Skincare therapist – still the trusted advisor?

The skincare industry is in a state of metamorphosis. Our industry and clients are evolving and if we don’t evolve with it, we will be left behind. The wellness industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and it is paramount that we continuously examine our relevance and stay flexible.

We were trained to do facial therapies and analyse the skin based on the client’s main concern and the symptoms manifested on the skin visually. Our training did not equip us to deal with the volume of information we are bombarded with on a daily basis. The development of the medical aesthetic industry has to change the way we run our business and treat our clients. New advances in professional treatments and accessibility to devices and technology enable us as therapists to achieve a new level of results on our client’s skins. However, this does not guarantee a successful business. Most of the modern day consumers are tech savvy millennials who crave personal attention and customization. They move, think and act quickly and make decisions in a split second. They crave information and expect professionals like us to know more than they do.

The concerning dilemma is that soon they might be more educated than us. Most industry professionals we deal with struggle with the same challenges. We have all this information available to us but it evolves at a pace that makes it very challenging to keep up with. Therapists rely on brand specific education to upskill them and this often hinders their ability to analyse information objectively. The conflicting messages given to our clients often damage our credibility. Our clients are driven by clever marketing campaigns and whether we agree or not, it may soon become easier for a consumer to analyse their own skin and buy products online. Ask yourself these vital questions. How do we set ourselves and our businesses apart? How do we keep ourselves and our staff motivated? How do we target and communicate our message to the client so that the expertise is evident and more valuable than anything they can read online? Simple, we learn and adapt.

Excellence is defined as the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. We live in a technology age, and our clients have an insatiable need to research, check and confirm everything. When we understand how our clients think and how they want to be communicated to, it’s easy to provide the outstanding service we are all capable of. A bespoke approach means analysing the client as a unique individual and not a number. We need to take into consideration that although they might have a skin condition we have seen before, the cause will always be completely unique. When we start paying attention to what they are saying, with the intention to truly understand the leading cause of their skin condition, our efforts to build trust becomes easier. Going into a consultation with the intention of selling a product is not effective. Consumers recognise a sales pitch very quickly. “Selling products” is no longer a term that is applicable to the treatment room environment. Our clients need and deserve expert advice based on the therapist’s sound knowledge of cosmetic ingredients.

We must treat our clients like individuals, formulating bespoke treatment plans that will cement the therapist as the expert consultant, and ensure loyalty from the client’s side. As therapists, our biggest asset is still our ability to build long lasting relationships with our customers. Google can’t talk back…

How do we ensure loyalty and compliance from our clients? Tracking their progress is crucial in identifying areas where we need to pivot our approach, and will highlight smaller improvements that the client might not notice at home. To achieve these results, we need skincare products that deliver on their claims and promises. Recommending products with ingredients that are clinically tested to work effectively will become increasingly necessary. Our clients have researched the products we stock and are very aware of their claims, benefits and shortfalls. As therapists, we have a responsibility to know what active ingredients are used in the products we stock, as well as how they work. In order to develop a bespoke treatment program, recommending more than one brand might be necessary, depending on the basket of ingredients we need to treat the skin condition.

We need radical transformation in the way we think, act and treat our client. Accurate skin analysis based on a detailed understanding of the skin and its underlying structures is crucial. This is the foundation on which our credibility as therapists rest. Understanding the procedures we perform and the risks associated with it , will ensure the desired outcomes and confident therapists. Combining all these factors and presenting them to the client in a way that is understandable will ensure compliance and loyalty. I leave you with a quote by Albert Einstein: “everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid” Let us polish and perfect our craft, and remember that we have a responsibility to ourselves to never stop learning!

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