esthetic workshops and at Atelier Esthetique. Kim is the Medical Esthetic Program Director for Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences, and the creator of this advanced program. Her background includes extensive experience in the development of sports medicine treatments which lead to skin treatments, owning/operating a NYC medical esthetic clinic, working with renowned NYC Plastic Surgeons and their elite clientele, and extensive Laser and Light treatment experience in the Operating Room. Kim also has 35 years of cumulative experience in Team Management, talent development, and continued support for success, along with new business development, high-end private brokering, and oncology skincare. Kim is a premier NYS Medical Esthetic teacher thanks to a lifelong passion, deep knowledge of esthetics, and her “paying it forward” teaching techniques.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

My story is an age-old one. I battled acne and then also Rosacea in high school and throughout my twenties. I worked closely with a few Dermatologists throughout the years, but in the end, it was a Team made up of a Derm, a Medical Aesthetician, and a Nurse who specialized in lasers that had the answers that my skin needed. I’ll never forget the first time, as a young adult, that I looked in the mirror and realized that I did not have a breakout, even a hormonal one, for over three months. Truly a triumph! I knew there and then that when I was ready to make a career shift, I would get into the field of Medical Aesthetics.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I actually had an Educational Director once tell me that “All students can’t be you, Kim. Stop making them believe that they can be…” I was absolutely shocked and offended! My entire outlook is to share, encourage and give a leg up whenever I can. It is my responsibility, as a Trainer/Educator/Teacher and Director to provide you with the most up-to-date knowledge and skill, but also to bolster your confidence. Boosting your self-confidence and empowering you to accomplish your career goals and dreams is a responsibility that I take extremely seriously.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

I can honestly say that when I stopped going with 100% of the flow of what is expected, and boldly struck out on a path of my own, I saw rapid success. Regardless of whether it was back when I was an employee in Medical Esthetics, or as a clinic owner/operator, or as a trainer/teacher. I am not saying you should start burning your employee handbooks and rage against the machine! I am saying that there is a way to do things, and a better way to do things. Look, listen, analyze, walk away, re-analyze… You can dissect everything that you are doing right now, and find ways to work smarter, not harder. You can find ways to provide better treatment, better training, better guidance. The answers are there, the trick is finding them.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I cannot single out any one particular person. Swedish Institute and Atelier Esthetique in particular, have been the two schools that stand out and have been key. My success has always been driven by my determination to stay educated by the best schools and trainers that I could afford. When I couldn’t afford a particular school/class/workshop I found ways to save up, asked for payment plans, asked for any discounts available, etc. Truly when there is a will, there is a way. Continued education is key in Medical Esthetics due to the rapid changes that we see annually, in everything from skin care ingredients to Laser technology! You have to keep up so you are not harming your patients, are providing efficacious treatments and want to reach or remain at the top of the Industry.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The beauty industry today has access to technology that was inconceivable only a short time ago. Can you tell us about the “cutting edge” technologies that you are working with or introducing? How do you think that will help people?

In 2022 alone, we have seen major National and Worldwide launches of new medical esthetic devices by Candela Medical (Matrix Pro), Lumenis (TriLilft) and BTL Industries (EmFace). Cutting edge tech is all about combinations of wavelengths, power and modalities. It’s not just one device delivering one wavelength at one power. These newly released combinations have never before been available — you need knowledge in anatomy and physiology, skin histology, skin fitzpatrick, skin conditions, depth of treatment, speed of delivery, and so much more. I’m proud to say that we at Swedish Institute Medical Esthetics are providing training on recent and all-new tech, but we also always include knowledge on where the tech from these latest devices came from and what’s common-place in the Industry. This way, you have a true “full circle” learning format, so you are prepared and confident.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

I can’t stress enough how continuing education is key. Therapists should always take their responsibility to their patients with utmost seriousness. It is sad that more patients are suffering from “body dysmorphic disorder.” These patients shouldn’t be treated. Patients who are contraindicated for a particular treatment shouldn’t be treated. Patient expectations have to be properly managed each time they come to you. Also, a respectful relationship must be established with the patient from the beginning. A patient who respects you will accept your “no” or “not right now” and your alternative treatment offering, when it comes to a treatment they cannot or should not be receiving, vs going anywhere else that will give them what they want and being burned or experiencing negative side effects, some of which can be permanent.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the “beauty-tech” industry?

  1. With every year that goes by, the efficacy of non-surgical “beauty-tech” keeps getting better and better. We truly continue to create ways to reverse the aging process, revise scars, control redness, revise skin tone and texture, building strong, healthy skin.
  2. Treatments are becoming faster, comfortable and affordable. Visible results are seen much earlier than in years past. Building strong, healthy, vibrant skin is akin to building a house — you need a strong foundation, solid walls, insulation and a great roof.
  3. It’s so exciting that I can not only train others in providing all of these amazing treatments, but I myself can receive many of these treatments. Defying the look of my chronological age makes me feel wonderfully youthful, energetic and confident.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?

  1. The amount of unlicensed and non-certified providers has gone up in the last two years by an alarming degree.
  2. The amount of lawsuits from patients having received negative effects from medical esthetic treatments has skyrocketed, in keeping with the amount of untrained providers who simply do not care about the patient and only want to make money as fast as possible before disappearing or getting caught. This has insurance fees leaping upward to the point where some licensed and certified individual practitioners and clinic owners may not be able to afford to continue to operate.
  3. Any time you have an Industry that is inundated with negativity, patient trust in the Industry will be broken. In this day and age of Social Media, it is more important than ever to stay legally compliant, aware of patient and self-responsibility and stay educated so patient’s continue to trust in professional medical esthetics.

To reform and improve the Industry, I would strengthen and enforce each State’s laws regarding the need to be licensed, certified and continue education annually.

You are an expert about beauty. Can you share 5 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Embrace who you are — Step One to feeling beautiful is to have a clear understanding of self.
  2. Think “enhance” not “change.” Loving who you are and making enhancements to your natural beauty are key to being happy within yourself, not wanting to make drastic changes. “Buyers remorse” is often a real thing in Medical Esthetics when you make drastic changes! Fixing botches or reversing the outcome isn’t as easy and uncomplicated as returning a shirt you don’t like the day after you purchase it. Sometimes it is not even possible.
  3. Stop fixating on filtered anything!!! Hello — those celebs and influencers always using filters do not look like that in real life! Repeat after me, “THEY DO NOT LOOK LIKE THIS IN REAL LIFE!” Enhance what you can and do not hold yourself to impossible standards of poreless, perfectly smooth skin and perfect faces/bodies.
  4. Don’t try every blogger’s idea of “great home care skin jacks.” Get professional advice and if it doesn’t work, continue seeking expert guidance until the correct balance for your skin is found. Professionals like me spend too much time revising negative skin effects, including scarring, that happens from patients trying these “quick fixes.” These skin “hacks” are better thought of, for the most part, as skin “hoaxes.” Professional skin guidance will make you look & feel beautiful without regret.
  5. Tell yourself, with a smile, loudly, every day, at least once a day “I AM BEAUTIFUL!”

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

“Work together — with your body, with people, with the Planet.” If each individual came to the understanding that we truly are all connected, what an amazing world this would be! Everything from enhancing your body vs making drastic and regrettable changes, taking our daily responsibilities to heart, acceptance of each person’s right to their own path, to not littering and being wasteful, would be automatic. By being respectful of the patient-provider relationship (working together), becoming licensed and keeping current through continued education would be a standard. These are ways of life that we all can strive for.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Why be a little, plain brown bird when you are obviously not one?” (Meaning: “Don’t be afraid to show your colors.) A very famous and respected person in my Industry once asked me that. It was random and unexpected, in passing. It had a profound effect on me, as at the time, I was toeing the line and pretty much just making a living, but not living my passion. That comment changed my entire view of my career capabilities, and ultimately, my career path.

While there is nothing wrong with having anything from “simple dreams” to the most extravagant, I was reminded, and I pass on to my students, that no matter what you want, do not be afraid to be the best that you can be!

How can our readers follow you online?

Please follow on Instagram @KLaSkinPro and @simedicalesthetics. Tiktok please follow @KLaSkinPro and @si_medicalesthetics

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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