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Spas Get Serious: Wellness

By: Sara Mason
Posted: June 9, 2008, from the June 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 8 of 10

These high-tech product formulations are the result of research—how effective the products will be for at-home use and how they will interact with popular spa treatments, such as intense pulsed light, laser treatments, LED, microdermabrasion and facials.

Bernard Gramlich is a pharmacist developing his own pharmaceutical-grade acne line based on niacinamid, a B vitamin. “From the pharmacist’s standpoint, the most important things are safety and efficacy,” says Gramlich. He developed the line during his wife’s pregnancy when nothing she tried commercially worked on her hormone-induced acne. “I knew if it was safe in pregnancy, it would be safe for anyone,” he says. “I want to fill a need in the marketplace for a high-quality acne treatment that’s available to the less affluent consumer.” SK1N by Dr. Gram should be available by early 2009.

Another line, Pamela Hill Skin Care, is based on peptides that can affect the skin without irritation or peeling, a concern for clients undergoing professional treatment. “Natural products are plant-based and can be effective, but are not as predictable,” says founder Pam Hill. “Your body has to be able to take in and use the ingredients for them to work.” Hill’s spa line is also completely customizable and offers different home care regimens and specialty treatment products to ensure each skin care program is suitable for the individual.

Innovation is important in bringing increased or specialized benefits to products, and the industry is rewarded because women will buy more products to meet their needs. Because every person has different skin, needs and lifestyles, the industry is pleased to see a movement toward customizing. “You can’t be one size fits all anymore,” agreed Natural Resource’s Matheson. “You have to address the individual.”

As products are becoming more specialized, dermatologists say there is a lot of unmet need in neck, hands and above the lip areas. These areas are difficult to treat, even for professionals.