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Top 10 Professional Skin Care Industry Trends for 2014

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: December 4, 2013, from the December 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Reach out to the “low-hanging fruit” client now to win over a loyal client for life!

2. Business is back

With the improvement of the economy in general and the spa industry specifically, those skin care professionals who have survived the Great Recession learned a few lessons along the way ... namely, you can’t run a business without knowing about business. These days, crossing your fingers and hoping everything will work out just doesn’t cut it. The Business Summit during the Advanced Education Conference Program at both Face & Body® Northern California and Face & Body® Midwest in 2013 were standing room-only, filled with skin care professionals eager to learn from dynamic spa business experts who spoke on topics ranging from finance and marketing, to retail and social media. Although it may not be a skin care professional’s first love, it is becoming clear that, without a business brain, success is impossible. As Eleanor Roosevelt said: “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

3. Nonsurgical face lifts

Ever since the emergence of Botox as an alternative to the surgical face lift, consumers have been looking for ways to avoid going under the knife. Skin care product and equipment companies are doing their best to offer alternatives to invasive surgical treatments by combining topicals and machines to bring about anti-aging results. Examples of the techniques that encompass this type of offering are the combination of ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, collagen and peptides, with multifunctional equipment; as well as probably the most talked-about method today: microneedling. Although not within the scope of practice for estheticians in some states (Editor’s note: Log on to to access complete contact information for your state board.), the premise of microneedling is to create a controlled wound response in the skin to stimulate growth factors without abrading the epidermis. Microneedling is most commonly used for fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring, pigmentation, stretch marks and even mild forms of noninflamed rosacea. What options are you offering the results-seeking clients in your spa?

4. Diet and skin

Now more than ever, consumers are beginning to understand that skin health isn’t limited to the topicals they apply to their skin. Along with genetics, or intrinsic aging, clients are learning more about extrinsic aging—the accumulation of external influences, such as sun damage, food selection, stress, sleep, and health and lifestyle choices. And because they are becoming more savvy about this, skin care professionals need to know their stuff, too, as well as be able to recommend solutions for heading off extrinsic aging. Whether this means learning more about the subjects of sleep, stress, diet and fitness yourself, or being able to recommend a professional who can speak to these issues, it is more important than ever to be educated about all types of aging and act as a mentor to your clients who are seeking solutions. Do you have a nutritionist, a sleep expert or a personal trainer that you can readily recommend to your clients or tap to speak at in-spa events? If not, make it a point to make some new friends ... ones you and your clients can trust.

5. Organic and natural

Although organic and natural products aren’t new, they are becoming more legitimate. In the past and still today, almost any personal care product can claim organic ingredients without having to legally go through any certification process. Although many companies have participated in certification of their own accord to add credibility in the confusing and diluted world of naturals labeling, rising concerns for health safety, increasing green consciousness and growing consumer awareness are fueling the demand for genuine organic personal care products, according to a new study by Transparency Market Research. In fact, the United States’ closest option for organic labeling is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Organic label, which actually is for food and not personal care products. As the demand for organic personal care products grows, so too will the demand for legitimacy in growing practices and certification.

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