According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the skin care industry is expected to grow 14 percent by 2026. That’s more than the average of any other occupation.1 This increase in employment reflects the demand for new services and modalities, as consumers request the treatments that will maintain the health of their skin and turn back the hands of time. Estheticians who have not advanced their training and education are missing out on this $15 billion industry. In 2016 alone, nonsurgical esthetic treatments accounted for 44 percent of the market.2 Here are six of the biggest esthetic modalities in the treatment room right now.
LASER HAIR REMOVAL
Laser hair removal is a common nonsurgical esthetic treatment. A concentrated beam of light is aimed at the hair. The hair’s pigment absorbs the light, which then damages the follicle. This impedes future growth. Laser hair removal is considered semi-permanent, as results can vary widely from person to person. There are multiple variables that affect laser hair removal outcome, such as skin color, hair color, laser device used, the wavelength used, and treatment timing. The best at home laser hair removal uses diode and IPL as their mode.
Tattoo removal has become one of the most lucrative treatments in the business. Revenue for tattoo removal has increased 440 percent and is expected to reach $83.2 million by the end of 2018.3 Q-switched laser therapy is the preferred method of tattoo removal. Pulses of high intensity laser energy pass through the epidermis and are absorbed by the tattoo pigment. The laser shatters the pigment into smaller particles that are then metabolized and excreted by the body. Results vary based on how a client’s body digests the ink and how well the laser delivers.
Who doesn’t want a clear complexion? Photo rejuvenation, also known as intense pulsed light (IPL) or photofacial, helps reduce some of the most common skin blemishes, such as sun damage, freckles, melasma, distended capillaries, and redness like rosacea. It also encourages collagen synthesis to target fine lines and wrinkles. Photofacials bumped microdermabrasion off the list of the top five nonsurgical procedures in 2016. IPL works by emitting high intensity pulses of light deep into the skin without destructing the surface. The light is capable of blanching damaged blood vessels and targeting melanin while leaving surrounding tissue intact. There is little to no downtime with long-lasting improvements.
SKIN TIGHTENING AND BODY CONTOURING
Skin tightening and body contouring have become very popular. The reason for the uptick in demand may be our aging population and the desire for quick results with little downtime. Outcomes that were once delivered by going under the knife can now be accomplished with devices using laser, radio frequency, ultrasound, and cryolipolysis, a noninvasive body contouring treatment used to reduce fat cell volume by freezing. These modalities offer a nonsurgical means of targeting loose and sagging skin, as well as pockets of fat.
There are several different types of body contouring devices on the market. Some target and destroy fat cells by heating them, while others freeze the fat away. Over time, the body naturally processes the fat and eliminates the dead cells.
Radio frequency and IPL energy penetrate the skin’s tissue to heat the collagen below. This initiates the body’s natural wound-healing response, causing collagen changes and skin tightening. Ultrasound treatments send ultrasonic energy to the dermal layer in a similar fashion and stimulate collagen growth. Gradually the skin tightens.
Also known as collagen induction therapy, this treatment is used to improve skin texture and help diminish scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. In order to target collagen and achieve a positive result, an average needle length of 0.5– 1.5mm is needed. In comparison, the average epidermis is 0.3–1mm. According to a 2008 study, skin treated with four microneedling sessions one month apart showed up to a 400 percent increase in collagen and elastin six months posttreatment. The practice of microneedling has been around for decades, but the method of application has improved thanks to new technology and FDA regulations. Stated simply, microneedling inserts tiny needles into the skin to stimulate the body’s natural wound-healing process. These micro channels then fill with new collagen, leaving the skin looking plump, pink, and glowing for weeks.
MEDICAL-GRADE CHEMICAL PEELS
It’s no secret that as we age our cell turnover slows down, causing skin to look dull. Chemical peels are a great way to boost that turnover and aid skin in sloughing off those dead cells. Furthermore, they are a great option for acne, fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage and other forms of discoloration, scarring, and uneven texture. Chemical peels exfoliate the outer layers of the skin, and, depending on the depth of the peel, may reach into the papillary dermis. The best home chemical peels can treat hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, acne, acne scars, and dark spots. Over the last 10 years, the number of clients requesting chemical peels has increased more than 28 percent. While this list is only a small sampling of the multitude of advanced esthetic modalities on the market, it shows how advances in technology have boosted the industry. Capitalize on these treatments and harness the power you have to change the way your clients look and feel!