News

  • You Are What you Eat

    This age-old adage may have been dismissed over the generations as somewhat of an old wives’ tale, but in fact it is deeply rooted in a real biological connection between our bodies and the food we eat. With technological advances, we are better able to understand how micro- and macro-nutrients really affect our health on a cellular level. This notion has even spurred the formation of a Center of Excellence for Nutritional Genomics (CENG) at the University of California, Davis. Nutritional genomics takes advantage of our knowledge of the human genome to better understand the diet-health relationship. In essence, nutritional genomics is the study of how foods affect our genes and how our genes affect our response to nutrients in our diet – an offshoot of the emerging epigenetics field (which is the study of how our overall environment can change our genes).

    So then, if we really are what we eat…what should we be eating for healthy skin? Macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and lipids) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) work together to ensure a properly functioning epidermal barrier against environmental assaults. The skin’s typical ailments range from dehydration, dryness, photodamage, inflammation and aging. Many scientific studies support the role nutrition plays in these key areas.

    Dryness
    A lack of either lipid content or water content means rough, flaky and vulnerable skin. A diet rich in essential fatty acids can help skin retain its organized brick-and-mortar model. Dietary fats are processed by the liver for delivery to skin and other tissues. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for skin function and can even modulate the skin’s inflammatory response. Chronically dry skin, as in Eczema, will benefit from a diet rich in EFAs from oils and whole foods. In particular, Omega-3 fatty acids can help protect skin from photodamage and photoaging, while Omega-6 can alleviate symptoms associated with skin sensitivity and inflammatory skin disorders.

    Stock your grocery basket with:
    • Wild-caught salmon
    • Flaxseeds
    • Walnuts
    • Evening Primrose Oil
    • Borage Oil

    Photodamage
    As we know, the sun is a powerful star. UV rays penetrate through clouds, windows and our own skin layers. UV rays deplete antioxidant levels in the skin, including ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). A diet rich in these antioxidant vitamins can be part of a well-rounded approach to limiting photodamage. An added bonus to vitamin C? It is also a necessary component of building collagen in the skin, which decreases with age and even more so with sun damage. Like many nutrients, some are even better when combined. Supplementing the diet with Vitamin C and E combined can increase the photoprotective effect of our skin better than with either of these alone.

    Stock your grocery basket with:
    • Bell peppers
    • Broccoli
    • Strawberries
    • Wheat germ
    • Avocados

    Our skin is a unique organ in that we can actually rub nutrients on top of it! So even though the upper epidermal layers of the skin do not contain blood vessels that supply the cells with nutrients, we can ‘feed’ the skin from the outside, with topical antioxidants and vitamins. Combining topical nutrients with a more conscious effort to eat whole, healthy foods will keep our skin shining for all the years to come!

    For more information on how nutrition plays a role in skin health, be sure to attend our IDI guest lecture with Dr. Claudia on Monday, April 22 at IDI New York.

  • Top Tips for Reaching Your Team Targets!

    The MacLeod Review of employee engagement proposed that the relationship between employees and employers should be placed at the center of business plans. Strengthening this relationship can have a multitude of benefits on the overall success of your business and can be the tipping point of whether you achieve set targets or not.

    One of the best ways to build a positive proactive relationship is through implementation of a rewards program into your business. Employees that work in businesses that have a reward program in place say they feel more valued (85%), are more loyal to the business they work in (65%) and get better results (60%).

    Tips for Implementing an Effective Rewards Program
    When introducing a reward program, be mindful of these few points:

    1. The program should have well-defined business objectives (increasing their retail sales or raising productivity or ability to upsell or cross promote).
    2. Your rewards program needs to be meaningful and valuable to employees, and it must encourage better levels of performance. It should not put their targets beyond realistic reach.
    3. Employees need to be consulted so that the benefits of the rewards program can be effectively communicated and clearly understood by all those participating. One-on-one meetings tend to work best in this regard.
    4. All set targets need to be tracked on a daily basis and their results measured and reviewed regularly.

    It is important to choose a reward program that is customized to fit your team and business model. Take the time to get to know your team and what motivates them, and try different rewards until you can until you can formulate what works best for you.

    Here are a few basic examples of reward incentives that could work for your business:
    • Reward therapists for retail sales using a sliding scale for commission.
    • Reward entire team when monthly goals are achieved.
    • Reward highest re-booking rate.
    • Reward achievement of productivity goals.
    • Reward for therapist with the highest retail-to-service ratio.

    Remember that money is not the only reward that motivates people. Other options might include:

    • product allocations
    • time off
    • tickets for a special event
    • internal staff recognition program

    While rewards will incentivize some team members, others may simply need some additional training. We all know that knowledge equals growth and success, yet it always surprises me how few businesses in our industry actually invest in staff training. One the biggest reasons why someone is not good at retailing is because they have little to no knowledge about the product that they are retailing and therefore lack the single most magical ingredient when it comes to retailing – confidence! Investing in staff training is a sure fire way to boost confidence levels while providing the individual with the fundamental retailing skill set. It’s imperative that you partner with a company that has an ongoing training program that provides your team with a variety of workshops to help them refine or develop their individual retailing skill set.

    These workshops should be followed through with a specific action plan that has been set by management. The action plan should include specific, realistic retail targets and a customized reward incentive for achieving those targets.

    Ideas to help your team achieve their goals might include:
    • Use a strong retailer to coach someone who needs improving.
    • Have a product focus of the week/month and follow through with education at your team meeting.
    • Allow team members to try samples or testers of products. Therapists are more confident in recommending products they use and love themselves.
    • Make sure that your day-to-day management is positive. You’ll waste both money and time if you use negative reinforcement as your management style. There’s no substitute for daily contact with employees – asking how they’re doing, asking if you can help with any problems and, most importantly, recognizing even small improvements.

    By implementing a few of the above-mentioned strategies, you’ll find that success is easier than you may have initially perceived. Wishing you a successful and prosperous 2013!

    The MacLeod Review of employee engagement: http://www.bis.gov.uk/files/file52215.pdf

  • Prepping Party Perfect Skin

    Heather HickmanI’m sorry, what? The holidays are still three weeks away? Hard to believe, especially as my favorite coffee shop has been serving drinks in holiday cups since before Halloween! And if I hear one more rendition of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” when it’s 75 degrees outside (I’m in L.A people!) I may have to take serious action… but, putting my bah humbugs aside, it does mean that there is still plenty of time to get your clients’ skin ready with some pre-party prepping… fabulous!

    Let’s Start with Treatments:
    What do your clients want from a skin treatment prior to their big holiday event? I’ll tell ya… they want quick fixes and rapid results. They do not, and I can’t state this clearly enough, they do not, want candy cane facials or sugar plum pamper treatments… really, they don’t!

    If you’re off to a big event, you want radiant skin and you want it quickly. Rapid exfoliation treatments are key in party season. By rapid, I’m talking 20 minutes, bam! Out the door with glowing skin and a home care kit. Other 20 minute quick fix treatments to consider are breakout solutions, de-puffing eye treatments and of course smoothing lip treatments, to make that pucker mistletoe ready.

    Work in a full service salon? Well then team up! Quick fix skin treatment, blow dry, make-up application, nail polish. 1 hour and 20 minutes, ready from head to toe…..AND, a great way to cross promote all services to your existing client base.

    Getting Party-Ready at Home:
    If your clients are looking to get party ready at home, consider a “Party Primer Product Package” for them to take home. I would suggest the following bundled together:

    Prep: A leave-on exfoliant will help to smooth the skin and give it a healthy glow. You need a hydroxy acid base with skin brighteners such as Rice Extract, ideally in a delivery system that provides a premeasured dose, so no over exfoliation takes place.

    Prime: Primers are used to smooth out the surface of the skin and help extend the wear of make-up. Unfortunately many primers on the market contain comedogenic waxes and fillers that can lead to congestion, skin irritation and even sensitivity. Ensure your recommended primer is skin friendly, or even better provides skin benefits. Look for non comedogenic smoothing agents such as Silica and natural skin luminosity providers like Hydrolyzed Pearl Powder.

    Preserve: A toning mist can help keep the skin moist (as long as it’s alcohol free) and improve the appearance of skin texture. I find clients like a toner that has a flash firming property for added benefit, key ingredients beoing Bamboo and Pea Extract. A hydrating toner can also be spritzed over make-up to give a dewy effect.

    Post Party Apocalypse:
    The likelihood is that more than one of your clients fell into bed post party with a face full of make-up, so ensure clients have plenty of oil-based cleanser with Borage Seed, Olive and Apricot Kernel oils, which all help to eliminate surface dirt and oil.
    Okay, I think we’re good to go. Let the partying commence!

  • IDI Congress: Hormones and the Skin

    A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting some of our European markets to present lectures on how hormones affect our skin, how they age our skin and what some of the latest anti-aging treatment options are available to the professional skin therapist.

    First, I was off to Poland, where they celebrated their 5th year anniversary with Dermalogica. They even had their first snow while I was there! Certainly a change of pace from the 75 and sunny weather of Southern California. Their training facility is neatly tucked in the outskirts of Warsaw, where they even provide accommodation to students wishing to stay overnight without spending much on neighboring hotels. Definitely worth a visit. The PSTs here are well educated, using much of the advanced techonology (laser, LED, chemical exfoliation) that we use here in the U.S.

    Next I hopped over to Russia. What a treat! I presented the IDI congress on hormones and skin in both Moscow and St. Petersburg. I had a day to explore the beautiful city of St.Pete and had the opportunity to meet many skin therapists. They’re a sophisticated bunch, eager for getting the latest and greatest skin info. Some even flew in from Kazakhstan for the lecture and we had a good chat on how to have a holistic approach to skin care. I can see great things coming out of that country. Imagine that just a few decades ago, it was nearly impossible to have your own business as a woman in soviet countries – and now I see many empowered women owning their businesses and importing goods from all over the world. Big strides there.

    Finally I traveled to the Netherlands and Belgium to wrap up my tour. There, I presented the IDI congress: Through the Ages, which focused more on hormonal aging and available solutions. We also launched the new concept space in Antwerp to the local press – we had almost 60 journalists from a few different towns! If you’re traveling near Antwerp, Belgium, definitely check out this space – it’s in a great location and of course they do great skin treatments! The PSTs in Benelux are simply wonderful. They really put health above all else and strive to make themselves more successful by continuing their education however they can.

    It has been really rewarding to see so many diverse members of the “tribe” that share a common passion for skin health. We had such a wonderful congress in all of these markets and I hope to return soon to continue to help IDI provide the best education a skin therapist could ask for. Thanks to everyone involved!