Besides of a good skin analysis, a varied treatment method and competent sales consultations, there is another major factor contributing to the success of a beauty institute: a balanced product range for treatment and sale. Regarding the broad selection of products offered by the beauty industry and the limited budget of the beauty institute it constantly has to be considered how many products in fact are necessary for standard treatments and for sale. Which of the products can also be universally integrated in the course of different individual treatments? Which special products are required to deal with the increasing rate of specific treatments and/or problem cases?
While discussing the issue of limiting the product range, the keyword "specialization" can frequently be noticed. It has to be added, however, that a specialization not really facilitates the financing. The more specialized the product supply, the more extended the catchment area has to be, which usually inflates the advertising budget.
An important criterion for the product selection is the objective of the institute, which results from the personal and professional background of the cosmetician, of course. More and more newcomers from related professional groups in the health sector e.g. medical laboratory assistants have been noticed. They even sometimes work in both fields. This group is mostly focused on problem skin and its care and prevention and frequently cooperates with dermatologists.
A further criterion is the location of the beauty institute. There are predominantly regular clients in rural areas whereas there are more casual clients in cities. Treating regular clients or a high percentage of young clients the institute has to focus on their specific needs and expectations.
The general conditions determine the selection as well as the price level of the products. On the other hand, a basic product range is necessary to cover the standard treatments which include cleansing, masks and packs, and skin care.
Skin cleansing in the institute requires a product which, when combined with water is also able to remove intense contamination. It should be free of refattening agents and other additives in order to leave the skin in its natural condition without influencing follow-up treatments.
In cases of extremely sensitive skin and minor contamination it is recommended to use a particularly mild and cleansing milk possibly perfume free, which cleanses without tensides.
For intensive cleansing a peeling product is required which is able to gently remove minor cornifications and surface scales. A facial tonic to be applied after the cleansing complements this sector. The tonic calms the skin and makes it receptive for the following treatment. Suitable here are lotions which contain D-panthenol.
Special products in this sector are lotions based on liposomes. Lotions also prepare the skin for further treatment but simultaneously prevent skin impurities and minor forms of acne. They can also be used for the gentle cleansing of extremely sensitive and bad skin.
Masks and packs effectively supply the skin with the individually appropriate active agents e.g. vitamins and on the other hand they soften and remove crusta and scales. Furthermore they are expected to smooth the skin. As they are intensive treatments which depend on the individual skin condition, one single product will not be sufficient.
To keep the number of products in reasonable limits it is suggested to decide for modular product systems which start with 3 base products for oily, normal and dry skin. These products can be complemented with active agents which are applied directly on the skin according to the specific needs.
A further and very effective possibility is to treat parts of the skin with the appropriate concentrates and apply the base products afterwards. Just few active agent concentrates already offer a wide variety which enables a very flexible, individual and seasonal adaptation to the individual customer. Masks should be designed with the objective that the skin surface only needs to be wiped off or alternatively the dried matrix is to be removed after the treatment.
The effects of masks and packs can be intensified by a gentle massage. In case that the skin is massaged before the mask is applied it is recommended to use a massage cream whose composition is related to the base formulations of the masks and packs. Possibly the preparation is also suitable for a massage. Massage creams can also be combined with oils and active agent concentrates in ampoules for a variety of different treatments e.g. cellulite treatment.
The appropriate skin care
After skin cleansing and the application of a mask or body pack, additionally a skin care product can be applied. As these products frequently also are offered as sales merchandise and consequently should be very tolerable and also very effective, the institute has to keep a wide range of products in stock for the treatment on the spot and for sale. The previously mentioned objective of the institute is important for the product selection. The specific problem here is, that with only a few products (3-5) about 90 per cent of the cases can be covered whereas a considerably higher number of products has to be available for the rather exceptional cases.
Just like for masks it is also recommended here to offer high-quality base products for the everyday cases. For specific treatments modular systems would be the obvious choice. These systems imply that the client receives the base treatment and an appropriate active agent for the pre-treatment.
Individuality is the keyword
For the evening care at home usually a base product is applied with higher oil content than for the daily care. With the modern emulsifier free DMS products this distinction is no longer of importance; one single cream adapted to the individual skin is sufficient for day as well as evening care.
However, skin care creams with vitamins and above all with combinations of the vitamins A, C and E or even coenzyme Q 10 should be applied in the evening to avoid a loss of vitamin activity. Those creams have proven successful for the mature and elderly skin.
The skin care program is complemented by an appropriate hand cream offering an effective skin protection for the daily routine and a smoothing eye gel.
The decorative cosmetic products are part of this group; however, they will be neglected in this context.
A further special product group are bath and sun protection preparations for sale. A comprehensive article on bath products was published in the March edition of the KI magazine.
Regarding problem skins, above all special products for acne, disorders of the skin barrier and the cornification have to be mentioned. Provided that ampoules and active agent concentrates are not already used in combinations with other products, liposomal and nanoparticle-containing preparations are state-of-the-art in cosmetic and predestined for these skin problems. Liposomal, because the penetration and optimal dispersion of the active agents are important preconditions for their effectiveness. In addition, if these products are also free of emulsifiers the treatment will have a good chance to essentially improve the skin condition in the long run.
Two products are absolutely sufficient: one for minor forms of acne and one product for skin barrier disorders. In rare cases of bad and dry skin the pre-treatment with liposome concentrate and a follow-up treatment with a high-fat cream does an excellent job. For the supportive care for skin susceptible for psoriasis also liposomal lotions, previously described together with the cleansing products have proven successful.
A small range of fatty oils for the use in the institute may be helpful in many cases and a valuable supplement e.g. to be used on very sensitive and dry skin areas, for local dabbings, and to enrich the skin care, mask and massage products. Jojoba, avocado and macadamia nut oil are suited best for this purpose. In combination with a selection of essential oils the fatty oil may be flavoured and used for the different ayurveda treatments. This is an easy way for the beauty institute to offer a new product variety just for a change e.g. with head oils, face oils and foot oils in different compositions.
Well-tried active agents
Speaking from own experience, echinacea extract for the treatment of couperosis skin, D-panthenol for soothing and for treating skin redness as well as hamamelis as a astringent should be available in the institute. The active agents mentioned can be combined with both, institute-used preparations and skin care products any time.
Attention should be paid to the fact that the products selected harmonize with regard to their composition. Mineral oil containing products cannot be mixed with natural cosmetic, products containing preservatives not with products free of preservatives, products containing emulsifiers not with emulsifier free products.
In case of problems with different perfumes, perfume free products should be selected which also have the positive effect that they can be used on problem skins which will not tolerate perfume. If a specific scent is desired, it can be sprayed on after the treatment.
On balance, a very limited number of products will already be sufficient without limiting on the product supply of the institute; however, this requires systematical planning.
On the contrary, the competence of the beauty institute will be strengthened with an appropriate combination of the different products regarding the individual needs of the clients and the seasonal conditions.
Dr. Hans Lautenschläger