Associated Skin Care Professionals
Facials Gone Wrong
  • Scarred.

    Jasmine*, an esthetician practicing out of her home, regularly used an organic clay mask for her client's acneic skin and never had any reactions. Jasmine had even used this mask on herself several times, and on other clients too, without any trouble.

    After a few treatments using this mask, this particular client liked it so much that she bought it from Jasmine for home care. Jasmine often sold waxing and facial products to her, and this was nothing unusual.

    A week later, the client called to tell Jasmine about a severe allergic reaction when she applied the mask for the first time at home. It caused so much pain that she needed emergency care requiring morphine. After two weeks, the client was hospitalized.

    The severe reaction left this woman badly scarred and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. The client wanted Jasmine to pay those bills, including several laser treatments that were required to remove the scarring.

    Jasmine didn't panic because she was an ASCP member. Her $259 membership gave her many benefits, one of which is liability insurance coverage, and also ASCP's support through the whole process. Our insurance carrier settled the claim for nearly $150,000, and Jasmine didn't have to pay a cent of it.

    In this case, the client wasn't the only person who could have been scarred for life. Today Jasmine is counting her blessings that she was covered by ASCP's individual liability insurance, provided as a benefit of membership—because working from home shouldn't mean losing your home.

    (*Based on an actual case from our files. Name changed to protect privacy.)

  • Torn.

    Julia* had years of waxing experience. She never expected that a bikini wax gone wrong would result in stitches and ongoing medical bills for one of her clients, and a $60,000-plus lawsuit for herself.

    In fact, she never even heard a complaint or knew there was a problem until months after she performed the service. That was when she received a letter from a lawyer. Julia had to think hard to remember the incident, but eventually she recalled a session when she had ripped the skin during a bikini wax. The client had not seemed bothered. Julia had apologized, didn't charge the client for the waxing session, and thought the whole thing was over and done with.

    But, as it turned out, the client had visited an urgent care facility afterward and found out the injury was more serious. She needed five stitches—and who wouldn't be upset about needing stitches there? Months later, the client was still having pain and opted for surgery to remove the scar tissue. The medical bills kept adding up.

    The result? A lawsuit for thousands of dollars in lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages.

    If Julia hadn't been an ASCP member, with all the benefits of ASCP's individual liability insurance, she would have been personally responsible for these costs. Luckily, her $259 membership saved her from having to pay more than $60,000 to the injured client.

    Having the right team on your side can make even the hairiest situation a lot smoother. This is one waxer who now knows the importance of liability insurance.

    (*Based on an actual case from our files. Name changed to protect privacy.)

  • Steamed.

    Elaine* used a facial steamer on her clients almost every day, so she never guessed it would malfunction and spit hot water during a treatment.

    Unfortunately, it did. The client's neck was burned. At first Elaine didn't think the incident would turn into a big deal—the client said she'd visit a doctor, and one of Elaine's co-workers reassured her that the water wasn't hot enough to cause a serious injury.

    One week later, Elaine called us, very upset. She had received a letter from the client to say that the burn was second-degree. Plastic surgery might be needed to remove the scar—and the client expected Elaine to pay all medical expenses.

    Six months later, the client was still considering plastic surgery and was now also talking about laser surgery. After a year and a half, Elaine received notice from a lawyer that this former client was suing her for $100,000.

    Luckily, Elaine was a member of ASCP. From the first time Elaine let us know about the situation, our liability insurance and membership staff were there to support her—no matter how long it might take. Throughout those 18 months, the insurance company spoke on Elaine's behalf to the client, the lawyer, the doctors, and others involved, so Elaine could get on with her life and her business.

    Finally, ASCP reached an agreement with the client to settle out of court for more than $30,000. Best of all for Elaine, she didn't have to pay a cent of it—her $259 membership with ASCP covered everything. Now Elaine knows, better than most people, how estheticians need to protect themselves with ASCP's individual liability insurance—so if a client gets steamed, your bank account won't end up in the red.

    (*Based on an actual case from our files. Name changed to protect privacy.)

  • Burned.

    Rhonda* didn't expect to cause more than $125,000 worth of burns to a client's skin during a treatment. She didn't expect to live in fear of losing her home.

    Rhonda's manager had assured her that all treatments she performed were covered under the spa's insurance. So, when she did an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal treatment, the last thing she was thinking about was her own professional liability. The treatment went as usual, the client seemed happy, and everything felt normal—until Rhonda went home one day to find a court summons taped to her door.

    What Rhonda didn't know was that a manager's oversight had led to a lapse in the spa's coverage. When the client developed burns and scarring in more than 25 areas on her legs and body as a result of the IPL treatment, the medical bills were mounting and totaling in the thousands. Then the client sued Rhonda for nearly $600,000 in damages. Luckily, she also had ASCP's individual professional liability insurance coverage.

    More than a year later, the case was settled for $126,000—a better outcome than it might have been, but still a frightening amount of money for an ordinary working esthetician. The client wasn't the only one burned in this case.

    Today, Rhonda is sadder and wiser, and understands that having ASCP's individual liability insurance coverage is an essential asset to business—and protects her no matter where she works.

    (*An actual case from our files. Name changed to protect privacy.)