Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty


Ask the experts

Clients are buying waxing products from the high street instead of my salon. How can I boost my retail?

As with all services, using the correct homecare products will help clients get the best long term results from their waxing treatment. However, it seems many salons don’t understand, or tend to neglect, the retail side of hair removal.

Waxing is actually one of the easiest beauty treatments to support with retail – the service is about beautiful, smooth skin after all. Whether it’s in preparation for a holiday, special occasion, sporting performance or just part of regular grooming, nobody wants sore bits, pimples or ingrown hairs blighting their freshly waxed skin.

Don’t wait for customers to phone or come in for their next treatment complaining they’ve got spots or ingrown hairs; sell them something at that first appointment to help prevent the problem before it even arises. Mention specific products during consultation and again as part of your aftercare advice, so that it becomes a natural extension of the treatment itself.

Then at every subsequent appointment, ask if there were any issues after their last visit, enabling you to address concerns with a tweak to the client’s homecare. Letting clients pick up aftercare items at retailers such as Boots is like sending money out of the door. You don’t need 101 lotions and potions lining your shelves but there are some core products that every hair removal practitioner should aim to offer.

In my own salon, the consistent bestsellers include soothing gels and creams, moisturising tea tree body lotions, exfoliating cloths and mitts, and specific ingrown hair products – all of which can be picked up relatively inexpensively from beauty wholesalers and waxing brands.

Don’t make your clients go down to the high street to pick something up: have the solution for them there and then as part of a ready-to-go homecare kit with written instructions for fabulous, fuzz free results.

Andy Rouillard is a male waxing expert, trainer and speaker. He owns the Axiom Men’s Grooming Salon and The Wax Academy, both in Basingstoke.


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How can I explain the benefits of time-released retinol to clients?

Time-released retinol contains a unique carrier system specifically designed for use in skincare formulations to deliver pure retinol (the alcohol form of vitamin A) to the skin. Encapsulation methods can offer a much higher bioavailability controlled release of the contents over several hours, as well as a highly stable form of retinol.

Encapsulated delivery systems promotes cell turnover – which reduces fine lines and wrinkles, improves skin complexion, enhances radiance and provides an overall healthier appearance to skin. Also, by drip-feeding retinol into the skin, you minimise the risk of irritation and inflammation.

Of all the topical retinoids, retinol itself is often considered the most potent because it requires the lowest number of enzymatic breakdown steps – processes in which an initial molecule is altered into a different form that is usable by the body’s tissues – before it can fit into the skin cells’ retinoid receptors. The drawback is that retinol is inherently unstable and comes with potential side effects such as dryness, redness and flaking.

On the other side of the spectrum are retinol esters such as retinyl palmitate, the gentler and much more stable forms of vitamin A that have little potential for irritation. However, they require many enzymatic breakdown steps before becoming bioactive, making them much less effective than the same quantity of retinol would be.

Our new Retinol Youth Renewal Serum has the stability of the traditional retinol esters but with a molecular configuration that allows the formulation to fit directly into the skin’s retinol receptors in its initial form without any breakdown steps.

Dr Howard Murad is a board-certified dermatologist and founder of results-driven skincare brand Murad.

How can I tailor my manicure service for mature clients?

The visible signs of ageing often show on the hands first, which is why regular manicure treatments and a good at-home skincare regime can do wonders for older clientele.

As we age, skin on the hands becomes less elastic – more crêpey and with age spots – and nails tend to get more brittle, breaking much more easily. This is why extra protection to nourish the skin and help strengthen the natural nail is crucial.

When performing a manicure on mature clients, there are a few key things to remember. Firstly, your client’s nail shape becomes much more important. Prevent the likelihood of flakes and ridges with a squoval shape on short, neat nails, and use a light-coloured polish as it will draw less attention to overt ridges. You should also finish the treatment off with application of an SPF to the hands to further prevent premature ageing.

Encourage clients to exfoliate their hands at home to remove dead skin. It’s also worth talking to them about more advanced anti-ageing treatments such as microdermabrasion, which leaves skin looking radiant by increasing blood and lymph circulation and reducing the appearance of pigmentation.

You should also advise clients to invest in thicker hand creams that contain humectants and glycerin as these ingredients deeply hydrate thinner skin.

Sheral Griffin is beauty quality a nd curriculum manager at Lifetime Training. She has worked in the beauty industry for more than 20 years, including lecturer roles at colleges and private training companies.


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What is ingress protection and how does it work in microneedling devices?

Microneedling pens cause controlled micro-injuries in the skin, which release blood and a serum-like liquid containing cytokines and growth factors, initiating the wound-healing cascade. The phases are inflammation and cell proliferation, followed by skin remodelling, which is for the treatment of ageing, wrinkles and scar tissue.

These procedures have become extremely popular with clients because they’re so effective. However, some important considerations for safety should be addressed. Some mechanical pens now have “ingress protection”, which ensures no blood or fluids from the treatment have the potential to cross-contaminate by migrating into the pen, and then back again into the cartridge.

Sterile disposable “one use only” cartridges are imperative, but the needle cartridge should also prevent fluids and blood from each individual patient migrating into the reciprocating mechanism – this is usually the pen, but more recent models have the reciprocating mechanism in the cartridge itself, essentially creating a risk-free disposable device.

Before using a microneedling device, three cross-contamination path shields should be checked. First, that the cartridge is 100% sealed – a waterproof sleeve contained in the cartridge creates this safety barrier. The cartridge is able to contain fluids that may be produced during the procedure and stop them from penetrating into the microneedling pen itself.

Second, the base of the pen should be 100% sealed as it’s virtually impossible to clean the inside of a pen. It should have no visible opening. If there is an opening, then it’s clear that any fluid or germs can enter via the cartridge. The germs can then pass back up into the next cartridge. Lastly, the whole device should have a protective sheath covering it for further safety. Cross-contamination path shields are essential to ensure clients receive a contaminant-free microneedling treatment, and that the operator also is risk free.

Kathy Taylor-Brewin is managing director of BioActive Aesthetics, which distributes Skinpen Precision, a microneedling device that has ingress protection which prevents cross contamination through body fluids. She is a Level 4 aesthetician and has more than 25 years’ industry experience.

How can I persuade clients to switch up their make-up routine for summer?

With the warmer season just around the corner, now is the perfect time to convince clients to experiment with their look. This year’s leading trend is fresh, sun-kissed skin with a red or berry-pink lip and a pop of colour on the eyes. It’s a simple but beautiful look to try on clients who want a change.

However, it can be hard to get those who stick with the same look all year round to try something new. To begin with, introduce your client to no more than two elements from the trend without veering too far away from what they’re used to.

For example, if your client normally wears a very matte base, add a shot of tinted moisturiser to their usual formula to give a soft glow without taking them too far away from how their skin normally looks. The other option is to recommend an entirely new formula of foundation, giving them a step-by-step guide on how to apply it.

If your client shies away from bold and bright lipstick colours, try a gloss in a pinky red or berry tone instead, as this will give a sheer effect while still encouraging them to experiment with new colour.

For the eyes, a good compromise is a coloured eyeliner – even if it’s just worn on the lower lash line – as it’s an easy and wearable option. It gives a nod to the summer’s hottest trend without expanding into full-on colour blocking, which was a big look on the SS17 catwalks.

James McKnight is a freelance make-up artist and brand ambassador for New CID Cosmetics, which offers a wide range of professional make-up products.


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This article appears in the Professional Beauty April 2017 Issue of Professional Beauty

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This article appears in the Professional Beauty April 2017 Issue of Professional Beauty