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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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Even organic and natural spas are getting in on consumers’ growing appetite for naturals, so much so that Ecocert, a worldwide certification body specializing in the environment, recently launched an international standard specially designed for organic and natural spas. By integrating the Being certification program, spa owners can have access to the Ecocert network of the spa industry, as well as receive immediate visibility among consumers and professionals. Talk about taking your green goals to the next level!

6. Men

Although once a small niche segment of the industry, men are coming into their own when it comes to the spa. The reason for more men? Stress, according to Lynn McNees, president of ISPA, in an exclusive interview with Skin Inc. “Stress does not discriminate and affects both genders equally, so it is interesting that we have seen the male spa-goer population increase recently, as well. Males now make up 47% of the overall spa-goer population, and historically that number has been much lower.” Along with spa treatments, skin care and grooming products have grown significantly for men as increasing numbers of males worldwide have incorporated grooming into their routine. In fact, new research from Mintel reveals that beauty and personal care launches specifically targeted for men have increased globally by 70% during the past six years (2007–2012). If male products and services aren’t currently available at your facility, your next profitable move may involve becoming an expert in the male mentality.

7. Multicultural beauty

Demographically, African-American, Asian, Indian, Hispanic and other people of color number more than one-third the United States population with ever-increasing spending power. Clients with skin of color defy traditional marketing segment definitions and, instead, exhibit contextual cultural identity, according to a new report from Kline & Company, making it more important for spas to know their clients. For example, according to the study, approximately 50% of African-American respondents and 36% of Asians strongly agree that they take pride in taking care of their skin. Take a look at your demographic and the area in which your spa is located. What are the predominant ethnicities, and what are their needs? Provide services and products in your spa that will appeal to the largest populations in your area, in the ways they need to be received, for enhanced future success.

8. Global skin

And as more clients with skin of color come through your doors, it is crucial to remember that it is rare for a person to be decended from one or two distinct cultural heritages. Instead, more and more clients have a variety of cultural influences in their genetic makeup, and this presents a new and interesting challenge for skin care professionals. As stated by author Michelle Goldsmith, an educator for PCA Skin, in the article “Global Skin: Climbing Your Client’s Family Tree” from the August 2013 issue of Skin Inc., “Because numerous people are of mixed hereditary backgrounds and many color their hair, wear colored contacts and may tan, either via topical products or UV exposure, it is increasingly difficult to determine a client’s heritage based solely on appearance ... It is imperative that skin care professionals understand how the skin functions in those with mixed ancestry. For example, a person who visually appears to be a Fitzpatrick I or II may indeed have a parent or other relative who is a Fitzpatrick IV, V or VI. It would be risky to create a treatment plan for this client based solely on the color of their skin. Therefore, obtaining a thorough history and profile is important for every client. You wouldn’t want to treat this client with ingredients or percentages that are too active. Ask the appropriate questions and never make assumptions based on appearances. A great starting question is: ‘What is your hereditary background based on your parents, grandparents and others?’” By training your team to approach starting consultations in this manner, you will best be able to address clients’ concerns safely and thoroughly.

9. Online engagement

Let’s face it: Facebook isn’t going anywhere. In fact, Facebook—and its social media cohorts—are the future of your business. Don’t believe me? Before you know it, a new, mobile savvy clientele will be making up the majority of your client list ... especially if you are marketing to younger clients. If you see social media as just a tool for last-minute discounts, you aren’t considering the bigger picture. According to Ashley Ludgood, digital and social media director for IF Marketing and author of the article “Online Dating: Build Relationships and Stimulate Client Engagement Via Social Media” from the October 2013 issue of Skin Inc., it’s the relationship aspect of social media that will prove valuable. “In light of the growing importance of an online presence, relationships contribute to your earnings, generating leads before you’ve even met potential clients. Social media has become a way of developing ‘pre-lationships.’ People have the opportunity to connect and feel comfortable with you before ever stepping foot through your door,” says Ludgood. Try looking at social media from this new perspective, and you’ll be amazed at how important it will suddenly become.

10. Time-starved clients

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