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The Layers of Skin Rejuvenation

David Suzuki June 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

Technology-driven skin rejuvenation continues to remain among the most requested service categories performed by skin care professionals and physicians. As with skin care ingredients, each technology maintains a very distinct discipline and mechanism of action that supports its benefit to the human body. Similar to the way a good skin care product is a cocktail of key ingredients that work in harmony toward a common goal, often the most effective results of technology-driven skin rejuvenation are achieved by using multiple disciplines of technology offered in a layered approach.

Layered technology

Layering technology is a simple and intuitive concept that involves the use of multiple technologies within one service to achieve a client’s objectives as expeditiously and specifically as possible. The technology available to be layered includes microcurrent for contouring, lifting and product penetration; microdermabrasion and ultrasonic for exfoliation and skin preparation; LED for firming and tightening; and oxygen infusion for plumping, and improved skin texture and color.

Because each client’s objective is different, the solution that is created also must be unique in order to meet the objective. Essentially, this means that every layered service is customized for a client’s specific concern, so some may incorporate two technologies and others may include as many as five. For example, some objectives may be satisfied more readily by applying LED for 20 minutes using 640 nm (red light), and others may be more quickly satisfied by using microdermabrasion and microcurrent, with a five-minute splash of LED at 590 nm (yellow light) at the end of the treatment.

The strategy and dynamics of which technology to use, the order in which they are used, and the time or intensity of each technology within your service are aspects as unique as each client. Because of this, every layered facial is a one-of-a-kind signature service that is very marketable and, if done correctly, can challenge your competition because only you can do what you do, and understand why it works.

Psychological satisfaction

Each technology maintains a different discipline and mechanism of action, and this drives home the importance and logic of utilizing multiple, simultaneous methods of achieving the best-looking skin possible. It is also important to remember that each client has a preconceived notion about what technology is effective and desirable.

When creating your layered facial strategy, consider all of the basics, such as the specific objective, skin type, age and genetic disposition, commitment level, lifestyle, health and contraindications. However, it is also important to consider what clients believe will work for them, because the power of the mind should never be underestimated. Finding out this information during a consultation is as crucial as understanding clients’ skin types.

Although you shouldn’t become a thoughtless robot under the command of clients, it is important to find a way to incorporate some of their ideas into the strategy when possible, and when it isn’t, take the time to discuss their ideas anyway. This helps create an interactive client-participation team approach that builds rapport, camaraderie, loyalty and, most importantly, client satisfaction.

Although a client may feel that LED is a passive technology because it does not create much sensation during application, that same client may rant and rave about microdermabrasion because it is very physically sensational. Because both technologies are efficacious, it would be logical to incorporate both of them into your layered service. Layering in LED in this case allows the client to experience and become educated about another technology that may have never been tried otherwise. This not only improves and expedites overall results; it creates new pathways of interest and evolution. Although loyal clients cherish consistency, they also require new ideas and evolution in order to maintain their interest and reconfirm during each visit that you, as their skin care professional, are knowledgeable and forward-thinking. There is a difference between being consistent and complacent; complacency does not retain clients.

Agility, fluency and mastery

Understanding the concepts and benefits of layering technology is the first step in becoming the best skin care professional possible. Mastery of the knowledge and application of the technology are the next steps, and they will not happen overnight. Many experts believe that the tipping point for true mastery occurs after 10,000 hours have been diligently committed to an objective. If you divide this by a 40-hour week, it calculates to approximately 250 weeks, or nearly five years. The more time committed to a skill, the faster you will become more agile and fluent; a master skin care professional. See Becoming a Master.

Agility and fluency are important in regard to layering technology because it is important to know each technology inside and out so that the decision about what to use and when to use it should be intuitively instant based upon the client’s objective. The ability to fluently move from one technology to another is an art in itself. When considering the idea of utilizing up to five technologies in a single service, most imagine a three-hour facial; however, a master of skin care technology can pull it off in one hour or less.

On the menu

Think about what it is like when ordering food in a restaurant. There is nothing more confusing than a menu that shows hundreds of selections. The best way to menu layered services is to keep it simple. Explain the concept of layering technology; explain the benefits and efficacies of the types of technology available, and then explain your service time and cost for the time. This works better than complicating things by placing a dollar value on the technology used. Remember that how you do what you do is completely individualized for each of your clients, and they are paying for your expertise and your time.

If you are not sure how to determine your worth per hour, take a look at your existing menu of services and average them out. You may be surprised at the amount of profit—or lack thereof—in each service. A good rule of thumb is $100–125 per hour. Once you have a solidly established clientele that takes up a proportionate amount of your books, consider raising your hourly rates for new clients. This shows appreciation for the loyalty of your best long-term clients and makes them feel special, while allowing you to increase your profits as your demand increases and your availability becomes scarce.

Most noninvasive age-defying technologies work at a cellular level, assisting the body to increase the regulation of its natural processes. Although different technology disciplines rely on different mechanisms of action to achieve better and younger-looking skin, they share the common philosophy that the best results happen when services are performed in a series, with applications as frequent as twice per week, depending on the technology. Results are cumulative, so your objective should be to prescribe a series of services and gain your clients’ time and monetary commitment in order to ensure that you have the best possible opportunity to satisfy their objectives. If you are not clear with your clients about this, you are setting yourself up for failure.

This does not mean that there is no benefit or occasion for a one-time layered service. It simply means that you must educate clients that the best and longest-term results will be achieved when the service is performed in a series, and followed by maintenance. A series of services should be very individualized for each client; however, a general rule of thumb for a series is two services per week, with a total of four to 10 services. One maintenance service every four to six weeks is suggested in order to maintain results.

Enjoy the journey

Finding the right technology for your business that provides results, supported by sound efficacy, can be challenging. Understanding how to add to your technology arsenal and weave the pieces together in regard to services, education, marketing and safety brings forth an entirely new level of understanding and strategy. Be sure to work with education-based manufacturers that possess the knowledge and integrity to support your future with skin care technology.

Becoming a master technologist is an evolution, because learning and refining your mastery will be perpetual. Mastery requires commitment, diligence and persistence, and really becomes a way of life; part of your person. Embrace your path and enjoy the journey of the many layers of skin rejuvenation.

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Becoming a Master

The concept of mastery as covered in the book Outliers: The Story of Success (Little, Brown and Company, 2008) by Malcolm Gladwell is based on numerous studies and evaluation of many all-stars throughout many industries, ranging from the Microsoft founder Bill Gates, to basketball great Michael Jordan, to rock gurus The Beatles. The object of the studies was to factually address the concept of certain individuals or groups simply being lucky or naturally gifted as the reason for their success.

Although it is true that some people or groups have genetic and circumstantial advantages, these advantages only serve as an interest lure. For example, a person from a family that plays golf does not automatically become the best golfer in the world. This person does enjoy a circumstantial edge because of more available access to the course, gear and knowledge of the game. However, true success and mastery is dependent on seat time, which gives a whole new meaning to the saying: “Practice makes perfect.”

This is important to realize because all people hold the same opportunity to become a master at whatever they choose, as long as they are willing to commit the time and effort in order to achieve the objective.

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