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A Down-to-Earth Spa Industry Legend

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: September 25, 2008, from the October 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Lydia Sarfati headshot

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“Try to do little things rather than big things. Instead of a main course, why don’t you try offering snacks and appetizers? Give clients a mask or a massage or just one element of a facial—make it more accessible and more fun,” she suggests.

These tips are not just from a business person; Sarfati says she is simply an esthetician at heart. “Recently, I was in an elevator at a trade show and a young lady was there with her husband and said, ‘Oh my goodness, this is Lydia Sarfati, the best esthetician in the world,’ ” Sarfati says. “When they got out of the elevator, my husband, David, said, ‘It’s funny how you are still an esthetician to them.’ Certainly I am the CEO of my company—the big cheese and the product developer—but, in my heart, I still think of myself as an esthetician.”

Of course, there is no denying that Sarfati has a lot on her plate. Along with all of her personal business responsibilities, she also is very active in many industry entities, and, at the time of this interview, just returned from the 57th CIDESCO World Congress held in Baden-Baden, Germany. Although her responsibilities may seem overwhelming to most, Sarfati insists they don’t feel like work to her.

Product development and client interaction top her list as the favorite parts of her job. “I love developing products and being inspired. In Baden-Baden, during early morning walks in the Black Forest, I was inspired by it and the earth and realized that my next body scrub needs to be a Black Forest scrub,” she says.

Two years ago, Sarfati began performing direct client consultations, through which she has derived much satisfaction. “I love sticking my fingers in the mud and seeing the seaweed on clients, and I love the firsthand satisfied reactions,” she says. Clients aren’t the only ones inspired by Sarfati; skin care professionals are, as well. “I love teaching estheticians and seeing the sparkle in their eyes,” says Sarfati. “I come off of events and trade shows and seminars and my body says ‘Stop!,’ but my head says ‘Go!’ ”