People are investing in themselves and spas are positioned to help them do so. How is this Baby Boomer trend influencing the dynamic role of the skin care professional to better serve the aging client?
Body image refers to the perception that one holds when they view themselves in the mirror, including how they envision others see them. Poor perception of one's body can lead to feelings of shame, self-consciousness, and anxiety. Due to societal influences, especially from the media, a person's desire for self-care can easily be turned into self-criticism. Age-related body image concerns typically consists of sagging skin, cellulite, weight gain, and hyperpigmentation.
The treatment room is often a safe space for clients to open up about everyday life challenges, including changes they experience with their appearance due to aging. Reinforcing a positive self-image can help clients quiet their inner critic. For example, if clients mention that they feel down about weight gain or sagging skin during a treatment, assure them that the effects of aging are natural and universal. Skin care professionals should also be mindful of referring to their own body image services as enhancements for mature beauty rather than suggest that aging is a process to fight against. The term 'anti-aging' is passé.
Skin care professionals should think of themselves as body image coaches. Helping clients build a healthier self-image begins with practices that can be recommended inside and outside the treatment room. Encourage clients to incorporate lifestyle habits such as exercise, sun protection, adequate water intake, and stress reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, and tai chi.
Professionals should also recommend a series of body treatments that will help the client firm, slim, and smooth away dry, sun damaged skin. Clients rely on their skin care professional as their coach to hold them accountable for attaining their stated body image goals. Each time the client returns to the spa, an opportunity arises to check-in and provide encouragement.
When clients view their skin care professional as a valued partner that genuinely strives to help them improve their relationship with their bodies, they will be more inspired and motivated to return for services year after year.