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Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty

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Facial FOCUS

Having a laser or IPL device in your salon means you can add a wide range of facial treatments to your menu, which will help your business stand out from the competition

While laser and IPL (intense pulse light) devices are becoming increasingly popular for hair removal in Ireland, these devices are also meeting the rise in demand for non-invasive facial skincare treatments.

“Laser treatments are our most popular skin treatments,” says Lisa Moroney, owner of Skin Smart Clinic in Lucan, Co Dublin. “We have the GentleMax Pro, which has a variety of modalities for different indications, such as rosacea, acne and red veins. Our device can also be used for skin tightening, which is very popular with clients looking for a rejuvenating, anti-ageing treatment, with very little downtime. Not only are they getting the benefit of laser, it's also a facial so it's an excellent all-round treatment.”

Laurel the Salon in Clonmel, Co T ipperary introduced the Q10 Laser into the clinic in August 2022. “Laser skin treatments were something that our clients were actively enquiring about and requesting, so adding them to our menu was naturally the next step for the business,” says owner Laura Moloney.

“We are primarily a skin-focused salon – we don't do laser hair removal – and prior to August, we were bringing our clients to a certain point on their skin journey with us. Introducing the Q10 has meant we can take them to the next level, where we are now able to guarantee clients the results they are looking for.”

Aura Skin & Laser in Water ford offers IPL photorejuvenation through its Venus Versa device to treat a range of skin issues, including sun damage and pigmentation. “These treatments are consistently popular and have been a staple on our menu for a number of years, but the demand for such targeted facials has grown since lockdown,” says owner Maria Smith.

Wide appeal

Laser and IPL treatments can attract a wide range of clients, not least because of the variety of skin concerns they can address. “They appeal to all ages,” says Moroney. “For example, clients seeking acne treatments include both teenagers and adults; we see clients with menopausal skin concerns; and antiageing treatments are popular with clients in their 30s and older.”

“We have a lot of clients coming to the clinic for pigmentation removal – these are usually females over the age of 45, or who have had children or been on hormonal treatment/contraception,” says Moloney. “When it comes to age and gender, our carbon facial is really an all-rounder as it appeals to everyone.”

A carbon facial involves a layer of liquid carbon being applied to the face, penetrating deep into the pores. A laser then blasts the carbon away, along with contaminants, dead skin cells, blackheads and oil. The process also promises to exfoliate the skin, reduce pore size, even out tone and promote a radiant complexion.

'Our device can also be used for skin tightening, which is very popular with clients looking for a rejuvenating, anti- ageing treatment, with very little downtime'

“With immediate results, and much less downtime than a skin peel, the carbon facial is a really enticing offering that we have found very easy to incorporate into our skincare courses for all our clients,” says Moloney. “We now do a minimum of one carbon facial per therapist every with small pigmentation marks, who wants to brighten their overall complexion and work on hydration, would be advised to have three sessions – one per month with homecare, along with a top-up treatment. Clients with darker pigmentation, years of sun damage, or dull and lacklustre skin would need closer to six sessions – one day, and because its appeal is not gender-specific, we have brought a different type of client into the salon.”

Variations in treatment length and cost also makes laser and IPL treatments attractive, as they don't all require the same time and financial commitment. The number of sessions, along with the price, is dependent on the client's skin concern. “A client being treated for acne would require up to six sessions; thread veins take three to four sessions, plus maintenance; and skin tightening is done over three monthly sessions for the best results,” explains Moroney.

“These treatments are very much client-specific,” agrees Moloney. “Following the consultation, a course plan can be put in place to determine how many sessions are needed. A client per month, with a homecare routine and a follow-up session later in the year. We do three-course and six-course offers, with savings in both options.”

Return on investment

While adding laser and IPL treatments to your salon's menu does require a financial investment, the business benefits can make it worthwhile.

“Because we were one of the very first in our area to offer laser and IPL, we probably had to do a lot of the ground work educating clients and attracting them to that side of the business,” says Smith. “But these treatments have become so popular in today's market, with social media in particular helping to drive that growth, it's now much easier for salons to market their machines and treatments, and get a good return on their investment.”

“The interest that was already there from clients made the investment in the Q10 less fear ful,” says Moloney. “After installing it last August, we spent six weeks working solely on models to build up staff confidence, have a portfolio available for clients, and to have the experience of working on a range of ages and skin types. This period was invaluable to our staff, clients and the business as a whole. After a considerable investment, especially as a small business in an urban area, it's natural to want to jump in and get your new machine up and running. But I chose the slow and steady approach, letting our results do the work for us – and they did. They speak for themselves.”

According to Moroney, the machine's versatility makes it a sound investment as it leads to increased bookings across the treatment menu. “Our skincare clients will try out laser hair removal and vice versa, and they'll come back because of the great results,” she says.

“Since having their initial laser treatments with us, we have seen a high number of clients book in for other treatments, such as peels, microneedling and bespoke facials,” says Moloney. “The device's tattoo removal option has been a huge success too, something I had not envisaged. And the majority of laser clients have purchased and continue to purchase their skincare products for their homecare routines from us.”

This article appears in the March/April 2023 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland

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This article appears in the March/April 2023 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland