If you attended Professional Beauty London in April, you’ll have noticed a real buzz around the aesthetics stands and seminars, with fellow beauty pros keen to learn all there is to know about the booming world of aesthetic devices.
Indeed, aesthetic body treatments are having a real moment right now, with more industry professionals wanting a slice of the lucrative pie than ever before – and in turn, more clients are booking in for aesthetic procedures on their body.
“Since the pandemic began I’ve definitely seen a rise in interest in clients booking in for body treatments,” says Vanessa Brown, managing director of PB Award-winning salon VL Aesthetics in Carlisle. “Clients are more in tune with their overall image and health and, in turn, they are looking for ways to improve their body and health.”
Nurse Dawn Attewell, clinical director at Dawn Attewell Aesthetics at Therapy House near Blackpool, has noticed the surge in interest too. “Non-surgical body treatments tend to be a very popular option, with many clients taking advantage of advances in technology. No matter what a client is looking to achieve, almost anything is possible with the vast array of aesthetic treatments available,” she says.
So why the boost in popularity of aesthetic treatments for the body, and who is most frequently booking in?
Attewell believes it’s because non-surgical procedures for the body can achieve results akin to those created by surgeons without lengthy appointments or prolonged recovery time, making them more convenient.
As for the age groups booking in, it’s a big pool. Lorraine Hill, owner of the Hampton Clinic, which is finalist in the new Skin Clinic of the Year category at the Professional Beauty Awards 2022, says that clients aged between 30 and 60 tend to seek out body treatments most, but she has had clients up to 92 showing interest.
It’s 35 and overs booking in for aesthetic body procedures with Vanessa Brown, who says: “We typically treat clients ages 35 plus, but the 18 to 30 market is growing too, looking for procedures such as non-invasive bum lifts.”
With a growing, lucrative market such as body aesthetics, it’s tempting to jump on the bandwagon, adding another string to your beauty salon’s bow, but with tighter regulations on aesthetic treatments set to be brought in by Government, knowing which device to invest in, and which is best suited to your business and clients can be tricky.
We caught up with body aesthetics experts for their insider intel on the best devices to invest in, and how to know which ones will suit your salon.
Buyer’s Guide: foolproof advice for aesthetic devices
1 Check clinical research
“It’s important to make sure any device you’re investing in has the necessary clinical and scientific research to back up what it says it does,” cautions Brown. “There are far too many devices on the market that simply do not work or are not FDA cleared, but people buy into their marketing.” Hill agrees, adding: “Anyone offering aesthetic body procedures should conduct research to ensure they’re offering a safe treatment with significant likelihood of results.”
2 Talk to industry colleagues
Check what your fellow beauty pros offer in their salons and what their clients book in for, as well as which treatments they say deliver the most impressive results. Someone who works in the industry is often a more reliable source than the sales person marketing devices to you.
3 Check there’s client demand
No matter the device you purchase, make sure there’s demand for it among your clients, advises Brown. “Conduct a client survey to find out what clients think is missing from your offering and consider training in this.”
Ask your clients if there are treatments they book in for elsewhere that you could offer in your salon, or check gaps in the market in your local area. If no local salons are offering a specific treatment, it could be a window of opportunity for you – or it could be because there’s not a demand. Do your research before investing.
4 Consider what you’re qualified to offer
Remember there’s a disparity between the procedures that beauty therapists can conduct and the treatments that medical professionals can offer. “Beauty therapists are limited in the treatments they can provide because it is impossible for legislation to say whether their services and environments are safe compared to medical clinics,” advises Attewell.
With this in mind, automated machines can be a great option for beauty therapists looking to make their first move into the world of aesthetic devices, so…
5 Consider automated machines
Anything that is automated can be easily performed by most beauty therapists,” says Brown “However, anything that requires additional skill such as radiofrequency skin tightening procedures should be performed by a therapist who has a Level 4 qualification.
“This is due to potential harm you could cause a client if you’re not careful. Any injectables such as fat dissolving should be left to medical professionals,” Brown adds.
6 Look for multifunctional devices
Attewell recommends looking out for multipurpose devices when you’re shopping around for a machine to suit your salon. “A multifunctional device allows you to perform several treatments without having to purchase several devices,” she adds. It can also be a great way to test the water with a range of technologies before specialising.
Which device is right for my business?
To treat cellulite: try shockwave therapy
“Shockwave therapy accelerates the healing process in the body by stimulating the metabolism and enhancing blood circulation to regenerate damaged tissue,” explains Attewell. “Strong energy pulses are applied to the affected area. The pulses occur for short periods of time, creating micro-cavitation bubbles that expand and burst.”
Shockwave therapy is the best option for patients wanting to blast cellulite, adds Brown. “In my opinion, it is one of the best technologies, when combined with radiofrequency, to break up cellulite,” she says. The benefits of shockwave therapy are often experienced after one or two treatments.
Cavitation can also be effective on cellulite. It uses ultrasonic vibrations to apply pressure on fat cells, causing them to break down into liquid form and pass out from the body through urine.
Attewell cautions that cavitation alone won’t work for fat loss, and it is better used for reducing cellulite, improving body shape and contouring curves.
For muscle definition: try EMS
“Electric muscle stimulation (EMS) stimulates a muscle contraction using electrical impulses,” explains Dr Usman Quereshi, founder of Luxe Skin by Dr Q in Glasgow. “EMS strengthens weak muscles and reduces swelling and pain.”
Hill combines EMS with radiofrequency, to tone the muscles and encourage fat loss too. “It’s excellent for tackling poor tummy tone, loose skin and unwanted fat,” she says.
EMS is great for patients who would like more muscle definition or who don’t have time to train their muscles, adds Brown, “although it’s not suitable for individuals with a high body fat percentage, as you need to break down the fat first.”
With this in mind, it’s best suited for clients who are relatively active but would like more definition. Brown says her clients are fans of the treatment for a bum lift look.
For fat loss: try cryolipolysis
This is the go-to treatment to target stubborn areas of unwanted fat and to sculpt the body, explains Hill. “The ideal candidate is within two stone of their goal weight rather than more significantly overweight,” she continues.
“Larger clients can still benefit, as repeated treatments can de-bulk the same area bit by bit. However, they would need to commit to the duration and the cost which may be significant.
“Cryolipolysis is great for those clients who want a one-off treatment with no downtime. The results are hard to predict, with an average fat loss of 28% and a range between 20 and 40% or, visually, half the fat roll. We do occasionally see poor responders, losing less than this and ‘super responders’ who lose more.”
For skin tightening: try radiofrequency
“Radiofrequency is fantastic for skin tightening,” says Brown. She adds that it’s particularly effective for clients post pregnancy or those who have loose skin due to ageing and loss of collagen production.
Dr Qureshi rates radiofrequency for diminishing cellulite, for toned, firmed and youthful-looking skin. Kim Kardashian, for example, reportedly had radiofrequency combined with microneedling to tone her post-baby stomach. The lack of downtime makes this a good option for pain-sensitive clients.
To treat jowls: try HIFU
HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound) uses ultrasound energy to tighten skin, and according to Attewell, is an alternative to facelifts. It uses ultrasound energy to increase production of collagen, enhancing the jawline for clients who want to target jowls.
Hill says HIFU works best for clients who are a little heavier on the face and jowls, but points out: “Client selection is critical for optimum results. “Anyone who is too old or too heavy on the jowls may not see significant results compared to younger clients.”
HIFU is also frequently used for body contouring, to help detroy fat on a localised area such as the stomach or thighs.