What this means for the skin care professional and spa owner is that these devices are no longer shrouded in mystery or exclusively reserved for medical spas or the dermatologist. Consequently, clients visiting the spa are well versed and well aware of the capabilities of these new machines and are, oftentimes, using them at home. Medical devices are no longer an obscure trend; they are here to stay and are gaining popularity among all age groups.
WHAT’S OUT THERE NOW?
Spa owners often ask if they should invest in particular medical devices or in multifunction machines. It is difficult to answer this question because each business and each menu is unique, but having access to medical devices, whether they are in the form of a multifunction machine or individual, handheld equipment, is becoming increasingly important. It is also important to use products that work well with these devices. Luckily, most skin care companies will provide education on products in their line that can be used with certain devices. Therefore, it is not always necessary to invest in additional lines that are specifically meant to be used with these devices.
Incorporating new devices and new techniques will not only bring new and exciting treatments to clients, but also allow the skin care professional to charge more for certain treatments. This change in services will keep clients interested and engaged and demonstrate that the professional is on the cutting edge of the latest industry trends.
When a client visits a spa, they almost always have a goal in mind. While it may seem obvious that the goal should be to maintain good skin, control a skin condition (such as acne), or purchase new products, clients will often say that they are there to relax and get away while also receiving the best treatment for their money.
Although all of these goals have converged into them being there and willing to spend their money, the job of the professional is to really figure out why they are there that day because this information allows the professional to cater to the client’s needs and modify their offerings and treatments accordingly.
UNDERSTANDING THE CLIENT’S WANTS AND NEEDS
Typically, there are two types of clients; regulars and new clients. Regulars come in consistently and know the business, the professional, and have specific expectations. New clients are just checking things out and trying the spa for the first time. In both cases, take a few minutes before each session to ask some pointed questions to not only figure out their tastes and preferences, but also to understand some of their skin issues and, in some cases, their medical history.
Before beginning a treatment, professionals will want to know and investigate a number of factors that will vary by client.
Pressure – Different clients react differently to facials and body massages. Some like a moderate-to-high pressure to really feel like they are getting a deep tissue massage; others prefer a lighter touch that is similar to a relaxation massage. Knowing this will help professionals decide whether or not more or less pressure should be incorporated.
Extraction – Most clients love extractions, but clients with sensitive skin may not like it as much and will probably want to avoid it altogether. This information will allow the professional to customize the extraction process and duration.
Skin Conditions – The answer to this concern is not always straightforward; some clients will talk about specific concerns, like brown spots or acne, while other clients will keep it general, like “slow aging” or “obtain a better complexion.” Knowing their concerns every time will help professionals to decide which facial to use and, consequently, which device is most appropriate for the task.
Aromatherapy – While some oils smell great, others can give clients a very bad headache and cause a pretty severe allergic reaction. With allergies in adults on the rise from constant environmental pollution, it is important to know whether or not the client will like the use of aromatherapy during a treatment.
Additional Massage – When professionals are asked what their clients like during a facial, most of them will say that clients appreciate being massaged on their arms and face. This answer is not surprising since most people are there to get away and feel relaxed and renewed. Adding more time for massaging the neck, chest, arms, and hands will only increase their happiness.
It should not come as a surprise that most clients love variety and want to try new things; incorporating new techniques during treatments means more variety, more satisfaction, and potentially higher pricing. Once this information is gathered, customize and modify the client’s treatment.
MEDICAL DEVICES AND OTHER TECHNIQUES
Once the client’s likes and dislikes are known, adjust the treatment accordingly. One or two medical device insertions at most, per facial, is recommended. Not enough use of medical devices causes the treatment to feel like a regular facial; too much use of medical devices causes the client to feel left out of the healing touch they look forward to during a facial.
When it comes to cleansing, the prevalence and popularity of sonic devices are well known. Do not hesitate to use those devices with a suitable, creamy cleanser on either the face or the body. Used well and sparingly, especially around the T-zone and problem areas, they provide a deep cleaning and allow professionals to potentially reduce the extraction time and effort. These devices should be used with caution for clients with sensitive skin or severe acne; both of these extreme cases should be treated with care. Asking questions and knowing the client is critical when changing things up.
Microdermabrasion is a well-known treatment that has been around for a while. Although it is sometimes used as a standalone treatment, statistics show that microdermabrasion is not as popular as it used to be. This decline in popularity could be due to the fact that only using machines during a treatment is not something clients appreciate. However, microdermabrasion can be used sparingly and can be incorporated into a facial on smaller areas, such as the nose, where most people experience congestion and blackheads or whiteheads. Microdermabrasion can also work wonders when performed before a light chemical peel.
Chemical peels are extremely effective, but tend to scare some clients because they worry about downtime and potential burns. While chemical peels are amazing, when done correctly, not every client wants them. If a client needs a peel but is hesitant, professionals can introduce them a lighter peel with a pH between 3 and 3.5. Those peels go on the skin like a mask and can help brighten the skin with little-to-no side effects. Some great choices have a combination of enzymes, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid. Unfortunately, there are no simple medical devices that address blotchiness and brown spots. Those concerns require an IPL laser, which is not easily incorporated into a standard facial.
Anti-aging is one of the biggest trends of the last five years. Making sure that the spa offers anti-aging treatments is essential. Statistically speaking, the population is aging. In fact, the age group over the age of 40 has tripled in the United States in the last 50 years. By some estimates, one third of the population will be over 65 years old by 2050. Chances are, many clients coming into the spa will be concerned with aging. They will want to lift and firm to get rid of any sagging skin.
Microcurrent has become very trendy in the last couple of years. Microcurrent technology is improving and handheld devices, for both retail and professional use, are now abundant. Microcurrent seems to be very effective at regenerating and toning the skin, in turn giving it that lifted look.
Microcurrent patches for the eye area are easy, disposable, and provide an added novelty to the facial. The eyes tend to age faster than the face and sometimes can make clients look older than they really are; therefore, more focus on the eyes during treatments is very important.
Red LED for Anti-aging
Red LED stimulates cellular turnover, which in turn boosts collagen production. This boost regenerates the skin to slow aging. When used with serious anti-aging skin care, it becomes quite effective. This device is typically added towards the end of the facial and the red LED can be used for a few minutes or more, depending on the duration of the treatment.
Blue LED for Acne
Blue LEDs are also starting to make an appearance in retail for acne treatments. The idea is that at a certain frequency, typically 435 to 500 microns, the light will destroy bacteria and soothe inflammation. Because adult acne has been on the rise for the past 30 years, many skin care professionals offer an acne-specific facial. A blue LED treatment can be incorporated into the facial because it will enhance the treatment. While severe acne can sometimes be a persistent condition, for some clients, a reduction of acne flare ups is well worth the time and the money.
Dark Spot Correctors
Although there are not many devices capable of replacing lasers, which are used in medical spas and at the doctor’s office, for the treatment of brown spots, spas should carry dark spot correctors. These serums are very popular and work well at reducing the occurrence of new brown spots.
This treatment is an alternative to fractional lasers and can be performed by a skin care professional. The idea behind microneedling is to disrupt the skin to boost the production of collagen. Microneedling can be offered on the face and around the eye area and can also treat scars.
A variety of retail products is very critical to the business success of a spa. The professional can even sell medical devices. While some spa owners prefer not to sell medical devices because they worry about their clients not returning to the spa, the professional and consumer worlds have become commingled and many professional lines are selling their products on the open market. Furthermore, at-home devices are oftentimes not as powerful as the professional’s tool. A treatment is never done as well at home as it is in the spa.
Christiane Waldron is the founder and CEO of Jenetiqa, a professional, luxury skin care company focused on providing highly bio-available skin care products that combine scientifically-proven antioxidants with natural botanicals and skin vitamins. Waldron is a chemical engineer by profession and is the chief scientist for Jenetiqa. She personally hand picks each ingredient in the formulas. Waldron’s philosophy is to design and formulate multi-tasking products that help address all signs of aging.