Create an Express Bar Experience for Teens

Written by Lydia Sarfati, President and founder of Repêchage

Teenagers have always been bombarded by peer and academic pressure, but new research is finding that teenagers are having even more difficulties than in the past. One study found that high school students in the 2010s reported more difficulties, such as trouble sleeping, thinking, and remembering and shortness of breath; they were also twice as likely to have seen a professional for mental health concerns in comparison to their 1980s counterparts.1 

Mental health concerns include: anxiety, depression, significant weight change, change in diet, change in sleep patterns, fatigue, irritability, flat facial expression, little interest in activities they once found enjoyable, difficulty paying attention, withdrawal from social interaction or activities, low self-esteem, neglecting other activities, constant phone use, and sore neck or headaches.2

Skin care professionals can help alleviate these symptoms with regular skin care treatments where the teenager and their parent can experience true sensory stimulation, such as soothing scents and facial massage. These treatments will help to lessen the appearance of skin problems, such as oiliness or dull, sallow skin. It is a win-win situation for the teenager and the skin care professional. It does not cost nearly as much as a costly private summer camp program for the parent and could possibly help to prevent the detrimental conditions associated with the stressors of life.

Catering to teenagers requires a comprehensive model: age-appropriate menus, atmosphere, and treatment times that are convenient for a teenager’s busy schedule.

The first step is to create a menu of services that can easily be incorporated into other services teenagers already have. These services include easy-to-apply face masks during manicures and pedicures and invigorating dry brush massages prior to waxing. Another way to cater to the teenage market is to create an express bar experience that provides facial treatments that are both fun and beneficial.

Creating a spa mask express bar can be an area where teenagers can enjoy relaxing facial treatments that help stimulate the senses while helping to improve the appearance of skin texture and elasticity, as well as reduce the appearance of skin discoloration. Utilize natural extracts, such as seaweed, matcha green tea, chocolate, vanilla pumpkin, and mixed berry combined in a cleansing, alginate peel-off mask. These fresh facials can be customized like smoothies for the skin. Teenagers will love the delicious aromas while reaping the physical and emotional benefits of sensory stimulation from light facial massage and a calming, custom-blended face mask.

To begin, do a thorough skin analysis of the skin. If the teenage client has excessive oiliness and breakouts, recommend a full facial for oily, acne-prone skin that includes extractions.  If their skin is red and sensitized, recommend a full facial that includes ingredients such as: seaweed, silver, quercetin, and mirabalis jalapa, as well as a special silver ball massage device that allows the skin to be massaged with a lightweight serum without the fingers touching the face.

  1. Secure the client’s hair and dispense contents of a mild cleansing cream into the palm. Warm the cream between both hands and apply it to the client’s face and neck using circular motions. Use caution when cleansing around the eye area.
  2. Thoroughly remove the cleanser with a cotton swab saturated in lukewarm water and pat the client’s face dry with tissue.

  1. Apply a small amount of soothing, coconut oil-based massage cream into the palm and warm it between both hands. Massage the client’s face for 10 minutes using the following method:
    1. Apply the cream over the client’s entire face using light effleurage movements. Starting from the neck area, use the full palm of the hand to gently glide in an upward motion. Continue gliding up the neck, moving toward the facial area. Alternate the hands to continue the effleurage on the sides of the face and frontilis muscle across the forehead.
  2. Using the balls of the fingers, follow the details on the diagram, lightly tapping to tone the skin and improve circulation. Continue tapping for approximately 30 seconds.
  3. Resume effleurage movements with two hands simultaneously, moving upwards on the side of the face, switching hands on the forehead, and moving downwards toward the chin area.  Switch hands again to return upwards. Repeat this step several times in smooth movements.
  4. Perform shiatsu pressure points on key areas of the face. Following the diagram, apply a gentle pressure using the balls of the thumb and index fingers. Hold the pressure for three-to-five seconds.
  5. Perform effleurage again, moving the palms of the hands in an upward motion on the sides of the face and across the frontilis muscle on the forehead. End by applying pressure on the client’s temples with the index and middle finger, holding for a few moments. Leave the remaining soothing massage cream on the face and proceed with the next steps of the facial.
  6. Choose a mask based on the client’s skin needs. Vanilla pumpkin is beneficial for oily or acne-prone skin because it helps to soften and smooth the skin. Matcha green tea is great for moisturizing and soothing the appearance of the skin. Mixed berry masks can help deep clean and reduce the appearance of oil, while chocolate is hydrating and softening to the appearance of the skin. After determining the correct formula for the client, thoroughly mix the packet of powder with a seaweed and aloe gel to create a smooth paste and apply it to the face with a spatula, being sure to avoid the eye area.
  7. Apply eye pads steeped in seaweed and aloe extract to the eye area. Let the mask set for 10 minutes while the client relaxes and listens to soothing music. At this time, provide a hand massage.
  8. Remove the mask by gently lifting it off the face, first loosening it around the edges and then carefully rolling the mask upwards from the chin line.
  9. Clean the face of any mask residue with a moistened cotton swab.
  10. Apply a small amount of coconut oil-based moisturizer into the palm of the hands and apply it to the client’s face, performing light effleurage movements until the cream is absorbed. Finish at the temples, gently holding for a few moments and then releasing. 

Be sure to recommend an at-home version of the mask and eye pads for the teenager to use two to three times a week until their next appointment. Encourage teenage clients to return weekly for this fast, easy treatment in order to enjoy the benefits for their skin and their rested and restored mental state.


  1. Twenge, J. M. (2014). Time Period and Birth Cohort Differences in Depressive Symptoms in the U.S., 1982–2013. Social Indicators Research, 121(2), 437-454. doi:10.1007/s11205-014-0647-1
  2. (n.d.). Retrieved December 05, 2017, from

Images courtesy of  Sarkli-Repechage, Ltd.  
© 2017 Sarkli-Repechage, Ltd.  All rights reserved.

Lydia Sarfati, president and founder of Repêchage, is an internationally recognized skin care expert quoted in Vogue, In Style, Glamour, and New York Times, as well as featured on CNN, CBS, and FOX. Sarfati is the creator of the world-renowned Four Layer Facial® and has over 30 years of experience as an aesthetician, spa owner, manufacturer, and consultant. She authored Success at Your Fingertips: How to Succeed in the Skin Care Business. She has recently been appointed honorary chair of EstheticsAmerica, CIDESCO USA and is Skin Care & Spa Council Director of Intercoiffure North America.

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