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Every beauty, spa and aesthetics business has its niche, whether it’s wellness and relaxation, or hardcore skin results. There are plenty of business owners and practitioners that pride themselves on linking these two concepts together, but there are others adamant that they simply cannot coexist, and that any incorporation of relaxation or ‘fluffy’ elements such as massage and other wellness techniques detracts from one’s results. So today, we thought we would discuss the contentious topic at hand. Does ‘fluffy’ have to mean sacrificing results?

The changing beauty landscape
For years, it could have been argued that the majority of clients sought out facial treatments predominantly as a method of relaxation, as opposed to improving the quality of their skin. In today’s beauty landscape, if you operate from a salon or clinic it’s likely that the majority of your clients are seeing you for facials in the hopes of resolving specific skin issues, or otherwise least seeking maintenance treatments to keep their concerns at bay. This shift in consumer outlook may be responsible for us in industry coining the term ‘fluffy’ facial in the first place – to differentiate between treatments in which relaxation is the number one priority vs those in which excellent results were the main focus. Nowadays, many therapists refer to ‘fluffy’ as any kind of relaxation-based activity, including neck & shoulder, hand & arm massage or scalp massage, the use of meditation, aromatherapy, mists or otherwise.

Do these ‘fluffy’ elements really detract from skin-focussed, results-driven treatments?
This is where it gets interesting. Practitioners in favour of fluffy elements could argue that these can certainly be carried out during hardcore skin treatments, in sections which don’t require any additional time to be used up (ie. while a client’s mask is on). However, practitioners on the other side of the fence argue that, by giving your client a massage for example, you may be giving them the false impression that your service is entrenched in relaxation, and that for this reason, they won’t see results quite as dramatic. So, for practitioners and business owners that believe in the best of both worlds, how can we resolve this problem and meet in the middle?

Make sure your clients know you mean business
If you don’t want to give your clients the impression that you are relaxation-focussed instead of result-oriented, the solution is simple – just tell them! As always, communication is key. Tell your clients exactly how and why your treatment is going to achieve amazing results, yet that is no reason they can’t also relax simultaneously. Here is an example: “I’m going to commence your Healite session now – this will last around 13 minutes, so once I’ve finished writing up your custom skincare prescription, I’ll perform a neck & shoulder massage, if you’re happy with that? This treatment is extremely results-driven, but there’s no reason we can’t offer you a beautiful relaxing experience at the same time.”

Set your services apart
If you’re purely interested in results-driven clinical treatments, you may be reading this and thinking to yourself – ‘why do I need to add any relaxation elements, that’s not what my clients come to me for?’ And while that may be true, adding additional elements to your treatments can have some serious benefits. One of the most common concerns within our community is how to set your business apart from its countless nearby competitors, which can often stock the same products and offer similar services at similar price points. There are only so many ways in which you can differentiate yourself, and those small touches within your treatments can often be the deciding factor. Results-focussed clients often go to skin clinics to address specific concerns but walk out saying “that massage was amazing, I wasn’t expecting to get one!” If you give your clients some added value, that slightly more elevated experience, something they don’t get at the clinic around the corner: they will come back. Another benefit is you never know what is happening in your client’s private life. They may need some extra nurturing even if they don’t show it on the outside, and perhaps those extra few minutes of ‘fluffiness’ could make a world of difference not only to their experience but their entire outlook.

Here’s how
If you want to incorporate some elements of wellness and make your experience a little more holistic while remaining results-focussed, here are a couple of ways you might like to do so.

  • Massage during mask. There is rarely a practical reason why you can’t spare a few minutes on a neck, arm or scalp massage during the mask. Again, explain to your clients the key ingredients, benefits and amazing results they receive from their mask, and finish with “but we see no reason why you can’t relax and enjoy a beautiful massage while it is working its magic.” The same can be said for any leave-on components like LED, enzymes, etc.
  • Set the mood with lighting. Sure, you may need your magni-lamp on for the majority of the treatment, but you can still set the mood by conducting your consultation as normal then dimming the lights and leaving the room while they undress and get themselves comfortable on the treatment bed. And of course, you could light a scented (perhaps wooden wick) candle to really engage the senses.
  • Start with a pause. Too often, clients are rushing to their facial straight from work or errands, so they may be a bit flustered when they get to you. We all know how difficult it can be to switch from rush-mode to relax-mode, and this process can take even longer if they jump straight onto the bed and you dive right into cleansing without some type of pause in the middle. Starting your treatment with some kind of brief reprieve, such as pressures on the head or temples, or asking them to take a deep breath, will force your clients to feel the sense of pause and switch gears from go-go-go to a sense of calm. Taking deep breaths also triggers the release of endorphins, making your clients feel better faster.

If your business is purely clinical, and relaxation and ‘fluffy’ is not for you, that’s okay too. Every business is different and serves its own unique purpose in the industry. Although, we at Beaute Industrie believe there is ALWAYS room to grow, to learn from others, and to question your practices. Maybe there are elements you could be adding to your business, or doing slightly better? Perhaps this could be one of them. As always, sit down and have a think about whether or not the above can align with your values, and seek some words of advice and wisdom from your team and your clients.