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  • Keeping Up with The Industry at IECSC Las Vegas

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    Photo credit: IECSC

     

    This past weekend, I attended the International Esthetics, Cosmetics and Spa conference (IECSC) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference had over 600 exhibitors, 5 CIDESCO workshops, a 2-day medical spa conference, business building seminars, and 135+ FREE classes—I felt like a kid in a candy store! My two-day ticket allowed plenty of time for me to see the many exhibitors and attend some wonderful education classes. Of course, I had to have a game plan to make it all happen. My plan of action was an hour-by-hour timeline for classes, cruising the show floor, and of course lunch. This made it easy to navigate my days because I knew exactly where and when I needed to be at a certain location.

    My priority at IECSC was to attend classes and indulge in education. This year’s education lineup seemed to be split between technology and ingredient classes. The technology education was focused on microdermabrasion, micro needling, lasers and LED. On Saturday I took an LED class from Lightwave that delved into the science of LED and the way it should be applied during a skin treatment. On Sunday, I took another technology class from Bio-Therapeutic about how to incorporate multiple machines into one skin treatment. Both classes were very informative! The ingredient classes were focused on cosmeceutical ingredients and what to look for in chemical peel formulations. It’s always great to learn what’s new and what’s tried and true when looking for a great peel line.

    In between my scheduled classes, I took time to peruse the show floor. I noticed lash extension companies were on every corner this year! Each vendor was applying full sets of lashes and even brow extensions as live demonstrations on the floor. Micro needling exhibitors were a close second to the amount of lash companies, covering everything from traditional needle rollers to automatic pen devices. Just remember, micro needling is great and can yield amazing results, but don’t purchase equipment unless you know your licensure and liability insurance covers the treatment. Thirdly, I noticed that LED manufacturers were abundant. Most machines were for professional use and offered traditional red and blue lights, while others had up to 4 colors including green, yellow or combination.

    Trade shows are always a great place to learn about what’s up and coming in the industry and it amazes me to see how far we’ve advanced in helping clients reach their skin goals. Overall, I had a great time catching up with old co-workers, expanding my knowledge of technology in the treatment room, and doing a little shopping!

  • #TopicsonTrend with Annet King

    annet croppedKeep an ear to the ground with an eye toward the future—that’s my motto. We live in a world in constant motion; goods, capital and labor are traveling globally at a faster pace than ever and moving in novel patterns. Not to mention that pop culture and consumer trends are quite fascinating to me. So I took the liberty of researching trends like multi-masquingmanscaping, cannabusiness, sound therapy, fast shopping vs. slow shopping, even 3D bioprinting of skin (I can go all day with this!) to understand how they can affect the future of our business.

    In order to successfully navigate the ever-changing world of consumer perceptions, it helps to understand the landscape. If you don’t know where you stand, it’s difficult to get to where you want to be. Technology has rapidly changed how we behave, shop and interact FOREVER yet many skin centers, salons and spas continue to operate in the same manner.

    To stay relevant, profitable and successful we have to continuously adapt our business around the needs, wants and desires of the consumer. We need to think differently and act fast to seize every opportunity to attract new clients, increase services, boost retail revenues and secure loyalty. It’s time to open your eyes, act fast and make sure you don’t get left behind!

    Get started by watching my webinar #TopicsonTrend, courtesy of American Spa, to discover the most important trends that impact our industry and what you can do to ensure your business stays relevant.

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  • Pregnancy Skin Care Dos and Don’ts

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    The body goes through many changes during pregnancy and the skin is no exception. Skin changes occur in about 90% of pregnant women in one form or another; and Mom-to-be’s will have some pressing skin care questions on ingredients and treatments.

    There are many opinions between doctors and different studies with varying information, so it’s imperative that your clients consult with their physician prior to the use of skin care products and receiving treatments.

    Here are three of the most commonly asked questions by professional skin therapists when it comes to treating pregnant clients.

    1.  Can I use Salicylic Acid?

    This Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is an excellent exfoliant and can be used to treat acne. In high concentrations it is considered a risk during pregnancy and should be avoided, especially in professional resurfacing. Small percentages used in skin care (for example less than 2% in a wash off) are considered safe.

    2.  What about the use of aromatherapy?

    It’s recommended to avoid using essential oils during the first trimester. This topic is controversial between practitioners and there are varying opinions to safety, however, it depends on the type of oil and dilution. Usually approved non-toxic blends around 1-2% dilution are considered safe for body massage and skin products. Hydro-essentials, which are water-soluble fractions of the essential oil, are safe as they do not penetrate the blood stream. Your client should consult her doctor before any essential oil use.

    3.  Can I use technology in my treatment room?

    The use of electrical modalities is not recommended, which includes Galvanic, High Frequency, Microcurrent, Ultrasonic and Laser. Microdermabrasion has mixed expert reviews, with most stating to use with caution. We would not use microdermabrasion over aggravated acne or dilated capillaries. Be mindful when using it on hyperpigmented skin as causing more inflammation can make this condition worse.

    This handy ingredient checklist (below) can help you decipher the dos and don’ts when treating pregnant clients. When in doubt, have your client discuss their skin care options with their OBGYN and/or general physician if they are currently pregnant, nursing or considering pregnancy in the near future. Always work with caution if the client is in her first trimester and/or has had complications with her pregnancy or previous pregnancies. If she opts to avoid certain ingredients and/or products, the best course of action is to honor her choice. What is most important is that we help the new mother achieve her skin care goals safely and effectively.

    Pregnancy Yes and Nos

  • The Game Changer: Mobile Apps

    I seriously question if the mobile phone is now an actual appendage of most people’s bodies, literally  an extension of ones hand! Let’s face it, just about everywhere you go you see people with their phone in their hand (not their bag or pocket). If we are so heavily reliant on our phones and we know that technology changes daily to increase the function and benefits of the phone to our everyday life, then I question, why is it we are so slow in our industry to understand its importance to our business?

    Our customers communicate and manage their life through their phone, so we must provide them with the ability to communicate and manage their services and products with us via their phone. That means they need to be able to book online via the phone, buy product, view our services and products on video, get educated, write comments, engage with others and much, much more. That means we need to have  a website and support systems that are all configured for mobile applications and consider having supporting apps for your customers to access.

    According to beauty-app master Modiface, app downloads during December 2013 were up year-on-year by 25 percent, while apps that provided specific functionality were up by 38 percent. From these statistics, we can see consumers are downloading apps that address a certain need or help them with specific tasks rather than being purely content-based applications.

    So don’t procrastinate any longer, face your fears just go out there — get on board and ‘do it’!