The Wellness Skin Health Connection

Wellness is a buzzword that has been a part of the spa world for many years now. Some call it a trend, some say it is the way of the future for spas and if you don’t jump on the wellness bandwagon you will be missing out.


What is wellness and what does it mean for a spa or a spa service? There are many ways to define wellness and even more reasons why we would want to include it in our own life and also our treatment rooms.


I will start with this quote by J. Stanford, “Health is a state of the body. Wellness is a state of being”. Wellness as defined by Webster a “the state of being in good health”. Does it mean our physical body needs to be in good health or does it mean more? Does it mean that our body, mind, and spirit all need to be in good health?


In the not too distant past, the medical world, food pyramids, dieticians, and such only focused on the body – the physical aspect. In today’s world, we now know so much more about the human body and that it works as one in tandem with the mind and the spirit. If that’s true, then our care, services, and treatments need to follow suit, and all be on a holistic level. That means incorporating treatments for the body, mind, and spirit – wellness embodied.



This is not just a trend in our industry, but hospitals and cancer centers are looking for wellness programs as well. The two hospitals that I work within Washington asked me last year to plan and facilitate some sort of event for their cancer patients along the wellness line. They didn’t know what they wanted; they just knew they needed it. So, I collaborated with a local cancer retreat location and put together a “Spa for the Soul” event. I gathered all the oncology-trained professionals in my area (aestheticians, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and a local naturopathic doctor that shares her knowledge about essential oils). I love that this is a gift we can give so easily with our touch, talents, and skills. And, the best part for me is seeing the smiles on the faces of the patients. They leave with a sense of wellness – refreshed, renewed, happy, and having met new friends. The next best benefit (unexpected at first) is that each one of the practitioner’s also left feeling refreshed and renewed. This is something that you could easily plan for your clients and community.


It started small and (you know how it goes) each attendee told a friend or two and now we have a full house of happy clients and caregivers receiving a day full of wellness two times a year.


In a world where spas (21,076) outnumber Starbucks (15,130) in the United States, (unbelievable, right?) wouldn’t this be a great way for you to serve your community and stand out? And, you would be doing something fun, different, and beneficial for all.



So, what does wellness have to do with skin health? Remember when you were in school and we learned (hopefully) all the things that can impact skin health? Here are a few just to jog your memory:

  • Stress
  • Bad diet
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Lack of exercise
  • Lack of water or dehydration
  • Lack of sleep

All of these can be helped or remedied with a dose of mindful wellness. Let’s put this into a few client scenarios so you can see what I’m talking about:


Our first client lives a high pressure life as a business owner and is always on the run. She tells herself, “It’s okay, I work best like this – you know, when my hair is on fire.” She works too much, doesn’t eat right (skips meals), drinks a lot of coffee, doesn’t hydrate, has (or takes) no time for the gym or exercise and when she comes in to see you, she has stressed, worn out, dehydrated skin and doesn’t know or understand why. She wants you to wave your magic “esty wand” and make it all go away. (Sound familiar?)


Can you “fix” her? What if you give her your best, hydrating, antiaging service that you offer and even add in all the bells and whistles? She might look good (or better) today when she leaves, but will she get the lasting results she was looking for if she doesn’t adjust the rest of her lifestyle? Do all of these things matter in skin care? Do you ask questions about lifestyle on your intake form? If not, do you really know what you are working with or how to help? What would you do with this client if she came in to see you? What wellness tips could you provide to help her cope?


The second client is a healthy yoga teacher who is vegan and practices self-care on a daily basis. She spends all day Sunday cooking and prepping meals so that she can ensure that she and her husband are eating properly. She usually has beautiful skin and she loves seeing you and all that you do for her. Mostly, the hour break where she gets to be pampered and relax for a bit.


But, this time when she comes in you notice that she has dark circles under her eyes and her skin doesn’t have her usual glow. What happened? What changed? When you start talking you find out that her mom was recently diagnosed with advanced cancer. And as her only daughter, of course, she stepped in to help her aging dad with all her mom’s new care. That means trips to the hospital and doctor’s office several times a week, cooking for Dad, and helping with all their household chores.


So, add that all up, not to mention the stress and heartache that she is experiencing when she thinks about losing her mom and it’s no wonder her skin is acting out. She is grabbing fast food when she must as she rushes through her days just to get it all done. By the time she gets home, takes care of her own home and hubby, she crashes. What can you do for this client? What tips for wellness can you suggest for helping her out? Do you have a referral network with someone that you could refer her to for some help?


We’ve all had clients like these. Did you feel equipped to help them with their new skin issues related to lifestyle?


Next month I will be listing out tips and ideas that you can add into your services to incorporate wellness, so that you are able to (better) help clients like these two, while creating client loyalty, love, and increasing your business. “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands – one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” by Audrey Hepburn.



Becky Kuehn 2019




Becky Kuehn is founder of Oncology Spa Solutions®, author of Life Changing Esthetics®, and a licensed master aesthetician, cosmetologist, holistic cancer educator, and hope coach. Her journey with started at the age of 18 when she was diagnosed with cancer. She had already lost friends and family members to cancer, so she was very familiar with the chaos and trauma associated with diagnosis and loss. As a cancer survivor for over three decades, she has made it her mission to discover and develop ways to turn around the devastating side-effects of cancer treatments and return quality of life to those in need. Kuehn is the founder and owner of Oncology Spa Solutions®, now the leading oncology training for spa, salon, and medical professionals. She is the author of “Life Changing Esthetics,” and a contributing author in the “Estheticians Guide to Outstanding Esthetics” Vol I and II. She has been part of the expert judge panel for The Skin Games’ Holistic, Compassionate, and Compromised skin categories. And, she provides advice and education articles for newspapers and industry leading magazines and is an invited speaker for oncology training at conventions.

Hand Washing: How Often, When, and Best Practice

Though many of us understand the importance of hygiene in the workplace, some remain unaware of exactly why we practice these infection control protocols in the first place. As practitioners, we are tasked with utilizing those sanitation practices, to the best of our abilities to reduce the spread of illness and disease from one client to the next and to ourselves. Knowing when to wash and then doing so effectively makes easy work of this routine. Having a solid understanding of not only how to properly wash hands, but also your personal responsibility can bring to light your role in infection control. It is ultimately the responsibility of each one of us to protect ourselves and those around us.



There are multiple statistics that have been published by various entities that support frequent and effective handwashing to reduce communicable illness. According to the Center for Disease Control, “More than 50% of healthy persons have staphylococcus aureus living in or on their nasal passages, throats, hair, or skin.” Without the proper handwashing protocol in place, it stands to be believed that serious illness could be easily transferred during the simplest of spa or clinical services. With most practitioners coming in direct contact with their clients, it is of paramount importance that these individuals follow scientifically proven methods of hand hygiene, such as that that has been published by the Center for Disease Control, to practice their individual responsibilities of reducing the spread of sickness. Finding protocols and guidelines that adhere to supported research but that also suites your professional needs are the most important part of the everyday in this industry. Being vigilant is key as information is evolving and updating regularly.



In the aesthetics industry, hand hygiene and infection control are serious business that most try their best to embrace and follow to specificity. However, with so many guidelines and information available on the internet today, it can be difficult to decipher what the best practice is. The Mayo Clinic has published a do’s and don’ts guideline on their website that helps to narrow down the specifics of proper hand washing. First, they suggest always washing hands according to protocol – prior to food handling, personal service work, and before touching any mucosa or the eyes. Additionally, they recommend washing hands directly after preparing food, using the restroom, blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing, when hands are visibly dirty, and so on. These examples make clear when we should be washing our hands during the treatment protocol. Such as during the treatment room setup, before greeting the client, and before starting the treatment procedure but also utilizing an anti-bacterial hand sanitizer during treatment and then making sure to wash our hands after the treatment has concluded. In conjunction, we can start to see where hand washing falls into the infection control process and just how important it really is.


Hand hygiene and our ability to reduce the spread of illness is only as robust as our hand washing is effective. When done properly, hand washing can essentially reduce the transmission of disease and sickness. With the many questions into proper technique, the do’s and do not’s, and the basic tools needed, it is best to do your research to find the correct information.



The website Very Well Health has created a list of compiled information to help you make sound decisions everyday hygiene. The handwashing recommendations they included comes directly from the Center for Disease Control and states, “Hand washing is critical to the prevention of infection and should be done frequently.” The correct technique includes using warm running water, soap, and a friction-type movement, like rubbing, to create a rich lather. This lather should then be manipulated over the palms, over the backs of the hands, between the fingers, and under the nails if a free edge exists. This should take place for a minimum of 20 seconds, for which they recommend singing your ABC’s, twice, to be sure it is been long enough. You’ll then rinse your hands well with the running water, preferably starting at the wrists, and then thoroughly drying hands with a paper towel. It is also recommended to turn off the water, if possible, with that paper towel – considering the faucet was turned with dirty hands. This will hopefully prevent cross-contamination of your now clean hands. Although hand washing is the pinnacle of hand hygiene, using an anti-bacterial hand sanitizer can temporarily reduce the number of microbes on the surface of the skin until the hands can be physically cleaned. Using the hand sanitizer much like you would the lather from soap, you should dispense enough to coat both hands thoroughly and work it around the hands with a rubbing or friction motion until the product can completely dry. Gloves can also provide an effective barrier to disease until hand washing can be done. Practicing good hand hygiene is the simplest and easiest way to protect yourself and others and should be included in all infection control protocols within your service menu offerings.


One of the first things we learn as practitioners is to wash our hands and do so often. This will not only protect us from illness, but it is also a crucial aspect of infection control. By taking care to properly clean and sanitize the hands before and after each client interaction, we can uphold our individual responsibilities to help protect those around us. Take the time to sing a song and effectively wash your hands. Washing your hands is easy and reducing the spread of illness is much easier with good hand washing and proper infection control. It is not only good business; it is undoubtedly the biggest and most important part of the job.







Brittany Facio is a Phoenix-based educator-turned-business development manager, passionate about how proper aesthetics education and sophisticated protocol implementation can create business-changing revenue. As a business development manager, she is responsible for not only educating her clients on skin care products and protocols, both on an individual basis and in regional training seminars, but also for providing marketing, merchandising, and branding assistance to generate leads and capture a new audience. When she is not working, Facio can be found enjoying play time with her family and Havanese rescue, Spruce, trying a new dinner recipe, and binge-watching comedies on Netflix.

A Perfect Pairing: Microneedling and LED

The pursuit of youthful skin, as well as a healthy glow is the desire of the of majority women. Very few are blessed with porcelain, blemish-free skin. It’s therefore no surprise that skin rejuvenation and the reduction of the signs of aging are the most frequent cosmetic requests that present to the professionals. The pursuit of youthful skin, as well as a healthy glow is the desire of the of majority women. Very few are blessed with porcelain, blemish-free skin. It’s therefore no surprise that skin rejuvenation and the reduction of the signs of aging are the most frequent cosmetic requests that present to the professionals. There are endless cosmetic treatments available, as well as antiaging products with incredible promises. So, how do we choose the best treatment for clients? And how do our clients choose the best products? What interventions can professionals adopt to improve the skin integrity, smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, and enhance skin for a healthy glow? Which treatments are best and will provide visible results, improve the skin, and deliver long lasting results at an affordable price?


There is an array of invasive and non-invasive procedures available in clinics and spas. Establishing which modality and pathway to choose can be a daunting challenge. We can be easily drawn in by the latest and best device that promises amazing results but carries a heavy financial burden to small businesses and spas.  The more invasive procedures using the latest equipment, while very effective in collagen rejuvenation and remodeling, carry risks and complications as well as downtime and, for some, prolonged recovery periods. Minimally invasive procedures while more tolerated may require frequent treatments to achieve the same results.However, there is an increasing demand from the consumer for treatments with little or no downtime, carry little risk of complications, and are cost effective. One of the many non-ablative treatments that remain a popular choice among professionals is microneedling or collagen induction therapy. 


Microneedling is a safe and effective procedure involving repetitive puncturing of the skin with sterilized needles to induce trauma to the epidermis. The concept originally developed by Orentreich in 1994, used skin needling to release fibrous strands in depressed cutaneous scars and fine lines. Dr. Andre Camirand reported that needle dermabrasion using a tattoo gun without ink could improve scars and improve the skin texture and tone of surrounding skin. However, Desmond Fernandes suggested that the depth needed to be deeper to stimulate collagen and elastin fibers and went on to develop the first cylindrical roller. Subsequent studies demonstrated a substantial improvement from 400% to 1,000% in elastin and collagen fibers six months after dermaroller therapy. 


The effectiveness of microneedling is the stimulation of controlled inflammatory and healing reaction and the remodeling of collagen through the release of growth factors, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast and epidermal growth factor (FGF and EGF), platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), and transforming growth factor (TGF). Studies have shown that VEGF is upregulated after needling and plays an important role in angiogenesis, as well as keratinocyte function. Microneedling helps to regulate the secretion of melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) with a reduction two weeks after the procedure. As a non-ablative technique its results are similar to other invasive modalities but without the adverse side effects, such as hyperpigmentation, and is versatile, treating a number of skin concerns with very short downtime.The adoption of light emitting diode (LED) continues to grow in popularity. Research continues to demonstrate that this form of non-thermal, light therapy has major benefits in treating skin conditions. The low cost, ease of use, and excellent safety profile coupled with the measurable visible results achieved ensures its place as one of the sought after therapies among professionals and consumers alike. LED, and in particular red wavelengths penetrate deeper and alters the intrinsic cellular activity using the principles of photobiomodulation. Chromophores in the skin absorb photons that cause alterations in the skins biophysiology that stimulates and generates change in cell proliferation, inflammation and collagen production. These affects include an increase in ATP, modulation of reactive oxidative species, increased collagen, increase microcirculation, and blood flow. The use of red LED has been shown to activate FGF, increase collagen type I and reduce matrix metalloproteinase (MMP -1). The increase in fibroblasts supports the increase in collagenesis. Studies have demonstrated that improvement in fine lines and wrinkles continue to improve up to 12 weeks post treatment. Red LED has proven to be beneficial for wound healing, photodamage, and premalignant lesions.When considering treatments which offer measurable results which are cost effective with minimum downtime and side effects, combining microneedling and LED appears to offer the best of both treatments. The release of multiple growth factors coupled with the increase in ATP and the fibroblast proliferation that the LED ensures, demonstrates that the combination treatment protocol of microneedling and LED are a perfect match to achieve healthy, glowing, rejuvenated skin.


Pam Cushing



Pam Cushing is a registered nurse with over 35 years of experience in emergency medicine. She has worked in the field of aesthetics for over 15 years, full-time for the last five years. Cushing holds a degree at the master’s level, with commendation, as well as a post-graduate diploma in aesthetic medicine, with merit. She is an independent nurse prescriber in the United Kingdom. Cushing is a consultant educator for a couple of companies educating in injectables, skin resurfacing and chemical peel, microneedling, and LED. She thrives on being able to educate, motivate, and encourage others to grow and develop professionally. She is passionate about skin and the benefits of aesthetics in improving the confidence and quality of lives. Cushing believes our key role is to educate the consumer on appropriate treatment modalities with the focus on maintaining skin health.

New Clients Dos and Don'ts


One of the most important aspects for the success of your practice is how you are perceived as a professional. Creating a pathway of success is vital to developing a loyal and long-term repeat client. How well you listen and understand the concerns of each person discloses information that will support your treatment direction. Your knowledge of the skin (histology and pathology), your choice of treatment protocols, cosmetic chemistry, and communication skills are all essential when determining the best way to proceed with your client. You also are building a confidence level by partnering with them as they walk through their journey of keeping their skin as healthy and youthful as possible. This information is also applicable to all levels of modalities from facials to body treatments, manicures, and pedicures.



As soon as a client walks through your door and shakes your hand, you are beginning the consultation process through observation, conversation, and listening. Proceed with a multidimensional approach that includes a visual observation, a written health intake form, lifestyle assessment, examination through a skin diagnostic device, and verbal interview. Collectively, you are building the landscape for creating a skin management program that serves the needs of your client. Carefully listen to their concerns from their perspective. What are their expectations? This information is expanded upon through your evaluation process that unlocks a more in-depth window of the underlying issues that involve the condition of their skin. What they perceive and what you evaluate requires that you develop a synergy between both perspectives. As a professional, what we do is to also gently educate and share the biological aspects of why their skin is the way it is. Explain your philosophy and how you work with clients.


The next step is to write out a pathway of treatment that could take several weeks of commitment and dedication in order to obtain lasting results. This also includes being compliant to a homecare regimen that works in tandem with your in-clinic sessions. Product selection should be customized for their condition with ingredients that will support its correction. Explain why you are recommending the chosen products. A key factor is to support the barrier function and understand that correction takes time. Keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm with too many products. A new client requires an easy introduction into their skin correction program that may include coming in once a week for the next 30 days to help accelerate their program. Offer an introductory series at a special rate.



There may be instances where you may have to recommend the client visit their dermatologist, especially when viewing anomalies that may be pre-cancerous lesions. We are not a dermatologist and, therefore, cannot diagnose. However, in the event that something appears suspicious, suggest that it may be a good idea to have a skin check by a medical professional.


The Consultation Pathway

  • Determine the basic majority skin type – foundation of the analysis.
  • Establish level of cellular damage to determine treatment program or if the condition is treatable. Note the treatment choice and its effect on the cells and underlying systems, as well as risk factors.
  • Establish a pathway of treatment based on the findings.



Given our modern-day landscape of client diversity that includes age, health, genetic background, and lifestyle, the importance of obtaining a thorough skin assessment requires that we remain mindful of who they are and their past history that reveals what is possible for a successful outcome of treatment.


During your consultation, an important phase is to evaluate a client’s level of commitment and what may be a realistic result. How you introduce them to a new concept will help with their decision.



At each session, perform a miniature evaluation with the client. What are they noticing about their skin? If they are following protocols at-home and attending regular appointments, there may be marked improvements. When they are trying to correct years of neglect, poor habits, environmental exposure, or health issues, the level of correction will be based on the biological age of their cells. There is a difference between biological age and chronological age. It may take several weeks to several months to help restore the skin to a better level of health.


Moreover, when there is a history of disease, including cancer, or taking medication, the skin will respond to the level that it is able given their history. The same holds true when they have a lifestyle that includes smoking, alcohol consumption, or poor diet. There is a total mind, body, and spirit connection with obtaining skin correction.


Focus on what positive affects you notice about their skin from their last appointment. Adjust their program as needed and become a positive role model and mentor for them.



Alexandria Zani



Alexandra J. Zani is an international educator, licensed instructor, speaker, author, and researcher in the professional skin care industry (medical and spa). Her career has included business ownership and management, consulting, product development, and author for textbooks and industry trade publications. Academic background includes cell biology and medical technology. Zani has received numerous advanced certifications, both in the Unites States and abroad, in the dermal sciences, spa therapies, microcurrent, LED, and non-ablative laser. Zani is on the Education Commission of the International Association for Applied Corneotherapy, is a member of NCEA (National Coalition of Estheticians, Associations and Distributors), and is certified in Oncology Esthetics and the Pastiche Method of Skin Analysis. She presents education for advanced aesthetic technology and treatment and is a specialist in longevity, including the effects of nutrition, lifestyle, and the mind-body connection. Zani is the owner and director of AEsthani Skincare Institute, LLC in Greenville, South Carolina and is also co-founder of Intellective Aesthetics, dedicated to post-graduate aesthetics studies.

Client Acquisition and Retention: The Importance of Follow-Ups

I remember a time where advanced services in the aesthetics industry were limited. When I started to have my legs waxed in my early teenage years there was literally one person in town who offered the service. In later years, not very long ago, I worked in a spa where we were the first to bring laser technology into the community and, therefore, we were the only (not the first) choice. It was good for us, and later gained market share and ended up being the first choice rather than the only choice, but my goodness has times changed?


Today, we live in a time where clients have a choice on where they want to spend their disposable income. It does not matter the treatment, what does matter is the knowledge and services you bring to the table, and how you nurture the relationship with the client who chose to spend their hard-earned money with you. When we fail to impress our clients, they will inevitably trade us in with the spa a few blocks down who has their customer service built into their daily protocols and nurture the relationship well.


The top question I get from the spas I work with to streamline in-house protocols for customer service is why they should invest the time and money into it when they get new clients through their doors all the time?


Over more than a decade of tracking numbers, the truth is that it is much more expensive to acquire a new client than it is to retain existing clients. The Pareto Principle also surfaces when we do a deep dive into numbers and see that 80% of the revenue really does come from 20% or your clients. What would it mean to your bottom line if you can increase the frequency, spending, and lifetime (in your business) of all your clients?


Here are the top strategies my clients and I find make a 30% or more improvement to the bottom line when implemented. I hope it does to yours too.



We are in the service industry and it is an opportunity to have our clients feel sensational by notating, remembering, and celebrating the things important to them, like birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates. Sometimes a simple acknowledgment is enough through e-mail or better yet – a real card in the post. Other times, it an opportunity to do something special for our regular clients. I am and never will be an advocate for discounts, I am a fan adding value. Spend a few minutes longer and add an extra massage to the facial. Perhaps you prefer adding a service like an eyelash tint instead? The point is to go the extra mile and it does not have to come at a huge cost.



This one might seem obvious, yet, it never ceases to amaze me that the obvious is rarely followed up on. When a client trusts you enough to send their loved ones to you, thank them. A discount is the most common way to acknowledge such a referral.

Personally, we have always had the policy to upgrade as a thank you. Yes, we upgrade the facial to the next level or add technology to their treatment (such as an LED service add-on), that way we are not out of pocket and it is extra-luxurious to spend more time with the client at their next service. The minute such a referral comes in, take the extra step to look up the referee’s next appointment and call them in person to thank them and to their service. If they don’t have their next appointment booked, upgrade their usually booked service right then and there. You just retained that individual if they have not yet rebooked.



Ever went to the hair salon and dropped some good money on a fabulous cut and color? You now made the investment and want to maintain the color for as long as possible, so you buy all the stuff the hairdresser recommended, to maintain good homecare, but can’t remember if it was one shampoo or a double shampoo? How often did she say to use the hair mask? We do the same in the world of skin. Rush through the consultation, make recommendations, and look forward to seeing them when they pop in for their next facial, or wax, or other services. When you have a protocol in place to follow-up on sales and services you will be surprised how clients take the time to tell you they never had their aesthetician phone them three days after the purchase of their skin care regimen to hear how things are going for them. They are simply wowed.

I highly recommend building an in-house system where you know when clients had a specific service for the first time and purchased a specific product for the first time (if they are regulars). If they are new, it is obvious that it is their first time buying any product or service from you. Have time in your schedule every day to make a few calls to these first-time occurrences and follow-up to check in at the three day mark. It is not a cost of your time, it is an investment into your future to the tune of 30%, according to clients we tracked over 18 months.



There are times when business is a little slower than the norm, and when you have a team it is dreaded. I recommend you see it as a great opportunity to get some education on the books, catch-up on some cleaning, and making sure clients don’t fall through the cracks and trade you in for a new aesthetician. How? Invite them in for a follow-up consultation. If you have diagnostic equipment it is a great time to pull a report of the clients that have not been back in to see you in 12 to 24 weeks (danger time for being traded) and get new diagnostic images or measurements done. It is always easier to reconnect with your clients in-person than it is to do so over the phone or e-mail.



Do you utilize a powerful consultation to set expectations for six to 12 months with all your clients? Especially new clients must be informed of how they can work with you.


I have been a longtime advocate of an in-depth consultation for the first appointment. This allows you to really get to know a client, understand their risk factors, contraindications, and allow you to prepare a long-term treatment and homecare plan for clients.


When they know that it is my expectation to see them every week for six weeks and then monthly for maintenance treatments with an invitation to book these in advance, they are far more likely to do so than when I never even ask for the booking to start with. Don’t assume clients know when they should be in – to extend the invitation. I recommend you guide all treatment plans for clients by clearly stating what you will start with and what you will move onto.


For example, “We will start with a six week facial program to repair skin barrier function and control cellular inflammation. After that, we will have a reassessment of your skin, and it is the intention at that point that we will start to bring in antiaging protocols into your regimen. I assess you are a good candidate and recommend collagen induction therapy for the next phase of treatments, and that means your homecare protocol will involve (insert homecare recommendations) and treatments will occur every four to six weeks for a minimum of six treatments. Can I book these for you today?”


It does not matter if you have to adjust the appointments in a few weeks or months – get them in because you want clients to understand that it is a long-term relationship just like healthy eating and exercise. You can add all recommendations in this consultation. I use a year-long calendar where I draft a rough plan for clients and get at least their first six treatments on the books. You can also book your entire team’s appointments this way.


This is one of my favorite topics and there could be 10 or 15 tips to share. For now, I encourage you to pick two or three of these strategies and implement them into your daily spa protocols. Lead your clients and reap the rewards of the relationships.




2019 Rene Serbon



René Serbon is an international skin expert. She started her education focusing on business studies (marketing) and then moved to aesthetics. She began studying in New Zealand and completed training in beauty therapy (called aesthetics in Canada and the United States), as well as electrolysis through the New Zealand Institute of Electrolysis and Beauty Therapy. Serbon sat for international examinations and is a diplomat of both CIBTAC and CIDESCO. She completed post-graduate training in laser, IPL, and the Pastiche Method of Advanced Skin Analysis, for which Serbon was later an honoree as a Pastiche recognized educator. She also serves on the board of education for the International Association for Applied Corneotherapy.

How to Effectively Rebook Clients

If you are not rebooking each client after their service you are not only doing yourself a disservice, but your client as well. I often hear other providers saying they feel uncomfortable or pushy when asking clients if they’d like to rebook for the following month. Most providers assume if the client wants to rebook that they will do so themselves, this is not always the case. Our clients rely on us for our professional opinion and expertise. It is our obligation as their skin care provider to create a treatment plan and pathway for them to reach their goal. If you are not rebooking your client after each appointment, I can promise you they are thinking, you don’t want them or value them as a client or that you flat out just don’t care. You don’t know what to do next or they think you don’t have a pressing need to continue treatment.



When it comes to rebooking clients, there are several effective practices I use. During the client consultation, I ask my client what it is that they dislike the most about their skin. I then create a detailed treatment pathway or what I like to call my plan of action to help them obtain their skin goals. I always discuss my plan of action, so that my client is aware of my intentions from our very first encounter and rescheduling after each appointment is a no brainer.


Another effective practice I use to increase the likelihood of my client rescheduling is talking about my game plan for their next treatment during their service. This is a wonderful way to paint a picture of the next treatment in your client’s head and get them motivated. This is personally my favorite technique to getting clients to rebook. Not only will talking about next month’s service during their current treatment entice them to rebook, but it also gives you an opportunity to educate them on the benefits of it.


Finally, my most effective tip for rebooking clients is to tell them – don’t ask. I do this every single time I rebook a client. I never ask them if they would like to rebook for next month or give them the option to reschedule with me. I simply say, “I’m going to book you four weeks out for your next treatment, what day(s) work best for you typically?” I have yet to have someone tell me no. Yes, I know, this takes a lot of confidence. but it speaks volumes to your client when you know what you want to do with their skin and act. Don’t forget that you are in charge – you are the professional.



 When it comes to following up with clients, I always send out “thank you” e-mails 48 hours after their scheduled appointment. Sending out a simple “thank you” e-mail is an easy way to show your clients you appreciate them and casually remind them to rebook with you next month. I will also reach out to my clients who have received more invasive treatments or require more attention either 48 hours or two weeks after their treatments (depending on what type of treatment they had done). Following up with your clients is imperative to a healthy client relationship and it increases client retention. This also shows them that you truly care for them and value them as a client. There are many talented and skilled skin care professionals in this industry, but what can make you stand out is your unmatched client care and interpersonal skills. Not everyone has the personality to be able to deal with clients effectively and build strong interpersonal relationships. I personally follow up with my acne bootcamp clients bi-weekly to make sure everything is going well with their homecare and to check in on their skin’s progress. I truly believe following up with clients increases their desire to rebook and reschedule with me time and time again.



Another way to increase your client’s desire to rebook is by educating them. Education is the foundation of a successful client and provider relationship. I firmly believe the more your clients know and understand about their skin care products and treatments, the more willing and likely they are to do it. I educate my clients on every treatment I perform on them and every single product they go home with.


The most important tip to successfully rescheduling and rebooking clients is to educate and communicate with them, set goals, and create a plan of action. Be sure your clients are thoroughly aware of your treatment plan and are fully educated on the all of the services and products you recommend for them. Remember to always discuss their next service during their treatment and to rebook them before they leave. Most importantly, always follow up with your clients and make sure they know you care about them.



Savanna Boda





Savanna Boda is a licensed medical aesthetician, laser technician, and advanced permanent makeup artist in Dallas, Texas. She specializes in corrective skin care and microblading.

Finding New Clients in a New Decade

Social media, engagement, content creation, and organic posts versus paid promotions – these are the topics everyone ponders when thinking about how to attract new clients. But, before you can even begin to address these, you may need to take a step back and assess your brand. Who are we? What does it look like and sound like? What is the mission, vision, values, identity, voice, and personality? If you can answer these questions first, you’ll have a solid foundation on which to build a successful strategy that delivers the right new clients. Without this foundation, you’re just throwing mud against the wall hoping something sticks. So, to help you begin building your foundation, I turned to some experts in the space. I began with Alexandra Frumberg, the founder of ALX Creatives – a brand and social strategy agency. I asked Frumberg how defining your brand can lead to growth, new clients, and more. “There is one thing we have unwavering control over online and that is our brand story. This is the key to success.” These are her top three recommendations for getting started:


When you have a clear mission and purpose, everyone feels the authenticity of your story and your brand. From there you can develop the pillars that support that mission both visually and verbally. This is called your brand identity. Once you know who you are as a brand, you can identify who your target customer is.


Consistency is the key to unlocking powerful brand awareness. When your audience can identify your company voice and visual representation, you are in a good space to grow. Your user should have the same experience online engaging with your brand as your customer has in your physical space. What does your physical space look like? Your brand must also be able to evolve with digital media because the velocity of change is at an all-time high. Your brand should translate across multiple channels and be strong enough to apply to different and new channels (one example is Facebook versus Instagram Stories). That’s how you stay relevant over time.



Give love to your audience and they will mirror it. Be authentic, real, and open. Create a compelling community they want to support. Design a digital strategy to target and engage your audience across touchpoints with these ideas (above) in mind. Start by establishing a content calendar for Facebook and Instagram. This should include clear content goals and categories built to educate, inspire, and entertain. From there you can layer in an influencer strategy and a paid ads program. Today Facebook and Instagram are a pay to play. Period. Find a strong specialist who can manage your ads. Your ads should get people to stop scrolling. They should feel organic yet grab their attention.

What are your recommendations for transforming customers into fanatics and advocates?

1. Add value, not noise. If you believe a product or service adds value, find success stories, and illustrate. Rinse and repeat.


2. Find a customer(s) that believes you have transformed their life in some way. Inspire them to tell their story. Video and share. People trust other people online before they will trust you.3. There is an addictive quality to feeling part of something. Embed them in your culture by building relationships that are personal. Get your team on board.

Today we are in a new era of the “relatable influencer.” Consumers are fed up with fake. They want to relate. Trending hashtags like #nofilter and #nomakeup will continue to grow in popularity. Think about these concepts as you identify your brand personality in the context of attracting new clients. Aesthetic medicine is no longer just about vanity but about #selfcare, #wellness, and #skinhealth. Use this messaging to attract these clients, because changing how they think about aging starts with changing the way we talk about aging. Develop strategic collaborations around these concepts that fit your brand.


Now that you’re on your way to building (or rebuilding) your brand, how do you identify those target customers? I turned to another strategist, Adam Haroun of BrandingMD, about developing a profile of your best client or super customer. In his book “Now the Patient Will See You,” Haroun recommends creating a buyer persona and then crafting a message that resonates with prospects just like them. Tap into your business's most passionate (and profitable) clients to discover more just like them. In fact, you may find you have three or four different profiles that represent all your best clients. Begin by mining your data and don’t be afraid to spend a few days on this. Look through your client database and profile the best.• Who followed the treatment plan?• Who was compliant with homecare?• Which combination therapies did they purchase?• Did they purchase a series or package?• How did they find you?• Where do your reviews and referrals come from?• What else do you know about them? How your super customer spends their time is as insightful as to how they spend their money.


Many aesthetic providers worry about competition and competitive pricing, but Haroun believes obscurity is the real problem facing most (medical) spas today. Decide what it is you do best. Be specific. Focus on that. Don’t cast to a wide of a net because when you make your universe a little smaller you become a little bit bigger in that space. And about competing on price – don’t There’s nothing wrong with offering little savings or the occasional promotion, but don’t compete on price. It’s a death spiral. Lifestyle lift competed on price and they went out of business. Don’t be them – let your competition be them. Consider this, Rolex doesn’t sell watches. You get a watch when you buy a Rolex, but that’s not the reason you buy it. You’re buying a feeling, status, elegance, sophistication. Rolex doesn’t run sales. Like Rolex, your clients are purchasing more than a treatment. What are you really selling? You’re selling solutions, skin health, and self-confidence. This is one way you overcome price objections and differentiate yourself because the price is only an issue in the absence of value. What is your value? Look to underserved markets for new clients. Groups that are exploding right now include men (especially millennial men), the LGBTQIA+ community, and teenagers. How will you tap into these markets? And don’t forget about new treatments and emerging treatment categories.


Haroun shared one of his favorite sayings, that “success leaves clues”. In other words, by looking at examples of industry leaders and modeling the branding principles they follow, you too can enjoy similar outstanding results. So, take a few micro-steps that drive meaningful change. Start with some of these ideas and #gogogo.


Leah Argento





Leah Argento is an Illinois licensed aesthetician and licensed continuing education provider. An experienced business development manager and sales professional, Argento currently keeps busy as a national training and education manager for The HydraFacial Company.

Stillwater Spa

Nestled high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at the acclaimed Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe resort, Stillwater Spa features 16 treatment rooms including two couple’s sanctuaries, one with a fireplace and one with an infinity soaking tub.  Guests who book a treatment at the spa have access to its amenities, which includes a dry cedar sauna, eucalyptus steam room, and specialized relaxation areas, along with a state-of-the-art fitness center. 


The Stillwater Spa introduces their new “Journey to Wellness” treatment menu. The new services are designed to promote balance, mindfulness, and overall, well-being. They include the TARA Spa Therapy which uses a massage oil infused with Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, the ANDA Facial which features a guided self-love meditation followed by a cleansing massage and facial mask, an Aroma Wellness Journey massage infused with a custom blend of essential oils that reflect the guest’s pre-selected wellness intention, and an illuminating body peel and performance wrap featuring a blend of vitamin D and natural exfoliators – 75 minutes for $260.


For more information or to book a treatment or services at Stillwater Spa & Salon at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort Spa and Casino, please visit or call (775) 886-6745.



Understanding Bioactive Peptides: Targeting Efficacy

Peptides have become an increasingly popular ingredient for both natural and effective skin revision, wound healing, and compromised skin barriers. The high demand for more natural, non-invasive products has escalated rapidly in the last five years. This demand has shifted the industry to provide a broad-spectrum of peptides. This article will focus predominately on bioactive peptides and how this class of peptides work in alignment with cellular communication and is effective for improving many skin conditions.


The American Medical Dictionary’s definition of peptides is “Any member or class of compounds of low molecular weight that yield two or more amino acids on hydrolysis.”1 Peptides are also described as dipeptides, tripeptides, and tetrapeptides. depending upon the number of amino acids in the molecule. Simply stated, peptides are a chain of two or more amino acids chemically bonded together to work directly with the cells.



Bioactive peptides are considered the highest standard of peptides because of efficacy and their ability to function with the biological system of the body. In biology, to be considered bioactive, four rules must be met. These rules are:

  1. It must meet threshold requirement
  2. the correct message must be transferred
  3. it must fit into the biological feedback loop
  4. it must be received to the target cells

Let’s examine each of these rules individually to understand the term, bioactive.


To meet threshold requirements, a stimulus must produce a result. Many stimuli occur in the body, but not all are effective or elicit a change in the cells. The precise dosage or higher concentration of the stimulus is required to produce a result or change in the targeted cell. Logically, the higher the concentration, the higher the response rate or change that will occur. An example would be medications. The higher the dosage – the better the result.


The correct message implies that precise communication is needed. Cells function optimally when communication occurs on a regular basis. If communication is disrupted, misinterpreted, or ceased cells will not function properly, therefore, cells identify with a specific language to their own.



For example, peptide activity begins in the transference of DNA to RNA. At the early stage of activity, DNA is transcribed to RNA. During this stage, RNA is transcribed and transferred into amino acids. Amino acids are then joined by a chemical bond, forming a peptide. Peptides proceed to provide messages to cells; therefore, peptides are naturally programmed in our cellular network. Our complex cellular system is designed to produce a highly functioning organization. It is possible for the smallest peptide (a pair) to form a large, interconnected network of communication within the cells. This direct communication allows the cells to receive a correct and identifiable message.


An example of this type of messaging would be human communication. When just two people are communicating, the message is understood and is usually not distorted. However, when several people are involved in delivering a message, it becomes unclear and distorted. Communication is most clear when the distance is shorter and fewer interferences are involved.



The biofeedback loop is best illustrated as a course of functions that occur beginning from one destination and transferred to another successfully. An example of a biofeedback loop would be when T3 or T4 levels of the thyroid that are out of balance or lack homeostasis. This loop is initiated in a section of the brain, the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus releases a hormone called thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH). Thyrotropin releasing hormone travels to the anterior pituitary which then releases thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to the thyroid. The thyroid releases hormones, T3 and T4 concentrations in the blood to restore homeostasis. Homeostasis occurs if normal T3 and T4 concentrations and normal body temperature are present. If T3 and T4 concentration levels are low or the body temperature is too low, homeostasis does not occur. The loop continues until homeostasis is achieved.


Bioactive peptides must be received by the target cells to be effective. Bioactive peptides are naturally occurring in the body. Example of natural peptide messages would be oxytocin (stimulates contractions during labor), insulin (regulate blood glucose to the muscles), bradykinin (inhibits inflammation of tissues), neurotransmitter that controls nerve impulses, and enkephalins (assists with pain control). A small peptide (thyrotropin releasing hormone) communicates the precisive balance for metabolism.


Bioactive peptides provide many opportunities for optimal skin health. Bioactive peptides provide many functions to cells and organs. Some of these functions include signaling the fibroblast cells, assisting the mitochondria to produce energy, repairing and enhancing natural defense mechanisms, assisting healing processes, and modulating enzymes during melanogenesis.


As the demand for natural yet effective active ingredients increase, bioactive peptides provide a precise, targeted, and effective tool for skin revision and rejuvenation.




  1. American Medical Dictionary, www.americanmedicaldictionary/peptides



Susan Wade 2019




Susan Wade is a licensed aesthetician joining Viktoria De’Ann Peptide Cosmeceuticals in 2015 as the director of education and sales after being in the health and education industry for over 18 years. She has a master’s in higher education administration and enjoys sharing her wealth of knowledge with physicians, clinicians, and students nationwide. Wade has a diverse background beyond aesthetics as a college instructor in kinesiology and business, is an owner of a successful sports conditioning business, and is a nutrition coach. Her passion lies in understanding the complexities of physiology, nutrition, and biology and educating practitioners how to incorporate these areas to reach better solutions and successful results with their clients.

How to Enhance the Rejuvenating Effects of Peels

Peels remain one of most powerful, non-surgical ways to deliver the youthful appearance so many clients strive to achieve. Today however, peels offer so much more than pro-youth results. They can be dialed in to correct or manage very specific skin challenges from acne to pigmentation issues and even sensitive and rosacea skins.


There is an art form to chemical peeling that comes with an understanding of skin, knowledge of the variety of solutions and how they affect the skin, as well as technique. Particularly with the advancements in peel formulas we now have available to us, understanding the dynamics of peels will go a long way in helping you identify how to create customized treatments for clients and enhance the outcomes.


Let’s look at some of these formulas, how they can be used, and some ways you can start to build upon your peel treatments to deliver enhanced rejuvenating results.



Chemical peels came into practice in dermatology in the late 1800s when salicylic acid, resorcinol, phenol, and TCA were primary choices for rejuvenating and brightening the skin. Over the decades, as dermatologists and chemists began experimenting with different formulations and applications, they started seeing promising results. Chemical peels soon became a popular choice among skin care professionals because it gave them a way to get true change and results on the skin.


Thanks to the emergence of next-generation acid formulas, we’ve been able to tailor treatments more specifically and, in many cases, enhance the efficacy. We’ve also been able to get results with skin types that normally would not be considered a peel candidate.



Obtained from hibiscus chalices and lotus root, these acids give back to the skin cells and are much friendlier to the skin than most other choices. The properties range from high antioxidant support to increasing hydration in the skin, while creating lifting and exfoliation. These are ideal for acne and sensitive skins.



Mandelic acid is highly beneficial in treating photo-aging, acne, rosacea, and irregular pigmentation. This complex increases cellular energy, provides antioxidants helping to prevent the formation of free radicals, and increases wound healing with the amino acid l-arginine. L-arginine is one of the 20 main amino acids. It accelerates wound healing, promotes collagen synthesis, firms and intensifies antioxidant properties.



This blend stimulates the natural desquamation process and with the addition of peptides and the chiral form of carnitine, it will intensify the toning and firming of the skin, while also supporting energy production within the mitochondria. The vitamin A derivative converts to retinoic acid and is a DNA regulator. It assists in the synthesis of collagen, aids in the formation of blood vessels, and encourages healthy cell formation. Retinols are very important to support the cellular injury and give back to the fibroblast cells caused by other acids.



This blend is highly beneficial for photo-damaged skin. It stimulates blood flow and increases oxygenation, brightens skin tone, and reduces pigmentation. Hydrogen peroxide delivers brightening benefits, antibacterial support, and it synergizes with other acids to assist with absorption. Alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acid rejuvenate, hydrate, and strengthen collagen and are excellent choices for acne skin.


These acid combinations fall into the superficial range, creating minimal to no downtime. Still, they deliver potent rejuvenating results. As exciting as these new formulations are, a conversation about peels is not complete without addressing some of the tried-and-true classics. These time-tested formulas, many of which you are likely familiar with, also provide superficial, epidermal exfoliation and work to reverse the visible signs of aging.



These are naturally occurring, nontoxic, organic acids. The most commonly used alpha hydroxy acids include glycolic and l-lactic acid. These acids loosen the desmosome junctions (glue-like substance) that hold the cells together.



Created by oxygenating oleic acid azelaic acid is unsaturated fatty acid found in milk fats and grains, such as barley and wheat. This is used as a lightening, lifting and antibacterial agent.



A beta hydroxy acid and is a relatively safe, low-risk acid, as it is self-neutralizing and produces a drying and lifting effect. It also dissolves layers of the epidermis and depending on the percentage used can create heavy lifting of the cells.



TCA penetrates only if it used in an aqueous base. It is nontoxic, self-neutralizing, keratolytic, and is very effective in low strengths. It can be used alone or in tandem with other acids to create a deep exfoliation.



A combination of lower-strength acids (salicylic, resorcinol, and lactic acid) Jessner peels synergize to produce an efficient exfoliating agent with less risk.



An all-natural acid with a high antioxidant content and creates a firming and tightening effect on the skin. Though not proven, it is said to produce exfoliation with less free-radical damage, and thus cause less injury to the skin.

Keep in mind, these classics may be used to create customized treatments, as it all comes down to education, knowing the client’s skin, and the results you both want to achieve. In addition to layering and blending these complex solutions, treatments may further be enhanced and customized with advanced technologies. While we can enhance treatments by blending specific acids or integrating other modalities, success and desired results is absolutely dependent on good pre- and post-care.



Pre- and post-care treatments can be easy to overlook. However, these will have a significant impact on results and should be a part of every peel.


Why? Think of it like an artist. Before they begin a painting, they prime the canvas and once they’ve finished, they seal it to preserve their masterpiece. The skin, much like a canvas, needs to be primed to stimulate the rejuvenation process and prepare the skin for what is to come. Following the peel or any resurfacing treatment, the skin needs to be rebuilt and brought back to optimal health with proper wound care.



Pre-treatment will vary based on the skin type and the goal of the treatment. This is an opportunity to create a truly custom treatment based on your client’s skin care needs and desired results. The following are a few pre-treatment ideas based on skin challenges.



For clients who may have pigmentation issues, higher Fitzpatricks or if you are performing a deep peel, using a brightener or tyrosinase inhibitor will help suppress melanin, and may help eliminate post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), as well as brighten overall skin tone. This process will also pave the way for the acid formula to penetrate deeper. Ingredient suggestions: bellis perennis flower, l-arbutin, kojic acid, and l-lactic acid.



Antibacterial support prior to treatment will not only help eliminate bacteria, but also the potential for excessive purging that occurs with acne skin. Ingredient suggestions include salicylic acid, totarol, and azelaic acid.


Acne Scarring

Depending on the build-up underneath skin, performing a pre-treatment will help enhance results, however a more aggressive approach is needed. Ingredient suggestions: salicylic serum, glycolic acid, L-lactic acid.



The right pre-treatment can help stimulate collagen and elastin and support healing. It will also prepare the epidermis for acid penetration. Ingredient suggestion include an encapsulated vitamin A.


Rough and Thicker Texture

A more aggressive pre-treatment will help stimulate the skin and begin to soften the epidermis for optimal acid penetration. Ingredient suggestions include glycolic acid, L-lactic acid, and retinol.


Sensitive Skin

For sensitive, rosacea-prone or thinner skin, a pre-treatment will start the building process, help the epidermis layer loosen, increase energy, and provide anti-inflammatory and antibacterial support. Ingredient suggestions: mandelic acid, arginine, phytic acid, pyruvic acid, and vitamin A.


Pre-treatment will ready the skin’s surface by reducing lipids, decreasing inflammation, suppressing melanin, and helping to ensure greater absorption of the peeling solution. Skin care professionals should suggest a one to two week pre-treatment plan for best results.



When performing peels, you are creating a controlled injury in the skin that disrupts the protective barrier resulting in a wound. Supporting the skin through the trauma will ensure proper healing and reduce the probability of complications. Note that a peel should never be performed if you are not prepared to treat the complications of that peel.


Common post-peel complications include:

  • Pruritus (itching) – post-peel itching is common for many skin types and not just sensitive skin. Hydrocortisone and willow herb – a natural cortisone will help soothe and calm the skin during the peeling process.
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) – this is often caused by picking, so be sure to educate clients about the importance of not picking the skin that is peeling. If clients are particularly prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, send them home with epidermal growth factors to support the healing and repair process.
  • Discomfort or pain – this will generally ease after the first 24 hours; however, you can support clients with ingredients that will reduce inflammation and provide cooling, soothing relief. Arnica Montana is a wonderful, natural ingredient for this.

While there are other complications that may occur, ingredients that support healing, and provide anti-inflammatory and soothing support will be important components following any corrective procedure that uses acids or intense enzymes. It is vital to add epidermal growth factor to the skin during the peeling phase and, of course, an sun protectant factor with a clean ingredient deck is essential.


Taking the time to learn the art of peels will be the best way to enhance their rejuvenating results. When you have a solid, foundational knowledge of the dynamics of peels, you will be better prepared to see the ways to manipulate them to create the outcomes you and your client want.



2019 Shannon Esau




Shannon Esau is the CEO and national educator at Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals where she oversees the company’s strategic growth, development of new product formulations and innovations, and the educational and instructional programming, which is offered to aesthetic professionals around the globe. She brings nearly 20 years’ experience in the aesthetic industry, as well as a strong background in business and corporate development and growth.

The Best in the Biz

Anna Babinksa