There are many different facials available, depending on your client’s needs and they can work to target different skin concerns. The aim of a facial is to improve the texture and therefore the appearance of the skin. Facials work to clean and smooth as well as balance and moisturize the skin. A facial is also used to stimulate and emulate the skin’s natural functions. Your treatments should provide clients with something that they cannot do themselves – it is essential to use specialist strength products and electrical equipment, combined with effective and relaxing massage techniques. These special technique are only available to trained professionals.
Facials are not one-size-fits-all. If you offer only three or four different types of facials and products, then it is very likely that you are not providing a sufficient spectrum of options to cover every client scenario.
Choosing a skincare company
'why is this important?' and 'what is it really?'
You should choose a professional skincare line for use to perform your treatments and to sell to clients. Using a skincare line that you believe in is one of the major factors in making your facial treatments and sales successful.
Stock products that you have tried out on your own skin. It’s infinitely easier to sell a product you have tried and enjoyed. Most skincare product line offer attractive packaging, a pleasant feel and an appealing scent.
Skin products contain different ingredients that perform to different levels of effectiveness. Some skincare product lines come in fixed treatment packages with individually wrapped sets of products for each treatment regime. Others let the therapist play a more active role in customizing the treatment protocol.
Products can be all-natural, or a blend of natural and synthetic. Many products are scented with synthetic scents – made of aromatic hydrocarbons – rather than using the equivalent essential oil or botanical ingredient. This is owing to the higher cost of more natural ingredients.
Some products – for example, toners – may have artificial dyes added, whereas other skincare lines use dyes from nature.
Some products market themselves as containing no parabens (an ingredient that is commonly used to prevent the growth of microbes and therefore keep it fresh for longer). This is effective advertising, since parabens have rightly or wrongly been labeled as ‘harmful’. However, you would be wise to research what they have replaced the parabens with. You may be surprised to find products with the parabens to be kinder to the skin, especially as parabens are effective in very small quantities (they are usually the last ingredient listed).
The public has been mislead by negative hype about synthetic ingredients. Not all that is natural is good for us. Poison Ivy oil is natural, but it is an irritant and you wouldn’t want to rub it onto your skin. Many essential oils can be extremely irritating – especially in large quantities – and some are photosynthesizing. This means they can cause dermatitis on the skin when exposed to light.
Synthetic ingredients have their use. For example, where a synthetic ingredient is substituted for an animal or fish ingredient, using the synthetic product means harvesting of a living being becomes unnecessary. When there is not enough of the ingredient to be found in nature, a synthetic version is a great solution. That said, if your salon ethos is that you use as many ‘natural’ ingredients as possible, you need to make sure the products you use are what they say they are. Be sure that the products advertised as ‘completely natural’ and ‘organic’ contain 100% natural, organic ingredients. You should also check the ingredients come from sustainable resources.
If you are going to go down the route of ‘natural’ you should ensure that what you are actually selling is what you claim. Your ‘natural’ claim needs to be able to stand up to scrutiny.
Most companies will provide you with explanations of all the active ingredients in their skincare product lines. Reading and understanding the labels on the skincare products is essential. Look up every ingredient, not just the active ones. You may be bowled over by a company’s sales-pitch, spend buckets of cash, and later realize the wonder ingredient that is being promoted is hardly present in the formulation. It may, for example, be at the end of the ingredients list and therefore present in such a tiny quantity as to be ineffective.
It is important to be aware that once opened, some products have a shorter shelf life than others. This can be due to the fragility of the ingredients or the lower strengths of the preservatives used. You’ll need to use up such stock before they expire.
Two general rules to observe are:
1. The less ingredients in a product, the better, and
2. The higher up the list the active ingredients, the more potent the product is.
There are skincare lines with a range of products called cosmeceuticals. These products are known to be stronger and more effective. Cosmeceutical products combine cosmetics and a pharmaceuticals, hence the formation of the word. These are skincare products with high levels of concentrated (active) ingredients. Examples of these are: hydroxy acids, peptides, vitamins and other antioxidants. Active ingredients are ones that affect changes in the skin. These will be explained in further detail later in this blog. Many of the cosmeceutical formulations are unscented and may have a have a medicated smell. They are almost odorless because the manufacturer has limited the addition of any non essential ingredients – to keep the product from causing an adverse reaction. These skincare lines are very results-driven and usually advertised as targeting specific conditions. For example, such products may target hyper-pigmented skins, hypersensitive skins, or acneic skins.
You may find stocking two or more skincare product lines is the only way to meet all your clients’ needs. Having an all-natural line and a cosmeceutical line is usually the way to go. This approach will cater for all tastes and requirements and clients can be confident you are recommending what is best for their skin – and not only because it is what you stock.
Pampering ranges are fine if you don’t aim to be at the top of your profession. All technical treatments can be made more pampering. However, pampering treatments on their own will not drive your business to the next level of performance.
Luxurious, results-driven treatments will encourage you clients to return. Budget skincare lines are generally a waste of time: they can create more problems for your client’s skins than they resolve. There are, however, some middle-of-the-range products that offer effective skincare solutions.
It is a painful realisation to spend money on a product range only to discover it doesn’t achieve the results you want it to. Most therapists find that, as they perform facials on regular customers, these clients will want better and better results.
You’ll need to take on a product line – or mix of product lines – that allow your treatments to progress as you see improvements in your client’s skin. The product line you pick also needs to provide excellent treatments for acneic and aging skins. Look for treatments that can be used on clients with a whole range of skin types and a large array of skin conditions, for example, a client with oily, dehydrated skin who is worried about fine lines; or a client with sensitive, hyper-pigmented skin. When looking into a skincare line ask yourself the following:
Do the treatments work? Do they have good marketing materials?
Is the brand well known? and does that matter to you and your customers?
Does the product line provide a wide range of available options for treating different skin types and conditions available?
Are samples available to try before you purchase?
Will the retailer allocate you a sales representative to talk through, face-to-face, any queries and help you with promotions.
What are the profit margins on the treatments? Will you be able to charge clients these prices and still have them return regularly?
What are the start up costs, and ongoing costs, and will the retailer increase prices annually?
Does the retailer charge for delivery, and do they have a minimum order value?
Can they get product to you quickly in an emergency?
What support can the retailer offer to you? For example, if your client has a reaction to a treatment will the retailer support you in resolving the problem?
Will you use the products on yourself? Are you excited and enthusiastic about them and therefore confident and keen to promote them?
Does the retailer offer training? If so, is it in-house or at a training venue? Does this training cost extra? Is there ongoing training on new products as they are added to the range?
Will you be able to open an account with the retailer and order stock on that account? Can you pay at the end of the month (if this is important to your cash flow)?
Are the retail products comprehensive? Are there samples available for you to offer your clients to try?
What is your profit margin?
Do the products retail to professionals only? Can your clients buy them elsewhere online, in the shops, on TV?
Does the retailer supply to other beauty professionals in your area?