Flash Forward: The Future of Professional Skin Care with Repêchage


More than 150 guests from around the globe attended the 20th annual Repêchage International Conference, held May 7, 2018 in New York City. This year the conference, emceed by Shiri Sarfati, decided to look forward, taking on the topic of The Future of Professional Skin Care.

Recruiting—and Retaining—Talent: It’s All About the Leadership

The event opened with Winn Claybaugh, founder and co-owner of Paul Mitchell Schools and the author of Be Nice (Or Else!), who presented “Be Nice (Or Else!) In the Workplace,” emphasizing the significance of a positive attitude in the workplace. As the salon industry TK to lose 30-40% of its employees in the next 10 years, Claybaugh noted that 50% of those who quit do so to get away from a bad boss.

“No one is staying for marble floors and holiday parties,” said Claybaugh; rather, employees seek three major attributes in a workplace—safety, a sense of belonging, and purpose. He outlined seven reasons bosses might be perceived as jerks, and how to avoid them.

  1. You never have fun; everyone is able to make sure there is fun—and not always planned fun—in a workplace.
  2. You never show gratitude; to attract loyal employees, be a nurturer.
  3. You’re too busy; make time!
  4. You’re always tired; “Your brain is the most powerful search engine for you,” so change your mindset.
  5. You’re always in your office; “management by wandering around (MBWA),” be present with your team.
  6. You’re always on the phone; be present, and set boundaries.
  7. You’re too serious; make sure you’re approachable and engaging.

Sheets Are Happening: The Rise of the Sheet Mask

Repêchage founder Lydia Sarfati  presented “Between the Sheets,” during which she unveiled the company’s four new sheet masks.

“How do you create wonderful results for the clients, even the lazy ones… and it only takes 15 minutes?” Sarfati began, before diving into data on the global face mask market. Anticipated to reach $8.8 billion by 2021, sheet masks—ideal for customers looking for high impact with low cost and down time—are driving the trend, with an estimated worth of $551.3 million by 2026 (per Transparency Market Research).

Repêchage’s take on the trend includes the Red-Out Soothing Sheet Mask, for reducing redness caused by environment and stress; Biolight Brightening Sheet Mask, for dull, uneven skin; and the Lamina Lift Hydrating Mask for dewiness and glow. Additionally, the company introduced two in-office applications: the Red-Out Express Soothing Facial and Biolight Express Brightening Facial.

Sarfati also discussed the advantages of offering a Facial Bar in a salon, including affordability; on-demand access for customers who “want it now”; and the ease of customization.

Healing Hands: Oncology Aesthetics

Angela Noviello discussed her entry into the field of oncology aesthetics. After a client was forced to end her beauty treatments due to a cancer diagnoses (Italy barred estheticians from treating clients in poor health), Noviello decided to learn how to treat cancer patients. Research led her to Seattle, where she trained in oncology aesthetics, receiving her Oncology Esthetics certification in April 2013.

Today, Noviello serves as beauty therapist, COE, Italian director and educator for Oncology Training International (OTI), which offers training, licensure and consultations for treating cancer patients. The organization aims to assist cancer patients in coping with changes to their bodies and physical images, selecting products compatible with increasingly sensitive skin and more.

The OTI method can be found in 30 hospitals around the world, and its training programs have graduated 2,000 grads in 300 countries.

Virtual Is the Reality: A Window Into the Consumer Mind

“As humans, we are guided by our emotions. As consumers, it’s the same,” said Leon Alexander, Ph.D., during his presentation “A Window Into the Consumer Mind.” Alexander noted that the very language driving our culture has changed, as younger consumers “speak social”—valuing speed and convenience, with more options than ever before. What does this mean for retailers of the future?

Hands on, personalized activities will become crucial, with touch screens and digital content leading the pack. Desks and call centers will be replaced by digital presentations and education and entertainment stations which allow shoppers to guide their own experiences.

Alexander also suggested “giving people a reason to stay” via features like juice, coffee, or wine bars, noting that 48% of Starbucks sales are not coffee and 32% of CVS’ sales are cosmetics.

On the Reg(ulations): Legal Challenges Facing the Industry

Sharon Blinkoff, an attorney with Locke Lord and secretary and general council for ICMAD, discussed the future of regulations during “Navigating the Legal and Business Challenges Facing the Skin Care Industry.” Noting the increase in lawsuits—and consumer interest in independent ingredient research—Blinkoff argued that pending and proposed regulations, which would see the industry regulated more like food, will pose a unique challenge for cosmetics professionals. Additionally, she offered a breakdown of U.S. oversight agencies, such as the FDA, Customs and OSHA, and the ways in which different products are currently regulated.

The 2018 Repêchage President’s Awards

The conference ended with the 2018 President’s Awards, presented by Shiri and Lydia Sarfati.

  • Rising Star Award—Health and Style Institute (Greensobor, NC)
  • Dedicated Partnership Award—PBC Marketing Co Ltd/Holistic Spa and Beauty Co., Ltd., distributor of Repêchage in Thailand
  • Inspiration Award: Heart of Beauty Innovation—Angela Noviello
  • Award of Excellence: International Distributor—Makiba Essence, distributor of Repêchage in Malta
  • Salon of the Year—Three-13 Salon, Spa & Boutique (Marietta, GA)
  • Distributor of the Year—JB Skin Care, distributor of Repêchage in India
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