Clients who visit salons and spas often do so because there’s a problem they don’t know how to solve. They need help, ideally from an expert with a deep understanding of health and beauty. As a skin care service provider, one of the best ways to put a client at ease is to share your skin care expertise. Try focusing on these strategies to help guide your conversation:
Industry • Best Practice
Teaching Your Clients the Science of Skin Care
Building your client’s skin care regimen may require a brief science lesson.
Before we begin, a teaching tip
It’s worth remembering that your goal isn’t to sell beauty products. A purchase might happen if you do a great job, but this is a conversation, not a sales pitch. It’s okay to identify product categories that can help a specific client, but always let them take the initiative on what they purchase. The good news is if you’re a teacher who establishes trust, clients will be more likely to make repeat purchases.
Link skin products to skin processes
Skin care products do not literally transform your skin, but they do make it easier for your skin to function predictably. The body has processes to address dry skin and clogged pores, but age, sunburns, and other factors can interrupt them. Explaining these natural processes can help illustrate the intention behind different products.
The skin consists of three main layers: the epidermis, dermis, and sub cutis. For skin care purposes, clients really only need to worry about the epidermis, the outer layers that keep water inside your body. Of course, this property works in reverse as well — if your skin is drying out, it can’t absorb moisture from an outside source! (which is also why water-based treatments tend to be less effective than other products.) Use this detail to remind clients why moisturizer is a central facet of their skin care regimen. Strictly speaking, it doesn’t add moisture to your skin, but it does prevent water loss from occurring. Regular use of moisturizer will keep skin fresh and flexible while softening any lines and scars.
Exfoliants work much the same way, assisting the process of desquamation — the skin cell turnover that occurs every few weeks. While aging skin can make it hard to shed old cells, exfoliants break up cell bonds so fresh skin can breathe again. By linking products to a process, you give clients a far deeper understanding of what items truly benefit them.
Don’t get too fixated on active ingredients
When a skin care product boasts that it has active ingredients, that means that it contains substances to meet a specific purpose. Vitamin C in products can act as an antioxidant, vitamin B3 improves complexion, and vitamin A-based retinoids jump-start skin turnover. Unfortunately, the actual results these products offer — especially in over-the-counter forms — are mixed at best.
That’s not to say that active ingredients have no benefit, but they often must be used in very specific ways. Vitamin C, for example, breaks down quickly and cannot be left in its container for long. It also doesn’t mix well with other products. On the other hand, retinoids are most effective overnight under a layer of sunscreen, but pregnant women should never use them.
Navigating each substance’s nuances is a challenge, and if you get it wrong, your reputation as a service provider is on the line. Be sure to only recommend trusted products for specialized skin needs. In severe cases, direct clients to get prescription versions of active ingredients and use them as directed.
The best skin care strategy is about defense
The most effective skin care regimen is one that protects the skin instead of healing damage that’s already occurred. Liberally applying sunscreen at every opportunity is a must, or at the very least, using products that include sun protection. This is one reason why Supergoop is popular — everything from lotion to eyeshadow has an SPF rating.
Remember, however, that skin care isn’t just about products — it’s about long-term health. Gaining the full benefits of moisturizer, exfoliates, actives, or even sunscreen takes time and works best in conjunction with exercise and a healthy diet. If you can teach the science behind these items and make it easy to introduce them to a health regimen, your clients will see positive results that much sooner.