AST National Education and Product Development Manager Joanne Healy reveals how education is key to business success.

Joanne tell us how you started out in the beauty industry?

“I began my beauty therapy adventure in 2002 because of my love for makeup and working with people to help them feel better about themselves. This is where I found my passion for skin, results driven treatments and helping people with their skin concerns.

From here on I was striving to learn more about the skin and the treatments available to achieve superior results and support the recovery process pre and post-surgical procedures.

This led me to completing my Bachelor of Health Science in Clinical Dermal Therapies and working alongside one of Melbourne’s leading Plastic Surgeons.”

What was your next challenge?

“After completing my degree and gaining extensive clinical experience I was ready for my next challenge which was where I began my ever evolving career in Education with AST.

I loved sharing my knowledge with my clients in clinic to help them with their concerns but I was finding this wasn’t enough anymore. I wanted to help others in the industry to further their skills and be a part of taking the skincare industry to a more clinical approach.

After many years of Educating and with my love of helping people, I furthered my career to managing our team of Clinical Educators to support their growth.

This role also entailed many other facets from mentoring the team, to developing course content and launching the AST ACADEMY.

This was a huge role, but once again I was getting itchy feet to try something new which drew me to finally following my passion of digging deeper with ingredients and Cosmetic Chemistry.

I completed my Diploma of Personal Care formulation 4 years ago where I started dabbling in product innovation and development landing me in my current role of National Education and Product Development Manager.”

You have more than 17 years’ experience in the industry – and are currently leader of AST Education and Training – how important is training in the industry?

“Education and training in the industry is vital. The ever-expanding technologies and new discoveries of how to approach skin conditions is improving every day. Therapists need to keep up their education to stay ahead of their clients.

The average consumers are more aware of what to look for and especially the millennial generation are now more health and environmentally conscious than any other generation preceding them.

We are moving into a new era with skincare whereby we need to meet all needs across the market:-

Results driven

No Parabens

No non-renewable ingredients

Sustainable packaging

Cruelty Free



10 years ago these categories in the industry were all separated attracting different clientele but now consumers want it all in the one brand.

It is crucial for clinics and their therapists to not only be across how to recommend skincare for skin concerns but also how to meet the myriad of needs and wants of the consumers of today.”

What are your main goals when it comes to education?

To offer the most prestigious and effective education and training support in the industry. To have:

The best products in the industry

The best people with the best knowledge and approach

The best training facilities and courses

The best communication and training materials

How do you keep up with all the skincare trends emerging?

Consistent market research

Keeping across the social channels

Attending conferences nationally and internationally

Networking with other Cosmetic Chemists

Subscribing to accredited societies in the industry

What is one of the biggest lessons that you have learnt in business?

“Your staff and your fellow employees are your customers too. Treat them with the same dignity and respect you would give your clients.”

Best piece of professional advice you have been given?

“Always approach an issue with a solution and practice open and transparent communication with your people.”

You manage Aspect and AST product development and have a passion for bringing new and innovative products to market – what are some of the most important innovations you have seen in the past five years?

“Peptide technology is ever evolving. Peptides are revolutionary because they can mimic natural skin responses without irritation or side effects. They have proven efficacy and continue to advance in their results as well as the types of conditions they can address.

Aspect began its journey 12 years ago using peptide technology throughout the range for firming and rejuvenation effects, now we are seeing peptides specific to targeting pigmentation, mimicking Vitamin A as well as growth factors.

Aspect research and development is at the forefront of these technologies with new innovative products coming to market utilising these ingredients in specialised formulas that have never been seen before in Australian skincare.”

Any other key ingredients we should be on the lookout for?

“Plant derived enzymes are now the way of the future for added support to the average skincare users daily regime. Not only are we seeing enzymes for superficial exfoliation but specific enzymes such as Anacystis Nidulans (Photolyase), Micrococcus leteus (Endonuclease) and Arabidopsis thaliana (OGGI), are now a necessity to assist in the skin’s natural recovery process post environmental exposure and post professional treatments. We all need these every day.”

Any hit predictions on what will be the next big thing in skincare?

  1. Tranexamic Acid. Watch this space!

Tranexamic Acid’s calming benefits attributes to its distinctive suitability to diffuse redness and as a result has shown proven efficacy for minimising the appearance of uneven pigmentation and discolouration.

Aspect Dr’s Complete Pigment Plus will be the first topical Tranexamic Acid to launch to the Australian market in mid-September of this year.

  1. Progressive not aggressive approach to addressing problematic skin.

New innovative formulas are on their way, minimising the need for strong resurfacing acids. They calm and purify aggravated skins, supporting the skin’s barrier and natural defenses. They are an ideal support for those patients suffering from extensive breakouts that are already on active exfoliating regimes or topical and oral medications. You must checkout our new Aspect Clearing Complex due to hit our clinic’s shelves in mid-September.

How can companies can remain competitive such a fast- paced environment?

“They need to practice diversity and employ staff with a variety of personalities, backgrounds and credentials to form teams that can tackle project from all angles.

This approach also improves businesses opportunities.”  n

Top five tips on how beauty companies can maximise their business.

Employ the right staff

Look after your staff with continued learning opportunities and growth

Practice servant leadership to empower your people

Keep on the pulse of what’s new in the industry

Be sceptical and do your research

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