Today’s modern beauty salon has changed dramatically, even over the past few years. Technology has given us wonderful new equipment like IPL and LED Light, products are loaded with powerful anti-oxidants, peptides, stem cells, tyrosinase inhibitors, Vitamin A and a myriad of hydration, moisturising, infusion, repair or protective ingredients. Add to this the fact that our knowledge of how these fabulous products interact with the skin has improved substantially. At the same time the increased awareness of our clients through a plethora of lifestyle magazines and television shows and it is no surprise that professional aestheticians are under enormous pressure to continuously improve their skills.
There is no doubt that one of the most important sets of skills are those concerned with skin analysis. It is obvious to everyone that professional aestheticians must be adept at reading the skin and recognising conditions before determining the best method of addressing their client’s concerns. That goes without saying. But the provision of a comprehensive skin consultation also acts as an integral sign of our professionalism.
It has become apparent that with the advanced technology, far more invasive treatments and cosmaceutical product choices are now available, for many salon owners their point of difference isn’t impressive marketing or competitive pricing or even the design or decoration of their salon. It is clear that today’s clients are looking for real experts in skin and they are attracted to these salons because of the professional approach they have to skin analysis, treatment selection, programming of in-salon treatments and recommendation of home care. Their perceived expertise is their primary point of difference over other well established opposition. Yet many salons really don’t take this aspect of their treatment regime seriously enough and are missing out on a great deal of very astute customers as a result.
Skin analysis equipment has advanced greatly from the days of Woods Lamps and Black Light Boxes. Now there are a new generation of sophisticated photographic skin analysers that are computerised to do everything from capturing multiple images from high quality cameras utilising a variety of light sources to graphical and pictorial analysis of the photographs and the measurement of spots, lines, pores, porphyrin, pigment, redness, dryness, dead skin cells and oil flow. With astonishing zoom capabilities and the ability to compare side by side before and after photos these new generation skin scanners are an invaluable aid in the correct analysis of your client’s skin conditions and the facts that enable you to provide a comprehensive consultation. The end result is customers seeing for themselves the “truth” about their skin, placing themselves in a position where the therapist can show off their expertise, knowledge and experience and believing they have been dealt with by a true professional. The storage of before and after shots is “proof” of results where changes in the skin’s condition can be tracked over time ensuring customer satisfaction by reinforcing measurable progress. Because so many salons are now offering advanced services like IPL, microdermabrasion, peels and needling, the need for preparation of the skin and post treatment homecare becomes vital. Correctly diagnosing the condition of the skin to ascertain exactly what should be done and when it should be performed can best be done with detailed photographic evidence. It also allows for far more accurate recommendations of home care requirements to compliment salon treatments and achieve the visible results.
One of the interesting aspects of this whole emphasis on professional skin analysis is that right from the beginning of the process the therapist is taking charge of the treatment. Instead of just walking a client through to their room and chatting about the weather or what’s happening at the local school, the therapist takes control of the conversation and is able to maintain a professional focus. It is here at the beginning of the treatment that the therapist sells the client their home care and discusses their in-salon programme guaranteeing a rebooking. This makes perfect sense because it is here that the client is listening to every word their therapist is saying. If ever there was a time you had a client’s full attention it would be whilst you are looking at, prodding and feeling their skin. Even for a young therapist it is the perfect opportunity to show off their expertise and win over their client’s respect despite their youth.
Basically the therapist is using the analysis equipment to reinforce their expert advice and recommendations. So many clients shuffle out of the treatment room half asleep, searching for wallets and car keys and checking their watch to see if they are late to pick up kids. This is not the best time to be talking about products, their ingredients or rebooking for another treatment. They are not as responsive and it is clear that this is a last ditch effort to sell them something. Discussing products at the front counter with someone who just wants to go home doesn’t lend itself to the same professional dialogue as when clients are hanging on every word and looking at detailed pictures of their own skin.
In short, the skin consultation, especially when it utilises photographic analysis equipment, is the perfect environment to show off the professionalism of the salon. It is the ideal time to sell retail, rebook, up-sell treatments and show off the expertise of the therapist. Too many salon owners are neglecting this essential aspect of beauty therapy and too many therapists are glossing over the skin analysis protocol in their facials. Instead of being the expert, looking at the skin, asking about the client’s primary concerns and making educated recommendations, therapists are allowing their clients to choose their own treatments despite knowing very little about their own skin.
Being recognised as the local experts in skin care can prove to be a wonderful marketing advantage for salons. Yet so many simply go through the paces of doing a facial without taking full advantage of this terrific opportunity to show off the expertise of their therapists. By taking advantage of new equipment like photographic skin scanners salons can gain a very real advantage in the public’s perception of their professionalism. This in turn, drives bookings, rebooking percentages, retail sales, up-selling of treatment plans and referrals. Income grows and profitability inevitably increases.
The DermaPro 3D locally distributed in NZ is fast becoming one of the best ways for salons to impress their clients, increase their income and grow their businesses.
Article courtesy from Ilse Vermeulen from Youth Beauty