August 2009

Lisa Kind - Editor

Esthetic Endeavors | by Judith Culp


Is Stress the Magic Key?

Periodically you have to ask yourself, “Are the services we currently offer as popular as they were a year ago?”

It’s certainly a time when most of us are taking a second look at the services and products we are offering and doing serious re-evaluation. This is really something that needs to be done on an annual basis. Have the demand for them grown, shrunk or stayed about the same?

This knowledge gives us valuable information about the direction we are headed in the future. It’s also an issue that taking the time to do this right now may be more difficult.

If a business has felt negative economic impact then the owners may cut extraneous spending and may be trying to do more themselves instead of paying for it to be done. So we are working more hours, spread thinner and making less money.

Whoa! Wait!! This doesn’t sound like fun. It sounds like stress. STRESS. There in lies a magic word that we can use to recreate ourselves and improve our future. What do stressed people need? We need to be de-stressed, relaxed and taken care of. We need products and services to help us accomplish this.

If anyone knows a client who is not more stressed today than they were a year ago, please email me and let me know. I’d like to meet this person.

This stress creates its own demand for our services. Sure they want to have services that produce results, but they also need to de-stress. For the client to look their best and feel their best we can pamper them and offer ways to make them feel cared for or that their lives will be much easier. This can be achieved in multiple ways.

Stress-reduction treatments

Start by developing a menu item specifically designed to reduce clients’ stress. This might be a pampering facial just focusing on relaxing massage and soothing products. Or, it might be using anti-stress, anti-aging products so when the client completes their service they are not only relaxed but their skin looks and feels more youthful. These treatments trigger the need for home care products to continue improvement and achieve long term goals of looking younger.

Another treatment might be energy balancing incorporating floral waters, chakra gemstones and Reiki therapy. Reiki and alternative energy management are some of the fastest growing areas of renewed interest. It isn’t surprising due to not only their effectiveness but the new focus on alternative, more “natural” health modalities. These treatments may create the demand for home care items that the client can employ to keep stress down. Crystals, floral waters, tinctures, relaxation music, soy candles, and other items can become great impulse items for the client.

Don’t overlook Ayurveda.

The most relaxing treatment I have ever had was Shirodarah. This is the procedure where warm oil is streamed over the third eye and it is mesmerizing. One loses the ability to continue to focus on stressors during the treatment.

Ambiance and the appropriate skills are essential. It can be incorporated into most treatment spaces and the set-up costs are like nothing compared to most of our technology. This could be done as a stand-alone service or incorporated with other treatments. It is always suggested that it be the last service performed and the client should be allowed to slowly come back to reality rather than rushed out the door.

Marma point massage is another Ayurvedic service that is very relaxing. There are treatment protocols out there that focus on the head and neck. This could be offered prior to the Shirodarah or as a stand alone treatment.

Rose essential oil and rose quartz stones are both known to have many favorable attributes for stressed females. Put together a rose and rose quartz facial service incorporating your favorite products. My personal favorite for a rose essential oil is Rose Otto from Bulgaria. I think it has a more true rose scent and may actually be less expensive than some others. For summer use your stones at room temperature and they will impart a delightfully cooling sensation.

Do you have some great smelling items the client can purchase to keep the ambiance you have created going? Essential oil enhanced lotions or body care that helps them get back to the natural is great. Everyone is jumping on this bandwagon.

Did you know all those fabulous wineries are starting to add great smelling body products that tout the benefits of the grapes included in them? Anyone located in areas where wine growing is a popular thing may want to add some of these lotions for home care or gift giving. The manufacturer knows that a great smelling lotion sells because of how it makes the client feel physically and emotionally. It can be very relaxing – and de-stressing.

We can reduce our own stress by offering services and products that de-stress clients, make their lives simpler and protect them in a way that helps them emotionally and physically. It’s a win-win solution.

Judith Culp, a CIDESCO Diplomat has been in the esthetics industry since 1980. A CPCP permanent makeup technician for over 18 years she served a 4-year term as a Director for the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals, two years as their president. She is president of Culp Enterprises Inc. and CEO of NW Institute of Esthetics. Judy Culp is available for consulting. For more information visit