JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 31566
Tuesday, 26 December 2006 14:50

A Little Learning

Written by

There is truly nothing more important than education to the success of any business, especially in the skin care industry. Manufacturers may tend to forget this-they think that their potential success rests with their products. Actually, the key is in the education of the people who use their products. I have dedicated the past 30 years to the education of skin care professionals. But here's what I've discovered: our clients also need to be trained. In fact, they are badly in need of a sort of Client Boot Camp.
I agree with the great Dr. Samuel Johnson, who said that "A little learning is a dangerous thing."

A lot of skin care professionals have a "little" learning. When they earn their state license, they have begun on the journey of their training. In order to develop and refine their expertise to a competitive level, I believe that American therapists need to commit to a minimum of two to three years of postgraduate study after they have passed the state exam. It's sad that so many stop when they really should be starting-and the fact that they don't continue with their own education significantly contributes to their inability to communicate with and, essentially, "train" clients to appreciate and value what we do as professionals.
With all of this in mind, we all must see every day as the opportunity to learn, and to teach. Many of us are dedicated to training skin care professionals, but it seems that we've overlooked the fact that the customer needs coaching in a big way in order for our profession to truly shine. This is more essential today than ever, because skin care is often blurred in the mind of the consumer with at least two other industries. The first of these is the beauty business, because many of the manufacturers of cosmetics now manufacture skin care products. In some cases, this means scary things like the do-it-yourself-home-microdermabrasion kit, literally on the shelves of major beauty emporia, department stores, and online. Many consumers literally see skin care as part of the lip gloss/ self tanner world. I actually believe this is potentially dangerous to the client's skin, in the sense that hourly sales staff with no background in skin histology, biology, anatomy, etc. are entrusted to recommend products to treat conditions such as, say, acne and rosacea.
The other big area of market-blurring is with the medi-spa industry, where clients may seek intrusive and semi-intrusive procedures which must be performed by an MD, an RN, or someone else in the medical profession. The aggressive procedures including microdermabrasion, peels, and injectibles are a powerful part of the anti-aging landscape, and there's probably no turning back. But these procedures cannot take the place of a traditional skin care treatment.
Clients need to be educated concerning what real skin care is, what its purpose truly is, and what it can and cannot accomplish. Who will do this training of the consumer masses? We will, the operative "we" being the skin care tribe. Clients need to be shown and told what to want, what to expect, and how to get it. When these expectations are in place, then we can truly begin to grasp our responsibility and potential as a creative industry, and as one of the healing energetic arts, which is what I believe professional skin therapy to be.
First, therapists must present themselves in such a way which broadcasts that they value their own time, and demand that others respect them for it as well. For many of us, attaining this mindset may be difficult-as an industry, we are far more "Yin" than "Yang". We want to make people happy, not reprimand them. However, it is essential to present ourselves and our expertise with authority, and as deserving value.
Rule One: the 15-minute cut-off. Clients arriving 15 minutes or more after the appointment-time are subject to cancellation by the therapist. Your doctor, your dentist and probably your hairdresser certainly employ this sort of no-nonsense policy. Let it be known that, in addition to being cancelled after 15 minutes, clients will be charged for the missed appointment. Rule Two: along the same lines, the 24-hour cancellation policy needs to be introduced. This means that clients are charged for appointments cancelled less than 24 hours in advance. We need to structure our business in such a way that our time is valued.
This policy needs to be sent to clients in the form of an e-mail and a postcard mailing, if possible. These policies need to be posted beside every work-station, and also printed on your menu of services. Your clients may be shocked. A few may even huff at the shocking idea of holding them accountable for their actions. Let them go. The fact is that you cannot give clients proper service when appointments begin to overlap. You feel rushed, they feel confused. Soon, a little colony of disoriented, blinking people are suddenly padding around in the hallways clad only in towels, wondering where you went, and it's a ghastly mess. Be prepared to patiently explain this to anyone who expresses resistance to your newfound rigor.
In fairness, skin therapists ourselves have created this problem. We have allowed our industry to be associated with the following words: luxury, pampering, indulgence. These concepts introduce a certain servitude into the therapist-client dynamic, as if the client is a grand courtesan who is being groomed and primped by a lowly handmaiden. The fact is that skin therapists, especially those who pursue postgraduate education, are among the most highly trained professionals in any aspect of the health, wellness, or beauty industries. As a tribe, we are tireless learners.
Because our tribal culture is one of nurturance, we tend to be modest about our expertise, but I think it's time for tough love. We need to offer our clients this expertise in the form of supportive information. For example, we need to truly work with them and explain why they must not let a glossy, multi-page advertising spread featuring a celebrity in a fashion bible be the deciding factor in their purchase of a moisturizer. Likewise, we must help them understand why products which smell fantastic as the result of artificial fragrances, or stand as irresistible eye-candy in clever packaging on the shelves of the beauty "candy" stores, may not be what their skin truly craves in terms of correction, balance, and improved health.
Luxury, pampering, and indulgence might be applicable to wearing monogrammed cashmere pajamas, but this really has nothing to do with the concept of professional skin therapy. These words themselves, and the idea that a person "treats" themselves to professional skin care services like a huge hot fudge sundae, persist in advertising for skin care products. Again, this places the skin therapist into the role of someone who merely caters to the whims of a frivolous, Marie Antoinette-ish client. This is not flattering - and not fair - to either us as professionals, or to our valued clients.
If you want candy, buy candy, metaphorically speaking. If you want a glass of champagne, have one-have two! Buy yourself great mascara, or a new crocodile bag. But if you want a healthy meal and a fitness plan for your skin, take it seriously enough to learn about it from a professional.
Here's the word: the professional skin care industry is under attack from the explosion of consumer products claiming to offer results which may only be achieved through highly skilled service by a licensed therapist. We're also being co-opted by medi-assisted procedures which in some cases compromise the long-term integrity of the skin - here, I am thinking of the exfoliation obsession in this country, where aggressive mechanical and chemical procedures, especially in combination, may truly threaten the precious lipid barrier and do permanent damage. Skin therapists are generally more aware of this risk than their medi-spa counterparts.
The fact is that skin therapists know skin in a different way than dermatologists. Our areas of expertise certainly may be complementary, but with respect, they are not identical. And we as a profession certainly know a lot more about skin than an hourly salesperson who sells cosmetics, too. It's high time that we drew our line in the sand, or in the exfoliating scrub, as it were, and made this distinction more clearly to consumers. Give us our props. We deserve it, and so do our clients.

Jane Wurwand, established The International Dermal Institute, a postgraduate skin and body care training center, in 1983. Jane teaches her innovative education and product philosophies throughout the world. Under Jane's continuing direction, The International Dermal Institute is the research and development center for the Dermalogica professional skin care line, introduced in the U.S. in 1986 and currently distributed worldwide. Jane can be contacted through The Dermal Group at 310-352-4784, or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Want to read more?

Log in or subscribe to continue reading this article.

Related items

  • Dallas Based Entrepreneurs Launch Medical Hologram B+A and Marketing Assistant Serving the Aesthetic Community Dallas Based Entrepreneurs Launch Medical Hologram B+A and Marketing Assistant Serving the Aesthetic Community

    Aestheia Imaging, a hologram content management, and advertising subscription company introduced its disruptive technology at the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery last week at The Aesthetic Meeting in New Orleans. The company breaks the mold of in-practice marketing with the unveiling of XTHEIA; an interactive hologram display toting a Virtual Consult Assistant for medical office waiting rooms. Aestheia's launch poses a resolution to poor patient awareness; an underserved focal point of product education in the aesthetics industry.
    The company is led by Austin JM Podowski, CEO and accomplished Dallas Healthcare Business Tech executives Mike McDonald, President and Paul Herchman, Advisory Board Member. Well known Plastic Surgeon and photographer Dr. Barry DiBernardo of New Jersey Plastic Surgery leads the companies Medical Advisory Board and will continue to work to enhance upon the application. The company offers a connected holographic media platform to story map the patient journey to brand and product education. Through the research and development of Aestheia's Medical Advisory Group, the company will offer holographic before and afters to patients so they can see pre-operative and post-operative procedure outcomes in true 3D, not previously available in the space.

    "We are dedicated to providing novel and ground breaking product innovation for the entire Aesthetic Community," comments McDonald. The company today offers a fully-automated and comprehensive holographic playlist for physician waiting rooms tethered to a cloud-based solution developed by the management team.
    "We are changing the way medical companies and physicians communicate with their customers and patients. The ALEXA of Aesthetics is now in the room," states Podowski. The team has also designed a customer facing iPad Pro application that allows a physician to remote control the device offering an in-app camera for patient photos. Mr. Podowski later comments, "The response received at ASAPS The Aesthetic Meeting affirms that our vision and product meet a need and resuscitate a lost connection with the consumer."
    The management team is dedicated to further pioneering advancements in hologram, AI, and AR in the evolving medical practice of the 21st century. The company is finalizing a third-round capital raise and will begin placement of their technology throughout Plastic Surgery Offices in North America in July 2019. The technology will also be on display in direct to consumer retail kiosks throughout the United States later this year. To get a sneak peak of Aestheia, follow the team's development, or learn more about the technology, follow @aestheiaimaging or visit www.aestheiaimaging.com.

  • Micropigmentation Procedure October 2010
    Micropigmentation Procedure October 2010

    Micropigmentation Procedure Helps Breast Cancer Survivors Regain Self-Esteem & Confidence!

    Cranberr facial mask

    Cranberr facial mask
    According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), it is estimated that in 2009 there were 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed among women, and approximately 1,910 new cases in men. For the many men and women who have been, and will be diagnosed this year, the battle to get through treatment and surgery is only the beginning of the journey to survive. Although the feeling of survival is unsurpassed, the physical scars at times may leave some survivors anxious with their new appearance. Ruth Swissa has taken her passion and artistic expertise in the permanent makeup industry to provide areola pigmentation for breast cancer patients post reconstruction to help renew self-confidence and boost self-esteem.

    "Many of my patients have said that waking up every morning, and looking in the mirror is a constant reminder of their battle, which although comes with a sense of pride, it also at times causes insecurities because they don't feel like themselves," says Swissa.

    Micropigmentation is an alternative method of creating a realistic nipple and areola after a mastectomy, to achieve a more symmetrical shape and even coloring using artistic light and shade effects. Swissa works closely with her patients in order to achieve the desired coloring and size to create a natural looking effect. This procedure takes less than an hour and is usually painless.

    Ruth uses a customized medical tattooing technique for applying permanent makeup for areola pigmentation. This unique method proves to be more exact, very gentle, and less invasive than traditional cosmetic tattooing. The results look more natural and subtle in appearance.

  • Five Ways to Find Safe and Natural Relief from Osteoarthritis October 2010
    Five Ways to Find Safe and Natural Relief from Osteoarthritis October 2010

    Five Ways to Find Safe and Natural Relief from Osteoarthritis

    by Deirdre Shevlin Bell

    Cranberr facial mask

    The search for safe and effective relief from osteoarthritis (OA), a condition that occurs when joint cartilage wears down over time, can feel like an uphill battle. Certain natural remedies can bring lasting relief from OA according to the Arthritis Research Council (ARC) study and other experts. That is good news, since the pain, stiffness, and loss of flexibility from arthritis makes it the nation's most common cause of disability.

    One massage, and call me in the morning
    Spa-lovers with osteoarthritis will be pleased to learn that all those massages that leave you feeling loose and limber are doing more than just helping you relax. According to a 2006 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Swedish massage improves flexibility, decreases pain, and increases range of motion in individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee.

    Low-impact exercise
    "When people start to hurt, they tend to cut back on exercise," notes Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University Montgomery and Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. But that is a mistake, as inactivity can make pain and stiffness even worse. Olson recommends Pilates and swimming or doing aqua-aerobics, but she emphasizes the importance of choosing gentle, weight-bearing exercise. Michael Murray, N.D. suggests that a person should find something they love, and find a way to continue doing it: If walking on concrete sidewalks is too hard on the joints, walk on the golf course.

    Spice rub
    Using a gel containing capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili, is very effective at providing temporary relief from osteoarthritis pain. Studies have found that capsaicin can deplete the substance that acts to transmit pain signals from nerve endings to the brain and cause inflammation in the joints.

    Healing herbs
    An ARC study evaluated several herbs and herbal combinations and found that one stood above the rest. Phytodolor, a branded combination of three herbs – aspen (Populus tremula), common ash bark (Franxinus excelsior), and golden rob herb (Solidago vigaurea) effectively manages the pain and inflammation associated with OA. Some studies have shown that aspen contains a substance that when ingested inhibits the production of certain prostaglandins in the nerves, resulting in pain relief. Common ash bark and golden rob herb also have pain-relieving properties, and common ash bark is an antioxidant – meaning it may reduce oxidative damage in the joint. The combination of the three herbs has been shown in animal studies to reduce inflammation. No major adverse effects have been reported, though some people do experience diarrhea, stomach upset, or skin reactions.

    The SAMe Game
    First discovered in 1952 and widely investigated for its usefulness in treating depression, S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) is now showing promise as a treatment for OA. SAMe is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in the body, where it contributes to the synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters. Studies suggest that when taken as a supplement, SAMe reduces pain and also stimulates the synthesis of collagen and proteoglycans, which are the major components of joint cartilage. Adverse effects are infrequent and mild, but can include nausea, restlessness, headache, dry mouth, and stomach upset. People with depression should consult with a healthcare provider before taking SAMe, as some incidences of anxiety and mania have been reported.

    Copyright© HealthyLifestyles.com

  • The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships October 2010
    The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships October 2010

    The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships Survey Fact Sheet

    This survey was created in partnership with the National Psoriasis Foundation and Galderma Laboratories, L.P.

    Within this issue, as well as our November and December 2010 issues, we will be printing important findings revealed from the recent survey, "The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships." This survey, sponsored by Galderma Laboratories, was distributed to the National Psoriasis Foundation membership database via Survey Monkey. The survey was completed by approx 1,520 people; statistics below represent the percentage of people who answered a specific question (not always all 1,520 respondents). Statistics are rounded to nearest percentage point and percentages may not add up to 100 percent depending on the structure of the question. Not every respondent answered every question.i Below is a list of findings relating to psoriasis and its impact of social relationships.

    Nearly 80 percent (78.7%) of question respondents feel that psoriasis has had a negative impact on their personal relationships.ii

    Social Relationships

    • When having a psoriasis flare-up, 63.3 percent of respondents are less likely to go out socially iii and 53.6 percent have declined social invitations or cancelled plans because of a flare-up.iv Nearly 70 percent (69.6%) feel that psoriasis has impacted their social relationships.v
    • When meeting someone new, 74.3 percent of question respondents worry that the person will notice their psoriasis,vi and 72.1 percent of respondents are concerned that people that notice will think of them less favorably.vii
    • When going out for social occasions, 79.5 percent of respondents usually only wear outfits that cover up
      their psoriasis.viii
  • Pomegranate the Ancient Red Goddess October 2010
    Pomegranate the Ancient Red Goddess October 2010

    Pomegranate the Ancient Red Goddess!

    by Natalie Pergar

    Cranberr facial mask

    Known not only as part of the elite group of super fruits, the all mighty pomegranate, English word comes from the Latin words for apple; "pomum" (apple) and "granatus" (seeded), has been dated as far back as 1,000 BC and was introduced to North America by Spanish settlers in 1769. This red beauty represents global symbolism and history ranging from righteousness, prosperity, and fertility.

    With over 760 varieties of pomegranate it is one of the oldest known medicines to man. Ancient Greek healers would use pomegranate juice to manage health problems similar to arthritis, circulation problems, digestive disorders, and infections. And to add to the wonders of the pomegranate, the fruit was also involved in ancient beauty concoctions. Today with our growing beauty culture and desire to turn back the clock, we find ourselves revisiting what our ancient friends already knew with the help of modern science and research.

    Pomegranates are packed with phytonutrients, vitamin B, and an abundance of vitamin C. They contain red arils, tiny edible seeds that are loaded with juice and provide valuable fiber. They are delicious and fantastic to eat - though I would not recommend eating the white membrane that surrounds the arils as it is quite bitter and the consensus is that it is not recommended. And for those of us that count calories, a 1/2 cup of raw pomegranate has 80 calories and 0 grams of fat!

    According to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), pomegranate fruit extract contains several polyphenols and anthocyanidins (pigment that gives certain fruits their dark red colors). Its antioxidant activity is higher than that of red wine and green tea and research suggests that pomegranate extract may have significant clinical benefits in decreasing risk for skin cancer.

    By taking pomegranate extract capsules, one could reduce or reverse the signs of aging by promoting cell turnover and creating new, healthy skin. But that is not all! Evidence shows that including it in your skin care regime can provide wonderful results too. Rich in ellagic acid to manage free radicals, pomegranate oil contains punicic acid, an omega 5 conjugated fatty acid effective in aiding cell regeneration and proliferation. Pomegranate also carries beneficial phytoestrogen and a rare plant-based source of conjugated linoleic acids (CLA), an anti-carcinogen.

    So I salute you, oh red goddess of history. Bring me health and wellness with all your super fruit power!

    Pomegranate, Almond Oil, and Honey Mask

    ½ pomegranate
    2 tsp almond oil
    ½ tbsp organic honey

    Warm up the honey until it becomes liquid (not too hot!) by putting it in a small glass or metal bowl which is immersed in hot water. Peel the pomegranate half, cut the fruit in pieces, and put these in a bowl or food processor. Add the honey and almond oil. Blend it all into a smooth and uniform paste. Spread this gently and equally with your fingertips on your clean face and neck: keep the eye area clear. Now lie down, relax, and leave the mask on for 20 minutes. Then, wash it off with lukewarm water and end with a splash of cold water; pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Finally, apply a moisturizer, this way you "seal" your skin to keep the water inside. (For all skin types). *This fruit mask recipe peels your skin and we do not recommend using it on acne skin.

    Copyright ® 2009-2010 Natural – Homeremedies-For-Life

    Pomegranate Oat Bran Scrub

    2 ounces pomegranate juice
    2 ounces orange juice
    2 tbsp honey
    2 tbsp sea salt
    3 to 4 ounces oat bran

    1. In a container large enough to hold two cups, combine pomegranate and orange juices. To this add the honey and mix together well.
    2. Now add sea salt and oat bran. Mix together and allow the oat bran to soak up the liquids, about 10 to 20 minutes.
    3. Make sure to apply to a clean face. Probably the easiest way is to apply in the shower after you clean your face and allow it to set while you do other things. The steam from the shower helps allow the ingredients to penetrate your skin. Then, gently scrub off as you shower.

    Copyright ® eHow.com

Login to post comments

July 2020

Business Blogs

Brands of the Month

  • Repechage
  • DMK Skin Revision Center
  • Eminence Organic Skin Care

Client Care