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Top 10 Industry Trends of 2007

Posted: November 28, 2007, from the December 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Movin’ on up.
From Trump Tower to Canyon Ranch, the future of luxury involves living in a relaxed state of well-being. This year, the trend toward building and planning condominiums and hotels that focus on a spa lifestyle—presumably to attract the soon-to-be retiring boomers—started in full swing. Two of the main players domestically: the Trump Organization, which is developing The Spa at Trump and dedicated spa guest rooms as part of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago; and the ever-influential Canyon Ranch, which has introduced its Living condominiums in Tucson, Arizona; Miami Beach, Florida; and Chicago, featuring luxury and the joy of a healthy lifestyle. What a way to live!

Demise of the face invaders.
Although face lifts are alive and well, many women and men are taking a not-so-drastic route to unfading beauty. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 69% more women and 91% more men since 2000 are taking a nonsurgical approach to looking good. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery concurs, listing Botox* as the most popular surgical alternative in 2006, followed closely by hyaluronic acid, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion and laser skin resurfacing. Additionally, more and more skin care suppliers are ditching the needles altogether by offering topical alternatives for smooth foreheads, plump lips and bright, youthful complexions. Aging gracefully has never been so easy.

Screened out.
Who knew sunscreen, traditionally such as safety staple, would become so controversial in 2007? From claims ranging that it causes free radical damage to results being inflated to it simply not working, sunscreen took a beating this year. And although initial reactions to such alarming news were to chastise sunscreen suppliers and consider ceasing sunscreen use altogether, by the end of 2007, feedback has become more reasonable and productive. All experts agree and maintain that a person is much better off using sunscreen than not, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is making it easier to identify the correct level of protection. In fact, it recently proposed a more efficient scale to indicate protection levels for both UVA and UVB rays—SPF only indicates protection against UVB. Look for these improvements in 2008. So take a deep breath, slather on the sunscreen and know that a better era of sun protection is on its way.

Up with eco.
With news reports of global climate change, the world’s water shortage, chemical-laden crops and a lack of sustainable resources, the environment has jumped to the forefront of the business industry this year, and spas are on the leading edge of going green. Organic ingredients, products and treatments are more and more becoming the norm, with offerings such as vegan manicure and pedicures and indigineous-ingredient body treatments popping up in many facilities nationwide. Green spa design, which includes the incorporation of recyclable building materials and systems that conserve water and energy, also has become a hot trend, as well as the purchasing of carbon offsetO methods used to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. And organizations, such as the recently launched Green Spa Network, are working to develop and help businesses implement more environmentally friendly practices, including how to sustain staff and business resources.

The bionic spa.
LEDs, lasers, IPLs and microcurrent—oh my! In a world that is traveling at a faster pace with each passing day, time-pressed clients are seeking treatments—and results—that are able to match that pace. And with technologcially evolving equipment becoming easier to use and more readily available this year, spas are better equipped to meet this demand. Although the rejuvenating, relaxing effects of traditional facials and massage have definitely not gone by the wayside, these new options, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and intense pulsed light (IPL), extend a spa’s possibilities, allowing for deeper product penetration, longer-lasting results and more menu options. And along with all the equipment innovations, new techniques and service pairings are being created all the time, broadening spas’ reach. By utilizing these trends of technology, you’ll be seen as a skin wizard in no time.