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Personal Care For Professional Use
Posted: July 25, 2007
Clarice’s Creating Beautiful Looks 326 S. Main Street, Wheaton, Illinois USA tel: 630-690-2266
Clarice: “Back bar” at a spa is what is considered your facial room, your technician room products. So it’s the professional products or the professional strength. Some of those products, like some from YG Laboratories, are not sold retail; those are considered professional products only. In the treatment room we sell products at retail sizes (8 oz, 16 oz). The professional products are in bigger bottles and maybe higher strengths. For example, the professional strength AHAs are 20% and 30%, versus retail strength at 10%.
Clarice: As a spa person, I think it’s important for the product supplier to give you training on their product as far as what the ingredients are and how are they working, and why they are at the percentages they’re at. Basically, that’s good product knowledge. There’s a lot of classes out there on marketing, managing your desk help. The spa industry has not put enough importance on the training of their front desk help because that front desk help needs to know everything the estheticians know about the products because they’re the customer’s first contact in the spa; if front desk doesn’t understand the treatments being done and the ingredients being used, I think that’s a problem.
C&T: What job functions are there in a spa?
Clarice: Spa owner, esthetician, front desk help, massage therapist, nail technicians. Technically a spa does not do hair, but a lot do. Often there’ll be a makeup artist. There’s crossover; a massage therapist might do the body treatments, but an esthetician also could do body treatments. Esthetician could be a makeup artist. Makeup artists now have to be licensed if they’re working in a spa, so most of them are estheticians. An esthetician is a skin care technician. She has gone to school specifically to concentrate on doing skin care.
C&T: You say you want some guidance on which products offer real benefits and which products are hype. Can a formulator help you with that?
Clarice: Yes, but there’s not a lot of formulators out there doing classes except for Rebecca Gadberry. Need more like her. For example, in her class upcoming at the Midwest Show, she doesn’t tie her presentation to her company at all. She’s the only one out there who gives nonbiased information. When I went on the Obaji website, I’m like which of these products work and which are hype, and what kind of lines are they selling the doctors? They claim 20% vitamin C in their product; I’ve learned from Rebecca’s class that vitamin C is extremely hard to stabilize, and it’s never stable at over 2% in a product. So why would you put it at 20%? Plus the skin can only absorb 2%. So I’ve had nonbiased training, but the average person hasn’t had that training. She packs them in when she gives these classes, and her UCLA class is filled to capacity, but still a lot of spa people don’t go to classes. Here in the Midwest I find many people in salons who took one class from Rebecca 12 years ago and they think they know it all; not true; the technology just for skin care has changed a lot just in the last two years. So companies are doing training, but too many spa people aren’t going to the training. A lot of the reason for that in the Midwest is family time, which is a higher priority here than other places in the country. A lot of the Midwest shows compete with high school graduations and dances at the same dates. It’s hard to get people into classes on Sundays because that’s a family day. It’s hard to get them into classes on Mondays because that’s technically their only day off. Training’s out there; it’s just who’s taking advantage of it. I wish there were more trainers like Rebecca that give classes strictly on ingredients without any connection to a company. I don’t expect that to happen because what financial motivation does the company have to do that? As it is now, you have to hope that the companies are giving you honest answers. I have an issue with a lot of these doctor lines. My sister is a wound-care specialist nurse. She is a Midwest rep for a company that has just developed a wound-care machine that she trains people on. In that training people are taught to treat the subcutaneous layer of the skin and the dermis. They’re not taught to treat the epidermis. They forget a lot of times there’s a cosmetic issue on top of that. Another issue. A lot of dermatologists saw that a lot of people were coming to the cosmetician for advice and taking some of the market away from the dermatologists, so the derms started adding estheticians. Derm docs are putting in the medi-spas because a lot of their services aren’t covered by insurance any more. So in order to recapture that market for esthetician services, the docs have put estheticians in the doctor’s offices. But that doesn’t make their products any better because they still buy products according to what those companies tell them and who’s giving them more samples and what the latest hype is out there. Derm docs used to tell patients to use Clinique because it was the only hyperallergenic product out there. Well, it wasn’t the only such product, but it was the one that was marketed the best. But that product contains almost pure acetone as a clarifying astringent; it’s stripping the skin; it’s stripping the moisture barrier; if your don’t protect, repair or replace the moisture barrier you’re not going to be able to take care of the problems topically on the skin.