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Being LED-savvy Can Set Your Spa Apart

Rick Krupnick January 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

Today’s spa clients are bombarded constantly from all angles by aggressive media campaigns touting the latest and greatest in new treatments for anti-aging. Whether inspired by watching a physician on The Oprah Winfrey Show, reading an article in a fashion or beauty magazine, or perusing a blog on the Internet, your clients are actively searching for ways to improve their appearance. How are you keeping up? Today’s busy spa professionals face the challenge of separating fact from fiction and, most importantly, guiding their clients toward treatments that are both effective and can deliver realistic expectations. In today’s competitive world, you need to remain apprised of the latest skin care developments in order to show current and prospective clients that you are up-to-date and well-informed on the most innovative treatments.

If you are like most of your colleagues, you’re constantly on the lookout for new and exciting technologies to offer your clients that demonstrate just how ahead of the knowledge curve you are. One such technology that is garnering a lot of buzz within medical, esthetic and consumer circles is light-emitting diode (LED) therapy. This treatment offers a new technological advancement that provides a quick, painless and effective way to attain younger, healthier-looking skin.

By knowing how to effectively capitalize on LED therapy, you can increase your clients’ satisfaction and add to your business’ bottom line. Following are some tips on how to integrate LED treatments successfully into your current spa menu.

From stoplights to skin care

Most likely, you encounter LEDs on a daily basis without even realizing it. Found in various types of electronics, such as traffic lights, cell phones, digital clocks and remote controls, LEDs quite literally light the world.

Recently, scientists from Light BioScience have discovered that certain LEDs can be used to stimulate collagen production in order to produce healthier, more radiant skin. Because LEDs don’t use filaments for illumination, they give off a low amount of heat, thus providing a safe and noninvasive skin care treatment.

Before purchasing an LED device, however, it’s important to do your research. Know what you are buying, what the device is cleared to do by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and what allowable claims it can make. Nina Curtis, esthetician and owner of The Nile Institute in West Hollywood, California, says, “I let my clients and prospective clients know that I use a device with pulsating amber lights, as opposed to red or blue lights. I explain to them the FDA-cleared benefits of this color choice and how it really sets my treatments apart from what’s out there.”

Scientific research and clinical studies conducted by Light BioScience have shown that certain pulsating amber-colored lights are most effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, diminishing pore size, and decreasing redness while producing overall healthier-looking skin. This specific LED photomodulation treatment provides estheticians with a cutting-edge technology that is safe, fast and effective.

Adding LED to the menu

Incorporating LED therapy into a spa menu is not as challenging as one might think. Luckily, LED treatments are versatile and can fit into several different categories. They are the perfect complement to any anti-aging spa treatment. LED photomodulation sessions have been shown by physicians to help reduce redness and skin irritation, so they are the ideal post-treatment for procedures such as photofacials, microdermabrasion and chemical peels. LED treatments also can be a great add-on to waxing services because the light can help to calm and soothe waxed skin, causing the redness to subside more quickly than it would on its own.

Curtis offers clients LED photomodulation as an add-on to her signature hour-long facials. “My protocol is first to cleanse and remove excess oil on the surface,” she explains. “Then I exfoliate to remove any dead skin cells. Because these cells are made up of protein, they will reflect light away from the skin, so exfoliated skin readily absorbs the beneficial light. After light therapy, I finish with the facial massage, mask, moisturizer and everything that I use in my signature facial.” Curtis also markets a lunch break skin-rejuvenation facial that includes cleansing, exfoliation, LED photomodulation, moisturizing and sunscreen application. “My clients are out the door in less than 30 minutes, so they actually can still eat lunch after their facial,” she adds.

Most LED treatments are also great for stand-alone purposes. A client doesn’t always require this service when receiving other treatments. Estheticians should recommend LED therapy as a way of attaining and maintaining healthy, collagen-rich skin. One of Curtis’ longtime clients began using LED therapy treatments, and, after only a few weeks, her friends started commenting on her appearance. Curtis says, “People were asking her, ‘Have you lost weight? Something’s definitely different. You look great!’ The overall change was the result of the LED photomodulation improving the tone and texture of her skin.”

Integrating LED into your spa menu will improve the existing services on your menu and provide you with a quick and easy way to increase revenue.

Selling the treatments

Make sure that the LED device you purchase comes with staff training, as well as plenty of educational and supporting marketing materials. Because LED therapy is beginning to generate attention in the media, many clients are seeking out spas that offer this service. Promote the fact that you have added this to your spa menu. One of the most effective ways to do so is by implementing mailings to current and prospective clients, placing signage throughout your spa, advertising in local and community papers and magazines, and educating staff on how to generate excitement about this new service.

When an esthetician is excited by and believes in a product or procedure, it translates to their clientele. The best way to introduce a new service to your estheticians is to encourage them to use it themselves. Curtis always explains to clients how the LED unit she uses affects her own skin. “As a business owner and spa professional, I want to look like I’m fully rested, even when I’m not,” she notes. “I tell my clients how LED photomodulation gives me renewed, enlivened skin. When they see how important it is to my skin care regimen, they get excited about what it can do for them.”

Another great way to get your clients to try LED therapy is to discuss the treatment in the initial consultation for facial procedures such as microdermabrasion or chemical peels in order to make sure that they understand how instrumental it can be to the procedure’s success. Arm yourself with before-and-after photos that illustrate the results that can be achieved.

Other ideas might include offering an introductory discount when purchasing a full series of treatments. Light BioScience’s clinical research has shown that LED therapy is most effective when administered throughout a series of eight to 10 weeks, so spas most often market the treatments in packages of eight. “I offer my clients a 15% savings as an introductory offer for their first eight LED sessions,” Curtis says. “It’s been successful in attracting clients who may be on the fence about committing to the whole treatment plan.”

Promoting skin fitness

The ultimate goal in caring for your clients is to create skin that is healthy and beautiful. LED treatments can be instrumental in attaining this goal when they are incorporated as part of a regular skin care regimen. These treatments result in skin that is rejuvenated, even in tone and color, and richer in collagen—all without the side effects or downtime that can be associated with invasive procedures.

It is vital to make sure that your clients understand the type of results that can be achieved with LED therapy. Most importantly, be realistic about the fact that these effects can take time and may vary considerably from person to person. Just as you would not expect to go to the gym and see results after only one workout, your clients should not expect to see their wrinkles diminished after the first treatment.

The future seems limitless for LED therapy, as well as its effectiveness in treating a variety of issues—from acne and acne scarring to promoting hair regrowth. Keep abreast of news and media reports regarding studies being performed with LED devices, and be aware of FDA approvals for these units. One thing is for certain—your clients will hear about these advancements and come to you for your knowledge and expertise on the subject. By incorporating LED into your spa today, you’ll ensure your business’ future success and ultimate longevity.

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