Rebecca’s journey to becoming an esthetician goes far beyond the superficial. It’s the story of someone who was faced with skin conditions that impacted her self-esteem and confidence. But it’s also the story of perseverance – of finally, after a long list of dead-ends, finding solutions that really worked; how those solutions allowed her to start living a healthier, more fulfilling life; and how the whole experience ultimately inspired her to become a skin-focused health practitioner and help others facing the same kinds of challenges she has now overcome.
Personal Skin Challenges
It all started at an early age. From the time she was a teenager, she began a battle with acne that would continue for much of her adult life. She tried all sorts of conventional methods, from harsh topicals to antibiotics to hormone supplements. But the results were always ineffective (and sometimes even counterproductive). Some therapies produced drying, sensitivity, and redness, which only worsened the appearance of her skin. And some of the pharmaceutical treatments came with side effects that adversely impacted the overall state of her health.
Meanwhile, the acne continued to cause pain, discomfort, and lasting damage to her skin. But the damage was certainly not limited to the physical realm. The psychological and emotional components were ever-present. The self-consciousness. The lack of confidence. The suspicion, in virtually every interaction with other people, that they were looking at her skin and judging her. The feeling that something was wrong with her, that she couldn’t figure out what that something was, but that it was manifesting itself on the most visible of places: her face.
A viscous loop developed where the more anxiety she felt about her acne, the worse her acne got, and the more that fed her anxiety. She started to think that she might never find a solution.
Then one day she was talking with her good friend, Bronwyn Bacon, who at the time was midway through naturopathic medical school (and who would go on to become Dr. Bacon and found Elevate Health). When Bronwyn suggested she might try going to see a naturopathic doctor, Rebecca took her advice. And that’s when everything started to shift.
The naturopathic doctor she saw was able to zero in on some of the underlying causes of her acne and prescribe herbal and dietary treatments that addressed the problem from an internal perspective. And, for the first time in her life, Rebecca started to see results. Not only was she starting to have less acne and fewer flare-ups, she was also becoming more educated about her body and learning how to take control of her own health.
Around the same time, she started seeing a highly skilled esthetician who was able to provide an accurate assessment of her skin and used a variety of therapies to help her heal from the outside. It was the other missing piece of the puzzle. “I never got results until I found naturopathic medicine and found the right esthetician,” she says. “Caring for my skin both internally and externally is what really made the difference.”
It’s difficult to understate the impact it had in Rebecca’s life when she, at long last, discovered ways to successfully treat her acne. She felt less self-conscious. She felt less anxious. She felt more confident by the day. And she felt empowered to not only know how to prevent her acne, but also how to treat it quickly if it did reappear. “It changed my life and the way I felt about myself,” she says.
So it only seems fitting that in 2012, when she was contemplating a career change, the idea of becoming an esthetician kept coming up over and over. Her final decision came after she sat down to lunch with her good friend Bronwyn Bacon (who had since graduated from naturopathic medical school and was now in private practice) to get her advice on a new career move.
So the story goes, Rebecca had narrowed her list of career choices to three possibilities. She presented the first two options to Dr. Bacon, but, before she could present the third, Dr. Bacon said, “What about becoming an esthetician?!” That was Rebecca’s third option. Three weeks later, she enrolled in esthetician school.
Since graduating in 2013 from a 700-hour esthetics program at Paroba College in Everett, WA, Rebecca has gained invaluable experience by working in a variety of esthetics settings.
She worked for four years at Earthbox, an organic spa, where she honed her skills in face and body skin care techniques. She spent five years operating her own independent business, Sugar Bare Studio, where she specialized in providing the highest level of body sugaring hair removal services to a fiercely loyal clientele. And she worked for three years for Mirabella Skincare with her mentor, Mary-Brooke Barger, a Master Esthetician specializing in cutting-edge medical skin care technology such as Microcurrent Facial Toning, LED, and Mocrodermabrasion.
These personal journeys of overcoming her own skin-related challenges are only part of what makes Rebecca such a talented esthetician. She also stands out in the field of esthetics because of her science background. Her B.S. in Biology from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point gives her a solid foundation for understanding how the skin works on a cellular level. “Skin is dynamic,” she says. “You can’t just look at one part – you have to look at the whole system.”
skin is dynamic, and it’s just one part of a whole system
And not only is the skin a biological system, it’s also how we interface with the world.
The other side of the skin’s dual function is psychological and is tied directly to the skin’s esthetic appearance. She believes strongly in teaching clients and empowering them to take control of how they care for their skin. “When people are dealing with esthetic challenges around skin, it’s all too easy for them to feel unfit, unhealthy,” she says. “When someone has skin that appears healthy, they just feel better about how they’re interacting with the world.”
Coming Full Circle
Rebecca is thrilled to be joining Elevate Health, particularly because of the opportunity to work with a team of practitioners, including her longtime friend and mentor, Dr. Bacon, who had encouraged her to become an esthetician and start her journey into the world of skin care all those years ago.
When not working with her clients or researching the latest information on skin care, she enjoys spending time in nature, playing beach volleyball, making jewelry, and going on hikes with her dog Mochi.
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