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  • Get Soy Smart!

    In recent years, Soy has been marketed for it’s nutritional benefits, but did you know that topical application of Soy can also contribute to healthy skin? Here’s 5 questions and answers to get you Soy-smart.

     

    1. What are some of the benefits of using Soy in skincare products?

    Soy and its derivatives have shown to reduce free radical damage (ROS) and reduce inflammation. It also hydrates the skin by stimulating the production of Hyaluronic Acid and stimulates production of collagen and increases skin thickness, which may be beneficial for postmenopausal women who develop a thinner dermis and decreased collagen. Soy isoflavonoids act as anti-glycation agents (AGEs) to fight collagen cross-linking and inhibits collagen degrading enzymes (matrix-metalloproteinase enzymes also referred to as MMPs). Soy ingredients can also produce a brightening effect for hyperpigmentation.

    2. Are there different types of Soy that are used in skincare products? 

    Yes, Soy has different derivatives that are used in various skincare products.  Soybeans are a rich source of flavonoids called isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens or plant compounds that have a weak estrogenic effect. The most commonly used Soy isoflavonoids is Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Oil or Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Lecithin that are rich in amino acids that help to smooth, aid in wound healing, and stimulate elastin and collagen synthesis.

    3. What type of skin treatment is Soy a good ingredient for?

    Soy is primarily used in aging skin treatments that are geared towards stimulating elastin and collagen synthesis, reducing fine lines, wrinkles and UV induced photo-damage. Soy isoflavones have also been used in treatment for hyperpigmentation disorders as they prevent melanin from adhering to skin cells, therefore helping with blotchiness and discoloration.

    However, Soy, which is a phytoestrogen, is NOT recommended for melasma treatment since melasma is somewhat estrogen mediated.

    4. Is there any danger in applying Soy-based products topically on the skin? For example on a client with Soy allergies, hormonal imbalances, etc.

    Most concerns or negative effects associated with soy are consumption based, however, Soy may act as a food allergen (similar to milk, eggs or peanuts). If the client has a Soy allergy, then it’s recommended to avoid products that contain Soy. There has been some consumer concerns between Soy and breast cancer. Studies are still on-going to determine whether these isoflavones spur tumor growth. Ensure client’s check with their physician before proceeding to use or prescribe any Soy-based products.

    5. What other key ingredients work with Soy?

    Soy itself has been suggested to have a variety of effects when used in in skin care products. For maximum results, look for products that have an additional complex of age-fighting ingredients that work synergistically with Soy, such as peptides, White Tea and Licorice.

  • Are You Prepared to Use Advanced Modalities?

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    Today skin therapists have greater access to various forms of advanced modalities than ever before. We are now working in an industry that includes modern day modalities like LED, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), dermaplaning and skin needling to enhance our treatments. But, before you start boosting your services with these options, follow three simple steps to make sure the device is fit not only for you, but for your business and your clients.

    1. Get the Facts: It is imperative before purchasing or using a device that you do your research and make sure it is within your scope of practice. Different states and different countries all have varying regulations. Check with local agencies such as the Board of Cosmetology or Skin Therapy, the Medical Board and Insurance Liability companies to verify what is available for use in your area. Some modalities can only be performed in a medical environment or under the guidance of a physician and could fall outside of your current license guidelines.

    2. Get Certified: Along with your local agency regulations, the modality selected will also dictate whether you need additional or licensing. Always ensure that you are properly trained and have the necessary qualifications before offering advanced types of treatment to clients. Check to see if the manufacturer offers additional training and certification or has specific requirements. Ensure you are following their protocols and heed to any warnings or contraindications.

    3. Get Insured: Having the necessary documentation, consent forms and insurance before offering advanced procedures to your clients can help prevent potential damage to you, your business and your reputation. Verify that your insurance not only covers you personally, but the modality used is also included in the coverage. Investing in insurance that provides general, product and professional liability is a smart step to protect your career.

    Offering today’s cutting edge technology can come with great results and great risk. Do your homework and research all aspects of training, certification and licensing.  Even if you choose not to incorporate a device, stay current and educated especially on pre and post care treatments. Your advanced knowledge of the skin coupled with proper hands-on techniques will still be your foundation to maintaining overall skin health.

    For information on the latest modalities and devices, watch these webisodes: Using Machines to Power up Your Treatments Part 1 and Part 2

  • Destination Success – Planning Out Your Business Road Map

    Benjamin Franklin once said that “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  Starting any new calendar year requires business due diligence. It’s the time for any business to set out its road map for the year. What will the final destination be? How are you going to get there? What will you change this year over last to make things better? Remembering, if you do exactly the same as you did last year, you’ll end up with exactly the same result! In fact you’ll end up with less, because everything costs more due to inflation.

    Starting the New Year first requires a review of 2014. Did your business experience growth? If so how much, and what was this growth a result of? Secondly, if you didn’t grow or your business was in decline, why? Where did you go wrong? Once you have identified your business position you are now able to make informed choices and plan strategies to ensure (as best as possible) that by the end of 2015 you’re looking at a healthy balance sheet, one where your business has experienced a healthy growth and profit margin.

    After you have determined your overall growth prediction and where you plan for that growth to come from (treatment sales, retail sales, saving on budget expenditure, new clients etc.) you can then divide that into quarters, bite sized time frames that allow you to achieve your goals.

    Your first quarter planning should include:

    1. Ensure you have a strategy meeting with your business development consultant(s)/sales representatives from your product suppliers. Find out their plans and company direction. What promotions do they have in place for the first quarter? What business advice can they lend to help support you in your 2015 business plan?

    2. Meet with your accountant to ‘set the books straight’!

    3. Set your quarterly budget.

    4. Set your retail and treatment revenue targets.

    5. Identify your cash flow needs.

    6. Set your marketing plan to include advertising, seasonal promotions, new product launches, your social media (blog, Facebook, etc.) content, newsletters, etc.

    7. Order both retail and professional products ensuring your can deliver the perfect customer service experience.

    8. Plan and budget your staffs training needs.

    9. Ensure all equipment and salon repairs have been amended.

    10. Get your staff on-board.

    Once you have made your plan it is then time to get your whole team on board, because without them you simply won’t achieve much. Organize a staff meeting to share your overall goals for the year, give them your business vision for 2015. This may include purchasing new equipment, being trained in new skills, renovating your reception area, revamping your treatment rooms, buying new laundry or hiring new staff. Share with them how important their input and support is to the overall success of the business. Also in this meeting review the targets and goals of the first quarter and how you and they believe you’ll achieve them, share their training and development plan for the first quarter and any promotional events you have planned.

    Lastly plan your diary. You have a lot to do and if you allow time to run away with you then it’s likely you’ll never achieve your goals. Set your business time, your entrepreneurial time, your staff training time, your marketing time, etc. into your daily planner. Then make a promise to yourself to try very hard never to cancel this valuable time from your diary!

    Remember “a goal without a plan is just a wish.”  – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    Here’s to good fortune for 2015 for all of us!