In 2017 anti-ageing, including natural and organic skincare, was the largest segment in wellness. For someone who specialises in this segment, this is great news. Mostly. The flipside is the market is now so flooded with products (especially retail products produced by design and marketing experts) that beauty therapists and clients are getting confused about what’s best.
If you want your salon to cash in on this booming industry my first piece of advice is to stick to industry brands. There are plenty of professionally formulated natural and organic skincare products on the market for you to choose from. These can sit next to your cosmeceutical brands to cater towards the wellness market, or you can specialise in natural and organic only. There are more than enough amazing brands to choose from.
Combating misconceptions in the market can be tricky. There has been a real shift from clients asking, “That’s great, but does it work?” to clients messaging you, “Have you seen X new brand?” (usually the ‘hottest’ new retail brand being heavily marketed on Instagram via influencers). This can also be confusing for therapists as the marketing is very believable.
A few key points that will help you and your clients see through the hype are:
- Know ingredients inside out and check the ingredient deck first. This will tell you almost everything you need to know, no matter what the marketing says. Marketers are not skin therapists and often make wild claims that simply are not true to sell more products.
- Watch out for products that contain high levels of essential oils. Too much of certain essential oils can be irritating on the skin and can cause UV sensitivity and reactions, especially on sensitive and reactive skins.
- Build a great relationship with your clients. The trust a client has in you will win over marketing every time. They will believe your expertise over what a brand is saying, especially if you present them with the evidence in the ingredients listed. For example, ingredient X is comedogenic and will cause you to break out (which is a huge occurrence in retail brands as the formulators don’t understand skin).
- Don’t confuse serums with oils. This one really bugs me. Clients come in talking about the ‘serum’ they are using when it’s actually an oil and that’s why they’re not getting the results they desire. A serum is a gel emulsion that carries vitamins and antioxidants deep into the skin. Oil sits higher in the skin and is often not as an effective carrier. Originally, oils were designed to be mixed in with moisturisers to boost the lipid content for dry skin. The current trend of using oils neat on the skin can trip up your clients who may experience congestion, dullness or even dehydration. But they do make great cleansers.
- Check how the product is made, including certifications and logos. Does the formulator proudly hand make everything in their kitchen? Brands like this should ring alarm bells, as the likelihood of fungal testing in a lab would be low, which could cause allergy and reactions in skin. If organic claims are being made, check for a logo like Australian Certified Organic or USDA.
Once you get through all the hype in the market look into professional brands that will support your salon with incentives, professional at-home peels and masks, and industry training. Just like any other professional brand.
I choose to exclusively work with natural and organic brands because I believe they nourish the skin the best to build healthy skin in the long term. Our bodies thrive on healthy fruits and vegetables and healthy skin responds the same. The results are not always as ‘instant’ as you get with chemical peels and retinols but in the long term I’ve found skin is healthier and looks younger. Nothing really replaces a healthy glow.
Knowing your clientele in your salon is the key when choosing any brand. The place to start is by looking at your demographic. Are your clients really into wellness? How much do they like to spend on skincare? What are the skin conditions you see in the salon? Answering these questions and looking at your clients’ skin needs closely will help you decide if natural brands are for you and which one fits the best.
Natural and organic skincare is more than a trend – it’s here to stay. It can prove profitable for salons through retail sales and attracting by new clientele, who love that salons are catering to their healthy lifestyles.
- Belinda Hughes is the founder of the Natural Beauty Expert. For more information visit www.belindahughes.com.au