The Med Spa Re-Opening Challenge: Safe practices, quality treatments and ingredients to improve skin outcomes

jane christensen, larry davis,, omni CEO, Spa Sydell owner

By Jane Christensen, CEO and Founder of Omni

As the industry re-opens during this new-normal, we are interviewing industry experts to provide their perspective. Larry Davis, an industry leader, Omni Board member and entrepreneur in the medical aesthetic arena is today’s expert. Davis is a partner in the group that owns Spa Sydell Integrative Aesthetics, a group of full-service Med Spas in the Atlanta area. Larry talks new safety practices, and opportunities to provide the right services and ingredients for better outcomes.

The med-spa industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. What advice do you offer to provide a safe environment?

We are on the leading edge of safely re-opening skincare services. The Spa Sydell group is located in Georgia, one of the first states in the country to re-open non-essential businesses. This is no small task. Just last year, we served over 20,000 clients. Our first priority is employee and client safety. We surveyed employees on their willingness to return to work, with over two-thirds of employees comfortable returning, and no employee uncomfortable required to return. We surveyed subscription clients with similar results.

We have used a measured approach in offering a limited menu of services, limiting staff members onsite and hours of operation, while limiting the number of clients in the spa at any given time, all with heightened sanitation and safety measures. This has created increased costs-per-client to safely provide services. However, it is necessary to protect clients and employees. We utilize face shields, masks, smocks, hand sanitizers, consent forms, and more. We have worked to focus on safety, as we allow our employees to earn a living and serve our clients.

What treatments and products do you recommend?

In our first three days we focused on injectables first. This allowed limited contact, with large pent up customer demand. We were also able to close large parts of the spa, as we work our reopening process. This is an opportunity for an industry to hit reset, and focus on value added services with a greater focus on high quality ingredients and formulas, beyond just device-based services. Customers utilizing medical-grade skin care that incorporates   science-based ingredients between Med-Spa appointments leads to quicker recovery, longer lasting effects, and better skin quality overall. As our aestheticians in the near term may see fewer clients, it provides the opportunity to deepen each existing client relationship and spend time developing a personalized product regimen for at-home, between treatment care. The stressful shelter in place experience has elevated the need for professional skin care at home.

While the aesthetician-client relationship cannot be replaced, it can be augmented by identifying a personalized portfolio of high-quality professional skin care to be used at home. This not only increases the spa’s transaction size, but also improves the client’s overall skin condition, quality, and appearance, and may elevate confidence in stressful, uncertain times.

What’s Next?

In the days ahead it is still uncertain what the timeframe is for every state to open non-essential businesses, but there are ways that aestheticians and physicians alike can leverage their medical-grade skincare brands to help them shape the future of skincare. Some tips from Larry in thinking about re-opening and maximizing customer experience with business goals:

  1. Offer ongoing communication between your business and your customers, provide outreach to assist current customers identify at-home treatments and tips for maintaining their skin, as well as possible re-opening dates and appointment information. Leverage brands like Omni to help develop and shape these communication mechanisms.
  2. Take this time to advance the training of your employees, leveraging brands like Omni directly to deliver virtual training on new trends, ingredients, products, and offer free employee trials.
  3. Remain agile and open to change – the industry may evolve and change, and adoption of digital customer communication and outreach has become critical. Developing methods to attract new customers, revenue streams, and keep existing customers engaged and loyal is critical.
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