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Stories of Success…Christine Heathman

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The best thing that any esthetician can do for their spa career is further their education. Christine Heathman has been given many names throughout her years, from an icon to a leader to a legend, but above all she is a champion for continuing education. Skin Inc. sat down with Heathman to learn about how she has advanced her education in the industry, how the discovery for greater skin inspires her and how she likes to hang with her favorite furry friends in her free time.

Skin Inc. (SI): How did you get started in the industry?

Christine Heathman (CH): I always loved and had a passion for skin care dating back to my early teens. You could say I knew this is where I belonged. Helping others with their severe skin challenges has always been my primary focus, having suffered with difficult acne myself. Prior to acquiring my California esthetic license, I approached plastic surgeons in the San Francisco Bay area with my vision to help their patients recover. Emerging into the professional skin business was a means of providing a valuable cosmetic and psychological service using technologically advanced formulas in treatments to individuals afflicted with different skin traumas, restoring and empowering them to embrace their transformed, beautiful skin.

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SI:Why did you start Glymed Plus?

CH:After helping to launch MD Formulations’ glycolic products, I pursued the need for a professional skin care line to meet the needs that matched my skills. I believed in my ability to produce the best professional skin system available to estheticians due to my successful experience in treating the worst skin. I built my brand on authentic results by using my unique formulations on my own clients who celebrated the fantastic outcome to their skin.

SI:What has recently been inspiring you in the spa industry?

CH: Is there anything more inspiring than discoveries for greater skin? Think of the emerging innovations for ingredients changing our world of skin care, such as CBD, oxygen molecules, LED and ultrasound technology. I love it. I love immersing myself into developing new professional products. I am the first to review all of the formulas, and if they do not produce results on me or pass my quality testing, they will not be part of my brand.

As the skin industry expands, I expand with it with new innovative formulations. Science is currently discovering ground-breaking age reversal and dermatological ingredients and delivery systems to reverse the effects of environmental assaults, intrinsic aging and imbalanced skin. It is so exciting!

SI:Who are your biggest mentors?

CH:I had two fantastic and unselfish mentors. Hale Tolleth M.D., FACS, a pioneer in reconstructive and plastic surgery, assisted me to learn the medical side of skin and gave me skin peeling instruction before peels were used in the esthetic environment. Tolleth was my mentor and guide showing his faith in my abilities and was one of the first to use an esthetician for his post-operative patients. This was the catalyst for me to change the way “facials” were performed, transforming old methods into professional clinical treatments and providing the healing and result-producing touch.

I was also blessed with the guidance of Robert Diemer, who is the “godfather” of esthetics and ahead of his time for professional skin care back in the 80s. Robert was dedicated to the correct analysis of the skin using an intake form and facial map copied by many. Learning this skill and coupling my medical insight, I created a thorough method to investigate the skin prior to a professional treatment. Sadly, both Tolleth and Diemer have passed away. I will always be eternally grateful for their unselfish mentoring.

SI:What is the most valuable lesson that you learned?

CH:It’s difficult to define only one lesson given the complexities and diversity when fostering your esthetic skills. Having said that, the most valuable lesson any esthetician can do for their professional growth is education. Education comes in many forms, from mentoring another esthetician to learning a new skill, attending higher education courses and moving out of your comfort zone to emerge the best skin professional you can be. Personal development is an ongoing endeavor that comes from your soul to mold you into a better esthetic professional and human being.

SI:What is one of your biggest accomplishments?

CH:Developing [my] professional regenerative skin care line back in 1990, collaborating with preeminent biochemists to produce a result driven system for all skin conditions and providing award winning esthetic education, committed to the esthetician and building their business have been my greatest accomplishments.

SI:What do you like most about the spa industry?

CH:When you enter a quiet and serene spa environment where there are beautiful scents and restful décor embracing you, how can you not love the spa industry? I love how this industry has grown and is embraced as beauty through a restoring spirit. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said to “have a massage daily, good health to you” and spas are where the body and mind come together to provide reinvigoration.

SI:What do you enjoy most about your job?

CH:Every new day is a different challenge. As a CEO, you bear the burden of the good and the bad, the problems and solutions. I love taking the lead on new ideas and products, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and taking on challenges watching as my ideas come to fruition to become successful.

SI:Where do you see the future of the spa industry heading?

CH:The spa industry has become a huge part of American culture, no longer considered for just the wealthy. All genders and ages are finding the spa experience and making it a part of their life. I go to a spa monthly and see many men and children enjoying treatments. I envision more men will embrace the spa for the future as many barber shops are navigating towards pampering their male clients by providing skin care.

SI:What was one of your biggest challenges and how did you overcome it?

CH:Managing a company and maintaining balance in your life is a daily challenge. The bottom line is to remain true to yourself, your employees, your company and your product. I operate on only the scientific facts, published ingredient papers, skin studies and documentation on dermatological conditions.

Everyone will experience failure at some time in their career. True entrepreneurs will fail more than succeed, but it’s in each disappointment we learn how to overcome, improve and persist forward to win. I’ve never been a quitter. My passion for the industry fuels me to always strive to be the most excellent at what I do, and I am fearless in my pursuit. I don’t listen to negativity, and I stay true to my values. With this in mind, I can overcome anything.

SI:What do you like to do in your free time?

CH:I am an animal lover and rescue many homeless furry friends. They live with me on my mini-ranch in Utah, and I love spending time with them. They all think I am their mother.

My other favorite pastime is going to my home in Washington State, situated on the coast, and taking in the negative ions from the Pacific Ocean, walking on the beach and regenerating my soul. I spent time on this beach as a small child and reminisce the moments with my dad clamming and running in the shoreline.