by Gina Marie McGuire
Did you know the average skin care company has over 50 products in its line? Some brands have over 250 in skin care alone, not to mention in cosmetics. There are day creams, night creams, eye creams, double cleaning, exfoliators, moisturizers, serums, etc. It would seem that caring for skin should be more simple. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case, leaving not only the consumer confused, but sadly the licensed professional, as well.
New technology, ingredient awareness, and different philosophies in caring for skin are the driving forces behind the conglomeration of so many products. It most certainly is an exciting time to be in the esthetic world, but professionals must consider how much easier and more profitable careers would be if only skin care were simpler. With this evolution and advancement in esthetics, the understanding of skin from the anatomical standpoint seems to have gone to the wayside.
Marketing is the forerunner to so many products being developed. With that said, the beauty industry is quite lucrative, with skin care sales projected to be at $177 billion by 2025. This is exciting and offers incredible opportunities to estheticians, however, it can bring more confusion.
In trying to "keep up" with this ever-changing industry, it is easy for the esthetician to become confused and lose sight of what they are actually treating. Sales and marketing of products and machines can take priority over truly understanding skin.
The truth is, we live in a world that is oversaturated with information; skin care is no exception. Something new and better is only seconds away from solving our skin problems, from aging to acne. Some of this information is being delivered by social media influencers only adding to the confusion and the increase in the mixing and matching of products.
As licensed professionals, there is an obligation to guide clients with information that is based on science, not sales. Always remember that our esthetic license is what separates us. Over-the-counter brands have historically taken a beauty approach, although this is changing to the branding of their products from a science-based approach, as there is a demand from the public to be healthier. What does this do to the professional esthetic industry? It creates more competition and diminishes the value of licensed estheticians. Simplifying your approach and simplifying your retail shelves can make all the difference to just surviving in your career versus thriving in this very competitive industry.
So, how do we simplify? More importantly, how do we stop the confusion? First and foremost, education is the key. Not on products, although that is extremely important, but rather beginning with the education of skin itself. When we remove the “sales” from caring for the skin, understanding it becomes much simpler. What is interesting and should never be forgotten is that the anatomy of the organ, skin, never changes. The same skin chart used from 60 years ago looks exactly the same today. There is not a skin chart for the face, the body, for a man or a woman, it’s the same.
The key is first to understand exactly what this organ requires to keep it healthy, then secondly to follow a daily skin care regimen that meets these requirements. This will ensure your clients are on the path to achieving their skin wellness goals that deliver results.
The Four Requirements of Skin
Cleansing: Clean the 2,800 openings we have per square inch of skin.
Toning muscles and stimulating vascular activity: Keep the muscles toned and blood circulation moving throughout the skin.
Topically nourishing: Bring a nutrient-rich blood supply to the top layers of the skin.
Moisture support: Keep the skin hydrated and supple.
Simply stated, if we topically duplicate what the body does internally, the organ will respond, and results will be achieved. The fewer products used, the fewer contraindications, and the healthier the skin. In truth, we are only treating the dead layers of skin. The body takes care of itself with our help. If you think about what you do for your other organs on a daily basis you will find the answer to be very little. How is it that the largest, uninterrupted organ of the body needs so much? The answer: it doesn’t.
Separating marketing from science will assist in defining what is the best path to provide for our clients’ skin wellness goals. Posing the questions, what am I doing and why am I doing it will help give clarity to the esthetician. Never before has there been such a desire to have simplicity in our lives on many different levels. If only we, the licensed professionals, could provide simplicity in skin care for our clients, customer loyalty, profitability, and our own credibility will soar. Although the skin is complex, caring for it should be simple. More is never better, as this pertains to almost anything in our lives, and so should the same be for our skin.
Gina Marie McGuire is a licensed esthetician, president of GINAMARIE Products and Continuing Education Inc. She has over 30 years of experience in the skincare industry and has been educating professionals and consumers for the majority of her career.