As the world of advanced anti-ageing treatments develop and mature, new methods of technology, business concepts and developments will emerge.
The consequential success of public demand for non surgical procedures and services has led industry professionals to identify and question which practicing professionals can carry out certain procedures and who cannot. The professional aesthetic channel shares a number of concerns with the traditional beauty industry.
Need for demystifying industry
It is the view of all professional aesthetic medical and aesthetic/beauty therapy associations, societies and organisations here in the UK and worldwide that there is a need to outline and adhere to a professional framework.
There is a need in both arenas to establish clearer guidelines, educate the consumer, salons and cosmetic surgery industries by investing a great deal on training and education for industry members and the public.
The professional governing boards must address the need to change customer perception of salon based treatments versus non-surgical cosmetic surgery treatments as well as enticing customers who walk through the door.
The ongoing development of knowledge, judgement and expertise is essential in today's competitive business environment.
The excess of consumer choice has also had an influence on the industry in that people are asking for more accessible treatments at low cost. It is a fact that the customer will pay less for botox at a beauty salon than at a cosmetic surgery group, leaving the consumer open to risk and negligence by those posing to be qualified to perform non surgical procedures.
Lack of Adequate Legislation
The role and development within Aesthetics has evolved from partnerships between specialist nurses, plastic surgeons, dermatologists, medical aestheticians and beauty therapists. However, controversy surrounds who can administer which treatments and procedures. Grey areas have emerged due to the increased popularity of demand.
The bridge and gap of professional administrators performing such treatments such as Botox, Restylane, Peels and Microdermabrasion, is narrowing considerably. A few years ago these treatments were exclusive to cosmetic surgery groups; but now have filtered into beauty salons. Every other salon is now a 'clinic' offering anti-ageing treatments, laser therapy treatment, Botox etc.
The growing trend as a result will in the coming years observe non-surgical treatments are no longer exclusive to a Consultant. The medical aesthetics industry is in the midst of a significant shift. This shift can be seen in the increasing prevalence and occurrence of non-medical owned clinics in more retail oriented locations.
The public is not however aware of the beauty industry administering such treatments as laser surgery or Botox and dermal fillers (all governing bodies and manufacturers recommend that these should only be used by qualified medical practitioners) without the requisite qualifications.
Botox, for example is highly effective at smoothing out lines and wrinkles, but unless used carefully can result in drooping facial features and even disfigurement.
This is why it is imperative to keep injectables away from beauty salons as there is no adequate provision and support from the law and legislation.
Education and Training
All practitioners irrespective of their backgrounds must adhere to their professional frameworks and practising privileges. It is recognised that the best and most efficient way for therapists and practitioners to maintain and improve their skills is through a planned programme of continuing professional education (CPD).
This implies that individuals accept responsibility for their own development by drawing on a combination of self education and use well-established and credible providers of training and education. When planned this should assist individuals and members of organisations to provide more advanced treatments and services, accept new roles and responsibilities and to adapt to changing situation with up to date knowledge, new technology and procedures.
As the aesthetic and beauty industry narrow the margin, the same cannot be said for the current college courses offering beauty therapy.
The City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Beauty Therapy, VTCT Advanced Diploma in Beauty Therapy, NVQ Level 3 in Beauty Therapy and other courses on the national grid curriculum seem to be primal in their content of facial electoral treatments and does not measure the current industry climate.
Most beauty therapists feel disheartened with the knowledge that they have to privately secure their education by attending more training courses.
The Outlook for the Industry
The next phase of growth for this industry is going to be found in our traditional spas and salons. There is a large influx of inquiries about medical aesthetic services coming from spa and salon professionals. These individuals are beginning to view the procedures as simply more advanced versions of the skin care and aesthetic services they have been providing but now with much better tools.
The likelihood is high that as more and more non-medical businesses get involved with aesthetic services more of their peers will have to strongly consider whether they want or need to keep up with the competition. This will breed additional growth until it is almost expected of these businesses to have these resources available for their clients.