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Monday, 07 May 2012 15:51

Catherine Atzen, MBA | Aesthetician, Author, Educator, Researcher, and Entrepreneur

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atzen.1Catherine Atzen was introduced to facials by an aesthetician in France when she was 13, suffering from acne and sensitive, dehydrated skin. She inspired Catherine to care for her skin and thus Catherine’s passion was born. Years later, while working in aesthetic medicine doing research on skin care for burn victims, she was at the forefront of the skin care industry by developing the first ATZEN formulas with DNA. She is a sought after industry expert who serves as a consultant to industry leaders and brands in several countries, as well as being a founding member of the International Medical Spa Association (IMSA). Catherine holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, an MBA from Columbia University, NY, a CIDESCO diploma from Switzerland, and is NCEA certified. Catherine is a Member of Phi Kappa Phi Academic Honor Society, and has earned 18 industry awards.   

At the initial stage, the industry was made of small family businesses. Even after being in this industry for over 25 years this still surprises me; the fact that other talented professionals have joined our industry, contributing to establish our industry as a serious economic player. Our industry keeps growing and forecasts look promising. Throughout my career I have held various positions within this industry; aesthetician, day spa and medical spa owner, research and developer, author, educator, speaker, board member, and industry consultant. Overall, being a research and developer has taught me the most because it has allowed me to discover new, proven ingredients to make products that are functional and effective to solve skin conditions. I make a point of being close to professionals and consumers who share what they expect.
atzen.2
So, I am always probing for new ideas, looking for solutions, asking questions on how to make the products better by reading articles in medical journals, researching new developments in European skin care, as well as alternative medicine in Asia to improve the product line.  It is important that the products are user friendly – I always keep global research a constant. A need to truly examine and learn about all of the ingredients and processes a product contains, and to be familiar with their benefits and contra-indications – this is how an aesthetician can cut through all the marketing to find a line or lines that are right for them? There is more than a list of ingredients; the percentage of actives must be high and it is the synergy of the ingredients that make a product work. A line must have a range of products to address all skin conditions for the face and without having too many products; the packaging must also be appealing and user friendly. Aestheticians often times limit their business’ growth. How? By using and retailing only products they like themselves and consequently do not serve the needs of clients who have different skin conditions or likes when it comes to the products’ function, packaging or texture. It is my belief that if they become aware of this self-imposed limitation it will expand their range of customers. I advise aestheticians and business owners to “be passionate and enjoy what you do. Surround yourself with positive people who want to grow.” 

 

Catherine Atzen’s philosophy about regrets –

“Regrets can freeze you into place, prevent you from taking risks, and stop innovation. I am no different from anyone else, had I had the experience and knowledge I have today when I started as an entrepreneur … you see where that goes. I have learned there is no elevator to success; I had to take the stairs.

‘We only grow when we push ourselves beyond what we already know.’

I don’t know whose quote this is, but I have had it on my desk for a long time.”

Find Catherine on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/atzenfanpage

Twitter at: http://twitter.com/#!/atzenskincare

More from our interview with Catherine:

 

DERMASCOPE:

Which of these taught you the most or had the most impact on you and how? continued…

Catherine:

…I make a point of being close to professionals and consumers who share what they expect. This and my skin care training greatly contribute to research and development – developing products that go beyond what users expect; pleasantly surprising them with products that are ahead of their time. For instance, when reformulating the ATZEN line, I researched worldwide lifestyle trends with a special focus on consumers’ sentiment towards one’s health, the environment and sustainability. This is why ATZEN is a green, cruelty-free skin care company providing formulations with high concentrations of the most effective ingredients such as INTACT DNA™, peptides, resveratrol, açaí, green tea, and ATP (energy), in paraben-free formulas using olive- and coconut-based emulsifiers instead of petrochemicals.

DERMASCOPE:

Why do you think people come to a particular spa/skin care clinic?

Catherine:

I think it is not only the personal service that brings people back, but also the honest caring environment a skin care spa can provide. Guests want to look their best and find professionals who have the tools to help them solve their skin conditions.

DERMASCOPE:

What do you believe separates the best clinics from the rest??

Catherine:

Results as promised – nothing more and nothing less. People go to spas for several reasons; the key reason is to improve their skin condition. If they get results, they feel they are at the right place. You deliver the results and you put the personalized care into it; this builds long-term trust. Your business must consistently deliver predictable results as well as a predictable guest’s experience. The team works together to create a professional environment that feels good, so guests keep coming.

DERMASCOPE:

Do you have a signature treatment that your clients love – a classic of sorts? What makes it so loved?

Catherine:

The DNA Balance Facial is a signature treatment that consistently makes your skin feel radiant, clean, and firm; it’s like enjoying a mini vacation and coming home happy and refreshed.

DERMASCOPE:

What tool or tools would your treatment room not be complete without? Why?

Catherine:

The ATZEN LymphMed device for lymphatic drainage massage; guests love the little hands!

DERMASCOPE:

What adaptations have you made over the years to stay relevant in the treatment room?

Catherine:

New formulations – using new technology and processes.

DERMASCOPE:

Is there a particular moment or procedure where most aestheticians go wrong? continued…

Catherine:

…What could they alter for a better result? The aesthetician is not listening to customer’s cues that say: “Give me what really works.” The aesthetician who identifies the home care program that resolves their problems builds a great following and a profitable retail business.

DERMASCOPE:

As a manufacturer, is there a particular ingredient that you feel is a “super” ingredient? If so, why?

Catherine:

INTACT DNA (used to be called Integral DNA)

DERMASCOPE:

You wear so many hats; manufacturer, distributor, educator, skin care company owner, et cetera. What is your secret to keeping life in balance and enjoying the journey?

Catherine:

I exercise each day to take care for myself! J My husband gives me unconditional support; my family and friends bring me the work life balance to recharges my batteries; and my business partners are a pleasure to work with.

DERMASCOPE:

Do you or your company support any particular causes or charitable organizations? If so, who and why?

Catherine:

We are in the process of evaluating a number of organizations focusing on empowering women and girls.

Read 380 times Last modified on Thursday, 26 July 2012 16:23

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