Lucy Salerno is a holistic skin therapist and the owner of SKIN. by Lucy, 30 kms south-east of Melbourne. Hannah Gay caught up with Lucy to learn what sets her beautiful beauty salon apart.
Lucy, briefly share your career history.
“I went into a Beauty Therapy diploma straight out of high school in 2002, studying at Chisholm TAFE.
My first job was at a small salon that was owned by my waxing teacher. After working for her for 18 months, I ventured out on my own and opened my first salon in 2005. Between 2005 to 2019, my husband and I grew the business to having three salons. Back then, we predominantly offered beauty services including facials. As the years went on and the COVID pandemic hit, we decided to close the doors of two locations and build an extension on our house, which is now SKIN. by Lucy.
My focus personally had changed to skin treatments; they were the only service I was offering. I always believed in an inside-out approach and went back to study my Diploma of Health Science (Naturopathy) at Torrens University. I’m a lifelong learner; I’ll always find a course or a workshop that can give me more information to allow me to help my clients.”
In what year did you open SKIN. by Lucy?
“SKIN. by Lucy [officially opened] in April 2021. Shortly after opening, Melbourne went back into another long lockdown. During this period I was studying online at university, and while homeschooling three kids I was also doing online skin consultations to continue to grow my business. This worked out wonderfully, as when I was able to reopen the consultations that I had done became people on my bed for treatments. I was basically at capacity and unable to take new clients after such a short period.”
What inspired you to open your own business?
“In the past, I had teams of therapists, but working as a sole trader and being your own brand is something I love. I really wanted to do this because I knew I had my own vision, and what I can bring to a client is really individual; it’s something that can’t be taught to someone else, as everyone has their own touch and their own way. Clients know that they will always be seeing me; the service will always be the same. It’s very individualised and opening my own business allowed me to do that for my clients.”
Describe the look and feel of your beauty salon.
“I loved designing my skin space! It feels warm and cosy; modern yet classic, with lots of little details. I love the greenery of the plants. It’s private. It’s quiet. Walking to it feels like you’re entering another space, and you are ready to relax. Clients do not need to come into my home at all. It has its own private entrance, its own bathroom. After doing what I have done for so long, [it’s great to build a skin space when you know exactly what’s needed].”
Your role is ‘holistic skin therapist’. What does this title mean to you, and what does your job encompass?
“‘Holistic’ means that when I am treating someone’s skin, I am not just looking at the surface. Instead, I look at the person as a whole and take into account all factors of them and their lifestyles that can be supporting or creating havoc for their skin.
Topically I work with amazing skincare and treatments. But I also take into account the nutrition and diet, stress levels, exercise and movement, sleep patterns, hormones and more [of my clients] because they all make a difference as to how the skin is functioning. Clients often notice not just changes in their skin, but also changes in their overall health and well-being.”
Name the three most popular skin treatments you offer.
“My most popular treatments are definitely skin needling, Neolifting and of course, skin consultations because that’s where all skin journeys begin!”
You charge $85 for an Advanced Skin Consultation. Why have you opted to charge for this service, as opposed to offering this without charge (as some businesses do)?
“I charge for my consultations because I value the information that I am providing to clients. I spend a lot of time and money on further education for myself so that I can be really knowledgeable, and pass that information on to my clients. If you were to go and see a specialist in any field, they are all charging for their consultations. As highly qualified and educated skin therapists, I believe we should do the same. We are offering so much to our clients and our time is valuable. Clients get so much from me throughout a consultation, they see the value of it also.
[On my Instagram], I am always offering skin and health insights and educational tidbits that help not only my clients, but anyone who follows along! It’s also really great for my brand because a lot of my clients find me through that platform. They see me talking, they hear how I treat the skin, and they choose to come and see me because we already align with our values. Therefore, when they’re at SKIN. by Lucy and I’m doing a consultation, it’s really easy because there’s already that trust.”
You offer a couple of unique treatments: PRIN Lymphatic Compression Therapy and Neolifting. Why have you elected to offer these?
“The PRIN treatment is a compression mask that works on detoxing the lymphatic system, allowing the blood to flow to the skin cells, providing them with oxygen and nutrients. This feeds the skin’s cells to make them healthy! This is a lovely, relaxing treatment and is great for all clients, especially those with barrier-impaired skin or congestion. It is a skin health treatment that we often start with. And there is also a home kit that clients can purchase [for at-home use between treatments].
I did Neolifting training in January 2022. The treatment had been on my radar for a long time, as it is really popular with A-list celebrities. It is a nervous system reset as well as a sculpting and lifting treatment to relax the muscles and get them to balance correctly as they should. It is a 75-minute facial treatment and all massage; my hands do not leave the client. After breath work, we do lymphatic drainage and we go into the sculpting massage. Then I put my gloves on and we do the buccal, which is an intraoral massage. Yes, my hands are inside your mouth! But it feels amazing. It’s so good to relieve jaw tension that we all hold; again, it’s a very holistic energy-based treatment, and no two hands are alike so you’re really getting all of me when you come in for this service.”
You appear to stock a really broad range of brands and products via your ecommerce site! What do you look for when electing a brand/distributor to work with?
“Before I introduce anything, I always test it on myself. I look for [topical skincare] that is proven to give a really good result; ingredients that skin loves, and that work to help with a broad range of skin conditions.
Internal products need to be also tried-and-tested, with ingredients that are sustainably sourced and organic.
It’s always about offering their best to my clients. I wouldn’t offer them anything that I wouldn’t use or take myself.”
What are your short and long-term goals for SKIN. by Lucy?
“I just want to SKIN. by Lucy to keep thriving, with lots of happy clients getting great results and feeling pampered and supported throughout the process. I will always continue to educate myself, but I would also like to grow as an educator, sharing the knowledge that I have acquired.”
Images credited to @angiec.photography on Instagram.
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