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What is Wellness?

Lila Shanti Pettyjohn October 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
well-rounded professional skin care client

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“Wellness” is a word most have become accustomed to reading, hearing and even saying. “Holistic wellness” is rapidly becoming a well-known phrase, as well, but these are both vague terms that can cause confusion. So, what is wellness anyway? Wellness, as defined by, is “The quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.” Wellness refers to a person’s overall state of being; holistic wellness implies that everything affects everything else. So smoking a cigarette, for example, not only affects lung function—but also skin function.

There are many components of holistic wellness. A client’s lifestyle affects the skin and her overall health. It is well known that the skin is the body’s largest organ and that any problems a client is experiencing internally usually show up on the skin first. Skin often indicates that something is out of balance. Although the selection and appropriate use of skin care products are crucial for optimum skin health, it is also important to look more closely at what is occurring externally and internally. Along with topical products, nutrition, stress levels and sleep patterns also play a role in a client’s health. (See Business-building Wellness Ideas.)

Natural skin care products

Professional and retail natural skin care products abound these days as a result of increasing consumer desire. Natural skin care products were hidden among a sea of traditional products 10–15 years ago. Educate your clients to look for products that contain ingredients such as salts and sugars; beneficial oils, such as olive, coconut and almond; cocoa and shea butters; and pure essential oils. Even better, choose a natural line of professional products to use in the backbar and retail area of your skin care facility.


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Business-building Wellness Ideas


  • Partner with a local healthy restaurant, health food store or cooking school to offer classes at your facility. (Editor’s note: Work with your city to make sure you have the correct permits needed for food handling at your skin care facility.)
  • Bring in a nutritionist or wellness coach to teach a class or even become a part of your staff.
  • Create a wellness newsletter that includes nutrition tips and healthy recipes.

NutritionStress management

  • Include rituals in your skin care treatments, such as asking the client to take deep breaths at the beginning of the service.
  • Use aromatherapy and essential oils in your treatments.
  • Offer energy work as part of your holistic menu.


  • Sell relaxation and meditation CDs in your facility’s retail area.
  • Educate clients on the benefits of restful sleep and provide handouts on how to achieve it.

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