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Beauty is her game

The Baltimore Sun

Valerie Griffin


Spector + Krupp Center for Facial Enhancement, Towson

Salary --$35,000

Age --31

Years on the job --Two

How she got started --Griffin was a bartender and a manager of a hair salon before becoming an aesthetician or skin-care specialist. She knew she loved the salon and spa industry but didn't want to cut hair. She decided to go into skin care and graduated from the Von Lee International School of Aesthetics. After obtaining her Maryland license, she began working at Spector + Krupp. Griffin must renew her state license every two years.

"Everybody's always looking for the fountain of youth and it's nice to be able to provide that."

Typical day --Griffin works 40 hours a week, usually starting by 7 a.m. Half her day is spent administering chemical peels and microdermabrasions on patients. She estimates she'll perform four to six skin treatments a day. The rest of her time is spent working as a liaison between doctors and patients. All types of facial cosmetic surgery, dental implants and orthognathic (jaw alignment) surgery are offered at the center.

During an initial consultation, she'll take photographs of a patient, put the images on her computer and discuss any of his concerns. From here, the doctor will complete an examination. Griffin also consults with patients before and after surgery.

Patients --She works with everyone from young acne patients to middle-aged women to older men.

Skin treatments --Both chemical peels and microdermabrasions are resurfacing treatments designed to improve the overall health of the skin as well as to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The treatment takes about one hour. Chemical peels use chemicals to exfoliate the skin, while microdermabrasions use mechanical means to exfoliate the skin.

Cost --About $100 per treatment. A series of six is recommended with maintenance treatments once a month.

The good --"I love improving people's self-confidence."

The bad --"Seeing people after surgery. They usually don't feel so good and are a little bruised."

Skin-care specialist --As an aesthetician, Griffin works under the direction of a doctor. "The difference between going to a doctor for skin care and over-the-counter [treatments] or going to a regular spa is we can use pharmaceutical-grade products, which really make a difference."

Advice --"Always wear your sunscreen. Sun is the worst thing for your skin."

Philosophy on the job --"My goal is to make patients feel great about themselves."

Nancy Jones-Bonbrest Special to The Sun

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