ASK THE experts |

9 mins

ASK THE experts

Can I spray tan clients who have psoriasis?

Dihydrox yacetone (DHA) is the active ingredient within self-tanners and spray tan solutions, and this is the ingredient that reacts with the proteins on the surface of the skin to cause the browning effect.

The only ingredient to avoid when tanning clients with psoriasis is alcohol, which is normally found in canned tanning products. This should only be avoided because it contributes to a drying effect on the skin, which can aggravate psoriasis. If clients are prone to psoriasis, then they should avoid tanning during a flare up because the product can aggravate and dry the skin cells when reacting to create the tan.

Some clients I have tanned have fed back to me that tanning products containing aloe vera can be quite soothing and that tanning has helped camouflage the condition, contributing to their own body positivity.

If a spray tan has not agreed with the condition, clients could opt for trying a gentle gradual tan. If self-tanning is aggravating the skin, then clients should avoid DHA products and experiment with body make-up and wash-away tans that can be cleaned off instantly.

Tanning therapists should always give their clients good preparation advice because good prep is essential for smooth and authentic tanning results. Clients who have psoriasis should exfoliate with a gentle product and concentrate on built-up, coarser skin. Then they need to keep the skin heavily hydrated up until the day of tan application.

Therapists need to get as much information about the client’s skin as possible during the consultation. Pay particular attention to applying an oil-free barrier cream to affected areas of psoriasis. Try dabbing small flare ups using a cot ton bud, and ensure that you use a tanning solution that’s not too high in DHA so that it’s not too dehydrating.

Aftercare is the same as it is for all clients – they should rinse in a warm shower and pat gently with a soft towel. Clients should moisturise generously with products that a ren’t too rich or but ter y. Working in a medicated talc around the chest and creases with a soft make-up brush will help keep the tan intact and prevent it from flaking off prematurely.

James Harknett is a tanning expert with over 20 years’ experience working with celebrity clients and some of the world’s biggest brands. Harknett has a residency at Away Spa at W London and is a brand ambassador for Fake Bake.

How can I speed up my waxing technique?

Beauty is a fabulous but competitive industry, so in order to stay in the lead and keep your clients, you must constantly invest in yourself and your business.

Choose a premium product – superior quality waxes have a better formula, are much more elastic and flexible, and dry faster. A good product will apply evenly and with ease, without sliding off the skin or creating strings.

Smooth application will reduce the time of your work. Higher quality wax grips the hair better and, as a result, will allow you to remove all the hair with fewer applications, making your treatment quicker and with the best results for your client. Premium product distributors always offer training and support because it is especially important to use the product correctly.

Prepare the skin – always clean and protect the skin. Taking off any residue of creams, oil and dirt will allow you to apply wax evenly throughout the entire treatment, which will in turn allow you to remove hair quicker and more efficiently without compromising on the quality of the treatment. Using pre -waxing products will protect the skin from any skin lifting or pulling in case you need to go over the same area twice.

Mirror using hot wax – to speed up the treatment, a good technique is to mirror your patch application on both sides of the body. You can apply four to six patches of hot wax, and by the time the last one is applied, the first is dry and ready to be removed. Repeating this pattern will decrease your treatment time.

Use rollers instead of spatulas – using rollers with strip wax cartridges instead of spatula application will save you lots of treatment time.

Rollers are more efficient and easier to use, and the wax is distributed evenly without any dripping or spillages. You can cover a bigger area of the body with one application and remove the hair quicker.

Multitask – to speed up your waxing technique without compromising on results, you can multitask during your waxing treatments. If you’re using a hot and strip wax, use both at the same time. For example, if you are doing a service of Hollywood hot wax and full-leg strip wax, while the patches of hot wax are drying, you can wax the inner part of the leg.

Practice makes perfect – every therapist will develop their own waxing techniques. It is normally a mixture of what you learn at college, courses and work, along with what feels comfortable and easier for you.

It is very important to practise your techniques on different people and adapt them to your clients’ needs. During your work as a waxing therapist, you are going to better yourself, your movements will become faster and more confident, and your returning and requested clients will be the best compliment you ever get.

Don’t miss Lampard’s demo on how to speed up your wax technique without compromising results at Professional Beauty London 2023 – visit the Trends and Techniques stage at 1pm on Sunday, March 5. Book

Olga Lampard is a waxing specialist and trainer. She runs Luxury Wax Bar, a group of three specialist salons in central London, and is head trainer for Italwax.

What are the steps to creating a successful lash business?

I’ve learned from over 20 years’ experience in eyelash extensions and my advice is, first and foremost, get trained with a reputable company – do your research to gauge what is available.

Stay in the loop with professional launches by visiting beauty exhibitions. I passionately believe that good-quality education for both professionals and clients can create a better understanding of what is available.

Also, make sure you do research on beauty insurance to cover all your liabilities. When it comes to treatments, a patch test prior to the treatment is a must – all of the insurance companies require this but it’s a step that is often missed.

To create results that will keep clients coming back for more, use your consultations to ask what their goals are and how they wear their make-up on a daily basis.

To get a better idea for your lash mapping, ask more questions – for example, what’s the reason they are having their lashes done? Is it for a wedding, a holiday or just everyday wear? Every client has individual preferences and mapping helps to reach the desired effect. You can offer all sorts of curls, thicknesses, lengths and maybe even different lash colours – it really helps to have big range of lash products to work with.

It ’s also important to properly educate clients on aftercare, including how to shampoo or wash their lashes. I give them a mascara brush to take home with them so that they can brush their lashes every day. I also advise on which eye make-up removal to use and instruct them to avoid oil around the eye area.

“To get a BETTER IDEA for your lash mapping, ASK MORE QUESTIONS – what’s the reason they are having their L ASHES DONE? Is it for a wedding, a holiday or just EVERYDAY WEAR?”

Keep a record of the client’s treatment, along with any little notes you have made so that you can remember what you did for their next treatment.

Try to book the client in for infills before they leave, and because reviews are so vital for bringing in new clients, don’t be afraid to ask to take some photos for your own records and to share own social media (with their permission).

Don’t miss Vaghela’s talk on how to do lash mapping at Professional Beauty London 2023 – visit the Trends and Techniques stage at 3pm on Sunday, March 5. Book at

“Lash queen” Daxita Vaghela is one of London’s hottest beauty bookings and can be found in her beauty clinic at Atherton Cox, London, and also weekly at the exclusive Beauty Lounge in Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge.

Should I offer facial massage as a treatment?

The ageing process is multifaceted, and while there are plenty of things you can do to slow down the effects, it’s important to remember that there’s no one magic method or product that does everything for our ageing faces.

I love a scientific ingredient and an amazing piece of machinery, but my clinical practice would not be what it is today without including face massage through my Rejuvology methods. This is something that gained me industry awards and praise from the press.

Let me be totally clear: face massage will not do what a skin peel can do, nor will it tighten a face like radiofrequency, reduce the appearance of wrinkles like needling, or get rid of thread veins and pigmentation like IPL and laser. However, face massage is what can really elevate a treatment to an experience that will keep your clients wanting more.

Some of the benefits of face massage include:

• Stimulate blood flow – the physical method of massaging will have this effect. Where we have an increase in blood flow, there is a natural rejuvenation effect which can take place as blood flow is increased, fresh nutrients are delivered to cells and tissue health is improved.

• Increase lymphatic flow and drainage – where the massage is more vigorous and deeper, there is a natural increase in the lymphatic flow as the tissue is manipulated and blood flow increased.

For more specific lymphatic drainage, a much more subtle method such as manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is required.

• Reduce puffiness – MLD is a medically recognised treatment for the movement of lymphatic fluid. Because the lymphatic system is part of the body’s waste disposal system, there is naturally a speed up in the removal of toxins.

• Oxygenation of cells – when the function of blood vessels is decreased, oxygen and nutrients cannot be delivered to every part of the body, causing cell functions to decrease. Physical massage stimulates blood flow, increasing cell oxygenation.

• Ease muscle tension – when the massage is deeper we are working on muscles and fascia. We hold a lot of tension in our facial expressions, and massage is one of the most effective methods to ease this tension.

• Temporary lifting and reduced appearance of lines and wrinkles – many clients have an immediate lifting of the facial contours and softening of expression lines, which can last days.

Then there are the not so visible but still hugely beneficial aspects of face massage, which include stress reduction, improved sleep, support in the treatment of depression and low mood, increased energy and boosted confidence. All of these aspects work as a standalone treatment as well as benefiting all the skincare and technology you might already be using in your business.

Abigail James is hosting the Skin and Advanced Treatments stage at PB London, and will present on ‘Combining facial massage with advanced treatment techniques’ on Monday, March 6. Book at

Abigail James is an aesthetician, skincare and wellbeing expert, author and yogi. She has been sharing her face treatment methods worldwide for over 20 years, online and at her London clinic. She also offers professional training for her Rejuvology methods.


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This article appears in March 2023

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