A Day’s Work: Esthetician

Jessica Jasienowski (photo by Rebecca Lang)

Jessica Jasienowski (photo by Rebecca Lang)

While the ability to put someone at ease is not a requirement for an esthetician, it certainly is an asset. Jessica Jasienowski possesses this skill. A Saugerties native, Jasienowski is a trained esthetician who works at the Emerson Resort and Spa in Mount Tremper.  She currently resides in West Saugerties with her fiance and their son.


What is an esthetician?

A esthetician is someone who performs treatment on the skin. Sometimes we help people better their complexion, sometimes we are dealing with chronic skin issues and sometimes we are a means to relaxation. When a client comes in, I evaluate their skin and we go from there. Since I work in a spa setting, I am primarily dealing with relaxation treatments. But occasionally I get clients who have some ongoing issues like acne. They might become regular customers so we can better deal with their needs. People can visit us at the spa even if they aren’t staying at the hotel, so that does allow us to deal with these ongoing needs.


What types of treatments do you do?

I perform waxing services and a variety of facials, body treatments and some ayurevdic treatments. Ayurevdic treatments deal with the balance between mind, body and spirit. We have a Shirodhara treatment that includes warm oil that help calm the mind and soothe the senses.



Where were you trained?

I went to school at the Hudson Valley School of Esthetics and Massage.  I attended the school while it was in New Paltz. She then moved it to Esopus, but unfortunately it is now closed. I hold a license in esthetics which has to be renewed every three years. While I don’t have any continuing education that I have to do to maintain that license, I do train on new treatments when and if they become available. Right now at the spa we have a new Elemis Biotec machine and product that we will be using, and I am being trained on that. It is amazing.


How did you get into this line of work?

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and I was browsing the course work. I thought that this might be something I can do until I figured out what I really wanted to be doing. After my course work, I got a job at a spa and then moved on to the Emerson. I fell in love with the job and realized this is what I am supposed to be doing. I’ve been at the Emerson for about eleven years now.


What type of person makes a good esthetician?

You need to be someone who really wants to take care of other people because you are constantly putting your hands on other people and touching them. You also need to be able to work with customers. I always want to steer my customers in the right direction in terms of skin care, making sure they leave knowing how to best take care of themselves. Doing that without stepping on their toes or making them feel like they aren’t heard is tricky. You need to be a tactful listener. Finding that balance is important.


What is a common misconception about your work?

Well in terms of skin care, everyone who comes in thinks that their skin is the worst skin out there. I have to pep talk my clients. We are our own worst critics.

In terms of the job, people don’t always understand what an esthetician does. Unless they’ve had a facial before, they might not know how great they are and the benefits of them. The treatments aren’t just about relaxation.  People don’t always know how to take care of their skin.

Because of advertising, people have misconceptions about what they need to do to take care of it.  A product on TV might say “use this twice a day and then use this product,” but that might not be true or necessary for your skin type. A visit to an esthetician can set you on the right track. Sometimes it’s as simple as what you are eating. A food allergy can leave your face bumpy and something as simple as cutting that particular food out can make your skin look completely different.


How are the hours?

Very flexible. I work by appointment so that helps. It provides a good work-life balance.


How has the job changed in the past ten years or so?

It’s become more known. People are more aware of what a spa can offer you and the benefits of treatments. People are looking for relaxation. I see this especially in the guests that come from the city to stay at the spa. They want to get a treatment and then relax in the spa afterward instead of heading right back out to the hustle of the busy city.


Do you see yourself at the same job ten years from now?

I do, yes. In the same field, absolutely. I am working on my massage license now, so that will just add to my flexibility.


Do you have any tips for taking care of your skin?

Make sure you wash your face, find a good cleanser that works for your skin type, exfoliate every seven to ten days, eat healthy foods and stay hydrated!