Choosing an Organic Skin Care Line
by Alexis Ufland
Maintaining beauty and youthfulness is a daily preoccupation for many women and men. Environmental exposure, lifestyle choices, normal chronology and many other factors all take their toll on the aging process of our skin—and most appearance-conscious people are eager for ways to effectively turn back the clock. So it’s no surprise that millions of dollars in research and testing have helped to create mass market, anti–aging skin care products. But when research also unearths the frightening fact that parabens (the most commonly used preservative) have been found in breast cancer tumors*, it sparks understandable concern. In this climate, it’s easy to see why organic skin care products hold a ready niche for beauty consumers intent on both looking good and treating their bodies well.
The concept of organic skin care seems simple enough. The reality is somewhat more complex. Creating, packaging and shipping skin care can require a lot of synthetic support. Today’s consumer holds higher expectations of the products and services they purchase. Likewise, spa owners need to have similarly high standards of excellence from the vendors they choose to patronize.
When committing to skin care vendors, smart spa owners are seeking those who are devoted to eco-friendly practices through every phase of the production and distribution cycles. This includes sourcing ingredients from fair trade and bio-dynamic farms; packaging products using recycled, recyclable and bio-degradable containers; and finally, delivering products in bio-diesel vehicles.
Medical science tells us we absorb 60-70% of everything applied to our skin, and there is mounting evidence that chemical pesticides, synthetics and petroleum products can ill effects on our bodies. So the most eco-vigilant spas seek product lines that use innovative technologies to develop organic, biodynamic skin care formulas that are paraben-free. Here are a few tips on what to look for—and what to avoid—when selecting a skin care line of your own.
What does Organic and Biodynamic mean?
Organic products are made with ingredients grown without any synthetic chemicals, sewage sludge or GMOs (genetically modified organisms)—and they are third-party certified. "Certified organic" means that an official certifying agency has approved that the producer has grown and handled all ingredients with an adherence to strict procedures.
Biodynamic® agriculture is a method of organic farming that treats farms as unified and individual organisms—respecting the holistic interrelationship of soil, plants, and animals as a closed, self-nourishing system. Biodynamic farming embraces organic agriculture's emphasis on manures and composts; it excludes the use of artificial chemicals on living organisms. While implementing organic practices such as crop rotation and composting, biodynamic farmers also rely on special plant, animal and mineral preparations—along with the rhythmic influences of the sun, moon, planets and stars. Biodynamic farming is an approach based on the work of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner.
What is a Paraben?
In simplest terms, parabens are chemicals that operate as preservatives to extend a product’s shelf life by warding off bacterial growth. They fall into a family of chemicals known as alkyl esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid. Many researchers believe parabens contribute to the increasing incidences of breast cancer, low sperm count and other estrogen-influenced medical problems in humans.
Accordingly, try to avoid these commonly used Parabens:
Look for these organic and natural alternatives instead:
Citrus Seed Extract
Benzoic and Sorbic Acid
Vitamin A, C & E
How can I tell if it is truly organic?
When selecting an organic skin care line, look for products that meet both the European and United States national certifications standards for organic personal care products. Currently, the top U.K. certification is handled by the Soil Association, while France relies on the Ecocert. Both certification standards act as benchmarks to the newly-created US certifications—which presently include OASIS, NSF & Certech.
Look for these labels when selecting a skin care line:
ECOCERT: ECOCERT is an inspection and certification bodywhich operates offices in 18 nations worldwide, carrying out work in over 90 countries; their activities are governed accordingly by public authorities and legislation. ECOCERT has developed rigorous standards that allow companies to promote environmental practices and manufacture organic products in tandem with certain eco-friendly guidelines. One of ECOCERT’S main objectives is to promote ingredients that originate from organic farming. The ECOCERT stamp, an imprimatur of global esteem, is a mark of international credibility; the certification reassures both consumers and the organic industry that a particular skin care product has complied with the most rigorous standards of eco-consciousness.
Soil Association: This organization is the UK's leading environmental charity promoting sustainable, organic farming and championing human health. There are three levels of labeling:
Products comprised of 100% organic ingredients.
Products made with 95% organic ingredients, allowing up to 5% of synthetic ingredients from a restricted list.
Products containing between 70% to 90% organic ingredients, in which the actual percentage is duly noted on the label.
OASIS: The OASIS certification will be conducted by International Cosmetics & Regulatory Specialists L.L.C., an independent certifier complying with standards developed by OASIS. All products certified by OASIS will carry the OASIS seal logo on their packaging. Currently, OASIS requires 85% certified organic content. According to the guidelines of its organizing board, this "organic" percentage standard will gradually increase until it reaches 95% organic content in several years.
NSF: - The NSF has now developed a fully organic standard along with a 'made with' standard specifically for personal care manufacturers. While the NSF organic standard is identical to the USDA's, the 'made with' standard differs markedly in a way that enables manufacturers moving in an organic direction to become certified. In order to secure a 'made with' standard, manufacturers will not be allowed to use petroleum-based ingredients or processes. It is worth noting, though, that several processes and ingredients banned in the USDA will be permitted by the NSF—including the use of certain synthetic preservatives and biodegradable surfactants.
Certech: Organic Cosmetic Certification - Certech has published its own standard for Natural and Organic Certification: It’s an all-encompassing 'hybrid' addressing effective management controls/systems and product stewardship—as well as testing and auditing through the design, sourcing, production, and labeling of natural and organic cosmetics. To the best of our knowledge, Certech has ensured the credibility of its 'IOS Cosmetics' Standard by strict adherence to the principles, guidelines, and regulations already in existence both nationally and internationally:
US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Title 7 Part 205 Natural Organic Program
California Health and Safety Code, Article 7: "The California Organic Products Act of 2003"
Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act (Canada)
Canadian Food and Drugs Act
FDA/CFSAN Cosmetics Good Manufacturing Practice guideline
CAN/CGSB 32.310 2006 Organic Production Systems General Principles and Management Standards
EEC Regulation number 2092/91
ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems - Requirements
ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems - Requirements
As most Americans are taking the smart step of eliminating trans fats in their diets to avoid heart disease, it only stands to reason they would show a similar level of vigilance in protecting their endocrine system from toxins. And since we don’t yet know the extent of damage synthetic chemicals can inflict, it’s only logical to eliminate those chemicals we put on another important organ—our skin. Our skin, after all, is not only designed to last a lifetime, but it’s the most visible reflection of the smart steps we’ve taken to promote health, serenity, and lifelong wisdom.
Everywhere you look you see products labeled as green, eco-friendly, sustainable, non-toxic, organic and natural. Spas are easily following this trend because guests want holistic treatments and natural products. So how do spas make small eco-friendly changes? It’s not as hard as you think and you don’t have to pay a fortune to do it. If you’re spa is up and running here are some ideas to help you make those baby steps that will bring you huge benefits in the future.
1. Do as much on line as possible, dealing with vendors, sending out newsletters, paying bills, direct deposit, etc. You’ll be surprised at how much less you’re throwing away.
2. Change all paper goods, including bags and tissue paper, to post-consumer recycled. Chain stores such as Staples and office depot all carry recycled printing paper, Universal Companies now carries a huge line of eco-friendly products including toilet paper and paper towels made from post-consumer recycled paper.
3. Set up a clear, easy recycling station in convenient areas for example: in the staff room, create the proper bins for your area, clearly marked and with the recycling schedule posted.
4. Do you us a lot of oil? Collect it and donate it to someone or a company willing to pick it up and turn it into Bio-diesel. There are many on line companies that will pick it up for you and if you post an ad to give it away locally, you’ll definitely get takers.
5. Switch your cleaning supplies to non-toxic ones. Spic and Span which cleans just about everything and is a staple in most spas is a green product. There are so many now that are comparable in cost and efficacy.
6. Use energy efficient light bulbs. You now have more choices for energy efficient bulbs than before, there are now CFL’s that work on dimmers and Led lights come in many colors to produce the desired effect.
7. Replace toilets, sinks and showers with low flow fixtures. If that’s not possible, install inexpensive aerators. These easily installed units increase spray velocity, reduce splash, save water and conserve energy.
8. Buy local. If you serve snacks and drinks at your spa, try to purchase them from a local vendor so you reduce the carbon emissions from shipping and transportation. If you have a retail space, try to incorporate local goods from artisans in your area.
9. As you conduct maintenance in your spa, change over some of the toxic products to healthier options. These are now very easy to find and the prices are comparable:
• Low or no VOC paints
• Non-toxic glues and caulking
• Low or no VOC varnishes
• When replacing flooring, choose sustainable bamboo, cork, recycled tiles, linoleum, marmoleum, natural rugs and mats and non-toxic sealants.
10. Choose your energy. You really have options when it comes to your energy. You can purchase “green” energy or “Green Certificates”. Many states have incentive programs and tax breaks for installing alternative energy sources such as solar panels, Wind systems, geothermal generators and hybrid electric systems. Check out the US Department of Energy for information. www.eere.energy.gov
These small, affordable changes will reduce your energy costs, save water and create a healthier environment for your staff and guests. Now that’s relaxing.
There’s a well-known motivational expression: “If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it.” When it comes to your brand, consistency not only enhances your credibility but also helps ensure your image is crystal-clear to clients/patients. Conversely, if your approach is haphazard and inconsistent, clientele won’t know quite what to make of your brand.
Projecting a reliable professional image used to be much simpler. But today, communication is so multi-layered that you need to be consistent across many platforms. First step is to determine your personality. Are you very formal? Downtown hip? Warm and fuzzy? Green and health-conscious? That image needs to come through in every aspect of your business.
• Make sure everything from your office décor and demeanor to your Facebook postings to your online videos has the same “voice” and messaging. For instance, if your personal style is hipster chic, your professional surroundings shouldn’t have oversized floral arrangements and plush sofas. Conversely, a brand that evokes a luxurious aura--with a somewhat formal manner in your treatment rooms and front office--would not have offices in a minimalist industrial style.
• Carry that same brand image through in all promotional material--written and online. Again, if you’re projecting a very health conscious style, you wouldn’t include humorous memes with references to alcohol or overeating on Facebook. A warm-and-fuzzy brand should steer clear of copy that sounds very technical and medically-oriented. You get the idea!
• Whatever your style, make it personal. Include your photo on your website; give patients/clients an idea of your conversational approach and manner in online videos, included on your website and/or Youtube channel. Again, consistency is key: the same “voice” you use in the office and treatment rooms should be exhibited in every online venue.
• Establish a schedule for your Facebook postings, blogs and newsletters--and stick with it. With Facebook, it’s smart to post daily (or every other day, or at least once a week) to keep our message front-and-center with clients and patients. Similarly, figure out the best timing to send out blogs, promotion announcements and online newsletters, and make sure you follow through.
But whatever timetable you choose, whatever image your project, whatever kind of messaging you send out--keeping it consistent is the key to keeping your brand powerful and your clientele loyal.
In any professional endeavor, the bottom line has to be a top priority--after all, a business can’t stay afloat for long without a healthy profit margin. Yet it’s also important to address the non-profit side of things, to project a genuine demeanor of concern for clients, your staff, and the larger community. Caring is the sixth key to establishing a brand that is both powerful and well thought of in the minds of your clientele.
Research shows that millennials, in particular, want to know the businesses they patronize stand for something. And many beauty industry leaders have made philanthropy part of their corporate DNA: Estee Lauder and Avon are active in the fight against breast cancer, Philosophy donates 1% of all sales to mental health causes, L’Oreal spotlights “Women of Worth” in their campaign to honor real women’s achievements.
Smaller enterprises clearly don’t have the resources of these corporate powerhouses. But you can still emulate their root philosophy of showing the basic ways you care:
• For your craft: Let clients/patients know you’re passionate and up-to-date on every aspect of your profession. If you have a trainer come in to instruct staffers on new techniques, post the training video on your website and social media. It underscores the idea that your staff is well-versed in offering the very best service, with the most up-to-date methodology.
• For your staff: If employee birthdays call for big celebrations, share the fun! Post pictures of the birthday honoree, along with snapshots of the celebration. Likewise, if you have an employee-of-the month program, be sure to include it on your website or Facebook page. The message that comes across: “We love our staff, and our staff loves us. Come join in the lovefest!”
• For your clients: Think of creative ways to express appreciation. Some thoughts: Give a 10% discount to teachers; offer a “client appreciation week/month” where all services are 20% off; include an extra service if patients/clients purchase a particular procedure.
• For your community: There are so many ways to show your commitment: Support a food drive, contribute a gift certificate to a silent auction for a local charity, offer a 1% donation on all services purchased to a worthy local (or national) initative.
The point here: You don’t want to be perceived as merely a “factory” pumping out discounts, but instead, as an enterprise proactive in supporting causes that matter--whether you’re opening your heart to clients, staff or worthy enterprises in your community and beyond.
“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” No less a philosopher than Maya Angelou made that wise observation about one of life’s truisms. And nowhere is that wisdom more true than in a profession dedicated to giving people a boost in appearance, confidence and self-esteem.
To truly resonate with your target market, you’ve got to forge a strong emotional connection…a kind of intimate bond that inspires customer loyalty and defines an influential personal brand. Your patients/clients aren’t interested in hard-sell copy or intricate medical jargon. Instead, they want to know what benefit your services will give them in an up-close-and-personal way.
The best way to establish a “like-know-trust” relationship with clients (both current and potential) is with messaging feels real, relatable and sincere. This is one time when “just the facts” won’t cut it. Instead, focus on feelings: How do you want people to feel when they experience your brand? Tell stories, inspire confidence, tug at the heartstrings.
Here are four ways to ensure your brand makes this kind of vibrant emotional connection:
• Use firsthand testimonials. Whether online, in print or in person, word-of-mouth is always a powerful persuasion tool (think Yelp)--and featuring real-life happy patients only enhances your credibility. But don’t just focus on the mechanics of physical procedures. Instead, highlight the “inner change”--“I haven’t felt this confident in ten years!”
• Show before-and-after photos. It’s a time-honored technique because it works, and it works even better when each shot is accompanied by an inspiring patient story. Sure, readers can see great visuals of micro-needling results, but an ethereal narrative about the true depth of change the patient felt will be much more compelling.
• Devise a way for your clientele to connect with each other. A membership program is a way of creating a ‘tribe within a tribe’--an elite group of loyal clients who enjoy key perks. You might offer loyalty rewards, special member-only events, even a message board for clients to chat with one another.
• Create videos. A three-minute online segment can be just like conversation, a way for you to establish a personal rapport even before clients meet you.
It’s a competitive landscape, and if clients/patients don’t feel a special loyalty to you alone, they’re likely to seek out whoever gives them the lowest price. But if you build their trust and forge an emotional connection, they’ll follow you anywhere!
When it comes to marketing your brand, conversation is more than just an art: Knowing how to engage clients/patients with the right dialogue is often the tipping point between spot-on communication or muddled messaging for your business.
Of course, one aspect of conversing is the one-on-one banter you share with clients on the phone, in treatment rooms, and all throughout your facility. Chances are you have a particular conversational style, a kind of verbal signature in keeping with your brand. Are you chatty, nurturing, formal, authoritative? It’s crucial to make sure that same tone translates to all your communication, across every brand touch point.
Simply put, your website, phone demeanor, written materials, photos and videos should all be speaking the same language. If your website is full of intricate medical lingo, but your in-person approach is free-and-easy, clients may not know what to expect of your brand.
Here are some key ways to ensure your conversation is crystal clear:
• Use understandable terminology. If you feature microneedling or ultherapy, clients may not know what that means--and as a result, they won’t instantly grasp the benefits. But if you tout “A more youthful complexion” or “Banish sagging skin” or “Get rid of wrinkles”…now, that’s guaranteed to pique interest!
• Realize your website, social media, ads, even business cards are often ‘conversing’ with clients even before they meet you. Think of each venue as a way to make an introduction to the real and unique ‘YOU.’ So, again, your personal voice needs to come through not just in person, but in all marketing material.
• Does your business/practice have a particular catch phrase or saying? If so, make it part of the conversation all across the board to further emphasize your brand voice.
• Online videos of your practice are another great way to enhance the dialogue. Show your facilities, demonstrate techniques, give patients an up-close-and-personal glimpse of your approach and bedside manner in an interview-style format.
• Likewise, photos have their own special way of ‘speaking’ to clients. Who can deny the allure of before-and-after pictures to demonstrate dramatic cosmetic results?
Fans of Mad Men may recall Don Draper’s time-honored marketing advice: “If you don’t like what people are saying, change the conversation.” To ensure people are saying the right things about your business, make your conservation make an impact right from the start!
It’s been said that information is power--and the more you tell, you more you sell. Content is another key brand touch point for your business: Every news bite, commentary, photo or bit of factual material you send out should carry your unique branding signature.
It can’t be said enough: The goal is to take that special ‘magic’ patients/clients experience in your treatment rooms--the personal touch, the YOU factor of your business or practice--and bring it to every brand touch point. Generic copy, stock photos and lackluster social media posts just won’t translate.
Instead, implement a customized content strategy. Today, there are many venues to consider, so pinpoint the ones most likely to resonate with your clients/patients. Here are ten smart ways to stay engaged through content:
• Blogs let you share info and invite conversation in a casual, intimate venue. Be sure to stick to a schedule--every Wednesday, say, or the first of each month--so clients/patients will know when you’ll pop up in their inbox.
• Online newsletters keep your whole database updated on office news, special deals, new products and procedures, plus your personal commentary.
• Emails and an online patient portal offer one-on-one attention, allowing clients to receive appointment reminders, check their own history (“When was my last micro-needling?”) email questions and more.
• A social media presence on sites such Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have become must-haves for today’s professionals. And you can offer potential clients perks in return for ‘likes.’
• Internet memes--whether an image, video, hyperlink or hashtag--can help your message ‘go viral’ on social media sites.
• Videos demonstrate the old adage that a picture--especially a moving one--is worth a thousand words! Great way to demonstrate products, procedures and your own personality. Consider getting a YouTube Channel to showcase your video library in one accessible place.
• A beauty column in your local paper is a win-win-win way to promote your business, enhance your authority and extend your reach to a new clientele.
• Audio podcasts let you are ‘talk’ to patients in brief clips they can download and listen to while running, driving, even working out--the perfect communiqué for busy lifestyles.
• Webinars provide online demonstrations in real-time--plus, they can be archived to share with clients anytime.
• In-office events offer an incentive for guests to visit your facility and check out you all you have to offer firsthand.
One important don’t: Don’t bombard clients with all ten messaging venues! There is such a thing as TMI, and your goal is to find your ‘sweet spot’ between not enough engagement and an avalanche of information. Focus on creating a personalized content approach that will keep your message top-of-mind--not over the top!
DryBar, SoulCycle, Skin Laundry…What do these three diverse brands all have in common? A very recognizable culture. They created their own systems--and introduced a very specific methodology--and clients not only quickly adapted, but embraced the brand. Now their operations are identifiable as uniquely their own. Simply mention the name--DryBar, SoulCycle, Skin Laundry--and consumers know instantly what to expect from their signature culture.
The same principle applies to your brand. When you and your competitors are basically selling the same equipment, services and products, the culture you create is your identity that instantly sets you apart in the minds of clients/patients. So it’s vital to differentiate yourself through your unique style and personality.
What do you do unique? How do you differentiate yourself? You have risen above the rest of the packers, clients request you, follow you and believe in what you tell them.
Think of every contact clients/patients have with your business--via phone call, visit, social media view--is known as a Brand Touch Point, an experience that determines their view of your brand and your particular brand culture. Whatever the magic is that you create in the treatment room needs to be bottled and sprinkled over brand touch point. Make sure each of these touch points offers is sprinkled with your uniqueness, your you-ness. Show clients/patients that what you’re doing is unique by putting your own spin on products, services and approaches.
What To Do:
• Create a signature method or technique and spotlight as a point of differentiation in your branding.
• Incorporate pictures and videos of you. That’s what people are buying. YOU!
• Create your own ‘language’ – words that uniquely represent what you are offering.
• Create a private label skin care line
What NOT To Do:
• Don’t use a vast number of stock photos on your website.
• Steer clear of generic business language and copy.
• Avoid designing websites and brochures that don’t convey your personal touch.
Success Story Example: Creating a Private Label Skin Care Line and Operational System Unique to the Practice
Truth+Beauty Medical Spa--branded as a ‘gym for the skin’--underscored that distinction by having each guest initially meet with the ‘Beauty Coach.’ Each client is given a digital imaging analysis of her/his complexion to customize a treatment plan, much as a personal trainer would map out a fitness regimen at a first visit. Patients return after a series of services and take another picture to see the dramatic changes. Results are then carefully documented in their Beauty Diary. Truth+Beauty established their own culture by creating an operational system that is uniquely their own--and then they topped it by creating their own brand language with the terms Beauty Diary and Beauty Coach.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, defines a brand as “…what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” The words, images, thoughts or feelings someone has when they think of you and your business--that, in a nutshell, is your brand.
Think of your brand as your own bit of real estate in a landscape that’s perpetually habited by other--and often similar--products and services. Then think of branding as all the things you do to make your real estate stand out, so you’ll be the one to attract the desired clientele.
What strategy will give your brand that vital edge, the kind of staying power that keeps customers enticed, engaged and always coming back? In this series, we’ll be looking at seven vital branding components. First is Clarity of Purpose: Being absolutely clear about the who, what, how and why of your business.
• Marketing guru Simon Sinek encourages entrepreneurs to always start with why: “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” Why does your business exist? Why are you passionate about it? Why should clients care about you? “All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year,” Sinek explains.
• Who are you? If you’re a solo practitioner, making your own name part of your business and logo--and establishing yourself as an ‘authority’--are key. If you’re a business owner with staffers, determine what attributes best define your business--luxurious, wellness-based, innovative, and so on. Good branding means being 100% clear about who you are, whom you hope to attract, and what value you offer. Otherwise, how can clients/patients be clear about you--and, more importantly, buy from you?
• What exactly do you provide? Your name, taglines and descriptive copy should say it all, no need for guesswork. Consider a plastic surgeon with a tagline, “Surgical and Non-Surgical Procedures.” What does that mean? Dr. Jennifer Levine touts her services as, “Cosmetic Surgery and Beauty Procedures.” Perfectly clear!
• How do you convey your branding message? Make it part of your DNA: Each phone call, blog, social media post and personal interaction should reflect your brand and be a unique representation of you. That will help get people “talking about you when you’re not in the room”…and saying all the right things.
You know what’s great about today’s cutting-edge cosmetic procedures? They’ve managed to eliminate the “cutting” part! Some of the best new techniques offer great results with no downtime, no drastic measures—and no surgery. Ultherapy is one of these great new treatments – it tightens skin without going under the knife! Spa owners are having success with Ultherapy and patients swear by it.
How is that possible? If it “sounds” too good to be true…it’s probably Ultherapy®.
Simply put, Ultherapy uses ultrasound technology to lift and tighten skin. If you’re ever had a prenatal ultrasound, you’re already familiar with the basic concept. But sound waves don’t just project images from the inside out: they can also penetrate deep into skin layers from the outside in to activate the body’s natural rejuvenation process. In this case, we’re talking about the actual growth of new collagen! Another plus: Ultherapy is especially effective on the eyebrow area, neck, and under the chin - spots that are traditionally hard to treat.
Here’s how it works. During a 60-90 minute Ultherapy session, a special instrument is used to focus ultrasound energy on designated facial areas. The ultrasound actually bypasses the skin’s surface to reach the deep, structural tissue below. In turn, the body responds to the burst of focused ultrasound by stimulating the growth of new collagen. The rejuvenation process is gradual: it takes about 2-3 months to see Ultherapy’s full effects. But during that time frame, your clients will look a bit younger each day!
Ultherapy is FDA-approved, and since it uses the time-tested technology of ultrasound, you know it’s safe. Although there is a hefty price tag attached to this technology, clients feel that the results outweigh the cost.
Today, the dermal filler is a definite “must have” beauty tool. And the choices keep getting better and better, offering natural, turn-back-the-clock results. Of the many fabulous fillers out there—Juvéderm, Restylane, Sculptra, Belotero and Radieesee—how do you know which to choose? Happy problem, right?
Let’s start with the basics. All dermal fillers have the same goal: To fill in facial lines, wrinkles and folds and leave a smooth, natural correction. Ingredients differ. Some, like Juvéderm, Restylane and Belotero Balance rely on Hyaluronic Acid, Radiesse is made up of Calcium Hydroxylapatite and Scupltra uses Poly-L-Lactic Acid. No need to memorize these tongue-twisters, though—just know the field offers lots of variety, and one formula might suit one client better than another.
So here’s a quick rundown of the dermal differences…
Juvéderm comes in several different formulas. The thinner ones—Juvéderm Ultra and Ultra XC—can handle fine lines and wrinkles, and even the delicate area around the eyes. The heavier formulas work best on deep facial lines. Different varieties of Juvéderm can be used to plump up lips, earlobes and cheekbones—and even fill acne scars.
Belotero touts itself as a filler that that molds to your own distinct facial contours; it’s versatile enough for deep folds, and especially effective to give an “airbrushed” look to fine lines.
Radiesse not only fills in lines, but also stimulates the production of new collagen; this allows for a longer time between touch-ups. Unlike some other fillers, Radiesse is not used on the lips.
Restylane is used to treat moderate to severe facial folds, as well as enhance the lips.
Sculptra is FDA-approved to build up cheeks, fill in hollows and increase skin thickness (its not used on lips, though). Multiple treatments are needed, usually 4 weeks apart. Unlike the other four fillers, Sculptra results are not immediate, but they do last longer.
Other comparisons? Radiesse and Sculptra have the added benefit of boosting the body’s natural production of collagen, to help skin stay plumped up and youthful. In general, Juvéderm, Restylane and Belotero are less costly that Radiesse and Sculptra.
Whew! Still not sure what’s best for your clients? No worries, you can advise based on your client’s budget, facial features, skin elasticity and other factors. And no matter which filler you recommend, your clients will be filled with enthusiasm upon glimpsing in the mirror!