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  • Making Scents of Essential Oils

    Lavender field

    If you visited the dentist recently, there could be a chance that you were offered inhalation of lavender to reduce anxiety pre-procedure. This is because dental practices and hospitals are now including the use of essential oils in the hallways, rooms and reception areas to relax patients and visitors.

    I am a true fan of using essential oils in the treatment room and for use at home, as I often notice changes in the skin as well as the client’s demeanor. How can this be? In Chinese medicine, when a plant herb or flower is turned into an essential oil, it is said to have its “soul freed”. And now more than ever, we can rely on science to help explain how they can change your mood, your energy and your day.

    Channel through the body

    The most effective way for the body to absorb the therapeutic components of an essential oil is through a combination of inhalation and topical application.

    With inhalation, oil molecules are dissolved in nasal mucous, produced by the outer tissues of the nose that are packed with millions of sensory receptors. Nerve impulses travel through to the cranial cavity followed by the olfactory bulb and eventually into the limbic system, also known as the “emotional brain”. This area is directly connected to parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and hormone balance. Essential oils also enter the lungs and alveoli during inhalation, where they get picked up by the circulatory system and delivered throughout the body.

    When applied topically, usually through the form of a carrier oil base, essential oils are attracted to lipid portion of the sebaceous gland to the surrounding tissues and into the blood stream. This is the fastest route, whereby remaining oil components are absorbed via the follicle. Most essential oils, unless they are water-soluble, enter via the sebaceous follicle when applied topically.

    Calming arrival

    We know the traditional uses of essential oils for massage or as an addition to a product for the aroma, but there are so many other aspects and uses we can all embrace.

    Too many times the client arrives at their appointment late or rushed, where you feel the need to calm them down before the start their service. If this occurs, you can start their visit with some inhalation therapy by applying a small amount of oil above the upper lip or rubbed into the scalp. You can also try a steam towel followed by an oil to their feet, this pulls the energy away from the head and gives them permission to switch off.

    A good blend of oils to center this client would be Lavender, Cypress and Eucalyptus.

    Treatment room scents

    Before you begin, make sure the client likes an essential oil or blend before applying them during the treatment as they are difficult to remove once applied. It is said that we are drawn to the oils that benefit us the most. Sometimes memories linked with aromas can be powerful and also positive or negative depending upon the emotion that is conjured up. Essential oils also stimulate the immune system and are strong antioxidants, creating an unfriendly environment for free radicals, so there’s no denying their skin benefits. You can further customize the treatment by utilizing a blend of oils and adding to steam towels, rinse water, linens or compresses.

    Try an essential oil or blend containing Ylang Ylang for breakout-prone skin, Neroli for aging skin and Cypress for sensitive or sensitized skin.

    Aromatherapy at home

    Don’t forget about the many uses of essential oils in our personal space. Oils such as Peppermint and Lemon can provide an uplifting mood booster and set the tone for the client’s home environment. They can also be used as simple home remedies, especially during the cold season. Recommend adding Cypress, Tea Tree, Peppermint or Eucalyptus to steam inhalation—these are great for decongesting the respiratory tract and are anti-viral. Have clients experiencing trouble sleeping? Rose Oil or Jasmine can be beneficial when applied to facial pressure points. And nothing beats a muscle soak at the end of a stressful day with Cedarwood, Orange and Sandalwood added into warm bath water.

    Our sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than our other senses, so why not capitalize on the many uses of essential oils in your business or home life. Start making scents work for you!

  • New Year, New Strategy—PR Tactics to Broaden Your Business Scope

    Lori MacGregor Considering adding PR to your marketing strategy this year? Consider this: PR, generally understood as securing third-party endorsements for your brand, is widely thought to be more influential (and less expensive) than advertising. That said, it’s called “earned media” for a reason—good PR takes effort and a dedication to building relationships with journalists, online influencers, and consumers over time. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can reap the benefits for years to come.

    Here are five ways to use PR to boost your business within the coming year.

    • Develop a press kit, a collection of assets that communicate the key message points and vision for your business. Press kits typically include a company backgrounder, service menu, location images, and a bio on the business owner or key staff. You might have printed copies to hand out, but most media prefer digital.

    • Connect with media influencers. Note local media outlets such as city magazines, newspapers, blogs, and TV news, and invite the appropriate contact in for a complimentary treatment—media will be better able to capture the spirit of your brand if they experience it first-hand. Reach out via email, briefly explaining what makes your business, staff, or menu unique. Then, roll out the (figurative) red carpet: confirm details the day before, give a full tour of the space, and ensure they are booked with your top-performing talent. Remember the old adage: you never get a second chance to make a first impression!

    • Provide unique content. Reporters cover news, so they’ll be motivated to cover a business that’s just opened or expanded, a seasonally-relevant skin treatment, expert tips that consumers can try at home, or local stories that benefit the community. Many publications plan weeks and months in advance, so be ready to preview your unique summer skin treatment in March. Be thoughtful about outreach; contact only with newsworthy topics, and never badger a writer with calls or emails. You want to build a relationship; be respectful and understand that if an idea doesn’t work, there may be another opportunity down the road.

    • Team up. There’s power in numbers. Partner with local businesses to create a neighborhood event, where guests receive exclusive deals, previews, or add-ons when they attend. Invite local business owners, customers, bloggers, and social media influencers, and encourage them to post photos on their social media channels, tagging your business. Social media is powerful media!

    • PR your PR! Amplify your accolades. Add press clips to your website, create display sheets for shelves, and highlight wins on social media. Always thank each journalist for coverage. Do it publically over Twitter, privately via email, or more personally with a handwritten note. You’re not obligated to send a gift, but complimentary product will keep your business top of mind as they plan their next story or segment.

    Adv. vs. PR

  • Holiday Retail Strategies to Boost Your Bottom Line, With the Numbers to Prove It!

    Dermalogica Skin Therapist Retail Products

    As the holiday season approaches it is an exciting time as spa and salon owners know they will see a peak in retail, service and gift cards sales. It is also the time of year where there is an overwhelming amount of competition, with many customers simply looking for the best deals.

    The latest retail holiday sales forecast is projecting as much as $965 billion in sales between November and January, a 4% increase over last year’s shopping season, pointing to a successful holiday season ahead [1]. Keeping in mind the importance of exceptional customer service, lock in those holiday sales and keep your clients returning to you with the following tips.

    • This is the time of year it’s best to offer a promotion such as gifts with purchases. For example, try offering a gift of the customer’s choice with any gift card purchase of a certain amount. Customers will be more willing to buy if there is an incentive for them in return. Fifty percent of consumers indicated that they plan on buying gifts for themselves while shopping for others this holiday season [2].

    • Train your staff to ask every client if they need any gift cards or retail purchases that might be suitable for their friends and family. Remember that every gift card sold is a potential new client. This is the time to lock in new clients as 46% plan to give gift cards this season and a whopping 58% of recipients plan to redeem gift cards within a month of receiving the gift [2].

    • Offer complimentary gift wrapping during the holidays and display examples of gift wrapping options, including gift cards. Custom gift baskets are another great option for clients by allowing them to customize a gift for minimal or no extra cost. Offering unique and custom gift options will help separate you from the competition. Customers look for special gifts with 42% planning to shop at local independent stores rather than malls [2]. The holidays can be stressful and little perks can make all the difference in a sale!

    Merchandise to encourage upselling opportunities while keeping displays clean and cohesive; focusing on what will help entice and intrigue the customer rather than an abundance holiday decor. Stock up on holiday kits and take advantage of deals vendors are offering. Promote seasonal kits and specials on a focal table that can’t be missed and keep small items near your cash wrap as “impulse buys”, which can make great stocking stuffers. Make sure to also offer a selection of service packages such as a bundled package in which clients can receive larger discounts the more services they purchase.

    Host a holiday themed event with special perks for your customers. This is a great time of year to partner with other local businesses and attract new clients! Offer a discount or credit towards products or services with the purchase of a gift card or holiday set. Each business can offer a bounce back to each other and by joining forces can reach more customers through social media outlets. Consumers are open to change, often looking for new stores and brands to make holiday their purchases, with 41% making purchases from a new retailer in 2014 [3].

    Remember that the holiday season can also help set you up for success in the New Year by taking advantage of the increased traffic. Don’t forget to capture all client information during this time of year, especially emails, getting permission to send your clients special offers and updates!

  • Teen Challenge: Acneic Skin and Hydration

    Heather HickmanThe American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports that acne is by far the most common skin complaint amongst those in the 12 to 17 age bracket, affecting all at least occasionally.

    Being prepared to treat teenage clients with acne is high on our radar as Professional Skin Therapists. We are well versed in the key ingredients to combat the contributing factors of an acneic skin condition, and how to effectively explain to our teenage clients, and their parent, how the skin should be treated at home.

    Yet, often the hardest conversation revolves around the use, or lack thereof, of a moisturizer. All too often, our acne and oily prone clients have an innate mistrust of using non-medicated “creams” for fear it will lead to future or prolonged breakouts.

    Dehydrated skin is highly prevalent amongst those with oily or acne prone skin, especially if they have been using harsh over the counter products that may strip the skin of moisture and impair the barrier function. In addition, prescriptive medications such as isotretinoin further exacerbate the dehydration issue, sometime to the extreme.

    Education is a key factor in ensuring a moisturizer is utilized on a daily basis, specifically the ability to explain the difference between a dry and a dehydrated skin, and the need to add moisture, but not oil. And being able to clearly explain that if an oily skin is dehydrated the skin will produce MORE oil to make up for the missing moisture, potentially leading to more breakouts – that revelation works every time!

    Oil-free is the key, but let us not forget the need for the moisturizer to also soothe the skin and calm any irritation either from misuse of product, side effect of medication or inflammation from severe acne.

    Hyaluronic Acid is one of the best ingredients on the market to quickly, effectively and non-aggressively hydrate the skin. The use of Squalane in a moisturizer restores skin suppleness while also helping to prevent future moisture loss. Mild Vitamin B5 derivatives, such as Panthenyl Triacetate will assist in soothing and restoring irritated skin.

    Let’s not forget to join the “moisture movement” the next time we are treating our teenage clients oily or acne skin concerns – they’ll thank you in the long run.

  • Are You Prepared to Use Advanced Modalities?

    DERM_IDI_Modalities_31587
    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

  • A Clear Connection: IDI Adresses Adult Acne in Colombia

    It was late when we landed, but even in the late hours of the day, the city of Bogotá pulsed with an amazing energy. Working for a global company gives us the opportunity to travel and educate all around the world, and here we were in the metropolitan heart of Colombia, getting ready to share the latest in skin care ingredients and technology.

    For four days, my colleague Yorcka Kido, regional education manager for Latin America/Caribbean, and I had the honor to meet with our South American hosts and professional skin therapists. We were also able to connect to millions of consumers via local media to educate on skin health with a focus on adult acne.

    Our first two days kicked off with radio interviews to discuss skin facts and tips on acne. We also met with additional press for TV, magazine and newspapers such as El Tiempo, Caracol Colombia, RCN Radio, Televisa Colombia and Vanidades to share the story of skin health and the impact of adult acne for consumers. Questions such as “what causes acne, how do you treat a blemish, what are the best acne-fighting ingredients and can food affect your skin and cause breakout?” were just a few of the key topics during these interviews.

    On our final day in Bogotá, we were the guest speakers at a skin care event. Over 100 professionals attended the seminar ranging from skin therapists and salon owners to doctors and dermatologists. We presented the latest on industry ingredients and trends and also covered controversial topics like parabens, natural versus organic and alternative ingredients. With consumers having more access to various types of skin care, this topic was impactful and relevant for all professionals, especially to stay educated in what’s fact or fiction, and what works and what’s safe.

    Our afternoon featured the latest findings and research on acne and adult acne. We explored the science behind acne development including triggers, causes, and the four factors that contribute to this worldwide skin concern. Attendees also learned about key ingredients in professional and retail products that provide maximum control and innovative treatment solutions.

    Our experience in Bogotá, Colombia was filled with warm hospitality, gracious hosts and people that encompass a passion for skin care and for life. The entire trip allowed us to network, meet new friends and build relationships on the common thread of education. And that no matter where we are in the world, continuing education is truly important and critical to our client’s skin health and to the success of our business.

  • Team USA Is No Ordinary Team

    Working for The International Dermal Institute is always a pleasure, but even more so when the United States Education Meeting comes around. It is the highlight of the year and this year was no exception! Our corporate office was filled with excitement and anticipation as we welcomed our tribal members from across the country to a few inspirational days of bonding and learning.

    We had 100 attendees including Instructors, Front Desk Registrars, Managers, Operations Team, Professional Skin Therapists from our Flagship Stores and Field Trainers attended the conference. Our theme was ‘This Is No Ordinary Meeting.  You Are No Ordinary Team’ with a focus on – Leadership, Problem Solving and Team Building. The biggest impact for us this week was all about working together and understanding our true story as a tribe. At the end of the day, it’s a balance of Sales and Education, that work together hand in hand to help build the company, and help each of our accounts achieve their goals and create their own success stories.

    We had 17 presentations as well as five breakout sessions that covered where we are at with Education, where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. The magnitude of information was so amazing that each presentation left us with copious amounts of notes and mindful measures to take back and apply immediately within our daily lives at home and work. There were presentations to remind us of who we are as a company – such as ‘What’s in your DNA?’ with the unforgettable stories of what makes us so different and stand out from the rest. And of course, who better to share that with us than our very own Dr. Diana Howard, VP of Research and Development and Global Education. We enjoyed educational presentations on the new innovative products Dermalogica is bringing to market and the great new classes we have to support launches, products and the future of our industry – the medical arena.

    It was a case of “Who Done It?” as we enjoyed a night out on the town aboard the beautiful and mysterious ship, the historic Queen Mary. Fun was had by all during our murder mystery dinner and it was great to see friends and colleagues come together, work as a team and sleuth out the clues to solve the case!

    Our final day was filled with inspiration and words of wisdom from our Founder and Chief Visionary, Jane Wurwand. Jane presented a segment on true success and how it goes beyond money and power. We gained great tips on how we need to disconnect from our technology devices (literally!) and introduce silence in our lives – it is imperative for our creative mind and our own sanity! She ended with a quote that truly left each of us motivated to complete the second half of the year achieving goals and exceeding expectations.

    “Every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling ‘this is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!’ and each day, it’s up to us to yank our hand back, put it on our hearts and say, ‘No. This is what’s important’” – Iain Thomas.  Thank you Jane!

    It all ended too quickly, but we look forward to another year, when we can all be together again and share stories and moments of how we helped more than 60,000 students achieve success and build their business. Together, as a team, we are all here to support each other and change the industry one student at a time.

  • Gym Membership, Skin Membership

    Congratulations – you’ve almost made it through the first month of the new year! While many have enrolled in new gym classes and started the latest juice trends, some are left feeling more razed than fresh at this new and exciting time of year. New Year’s resolutions are all about shifting into your best self, but many fail to realize that most resolutions won’t be kept up past mid-January!

    While some of the top resolutions are about losing weight or getting organized, some are about achieving better skin. But staying committed to your fitness or health goals will also benefit your skin, so you can actually combine resolutions!

    Read on to find out what exercise can do for your skin and your body:

    1. Improve Your Mood and Your Skin: It’s a fact – regular exercise can boost certain fatigue-fighting brain chemicals such as norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals can help pep up your mood, and they can also boost your attitude about your skin! You may find that once you start exercising, you’re no longer too tired to remove your makeup before you go to bed, or you’re not so concise about the pimple or wrinkles that decided to show up when you weren’t looking. Overall, healthy skin is a great confidence builder!

    2. Get Natural Pain Relief: Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural pain reliever, which can make you less vulnerable to tiny tears in muscles and tendons. This pain reliever might come in handy during extractions if you experience breakouts. Also, when you’re working hard and breaking a good sweat, that very sweat helps the body to naturally detox, resulting in clearer, glowing skin.

    3. Flaunt Your Inner Diva: Working out is the way to a better body image. Regardless of how much you work out, or what you do, it will make you feel positive about wearing that bikini. The same can be said for your skin – having a great home care regimen with professional skin treatments could be a reason to finally try that red lipstick you’ve been eyeing!

    4. Shrink Unwanted Fat: Stress can cause weight gain and lead to inflammation, which can contribute to the signs of aging, breakouts and other skin issues. More studies are linking stress to adverse effects on the skin, so try yoga or a skin care night at home with a hydrating masque to de-stress.

    5. Sleep Away the Signs of Aging: A study found in Sleep Journal observed that aerobic activity is an effective approach to improving sleep quality, mood and quality of life in older adults with chronic insomnia [1]. This quality of sleep can also affect your skin. Scientists believe that skin repairs itself at night, as cell renewal is enhanced in the evening [2]. Some products can even go as far as working with our bodies’ biological activity circadian (24-hour) rhythms to also nourish and condition the skin at the same time as you sleep!

    So while maintaining fitness goals is ideal for bodily health, it is equally important to recommend a skin care regimen that achieves results. E.J. Masicampo, an assistant psychology professor at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. who studies goal planning, states, “Goals can be extremely effective, depending on how people set and approach them…They can inspire you and help you keep the bigger picture in mind.”

    What’s the big picture here? Skin and the internal body go hand in hand!

    References:
    1. Sleep Medicine Vol. 11, Issue 9, Pages 934-940
    2. Prevention July 2006; Beauty Sleep by Janet Kinosian