Industry • Best Practice
Skin Care Business: The Complete Guide for Business Owners
Nov.20,2023By Boulevard Staff
How to navigate product regulations, amplify ad campaigns, and maximize revenue
Everyone wants to feel comfortable in their own skin. Some people want to look or feel younger. Others are looking to heal scarring or other skin conditions. Many simply want their skin to look healthy and vibrant. Whatever their motivation, more and more people are turning to skin care businesses to meet their needs, and the market has grown into a $181 billion industry in response.
Whether you’re looking to start your own skin care business, need ideas for your current medspa marketing efforts, or want to expand your salon’s current offerings, the following guide is just for you. We’ll help you stay on top of the latest regulations, optimize revenue streams, and even bring a personal touch to make your advertising campaigns stand out from the crowd.
Know your regulations
Before you start selling oils, moisturizers, or other skin care products, you need to ensure that your skin care business adheres to any required state and federal regulations. Doing so will help keep your clients safe, and provide much-needed CYA protection.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) handles skin care product regulation. According to the FDA, skin care products fall under the cosmetics category, which covers anything meant to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering appearance without affecting the body’s structure or functions. Cosmetic products must not be “adulterated” or “misbranded.” Products must be labeled accurately, and labels should not be deceptive. However, the FDA does not require cosmetic products and ingredients (other than color additives) to be approved for public use.
While the FDA may regulate the manufacturing of skin care products, it does not require a license to sell them. However, some states do. For example, the California Safe Cosmetics Program requires any business making over $1 million in annual revenue selling products that contain chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer or other harmful effects to submit a report to the state government.
If your state does not have any regulations that restrict the use or sale of skin care products, your skin care small business is likely in the clear. However, consult with your lawyer for more information on whether your offerings are legal.
Learn more about the regulations behind skin care products, such as what goes into proper labeling, by reading Skin Care FDA Requirements and Regulations to Know Before Opening Your Business.
Making your skin care business profitable
Once you have all the legal hurdles cleared, it’s time to start optimizing your business and generating some cash flow. While you won’t be able to control the overall demand for your services or prevent competition from cropping up, you can take some steps to maximize your chances of success. Here are a few ways to help boost profits:
Adjust pricing: The general rule of thumb for keeping your skin care business competitive is to keep pricing within a 20% range of the average prices in your market. You have some wiggle room here; going lower will help you target more budget-conscious clients, while higher prices will capture a more affluent, luxury-seeking consumer. Choose the audience you want to go after.
Product differentiation: Drill down into your business and look for what makes it unique. Do you have one of the best skin care technicians in the state? Do you offer a luxurious experience no one else has? Or are you focused on delivering high-quality services at value pricing? Find the key differentiator between you and your competitors and leverage it to help solidify your brand.
Personalization: Most clients expect a personalized experience, so do what you can to make each visit memorable. Use customized emails to send personalized deals, and lean on your beauty business software to help you keep notes on each client’s preferences and better cater to their unique needs.
Read How to Increase Your Skin Care Business Profit Margins for more money-making tips.
Give your advertising efforts a boost
You’ve got your menu built out, your products lined up, and your staff is ready to go — now it’s time to get people in the door. With email inboxes filling up and dozens of social media channels all vying for attention, breaking through the noise is more critical than ever. The following are a few ways to help skin care entrepreneurs find their target audience and speak directly to their clients’ needs.
Understand your audience: Who is your ideal client? Are you looking to cater to an older clientele, who tend to congregate on platforms like Facebook? Or do you want a younger audience who looks for authenticity on social media channels like TikTok or Snapchat? Are you looking for budget-conscious clients or those seeking out luxury? Once you know who you want to target, you can cater your message — and where that message appears — to reach them effectively.
Lean into authenticity: As more potential clients consider themselves digital natives, they’re becoming savvier than ever. They can spot a phony ad from a mile away, and their ideas of beauty are far more open and accepting than in previous years. Leaning into concepts of positivity and authenticity and being realistic about the results of your services will help you widen your reach and give you a leg up over the competition.
Keep it short and sweet: People are busy, and your ad only has a few seconds — if that — to capture their attention, especially on social media. Keep your ad copy short, get right to the point, and lean on the visual elements of your advertising platform to highlight the impact of your services.
Discover more impactful ways to reach your target audience by reading Skin Care Advertisements: 5 Ways to Make Your Ads Stand Out.
Entice new clients and increase sales with a well-timed promotion
It’s hard to say no to a good deal, and a powerful promotion can provide your business with a solid boost in profits. Whether you want to pull new clients into your business or improve retention rates, these skin care business promotions will help fill schedules during slower months and keep you busy during the peak shopping season.
Facial promotions: Potential clients may not fully understand the benefits of a skin care service, so a little education — along with a first-time client discount — can help them test out the waters with a facial. Once they’ve seen the benefits first-hand, they’re more likely to return for more.
Personalized offers: Clients keep coming back because they feel like your skin care business understands their needs. Providing customized offers or discounts on products or services they use the most — which you’ve been tracking in your client profiles — will help deepen that connection and increase average customer ticket value.
Referrals: Word of mouth remains one of the most effective advertising methods. Creating a referral program that offers discounted rates on services or complimentary products will entice your most loyal clients to bring friends and family your way, helping to expand your network and boost profits.
A coordinated advertising strategy, combined with an enticing promotional discount or sale will ensure your business has a steady stream of new and returning clients. Once you’ve set a foundation, you can leverage intuitive software like Boulevard to help your business grow and scale to meet the increased demand — just like it did for NYC medspa Plump.
Need more ideas to keep your schedule packed? Read 6 Skin Care Promotion Ideas to Give Your Bookings a Lift.