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Brits in a chronic inflammation epidemic, finds new study

The UK is in the midst of an unknown epidemic with nearly one in five (18%) British people saying they suffer from chronic inflammation.

But while so many of us suffer, a study by supplements brand Futureyou Cambridge revealed that few take any steps to keep the silent killer at bay.

A huge 81% of Brits admit to having an unhealthy lifestyle, with nearly half (45%) not sleeping well at night, a similar number (43%) feeling constantly stressed and a third (35%) saying they don’t exercise much – all proven contributors to inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is pain and inflammation that can last for months, or even years, and while three in five (62%) Brits are aware it can lead to other much more serious health conditions, a shocking 72% still do absolutely nothing to avoid it.

A huge 39% of British people either suffer from chronic inflammation themselves or have a loved one who does.

When it comes to the type of symptoms sufferers live with, the most common is fatigue (36%), followed by joint pain (35%) and lower back pain (34%).

Newcastle is the UK’s unhealthiest city concerning avoiding inflammation, with 46% regularly drinking alcohol, 45% having poor sleep and 38% eating junk food.

Edinburgh was the UK’s healthiest inflammationavoidance city, with just 33% drinking alcohol regularly, and 15% saying they vape or smoke.

Revealed: best locations in the UK to launch a small businesses

Ceredigion in the west of Wales and Selby in North Yorkshire are the two places where small and medium enterprises (SMEs) including beauty salons are most likely to succeed, according to new data.

Interestingly, no London local authorities ranked in the top 10, while many smaller local authorities thrived.

The research, conducted by business finance provider Qardus, analysed data from the Office for National Statistics to determine where SMEs are thriving and where they are struggling.

The analysis was based on factors including the Active Enterprise Change between 2021-2023, change in the count of births and death of new enterprises 2020-2022, change of high growth enterprises per 1,000, and survival rate of SMEs across three to five years.

Local authorities were then ranked based on their overall score out of 100, with the lowest scores indicating the best conditions for opening a business.

On the other end of the scale, Bromsgrove in Worcestershire is the local authority where SMEs are struggling the most, with a score of 80.75 out of 100, followed by Rochdale in Greater Manchester (69.75 out of 100), then Worcestershire, Bury, Rossendale and Leicester.

News in brief

Galgorm has partnered with Elemis to offer a range of the brand’s products, plus treatments exclusive to Galgorm’s spa. Selected to fit the ethos of Galgorm’s renowned spa facilities, the new partnership combines advanced skincare with skilled therapists.

The iconic ’90s series Gladiators returned to our TV screens in January. To achieve the ultimate in skin fitness, two of its stars – Gladiator Fire, aka Montell Douglas, and Sonia Mkoloma, a referee on the new series –toned and lifted their facial muscles with a CACI Synergy Signature Non-surgical Facial at CACI's London flagship, Lisa Franklin in Knightsbridge.

Skin Philosophy Training is extending its exclusive partnership opportunity to industry suppliers. This collaboration seeks to provide Ofqual-regulated qualifications as part of bundled offerings, alongside equipment and advanced skin treatment sales.

After 16 years, Pure Spa is pulling out of Glasgow’s Silverburn Shopping Centre due to lack of support from the landlords. Owner Becky Lumsden said, “Despite being arguably the most successful business of our type in the UK…unfortunately the economics of retail centres no longer work for us.” The 23-strong spa group will instead focus on hotels and leisure clubs.

Hydropeptide is updating some of its existing product packaging as part of its commitment to sustainability. From Q1 2024, Solar Defense Body, Power Serum, Soothing Serum, and Cleansing Gel will all relaunch in their new retail components.

NHBF paper presses Government to make VAT fairer for beauty industry

A new paper, commissioned by the NHBF, has been published to propose new models for VAT in the UK that would make it easier for salon’s to navigate the threshold.

Currently, 93% of all hair and beauty businesses in the UK operate below the VAT threshold of £85,000 a year, according to the report. Just 5% turn over more than £100,000 a year.

Many deliberately stay below the threshold because the sudden increase in costs is difficult to navigate and disproportionally impacts service businesses.

The independent discussion paper, Avoiding the cliff edge: considering possible options for a VAT threshold smoothing mechanism was created by Pragmatix Advisory for the NHBF.

It sets out options for the future rather than recommending just one solution for a change in the current VAT system.

Options include lowering the VAT rate for certain service industries to 8%, as it is in FInland, and implementing a graduated rate that increases in line with turnover, rather than sticking at 20% for all. 

The paper asserts that these options would lead to less cash-in-hand work being done to avoid VAT, meaning more turnover declared and tax paid. 

Caroline Larissey, chief executive of the NHBF, said, “We have advocated a smoothing mechanism as part of our campaigning on VAT but this is the first time we have set out a range of options for how it could work. The presence of the cliff edge within the current VAT regime incentivises businesses to remain below the threshold, forgo much needed growth and produce a lower tax yield for HM Treasury.”

Demand for body treatments on the rise

There has been a 133% increase in back and booty treatments over the past year, according to Hydrafacial owner Beauty Health.

The findings were release in its inaugural Skintutition Report which also predicted 2024 beauty and skincare trends:

1. Medicalisation of beauty: Consumers seeking the biggest bang for their beauty dollar and efficacy above all will invest in treatments backed by clinical studies.

2. Rise of the influencer: Consumers will increasingly turn to skin health professionals – MDs and estheticians – to help shape their beauty routines.

3. Flawless skin, the ultimate quiet luxury: Impeccable skin will become a statement, signaling an investment of money, time and knowledge in treatments and products.

4. Retro ingredients, new delivery methods: Providers are reaching for tried-and-true ingredients like peptides, finding novelty and efficacy in new formulas. 5. Personalisation powered by data: Data will play a starring role in how products and treatments will be personalised to consumers’ needs.

News in brief

Elemis co-founder Oriele Frank has received an honorary doctorate for her contribution to business and marketing. Frank was awarded the doctorate by her alma mater, Kingston University.

Country house spa hotel South Lodge in Horsham is set to celebrate the evolving seasons with new nature retreats combining sensual immersion, stillness practice and guided meditation. These seasonal immersive spa experiences invite guests to switch off from the everyday and switch on their senses.

Wellness destination Grey Wolfe in Barnes, London, has transitioned to a private members club. The club will offer a range of bio-technology and attuned massages, along with mindful movement, nutrition and more to take care of members’ physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.

North Lakes Hotel and Spa in the Lake District is now offering touch-free massage with the Wave Touch Massage treatment. As more spas seek touchless solutions for their guests, the treatment transports spa-goers into a realm of relaxation.

Luxury Family Hotels has launched Little Ishga spa treatments across its portfolio. The spa treatments for children aged 3-16 use Ishga’s Little Ishga natural, organic products, which are designed especially for young, sensitive skin.

Tommy’s charity to provide free workplace pregnancy training to spas and salons

The UK Spa Association has partnered with national pregnancy and baby-loss charity Tommy’s to offer spas free access to Tommy’s e-training and resource programme, Pregnancy and Parenting at Work (PPAW).

Tommy’s is also offering the training free to non UKSA members in the beauty industry, providing they have fewer than 250 employees.

PPAW provides training, guidance and templates to support people in the workplace through fertility treatment, pregnancy and new parenting, including the one in four pregnancies that end in loss.

Its e-training and conversation simulator is designed to give managers insight into what their employee might be going through and improve the way they communicate and provide support. Find out more at

Beauty industry pays tribute to Nicola Fisher

The beauty industry has paid tribute to Nicola Fisher, managing director of beauty distribution company French Beauty Expert, who died on January 11.

Nicola had worked in the beauty industry for more than 20 years.

With French Beauty Expert, she oversaw the UK distribution and management of brands including Fake Bake, Matis Paris, Phyt’s, Bionatural, Smooth Synergy, Clinisept and Clinisoothe, driving growth for them across the UK and Ireland markets.

Prior to working with product brands, Fisher was a salon owner herself for many years. 

She is survived by her husband Peter Fisher, finance director at French Beauty Expert.

Medik8 achieves B Corp status

British skincare brand, Medik8 has achieved B Corp status, joining only 65 other beauty organisations in the world.

“Setting B Corp as a goal galvanised our entire company and workforce to become the best company we can be,” says Alexandra Florea, head of sustainability at Medik8.

“It means we’re part of a global community of businesses that continue to lead in high standards of social and environmental impact.”

Diary dates

// February 1–3

IMCAS Annual World Congress

Palais des Congrès, Paris

International expo covering aesthetic procedures. 

+33 (0) 140 738 282

// February 19-20

Professional Beauty Dubai

Festival Arena, Dubai

The biggest industry event in Dubai includes live stages, workshops and competitions.

+971 (0) 4375 7300

// March 3

Professional Beauty and World Spa & Wellness Awards 2024

The Brewery London

Celebrating the top UK salons, spas, clinics, teams and individuals.

020 7351 0536

// March 3–4

Professional Beauty London 2024

ExCeL London

PB London returns with stellar education, competitions, networking opportunities and some of the industry’s biggest brands.

0344 443 4411

// March 3–4

World Spa & Wellness Convention

ExCeL London

A global networking event for spas, hotels and wellness professionals taking place alongside PB London.

0344 443 4411

// March 22–24

Beauty Düsseldorf

Messe Düsseldorf

A trade fair for beauty, aesthetics, nails and spa.

+49 (0) 211 4560 7600

Hypo21 secures approval from MHRA

Hypo21’s range of hypochlorous acid (HOCl) products has obtained registration with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK, making it the first pure HOCl skin spray to achieve this status.

Hypo21 founder Nikki Madani said, “Not only have our products met all the necessary safety standards for cosmetics in the UK and Europe, but due to exceptional results achieved through the use of Hypo21, we are proud that our range has now attained the status of a medical device.”

Alongside its MHRA registration, Hypo21 has been recognised by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) for Europe, and also carries the CE marking, signifying conformity with European Union regulations and standards.

Madani added, “This was two years of dedicated hard work and reaffirms our dedication to skincare solutions that go above and beyond industry standards.”

Advanced Esthetics Solutions ceases trading

Aesthetic device distributor Advanced Esthetics Solutions (AES) closed its doors in December. 

A company statement on LinkedIn said, “It is with a heavy heart and great sadness we announce the immediate closure of AES.”

AES cited the advanced health complications of managing director Douglas Sykes as the primary reason for the sudden shutdown.

The announcement expressed gratitude to the team, manufacturing partners, clients and business associates, acknowledging their role in the company’s success.

“We appreciate the industry for some of the best years of our lives, delivering the latest in results-driven aesthetic treatments,” the statement said.

AES entered the market with fat-reduction device Lipofirm 13 years ago and grew over the past 13 years to represent numerous devices including Divine Pro, Geneo X and Reverso.

Intercontinental London -The O2 increases spa booking value by 38% with new solutions

Intercontinental London -The O2 has increased the performance of its spa by improving its digital booking system with the integration of Premier Software and Onejourney.

Since implementing the new booking platform, the hotel has seen a 30% increase in average products per booking, 38% increase in appointment value with a 60% increase in package deposits over six months.

The integration of online retail platform Onejourney with its existing Premier Software has made it simpler for the spa’s team to create new packages. 

This article appears in February 2024

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February 2024
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Editor's comment
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