Home' Spa and Clinic : Volume 62 July 2015 Contents Michelle Goldsmith
better understanding your target
audience and market to them more
effectively, to being better retailers of
products at point of sale and putting
in place strategies to keep business
steadily humming along all year
round, not relying on peak times
such as Christmas to stay afloat.
But how did it come this this?
It starts with the sheer volume of
choice of skincare now available, as is the information about it. It’s
confusing even for professionals!
This is compounded by the ability for consumers to self-diagnose
concerns (and products to treat them) courtesy “Dr Google”, giving
rise to an epidemic of troubled or downright traumatised skins.
“ The thing with self-analysis and buying online is that there are
so many really active low-PH burning acid creams that totally ruin
the top layer of the skin,” says leading Sydney dermal therapist Dee
Davies, who has been in the business for 34 years.
“Then if someone tries to soothe the dryness and damage with a
thick moisturiser, the zits arrive.
“At this point people realise they need professional help. I have
to unravel those issues piece by piece – it takes at least six weeks.
“Products are cheaper on the internet because there a lot are
copies of the 'real deals’. Most people don’t believe me when I tell
People are putting blind faith in websites, bloggers, posts on
social media platforms and YouTube tutorials that may or may not
be backed by relevant credentials or, indeed, knowledge.
While not directly relevant to this article, the extraordinary
hoax “wellness warrior” Belle Gibson perpetrated upon people with
cancer, their friends and families, with her blogs and Whole Pantry
app is a major wake-up call.
That she had absolutely no qualifications to back up her schtick
other than keeping “cancer” at bay with her whole foods philosophy
didn’t stop her from having thousands of vulnerable people in her
thrall, clamouring to download her app.
The fact it was all a lie has devastated and enraged Gibson’s
former followers, but it has brought into focus the dangers of
trusting someone who may well be charismatic and convincing but
has no apparent qualifications.
“ We indeed have a problem with what people take as gospel from
online,” says Dee. “And unless we as an industry do something to
counter it, the problem is only going to g row.”
In a similar vein, huge, expensive celebrity-driven or otherwise
dazzling marketing and advertising campaigns propel consumers to
retail outlets for solutions to all their skin woes.
How effective these products really are and whether they are actually
appropriate for an individual’s skin type or concern is another matter.
Whether they are “self-prescribing” their purchases or taking
advice from in-store salespeople who may or may not be trained in
skin analysis or the products they are recommending, consumers
are leaving a great deal to chance. If their skin doesn’t suffer, their
wallet will with likely no discernable results.
“Department stores are not going to sell products with the
strength of a professional cosmeceutical,” says Dee.
“To sell such active products they would have to have better
educated sales assistants – otherwise they would have a hell of a lot of
returns and probably some lawsuits.
The level of active ingredients in
OTC skincare is vey low.”
In countries like the US, going
to a dermatologist or dermal
therapist on a regular basis to keep
the skin in optimum condition is a
natural as having regular check-ups
with a GP or wellness practitioner
to promote good health, or taking
regular fitness classes to keep in shape.
It’s fair to say that Australia hasn’t ever really had that culture ...
on the whole, visiting a salon, spa or clinic at regular intervals has
been seen as a treat or indulgence, even though our climate exposes
us to some of the greatest challenges to skin health and appearance
in the world.
But the rate of people coming for regular skincare treatments
and buying their products from professionals has declined, notably
Contributing to this has been the near-instant results that can
be achieved with technology-based treatments such as laser, light,
radiofrequency and ultrasound, not to mention the wonderful
world of anti-wrinkle and dermal filler injectables.
But with this high-tech wonderland has also come misconceptions:
maintaining the skin – its health and appearance of youthfulness – is
a constant work in progress.
You can’t just have a few “zaps” or “ jabs” and decree a
problem fixed. No. It involves day-to -day home care that should
be prescribed by a professional – you – in between professional
consultations and treatments.
How many people go to the hairdresser ever y week for a blow
dry, or every few weeks for a colour or cut, or get their nails done
regularly at a salon?
Are hair and nails more worthy of regular professional care than
the skin we live in? The skin that is the first feature other people
subliminally take note of as a marker of health, age and attractiveness?
But the time is ripe now for skincare professionals to take the
high ground, and assert themselves as an essential purveyor of
treatments and products.
The concept of holistic “skin health” has been the buzz at recent
cosmetic medical conferences SPA+CLINIC has attended, such as
Cosmetex in May and the Non- Surgical Symposium in June.
“Skin Is Alive” was also the theme of the international CIDESCO
conference in June in South Africa (see p33), which stressed the
importance of training dermal therapists to the highest standards.
True Solutions (distributors in Australia of such brands as
Elizabeth Arden Pro, Priori, glo-minerals, glo-therapeutics and
Omnilux), supplies to around 600 salons across the country.
“The feedback we get is that the regularity of clients returning
frequently to salons for traditional facial treatments has waned in
recent years,” says Mandy Gray.
“I think consumers are definitely more hesitant to spend on
themselves and they feel that a facial is more of a ‘treat’ than a necessity.
“There are more treatment options for consumers these days
with regular manicures, brow sculpting, lash extensions and
tanning that require regular (and costly) maintenance. These take
over from the regular facial treatment business.
“Many people also self-diagnose by looking to the internet,
spaclinic.com.au | 13
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