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Pep Talks and Peptides for Spa Professionals

By Bud Brewster August 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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More and more often, formulators are looking to raw material suppliers for demonstrations of the efficacy, safety and functionality of new ingredients, such as peptides. Spas that are sellers of finished formulated products also need ingredient information to convince clients to purchase products, as well as to differentiate brand offerings. Are spas and medical spas getting all the ingredient

Michael Gold, MD, on Professional Skin Care

"I don’t use the term “professional” to identify a class of products. You come to my medical spa and see privately labeled products. They are professional products, but they are still either a cosmeceutical or a cosmetic. The only other valid product class is a prescription product."

"Ingredients are important. Knowing the actives and the irritant potential is the most important thing for the dermatologist."

"The manufacturer has to provide samples, training, back bar products, and my staff has to have tried and approved those products before I’ll agree to sell them."

information they need to sell their products?
       International management consulting and market research firm Kline & Company’s recently released 2006 study of the professional skin care market1 reports a sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth, as well as a shift in distribution, with spa professionals and physicians facing stiff competition from retail channels, including some chain drug stores and other mass merchandisers. This retail competition is resulting in spas that are increasingly seeking help from product marketers to hold on to their share of this booming market, according to Kline & Company.
       “Almost all of the 300 dermatologists, plastic surgeons and spa managers interviewed for the study said they wanted to see more in the way of providing product samples, training and educational materials to help them sell the products,” says Carrie Mellage, director, consumer products, Kline Research. “More than 80% of both spas and physicians surveyed consider product samples the best form of support, but there seems to be a gap in marketers meeting that request.”
       Kline’s 2006 study is available by subscription only, but the firm did provide some excerpts from the previous year’s report, which shows that professional skin care sales accounted for 12% of the $42 billion global skin care market in 2005; nearly 72% of those global sales were in Europe.

“Professional” products
       The term “professional product” is common in the spa industry, but what does it really mean?
       According to John E. Kulesza, president and founder of Young Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in Wethersfield, Connecticut, when his company formulates a product for the spa environment, it might use a different set of raw materials and concentrations versus products that would be sold to the dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
       Michael Gold, MD, dermatologist and medical director of the Gold Skin Care Center, the Tennessee Clinical Research Center, the Laser & Rejuvenation Center and the Advanced Aesthetics Medi-Spa in Nashville, Tennessee, says that he doesn’t understand the term. 

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