It's daunting. I get it. You know you want to perform Korean skincare treatments, but there are so many products and distributors! How much it too to spend on backbar products? What do I really need to get started? Do I carry separate retail and backbar products?...seems like a lot of money...
Based on our 3+ years in the distribution business and working with countless esthis--both established and starting--here is what we recommend to the newly licensed, the esthi opening her/his own space, or the spa wanting to diversify.
First, The Considerations
What type of clients/services do you anticipate? If you're in a college area, for example, investing in a lot of anti-aging products (in the beginning) might not be as wise as investing in acne or lash/brow services. Research your area. What types of services are others offering? Use that to diversify yourself. Maybe there's a treatment that would stand out from the others.
It also could be helpful to think of some menu offerings, and then pick products that can be used in several of them. This might be a more pragmatic way to decide on products. In short, establish your menu offerings first, and then pick products to fit.
1. Versatile, from beginning-to-end, backbar facial products. In other words, products that you can perform a full "relaxing/hydrating" facial. We like the Fau Pumpkin line, as it's a full treatment, offers great results, and can be used on many types of skin. The sizes are also very large, so perfect for backbar (more complete protocols coming from Fau soon, too!) Or the Bravity Stemcell products, as they're a complete treatment and can be retailed. Here's an example of what that treatment might look like.
There are other variations that can be made for the protocols, too.
2. An Acne Treatment. We love The Omega Green Treatment Protocol. This treatment uses chlorophyllin copper complex and pure allantoin powder to accelerate the healing process. We use this as our Step 1 acne treatment and for anyone with rosacea or in need of barrier repair. It's pretty versatile. It requires LED, so that's something to keep in mind if that's not a possibility. With time, you may decide to invest in brand-specific acne protocols, but this is a great treatment to offer for results and uniqueness. It's a bestseller for a reason!
3. Several superficial or medium depth exfoliating peels to provide pigmentation, aging, and skin clearing results without concentrating too much on aggressive peels or niche, brand-specific peels.
Zena's Lactic 30 pH 3 provides hydration, a gentle exfoliation, and has proven brightening effects. Can be used as a stand-alone protocol with multiple layers, or as a facial treatment with 1 layer.
Zena's Mandelic 15 pH 2.4 is known for its treatment of acne, especially in skin prone to PIH.
Fau's Bakuchiol Peel harnesses the antioxidant effect of bakuchiol, an anti-aging ingredient and promotes collagen synthesis and skin regeneration just like retinol. Can be used in combination with a facial treatment and with dermaplaning. Pregnancy safe.
4. Concentrated professional serums/ampoules to target specific skin concerns. Zena's ampoules are our go-to, due to their simple, effective ingredients. Most use a needling device (like our Reset Dermal Needling Pen) to either nano needle or microchannel into the skin. I want to be clear, an additional device isn't required, but it does increase the serum's efficacy by increasing penetration. A needling pen that can microneedle or nano needle is ideal, because it accounts for changing state esthetics rules. Similarly, any other modality that aids in product penetration would work, too. The Zena serums can be kept in a beauty fridge for up to 3 months once opened, making the likelihood of waste low.
Of course, there are countless recommendations I could make based on so many considerations, but this is a great starting point, and will allow you to treat a variety of skin in a plethora of ways. My mind is spinning thinking of the possible customizations that could be made with just these products (Bakuchiol Peel, Nano needle the Zena's Botox Alternative ampoule, seal it in with the Pumpkin Modeling Mask over top). This would provide a great plumping/lifting effect and improve skin's texture.
I hope this helps! I know, it's a lot! But so exciting. Start slow and know that not all decisions need to be made at once, and sleeping on it is never a bad idea. =)
In skincare & business (with a budget in mind),