• IDI Launches Partnership with Pivot Point International

    It is our pleasure to announce that The International Dermal Institute and Pivot Point International have partnered to raise the educational bar for professional skin therapists worldwide!

    For more than five decades, Pivot Point International has been a leader in cosmetology education, training premier industry professionals around the world, including hair designers, estheticians, competition stylists and educators. Based in Evanston, IL, Pivot Point International is highly respected for its all-inclusive cosmetology curriculum.

    This innovative collaboration brings together two industry leaders: IDI in postgraduate education for licensed skin therapists, and Pivot Point for undergraduate training. The alliance will define a new level of leadership in the education and training of skin therapists worldwide, and will include production and sharing of educational webisodes, booklets, articles and treatment videos through Pivot Point’s online learning system.

    Schools within the Pivot Point network will now benefit from nearly three decades of expertise developed by IDI Master Educators and Scientists, Dr. Diana Howard Ph.D. and Dr. Claudia Aguirre Ph.D. The association between the two organizations will also further solidify Pivot Point’s educational authority in the arena of undergraduate skin care education.

    Instrumental to the collaboration will be IDI’s technical videos that will complement Pivot Point’s new online Esthetics library and online textbook. The addition of IDI resources to Pivot Point’s Esthetics library will allow Pivot Point and IDI to reach thousands of skin care students and educators. Pivot Point’s existing online resource is used by students in the U.S., Canada, UK, Belgium, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. Future geographic expansion is now in the planning stages.

    Annet King, Director of Global Education for The International Dermal Institute headquartered in Carson, CA, comments “This is a powerful match between the two most advanced educational facilities in our industry. We are excited to bring IDI’s knowledge-base to many thousands of future skin therapists who might not have had access to this cutting-edge expertise otherwise. And we feel positive that this alliance will raise skill level among U.S. therapists to a breakthrough level of competitive excellence.”

    Pivot Point’s Vice President of Education, Judy Rambert, added “We are especially thrilled for skin care educators across the country who will now be able to customize their Pivot Point curriculum with dynamic research on skin therapy techniques and professional spa services. The ability to integrate IDI’s resources with Pivot Point’s educational practice and community make Pivot Point’s Esthetics online offering a robust selection of skin care programs and will help to create the most intelligent estheticians.”

    The International Dermal Institute trains more than 100,000 professional skin therapists each year, with 38 postgraduate training centers worldwide, 18 of which are located in the U.S. Visionary skin therapist Jane Wurwand founded IDI when she arrived in Los Angeles and discovered the professional level of her peers did not match the expertise of their counterparts overseas. Dedicated to elevating the skills of skin therapists everywhere, she founded IDI in 1983, followed by the development and launch of the Dermalogica skin care product line three years later.

    About The International Dermal Institute
    For 30 years, The International Dermal Institute (IDI) has pushed the skin care industry envelope to its limits, redefining professional excellence and offering skin therapists a unique opportunity to reach their personal best in the process.

    IDI offers the most challenging and rewarding postgraduate skin and body therapy curriculum available anywhere today with 38 postgraduate training centers worldwide — 18 of which are located in the US — and 45 additional affiliates. To learn more about The International Dermal Institute, visit

    About Pivot Point International
    Since 1962, when Leo Passage founded the first Pivot Point Beauty School in Chicago, IL, Pivot Point International has lead the way in creating generations of beauty professionals committed to elevating their skills to a higher level of artistic creativity.

    As the premiere provider of beauty education solutions, high-quality hair and tools, Pivot Point is the first choice of schools, students, professionals, manufacturers and distributors around the world. To learn more about Pivot Point International and its new online esthetics product, visit

  • Breakout Freakout

    Ah summer. The home stretch, the ninth inning, a time for preparation and relaxation and… final exams! This may stir up terrifying memories, or if you’re in the midst of it, elicit a reminder of what’s to come. This crunch time is key to passing exams with flying colors or not passing at all, and it can feel like a literal squeeze or crunch, with your mind racing at 100mph. What you may not even realize during this hectic time is how it can also affect your body and even your skin.

    Psychological stress is not just “in your mind,” although it does begin there. When we experience stress, a region in the brain called the hypothalamus releases signals to specific glands to produce even more signals, or hormones, which then circulate around the body and elicit the “stress response.” The stress hormones released by the glands sitting atop the kidneys are epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol.

    Cortisol is a stress hormone that can also impact skin health. When cortisol is released, it can trigger the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum as well as increase inflammation. In the skin, this increased inflammation and sebum is the perfect environment for P. acnes to thrive inside the follicle. The result? A breakout.

    We may not be able to avoid those finals, but we can try to avoid that stress-induced pimple by practicing relaxation techniques. Or at the very least, treat it with efficacious ingredients to help the skin heal. If you have teenage clients in the treatment room, remember this is a high-stress time so combine stress-relieving techniques with these ingredients:

    Benzoyl Peroxide: Stops breakout-causing bacteria in the follicle and helps clear skin.
    Salicylic Acid: A hydroxy acid that exfoliates surface skin cells and reduces inflammation.
    Bentonite and Kaolin Clays: Purifying clays pull oil from skin, deep cleaning and helping to control shine.
    Niacinamide: Assists in regulating sebaceous gland secretions while scavenging free radicals.
    Meadowsweet: protects against the production and secretion of excess sebum.
    African Whitewood: The bark extract of this tree has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and sebum-regulating properties.

    To learn more about stress and breakouts, check out this video that I shared for Ted Education:

  • Is your Business Ready for Mother’s Day?

    Mother’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the importance of the mothers in our lives. It is also an occasion to give thanks to them for being a constant guiding force in our lives and for the support they have shown in helping us achieve our dreams and goals. Not only is this a special day to celebrate anyone who has been a mother to you, but it is also an opportunity to promote your business and to connect with your clients and potential consumers.

    Remember to organize ahead of time with a marketing calendar so you can optimize the opportunities that special events, like Mother’s Day, can bring to your business.

    Many people are unsure what to get their mum’s for the holiday, so why not take away the confusion and make it easy? Bouquets of flowers are a traditional Mother’s Day gift, but bouquets can come in many shapes and sizes. Think of your own products or services as bundles that you can then translate into great Mother’s Day packages of your own.

    Target your existing data base and send out an e-blast and/or text to your clients, as many of them will be looking for ideas. Prepackage gift baskets for Mother’s Day with themed items such as hydrating, anti-aging, reducing stress etc. Remember men purchase a significant portion of Mother’s Day gifts overall, so make it clear to them the gift options they have. This might mean partnering with businesses that have a significant number of male patrons for cross marketing.

    Use social media to connect with your customers as many people will be searching online for ideas. You could engage them with a competition for the best story on how their mother has inspired them, and the gift could be a treatment or product for their mum. A different social media channel to promote is Pinterest (instead of just Twitter or Facebook), as a lot of mums use this site to save their ideas for food, kids, the home and much more. You could also create a “Mother’s Day wish list” of gift ideas to post on your blog, website, or email newsletter.

    Don’t forget to also take the opportunity to bring them back to your business once they have purchased their gift. Ideally, a Mother’s Day gift won’t just represent the sale of products for your business one time, but rather it will result in a new customer coming back to your business. Include a bounce back offer, bag stuffer or special offer along with the customer’s receipt. If you’re offering a service, consider creating a tangible gift that a spouse or child can wrap up to give to their mothers. For example: a free gift with the purchase of a treatment.

    Events are great to link with celebrations like Mother’s Day; you could create a mother and daughter/son event to celebrate. Events create an ideal environment for them to interact over skin lessons, treatments and product.

    Lastly let’s not forget that we can also use Mother’s Day to make a difference and support women around the world who struggle to provide for their children. You could connect with a charity or philanthropic initiative that helps give women support and opportunity to enable them to provide for their families, allowing them to raise their children in a safe and healthy environment. You could also connect with a local organization that supports women and mothers, encouraging people to pay it forward and get involved in sharing with others the opportunities their own mothers have given them.

    Happy Mother’s Day!