Hi, before think of skimming your ceiling think what is Artex?
Artex is a trade name for a 'stipple finish surface'.
Lots of local companies will remove it for you at cost. In the industry we assume it is dangerous and don't touch it at all, we test it. The test takes around 10 days to be discovered clear or not.
All 'Artex' has been free of asbestos for around 20-30 years now, so if it is new then it will be clear. If you don't know how old it is, then you can get it tested. So use your judgement, if your house was built in 1990, then it will be clear!
Before any plaster is done please remove Artex by using a wallpaper steamer, steam it off carefully, get it very wet. Whilst it is wet it is harmless, and 'Artex' contains low levels of asbestos dust anyway, but still dangerous amounts.
As it is the dust that causes ill health, I would remove it wet, and steam it gently. Take your time and bag it up and seal the bags closed. Take them to the local tip and tell them they may be asbestos.
Red asbestos bags are available from GOOD suppliers of construction equipment, they will have 'asbestos do not open' written on them.
If you don't feel comfortable doing this in your home, then call an expert in.
Please be careful before any steps are taken.