Over the past six years specialising in medi-aesthetics media (and indeed for some years prior to that as an avid consumer) I have taken advantage of all manner of rejuvenation and corrective technology-based treatments ‘ laser, IPL, LED, radiofrequency and ultrasound devices, microdermabrasion and micro-needling, acid and enzyme peels, not to mention dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
They all work, with varying degrees of effectiveness depending on the sophistication of the machine or product and the skill and knowledge of the practitioner/therapist.
But what these treatments don’t usually offer is the personal touch (besides, they can be damned uncomfortable – albeit the results are worth it).
There’s nothing that can really replace the hands-on factor to create a bond between practitioner/therapist and client and to induce a profound sense of relaxation and wellbeing.
Facial treatments incorporating specialised massage techniques are enjoying a renaissance – not instead of technology-based procedures but as an essential complement to them. The feelgood factor they generate – literally – is guaranteed to keep you in touch with your clients on a more regular basis.
I have recently experienced two such treatments and there’s no turning back for me now.
I will of course continue to enjoy what technology has to offer, but I will also seek out treatments incorporating facial massage on a regular basis … not the kind that offers a few minutes of frustratingly flimsy little butterfly strokes, but serious massage performed by therapists who truly understand facial anatomy, whose magic hands give the facial muscles a real workout while stimulating lymphatic drainage to flush out toxins and promote circulation for a radiant glow. Not to mention send me into a state of utter bliss.
I was lucky enough to be given the Elizabeth Arden Pro Prescription Facial Treatment recently by British-based Tracy May-Harriott, International Director of Education and Business Development for the brand.
The EA Pro products used throughout are, of course, exceptional but the facial massage was simply to-die-for. Tracy visited Australia last month to train Australian therapists in the treatment’s protocol, including this wondrous massage technique (we will go into more detail about the protocol in the next issue of SPA+CLINIC in July).
Not only was it sublime on every level, I looked as if I’d benefited from an expertly injected course of dermal fillers. My face looked distinctly lifted and more volumised in the all-important mid-cheek area, as well as the fact my skin tone was lighter, brighter and the texture smoother.
It released all the tension in my face, neck and shoulders – I didn’t realise just how tense my face was until Tracy worked her magic. I looked so much ‘brighter’ and more ‘alert’ – and overall the sense of relaxation was profound.
Let’s face it, no number of treatments or products will really do the trick if a person is chronically stressed and tired.
I had an equally blissful experience a few weeks prior to that at the hands of Anna Zaccomer, manager of the SK Skin Clinic and Day Spa in the Sydney suburb of Ryde.
The treatment (well, two in one, actually) was the sublime Skeyndor Power Retinol Facial combined with the Power Hyaluronic Eyes and Lashes treatment. Again, the products used in-treatment and subsequently in my home care routine are superb, but Anna’s signature ‘pinching’ and ‘kneading’ acupressure movements really revved up the results. The person who looked in the mirror after near 90-minutes of TLC looked about 90 years younger. (More of the Skeyndor facial treatment protocols in the next issue of SPA+CLINIC.)
Part of the reason we are literally losing touch with clients is because of their high expectation of getting virtually instant, visible result, according to Matoyla Kollaras, director of Skin Factors, distributor in Australia of Christina Cosmeceuticals and Ahava Dead Sea products.
‘Today’s clients are seeking value for money, with products and treatments that deliver visible results,’ she says. ‘As a result, many salons and clinics are turning to non-surgical cosmetic procedures. While these procedures are important, we believe they are no more important than the traditional hands-on treatments.
‘We work long hours, and our weekends are gobbled up with shopping and domestic chores, with little time for self. A visit to a salon, spa or clinic for some pampering may be a client’s only chance to escape and wind down.
‘People love to be pampered; relax and seek solace in a caring, warm environment. Sometimes people just need to talk to someone away from their friends and family, and beauty and skin therapists often find themselves in the role of proxy psychotherapists.
‘Also, clients for whom peels and laser etc are not suitable can be treated with traditional – and very effective – face and body care treatments.
‘If your business only offers high-end technology-based treatments, how will you safely treat clients with rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, pregnant clients, or those with systemic diseases such as MS, lupus, cancer and diabetes?’
Gabby Samra, of Luxe Skincare, says: ‘As a therapist, I feel we are at a turning point in the industry regarding to hands-on treatments.
‘Too often salons and skin therapists are turning to machinery to do the jobs we once did successfully, and I am not sure this is having a positive effect on our clients.’
There is nothing more rewarding than being able to solve someone’s skin concerns. Not only does it build rapport and trust with clientele but it also has a nurturing and caring effect.
Clients come to see YOU. Touch is one of the most important senses for a human being. Your technique with your cleanse, massage and so forth can be what makes or breaks a potential repeat client.