Hands-on Healing

MANUAL MICRODERMABRASION IS EXPERIENCING a rise in popularity. Spa professionals and their clients love it for the same reasons—it's an affordable alternative to traditional microdermabrasion, and the results are impressive. Manual microdermabrasion can transform your menu and energize your business. So don't miss out on this lucrative treatment option that will surprise and please your clients.

Why Go Manual?

A more minimal approach to surface exfoliation, manual microdermabrasion involves the hands-on application of specially formulated, ultra-fine micro crystals that physically exfoliate the skin. Like machine-assisted microdermabrasion, this manual action removes the superficial dead skin cells of the outermost layer of the epidermis, improving texture, tone, and appearance and even minimizing the appearance of scars.

One of the best aspects of manual microdermabrasion is the fact that it lets estheticians carefully control its effects with their hands. The pressure can be adapted according to the facial area being treated. For example, it may be more intensive on the cheeks, whereas the area around the eyes requires a gentler touch. The treatment can also be adapted to the client's sensitivity level and skin thickness. Plus, only manual microdermabrasion has the distinct advantage of human touch, which is nurturing, soothing, and beneficial for the overall well-being of your clients.

Manual microdermabrasion can also provide an unexpected windfall. Your spa already has the equipment needed—an esthetician's hands. One of the biggest benefits that manual microdermabrasion provides is that it eliminates the need to purchase expensive tools and equipment that may not be within your budget. Cost-effective to both the esthetician and the consumer, manual microdermabrasion's products and application are compensated for in just one or two services. It can take many treatments to pay off a microdermabrasion machine before the profits kick in.

It's All in the Assessment

The most important step before any treatment is proper skin assessment. This is especially true for manual microdermabrasion. A full assessment should be performed, paying special attention to skin sensitivity, to determine if the client is a candidate.

A consultation should include questions such as: Have you ever had an allergic reaction to topical products or medication? Have you ever been treated by a dermatologist? Have you ever suffered from rosacea, dermatitis, hives, rashes, or severe irritation triggered by environmental stressors, food, medication, skincare products, or treatments? A visual assessment under a magnifying lamp will indicate sensitivities including irritation, redness, rashes, and rosacea. A client who is pregnant, has rosacea, or has extremely fragile or product-sensitive skin should avoid this procedure. Clients who have recently had a facial waxing or are taking certain medications may have a greater degree of sensitivity as well. Severe acne, rashes, or facial redness are also sure signs to avoid this type of exfoliation.

Effective Ingredients

Once it has been determined that there are no contraindications, the skin should be properly cleansed and prepped to maximize exfoliation results. Use a product created specifically for manual microdermabrasion. The best products available include ultra-refined ingredients like pumice, due to its ability to perform with minimal chance of a negative reaction, and hydrogenated polydecene, an emollient polymer which is incredibly nourishing and gives a wonderful slip. It also allows the product to bead up on the face, increasing the removal of dead skin.

Once the exfoliation process is finished, it is very important to infuse the skin with a customized treatment mask to reduce redness and calm the skin. The mask should include ingredients such as colloidal oatmeal to quickly soothe.

The Results

Manual microdermabrasion will offer both immediate and long-term benefits. After just one treatment, clients should experience softer, smoother skin with a healthy glow. Texture will be improved, skintone will be more even, and pores will appear smaller.

The cumulative effects of manual microdermabrasion treatments can be quite remarkable, especially when the proper products and at-home regimens are used in conjunction with professional treatments. Over time, clients will experience increased cell turnover, minimized fine lines and wrinkles, increased firmness due to collagen stimulation, and increased circulation, which helps the newer skin cells absorb oxygen and nutrients more efficiently.

Market and Sell It

Manual microdermabrasion can be geared towards clients with wrinkles, lines, and sallow skin and to smokers, sun worshippers, or anyone with rough or uneven skin texture. Any client who is concerned about aging and doesn't have hypersensitive skin is a perfect candidate.

For best results, market manual microdermabrasion as a series of treatments. A special offer such as booking five treatments and getting the sixth for free is a tried-and-true way to promote the service, emphasize the benefits of receiving multiple treatments, and boost your bottom line.

Regular manual microdermabrasion treatments will increase client satisfaction and give the spa another opportunity to promote its retail offerings. Clients should maintain their spa results at home with professional retail products that contain the same exfoliating ingredients used in the treatment room.—Barbara Salomone

Barbara Salomone is founder and president of Bioelements and the Bioelements Learning Centers. An authority on sales, marketing, and product development, her company is known for creating advanced products with innovative support systems. You can reach her at [email protected].