Why do I need to keep consultation cards?
As a qualified professional, you will be familiar with consultation cards and patch testing in the course of your work and how best to evidence this. An insurance policy wording will make mention of keeping records of health conditions, allergies and other contraindications as to why a treatment may not be suitable for a client or if the treatment should be modified in some way to ensure the client’s safety.
In the event of a claim, the insurance company will want to see proof that the therapist checked there were no reasons the treatment should not have been performed and this is usually evidenced with a consultation card.
Consultations cards should be kept for seven years for over 18s. For anyone under the age of 18, you must keep the card for seven years after the client turns 18. These can of course be in a digital format, not necessarily paper cards.
Clients have up to three years to make an injury claim and seven years for a property claim; therefore, you need the record card as evidence of the treatment.
A parent could make a claim for their child (your client) while they are under 18 and that client could then make another claim when they themselves turn 18. This is why policyholders must keep consultation proof for seven years after a client turns 18.
Any claim, whether successful or not, can incur stress and legal costs to defend against, which is why you should have a robust insurance policy in place to protect you. Professional Beauty Direct provides insurance policies for professionals covering public, products and treatment liability to give you peace of mind.
Christina Ryan is senior account handler for Professional Beauty Direct Insurance, which offers annual cover from £52.50 for therapists and £124 for salons. 0345 605 8670 professionalbeauty.co.uk/insurance
How can I plan for fluctuating demand in the months following reopening?
While surge in demand post-lockdown is very welcome, we do need to think about how we manage it from an availability and diary point of view. If you have increased your salon or spa opening hours to accommodate this influx, I highly recommend you communicate this to your clients so they appreciate the efforts to accommodate them, but are also aware that these new, extended opening hours won’t be the norm going forward.
If this is not conveyed, it can lead to upset clienttherapist relationships. There are other difficulties that arise around any form of surge, from increased demand such as over-stocking of items and over-staffing. From this perspective, remember to not get too consumed working “in” your salon as opposed to “on” the business – this balance is more important now than ever.
So, make sure you allow and schedule in time for this to capitalise on opportunities, and try to stay as flexible as you can. This surge will be a real opportunity for smaller businesses to grow in the size, as they can be more flexible.
The future is still very uncertain, and we don’t know how the landscape will further change in the coming months. The simple fact is that the various Government support schemes will come to an end and taxes will rise. This in turn will affect many of your clients and potential clients. To what degree is another uncertainty, so you need to be realistic and expect a drop off in salon appointments.
Plan for this by either increasing your efforts to add value to existing clients and create brand loyalty, or increase marketing efforts and brand awareness for new potential patients. Plan as best as you can for the financial impacts and, if you can, think about retaining more cash reserves in the business than you have in the past.
Wherever possible, keep base costs lean. Hopefully the impact will be small, and, as time moves ahead, we can increase spending and push ahead with growth.
Most importantly, please keep in mind that an initial surge upon reopening is not the new normal. Give it time to stabilise.
On a personal level, please remember to take care of yourselves. The sudden change from inactivity, or at least reduced activity, during lockdown to a high-intensity working environment in uncertain and fluctuating circumstances can cause high levels of stress. I recommend that you carve out some “you time” to allow yourself to relax and decompress; not only will this help your own mental health, but it will also provide you with a clearer mind to make better business decisions.
Many techniques exist to assist with this, but my personal favourites are “grounding” and “the butterfly technique” – look them up on Google. Both are immediate ways to deal with periods of intense stress.
More long-term solutions such as yoga or other calming hobbies are also incredibly beneficial, but whatever you do, remember to schedule this time into your week as what gets scheduled gets done. It is all too easy to just squeeze one more task or client in. If you’re not in the correct frame of mind, you can’t perform.
Phil Elder is a multiple business owner. His portfolio includes Neos Clinic, an aesthetic clinic in Ipswich, and accountancy practice RSZ Accountancy.
How can I incorporate the power of gemstones into treatments authentically?
Minerals have been used since the dawn of time to improve the skin’s appearance. Cleopatra wrapped her body with an ointment of malachite, the sacred stone of Egypt, finely ground in oils.
The properties of minerals have also long been used in Ayurvedic medicine and the Chinese pharmacopoeia. However, it is only recently that cosmetologists have used minerals with a scientific approach for skin problems.
Gems are distinguished by biological activities related to their composition. They are, in fact, the original source of trace elements. Our skin is hungry for minerals, more precisely trace elements, which we cannot produce and that are increasingly difficult to obtain from food and water.
Vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates cannot be metabolised without the enzymatic activation carried out by minerals – vitamin C from citrus fruits, antioxidants from blueberries, lycopene from tomatoes and beta-carotene from vegetables would be of little use to our body without these precious, essential minerals. The vitality of our cells, including skin cells, rely on trace elements which are active at infinitesimal quantities. For example, calcium is indispensable for the action of vitamin C, zinc for vitamin A and magnesium with aB vitamin complex.
Our laboratory has developed a process that allows the extraction of trace elements contained in the minerals into a liquid solution. After a grinding step and “complexation” reactions, we obtain a liquid concentrated at 100% in trace elements that can be incorporated into all types of cosmetic formulations. Each extract is stabilised at skin pH to offer a perfect tolerance and a better bioavailability for a maximum biological activity. Trace elements regulate and catalyse more than 200 skin functions. This is why the mineral world has become an inexhaustible source of cosmetic active ingredients.
Smithsonite zinc promotes keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation. It stimulates fibroblast proliferation, increases production of collagen and elastin by the fibroblasts, acting particularly on lysyl oxidases. In addition, zinc has an anti-inflammatory activity on the skin, which involves several mechanisms.
Copper of malachite, as well as having an antibacterial activity, acts on skin proliferation and has an anti-free-radical action. It activates the Cu-dependent superoxide dismutase present in the epidermis.
Hematite iron is a powerful booster of collagen production. It stimulates the prolyl hydroxylase, which is involved in the first steps of collagen synthesis. Iron from hematite has been shown to increase collagen production by more than 400% in fibroblasts.
Magnesium of peridot is a powerful anti-stress active. It increases production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a molecule that serves as an energy reservoir in our cells. It therefore prevents more than 40% of skin cell ageing induced by external aggressions.
I could say a lot more about trace elements and give examples of silicon from rose quartz or amethyst, chromium from ruby or sodium, and potassium from tourmaline and moonstone. There are so many trace elements that benefit the skin.
Jean Claude Bozou has a PHD in Biology and is scientific director of Gemology Cosmetics.
How can I get the best microneedling results within HEE guidelines?
The academic accreditation originally put forward in 2014 by Health Education England (HEE), which has now been taken over by the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP), states that at Level 4, you can deliver a microneedling treatment to the depth of 0.5mm to the face, and up to 1.0mm to the body. At Level 5, you can deliver up to 1.0mm to the face and up to 1.5mm to the body. At Level 6 or above, you would be subject to clinical oversight, but can deliver up to 1.5mm to the face and up to 2.0mm to the body.
Currently, 0.5mm is classed as cosmetic microneedling, 1.5mm to 2.5mm is considered medical microneedling, and anything more than that is classed as surgical microneedling. So, as aesthetic therapists, I believe we should be using cosmetic needling depths and we can get very good results doing so.
Needling to a depth of no more than 0.5mm with targeted ingredients can improve the skin in many ways. It plays a role in epidermal and dermal interactions, targeting keratinocytes to promote cell cross-talk, and regulate melanocyte and fibroblast function, making it great for targeting hyperpigmentation issues and helping to create collagen.
In terms of needling timeframes, you can microneedle with the trans-epidermal technique for a series of eight treatments, two weeks apart, along with targeted ingredients to work in synergy with the needling. Microneedling can also be safely combined in treatment with superficial peeling pre-microneedling, and LED when following your manufacturer’s protocols.
Cosmetic needling also promotes client comfort and management of downtime after treatment, but clients should avoid creating heat, particularly through exercise or spa facilities such as saunas and steam rooms, for a day afterwards.
There are some key skincare ingredients you should also recommend to help your clients maintain results. Vitamin C is great as it suppresses melanin synthesis in melanocytes, reduces the amount of pre-existing melanin and promotes collagen synthesis, all while protecting against free-radicals.
Niacinamide is another great ingredient that works by inhibiting melanosome transfer, interfering with the interaction between keratinocytes and melanocytes. Additionally, arbutin inhibits tyrosinase activity to help brighten pigmentation.
Jody Adele Taylor is the founder of Skin Deep Clinic and Academy in Doncaster and won Professional Beauty’s Therapist of the Year Award in 2017.
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