With consumers watching their dollars like never before, it’s important to offer skincare treatments that deliver tangible results. Although the economy seems to be moving into recovery mode, most people aren’t yet ready to part with their hard-earned cash for facials that simply feel good. Instead, they want a real bang for their buck. With that said, it may be time to take a hard look at your spa’s menu to make sure it’s delivering on the promises it’s making. If there’s room for improvement (and there usually is), consider introducing a treatment or two that offers skin-enhancing benefits your clients can actually see.
In terms of efficacy, microdermabrasion, peels, and LED treatments score high marks from many dermatologists. “I think microdermabrasion is still the most effective treatment being offered in spas,” says Gary Goldfaden, M.D., a dermatologist and founder of Goldfaden Skincare. “It is non-invasive, and it provides an immediate effect to the skin in terms of the clarity, texture, and smoothness, helping the entire appearance in general. Most importantly, through exfoliation, all treatment products that are applied to the skin afterward are able to penetrate the skin more effectively, and therefore, offer more beneficial results.”
The Clarisonic PRO Skin Cleansing System and the Clarisonic Opal Sonic Infusion System, which uses sonic technology with an Anti-Aging Sea Serum to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, are also assets in prepping the skin. According to esthetician Maggie Guiragossian of The Centre for Well-Being at The Phoenician (Scottsdale, AZ), spa-goers are taken with the results once they see the difference in their skin. “After one treatment with the sonic skin cleansing brush, our clients see immediate improvement in skin texture and appearance,” she says. “We had one client who had deep pores and required many extractions, but after using the Clarisonic PRO, there was a decreased appearance of pore size and fewer extractions needed.”
Ultrasonic systems are also a popular choice for spa-goers interested in non-invasive treatments that produce tangible results. The GlyMed Plus DermaSound Elite combines environmentally safe water with low-frequency sound waves to help treat acne, rosacea, wrinkles, and pigmentation. Spa-goers can expect to see immediate results upon leaving the treatment room, thanks to the system’s cavitation mode, which removes dead skin cells using a micro-jet frequency that disperses water molecules over the skin’s surface, killing bacteria in the pores and helping to reduce inflammation.
Your spa can also benefit from machines that offer more than one option, such as the Ultra from Ageless Aesthetics. It features several modalities, including Ultrasonic/Ultrasound treatments that use sound vibrations at different frequencies to exfoliate the skin. “Ultrasound is used to penetrate ingredients 4,000 times more effectively into the skin,” says Ageless Aesthetics director of education Ashlee Anderson. “Serums, moisturizers, eye creams, and treatment products may all be deeply infused into the skin with Ultrasound.” Part of the Ultra treatment range, LED provides red and blue light therapy for certain skincare concerns. According to New York City dermatologist Neil Sadick, M.D., LED treatments as well as chemical peels, extractions, and microdermabrasion all provide good value for spa-goers looking to see a noticeable improvement in their skin.
Another effective way to boost a treatment’s effectiveness is with microcurrent. The Ultra can also be used to re-educate the facial muscles using microcurrent. According to Anderson, one treatment typically delivers 72 hours of lift, while a series of 10 to 12 treatments gives anywhere from six to 18 months of lift. “In addition to the lifting and toning of the muscles, the skin tissue experiences oxygenation, increased circulation, and cell permeability for ingredient absorption,” says Anderson.
NuFace, another device utilizing microcurrent technology, emits a low-level current that stimulates the facial muscles. According to NuFace director of education Keri Parker, clients can experience an instant and visible lift in just five minutes. “We train our estheticians to lift half of the guests’ face first and show them the difference,” says Parker. “This way, they can see for themselves their own, unique results.” From a more contoured jaw line and cheekbone to a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, spa-goers not only experience results they can see but they’re also treated to a relaxing treatment they can enjoy. Says Parker, “By incorporating NuFace into any service, it becomes an instant added value with true results the client can see immediately with very little investment from the esthetician.”
For clients who prefer to rely strictly on products to pack all the punch, there’s Bioelements’s Flaxx-C Anti-Aging Facial ($95 suggested, 60 minutes). Designed to restore firmness to sagging skin, this service relies on an exclusive layered exfoliation process, an energizing massage, and an ultra-tightening Flaxx-C Firming Mask.
Based on a molecular compound of five highly engineered vitamins—A, B3, B5, C, and E—linked to proteins, the Somme Institute Vitamin Infusion Treatment ($75 suggested, 25 minutes; $140 suggested, 50 minutes) is designed to reverse sun damage, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and eliminate moderate to severe acne as well as rosacea. Before and after UV photographs reveal the impact consistent product use can garner and give spa-goers an idea of the results they can expect to see.
According to Christine Heathman, CEO, president, and founder of GlyMed Plus, peels are another effective option. “The trend I have been seeing is a new appreciation for peels, which have been proven to be a more effective tool for age management, rosacea, acne, and pigmentation than many machines offered in the skincare market,” says Heathman. “Peels are safe, cost effective, and produce results.”
Skin-brightening treatments offer the promise of clearer and brighter skin. Aveda’s Enbrightenment Brightening Professional Facial Treatment ($130 suggested, 60 minutes; $195 suggested, 90 minutes) relies on a naturally derived skin-brightening blend of scutellaria, a perennial herb; mulberry root; and grape extracts to help diminish discoloration. It also has the added advantage of reducing irritation.
The Enlighten Resurfacing Treatment ($120 suggested, 50 minutes) from Jan Marini Skin Research also tackles stubborn facial discoloration. “I think the most effective facial treatments are concern specific,” says founder Jan Marini. “In other words, they are treatments that are directed at lessening or resolving issues such as acne, rosacea, discoloration, lines, and wrinkles.” According to her, ensuring your estheticians are well-versed on the treatments and able to discuss related studies and provide before and after photos is key. Says Marini, “Clients are more likely to spend their dollars on discretionary spa services if there is a measurable and justifiable endpoint.”
|Ageless Aesthetics Ultra: Combining six skincare technologies in one, this single tabletop machine offers an entire menu of advanced skincare services, including microcurrent, light therapy, lymphatic drainage, and more. (877) 721-7975; www.agelessaesthetics.com|
|Aveda Enbrightenment Brightening Correcting Crème: This powerful gel-like cream is infused with plant emollients to hydrate skin and strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier. It also helps to diminish the appearance of dark spots with Aveda’s Skin Brightening Blend. (800) 644-4831; www.aveda.com|
|Bioelements Flaxx-C Firming Mask: Formulated with flaxseed and omega-3 fatty acids, this powder base mask is designed to firm sagging skin by compressing the tissues. Its tightening action works to reprogram and remodel the skin’s supportive |
matrix. (800) 433-6650; www.bioelements.com
|Biotone Facial Therapy MicroRefiner: Containing gentle pumice crystals and micronized buffing beads, this microdermabrasion cream for the face, neck, and décolleté reduces the appearance of pores and fine lines. (800) 445-6457; www.biotone.com|
|Clarisonic Opal Sonic Infusion System: Combining sonic technology with an Anti-Aging Sea Serum, this system infuses the product into the epidermis to help reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles and renew the appearance of the delicate skin around the eye and lip area. (888) 525-2747; www.clarisonic.com|
|Clearogen Acne Lotion: This lightweight and shine-free lotion reduces redness and irritation while clarifying the skin. Penetrating the pores, fatty acids deliver active ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, to help regulate oil production. (877) 30-CLEAR; www.clearogen.com|
|GlyMed Plus Cell Science Chocolate Power Skin Rescue Masque: This antioxidant-rich trio of acai berry, cocoa, and resveratrol delivers potent anti-aging benefits to the skin, helps enhance any clinical treatment, and decreases the look of deep lines. (800) 676-9667; www.glymedplus.com|
|Jan Marini Skin Research Age Intervention Enlighten: With the help of two brightening agents, this formula treats discoloration and uneven skintone. It also contains retinol, a potent anti-aging ingredient that helps give skin a more refined texture. (800) 347-2223; www.janmarini.com|
|NuFace: This handheld facial toning device relies on microcurrent to improve muscle tone and lift and smooth the skin. Ideal for all skin types, it also helps restore skin’s youthful glow. (888) 360-9171; www.mynuface.com|
|Somme Institute MDT5 Vitamin Infusion Professional: Designed to treat the face, neck, upper chest, and hands, this treatment is made up of five single doses of Nourishing Cleanser, Transport, Serum, A-Bomb, and Double Defense to deliver five highly engineered vita-mins into the skin. (866) 66-SOMME; www.sommeinstitute.com|