For some time now, demand for anti-aging products has predominantly focused on the neck and up, but as a growing number of customers recognizes the need for a holistic approach to wellness, more and more skincare companies are answering the call and providing a host of nourishing body-oriented products. “A focus on both internal and external health has helped clients understand that early prevention is critical to taking care of their bodies,” says Angela Eriksen-Stanley, director of education at Phytomer. “Consumers are realizing there are powerful body products and treatments that can be excellent substitutes to invasive cosmetic surgery.” Thanks to that increased knowledge, industry demand has risen as new technology becomes available, according to Brittney Gardner, national strategic account educator at HydroPeptide. “Clients are becoming more aware of the need to treat and protect the skin all over, not just the face,” says Gardner. “As we are exposed to harmful and everyday aggressors, bodycare is an essential piece in our routine.”
It’s a profitable piece, as well. SpaRitual founder Shel Pink says that bodycare is 50 percent of her company’s business and growing, while Body Bliss founder Nick James has noticed a high demand for authentic, results-oriented bodycare, even at a higher price point than mass-produced alternatives. “Clients are more aware than ever about what goes on their skin, and they very quickly notice quality products that really bring results,” says James. But how do you choose and promote a successful bodycare line? Read on for our winning formula.
1. Be Goal-Oriented.
Just as time, gravity, and the environment take their toll on the face, they also wreak havoc on the body and create plenty of opportunities to help clients address these issues. “The environmental and oxidative stresses to skin contribute to a less taut appearance: wrinkles, loss of plumpness and fullness, hyperpigmentation, and more,” says FarmHouse Fresh founder and CEO Shannon McLinden, whose Wine Down Overnight Super Antioxidant Recovery Serum and Agave Nectar Ageless Body Oil protect from these strains. Structural collagen is also a major contributor to the skin’s firmness, and as we age, that collagen is damaged. “This damage, paired with the fact that our fibroblasts slow down and produce less and less collagen, means that the skin slackens, wrinkles, and sags,” says Eriksen-Stanley. As such, Phytomer’s firming, anti-aging body products, including its newest, Remodèle Tonic Body Gel, are enriched with tissue-regenerating ingredients that work to restructure the skin to retain water better while energizing and revitalizing fibroblast activity for firmer, more elastic and resilient skin. There has been an increased focus on collagen-boosting bodycare products in recent years, according to Natalie Pergar, international trainer and skincare expert at Éminence Organic Skin Care—so much so that Éminence designed a natural retinol alternative to meet demand.
2. Shift Your Perspective.
While anti-aging gets its fair share of attention in the industry, there is a trend to avoid categorizing skincare as such. “We never use the word anti-aging—we are all aging,” says Jill Dunk, cofounder of Mio High Intensity Bodycare and Mama Mio. “It’s not about chasing youth, it’s about chasing health. Our goal is to provide products that make skin look and feel fabulous because they create strong, firm skin.” SpaRitual takes this concept a step further with its bodycare products, each of which addresses mind, body, and spirit needs under the banner of slow beauty. “I think that the language we use to describe the aging process—being against it, as in anti-aging—influences our thinking and inner dialogue about the process,” says Pink. “We need to change the language in the beauty industry to better support the natural process of aging so that we don’t feel that we need to engage in a fight against it.” Or to put it simply, “it’s not about the products being ‘anti-aging’ per se—more that it’s important to use great-quality ingredients on the skin to keep it in the best possible condition,” says Geraldine Howard, cofounder and president of Aromatherapy Associates.
3. Focus on Results-Oriented Ingredients.
“In the past, bodycare products targeted only skin dryness and flakiness, but today’s advanced cream formulas contain active repair ingredients to firm, smooth, tighten, and brighten body skin,” says Kim Lee, N.D., corporate educator for Pevonia International. With innumerable elements from which to choose, effectiveness should be one of the most important concerns, notes Gardner. It’s critical to select ingredients that have been shown to penetrate and deliver proper nutrients into the skin. “Clients are looking to invest in products that offer a visible result with long-term benefits, not just another body moisturizer or scrub that offers temporary benefits,” she says. For HydroPeptide, the name says it all—the company relies upon the small protein fragments known as peptides in products such as the Firming Moisturizer: Slimming Body Rejuvenation, which helps promote the production of collagen, diminishes irregularities on the skin responsible for cellulite, and evens out discoloration from stretch marks and pigmentation. Body Bliss, on the other hand, works only with organic and wildcrafted essential oils that have antioxidant and cell-regenerative effects, such as pomegranate seed oil, a main player in the company’s Prickly Pear Pomegranate products. “The SCO2 extract of pomegranate seed contains about 65 percent punicic acid, an essential fatty acid unrivaled for promoting skin regeneration, stimulating self-repair mechanisms, improving skin elasticity, reducing wrinkles, and as prophylaxis against skin aging,” says James.
For tightening and toning, lemon verbena, retinol, sorghum, and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THDA), an oil-soluble form of vitamin C, are welcome additions to Pevonia treatments such as the Lumafirm Body professional wrap, while Body Drench favors niacinamide, a vitamin-B3 derivative, to improve the appearance of dark spots and sun damage. And although it’s not necessarily appropriate for facials because of its rich consistency, shea butter is also ideal for moisturizing body formulations. “Hydration is a key component of bodycare, so knowing which products will clog pores is important,” says Pergar. Pure shea butter is an Éminence favorite for hydration, and the inclusion of such nourishing ingredients, she says, “can offer incredible results and an inevitable increase in sales.”
4. Pay Attention to Detail.
The experts agree, size does matter. When formulating an anti-ager for the body compared to one for the face, the difference in the skin’s density needs to be addressed. “The skin of the body tends to be more dehydrated than the skin of the face, so addressing hydration while boosting firmness in the skin is a must,” says Eriksen-Stanley. “And when using a product on the body, a higher quantity of product is applied each time as compared to the face, so the texture has to cover more area without feeling sticky.” Formulations for body creams may need to be more fluid for easy application and surface coverage, says Lee, and because these products need to go farther than their facial counterparts, the cost of incorporating anti-aging ingredients should be taken into consideration, as well. “Facial creams only require a dime-size amount of product for effective results,” says Lee.
Although it seems simple, it does bear mentioning that different body parts have different needs. According to Pergar, body products targeted to rough zones like dry elbows, feet, and knees need to incorporate more emollients while remaining cost-effective to accommodate the higher rate of use. These oft-neglected spots can reveal one’s age. At the same time, the skin on certain parts of the body can be just as delicate and prone to aging as the skin on the face. For example, the hands, in particular, are often seen as the big giveaway.
5. Think Green.
When choosing bodycare products for your spa, it’s important to remember that in addition to formulas that work, spa-goers also prefer those that are eco-friendly. On the manufacturing side, natural ingredients like sugar should be used for exfoliating products, for example, because they melt in water and, unlike plastic beads, don’t pollute waterways, says Pergar. “The flip side is to not use ingredients that cause inflammation, damage, or stress to the skin,” says James, such as potentially inflammatory toxins like artificial fragrance, formaldehyde donors, parabens, and phthalates, which are major causes of aging. Just as your clients don’t want those ingredients on their faces, they also don’t necessarily want them on their bodies either.
Thanks to near-constant technological innovations and ever-expanding customer awareness, bodycare is a new frontier, a growing market that allows for ultimate customization, from targeting specific concerns to choosing the ingredients that will give the most bang for your buck. For the intrepid pioneer, the sky’s the limit.—Maya Stanton