Wednesday, 25 April 2018 09:35

Routine, Return, Repeat: Gaining Regulars through Homecare Education

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“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” Rishika Jain

This well-known quote applies to diet, exercise, and success, as well as the health of skin. The secret to clear, glowing skin lies, not simply in the products used, but in the routine with which they are used. A client not keeping a proper skin care routine is similar to going to the dentist and not taking good care of one’s teeth in between appointments. Much damage can be done by improper care or no care at all.


The three key components of a homecare routine should be: calibrated cleansing, vital vitamins, and
proper protection.




Clients tend to be frugal when choosing a cleanser, as there are a multitude of inexpensive options available on every grocery store shelf. Additionally, many clients believe that cleansers are not as important as a night serum or other product. However, incorrect cleansing can result in an impaired acid mantle – the first line of skin defense. Most cleansers run at a very alkaline pH, stripping the skin of essential fatty acids (which are needed to maintain the skin’s pH of 4.5 to 5.5). Also, improper cleansing can lead to impaired barrier function – the second line of skin defense. By removing essential oils from the surface of the skin, trans-epidermal water loss occurs, compromising the barrier
function immediately.


A cleanser is the most important product in skin care. It allows the gentle removal of dirt, grime, sticky oils, and dead cells. This allows for better absorption of the products that follow, enhancing absorption of key ingredients. It can also support the acid mantle and strengthen barrier function. Avoiding cleansers with sodium lauryl sulphate is part of the education process. Teaching the importance of oil cleansers for both oily and dry skin is important and fundamental to healthy skin. Lastly, the opportunity to sell the correctly calibrated cleanser for each client’s skin within the office is a great business opportunity.


Most people still talk about skin care in terms of moisturizers and serums, when they should really have an understanding that these are just the delivery mechanisms to deliver essential nutrients to the skin. Everyone needs topical vitamin C and antioxidants each morning, as well as topical vitamins A and C and antioxidants each evening. (Peptides and growth factors can be used as add-on products for specific benefits in aging skin.)




Education should initially focus on the benefits of essential vitamins. Vitamin A, in any of its various forms, is vital for cellular renewal and the speed at which the skin cells turn over. In addition, it supports the Langerhans cells and skin immunity; manages the dispersion of the melanocytes in hyperpigmentation, as well as the fibroblasts’ production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid; and controls sebum production. Vitamin A also works as a hormone, normalizing cellular function.
Vitamin C is equally as important, as without it, collagen would be brittle and non-existent.


Vitamin C, in any of its various forms is a powerful antioxidant and helps fight the effects of pollution on the skin. It is also essential in the production of collagen, helps prevent hyperpigmentation, and maintains the natural SPF function in the skin. Vitamin C additionally surrounds blood capillaries and prevents them from breaking.


Explaining the role of topical vitamins is key in educating clients regarding their skin care routines, as these vitamins address most skin issues, including hyperpigmentation, oily skin, dry skin, wrinkles, age spots, sagging skin, eczema, rosacea, and premature aging. Explaining why vitamin C should be used in the morning and vitamin A in the evening helps cement the concept of a morning and evening routine.
It is crucial for professionals to have the correct products available, as people seek stable, non-irritating products with high concentrations of these essential ingredients.




Though it should be intuitive, many people still believe that daily sunscreen is the least important of the products to be purchased. In reality, sunscreens are the first line of treatment in hyperpigmenation and anti-aging. Sunscreens have become more complex and understanding the different forms of ultraviolet rays is important.


UVA are the longest, coolest rays and are present when there is light – even in rain or snow. They penetrate the skin deeply, causing significant aging and also contributing to the development of melanoma.


UVB are medium-length rays that are warm, prevalent in spring and summer, and cause erythema (sunburn) and superficial skin cancers (basal and squamous cell).


There are sunscreens available that combat these rays that are good for everyday use. A different strength and formulation is required when clients are outdoors for prolonged periods of time or in water. Sunscreens with good ingredients and an acceptable finish are not always easy for clients to find, so the business opportunity for selling them is huge. Explaining to clients that a good sunscreen contains a mix of ingredients that combat both UVA and UVB rays with a healthy dose of antioxidants can be done by both the aesthetician and front office staff, making sunscreens a good year-round addition to the business revenue.


Routine is often a difficult concept for clients to grasp, as they do not always understand why calibrated cleansing, vital vitamins, and proper protection are so important. It may help for them to consider that just one day of forgetting to put on sunscreen before heading out to the office, for a walk, or to the gym can be enough ultraviolet exposure could be a tipping point for an already-damaged cell. Vitamins are relatively unstable molecules and the vitamins levels in skin are degraded by light and air. Rushing out the door without sufficient protection or an added dose of vitamin C, to be inundated by pollution and light all day, renders the cells exposed and at risk to the effects of a vitamin deficiency.


Professionals have the opportunity to engage with a client for a lengthy period of time and the education opportunities during this time are invaluable. For instance, the treatment process is a great time to explain the value of a homecare routine. Professionals are also key in building a sales revenue, as sales through education are more likely to repeat. Continued basic skin and product education are imperative in growing product sales, and both the front office staff and the professional benefit from ongoing training in this regard. The option to create repeat orders within the spa by mailing products to the clients who understand the benefits of good, consistent skin care is an added business opportunity which generates recurring revenue from a single client visit.


Helping clients understand and apply the benefits of routine skin care helps not only the client, but the stability and future of the spa, as well.


BBJanineEllenbergerA medical professional with over 22 years of experience in the aesthetic and anti-aging industries, Dr. Janine Ellenberger is the founder of GR8/SKN, a skin care company dedicated to the research and development of products that cater to the unique needs of young adult skin. Ellenberger is an international speaker with an entrepreneurial spirit. She is skilled in integrating medical acumen with extensive knowledge of the cosmeceutical industry and is a practicing physician at ICARM in the United Kingdom. Her previous experience includes her time as the medical director of Environ Skin Care USA and as a guest speaker at Canyon Ranch.

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