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Today's Skin Therapist

David Suzuki February 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

Most people have less financial freedom to work with today than they did a few years ago. Nevertheless, they continue to make looking and feeling their best among their highest priorities, while being very cognizant and responsible of their budgets. They are very selective, well-researched, deliberate and specific. They need to know the how and why of what they are purchasing, and whether it is worth the cost. Satisfying today’s consumer requires science, efficacy, knowledge, education and results. You may notice that price wasn’t listed. This is not to say that price is not important, only that today’s consumer is willing to pay for quality, as opposed to quantity.

How does this translate to your role as a spa professional? To begin, you must communicate and lead assertively. Today’s culture has quickly become incredibly direct and specific with very little tolerance for passiveness. Because of this, you need to instill complete confidence in your clients with decisive and thorough consultations. You must quickly understand your client’s objectives, translate them into live strategies, communicate these strategies to your clients and expect a commitment. Your clients are only going to take you as seriously as you take yourself.

Scientific measurement and analysis tools allow you to gain magnified imagery, moisture analysis and still pictures that can supply precision with your product and service strategies, as well as the ability to observe the progress of clients’ skin moving forward. Progress measurements serve as the barometer of a successful strategy and also guide much-needed adjustments to improve the strategy as often as possible. Knowledge is power; the more you know and understand about clients’ skin, the more precise your solutions can be.

As important as creating and implementing an assertive skin care strategy is, so too is the diligence and follow-through to bring clients’ objectives into fruition. This requires impeccable and organized client files that document measurements, images, strategies, progress, adjustments and home-care product recommendations.

Before starting each day, files for that day’s clients should be pulled and reviewed. Review home-care recommendations, find out how often the client is really following the regimen, and make adjustments accordingly. Some adjustments will be related to products, while others may simply be the application frequency and the order in which the products are used. Discuss the new measurements taken, what you are seeing and most importantly, what your clients are seeing.

Indicate current progress in the scope of your total strategy, and what you are doing today that is moving their objectives forward. Before your clients leave, discuss new products that need to be implemented, and what should be worked on during the next appointment. This information should be documented because it becomes your action list for the next service.

Today’s spa professionals have discovered new roomless treatment environments and the mini facial. Mini services range from 15–30 minutes, and are generally priced at a fraction of the cost of a two-hour facial, making them applicable to a much broader client base. This equates to potentially five times as many clients per day, a busy and exciting environment and a substantial increase in retail sales.

As the American culture changes, your role as a spa professional is also changing. Your passion to help people and cultivate beautiful skin will never be lost. How you achieve this, however, is different. Learning to apply your skill, knowledge and passion in a different way can be a bit scary at times, but it is also exhilarating. These changes help you remember that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to as long as you have the diligence, perseverance and desire to see it through.

David Suzuki is the president of Bio-Therapeutic, Inc., and has been an active licensed member of the esthetic and beauty industries for more than 19 years. These many years of experience in all facets of the spa environment—from hands-on to management—have helped prepare him for a greater understanding of the industry. Suzuki joined Bio-Therapeutic, Inc. in 1992 and has become an authority on technology and regulatory issues, including U.S. Food and Drug Administration submission and acquisition.