Professional Beauty Product Houses

There are many brands on the market now all competing to get into the top spas and salons worldwide. Businesses can be overwhelmed by choosing the best one for their salon and need to consider many factors when selecting their brands. Things like exclusivity, price, image, popularity, results, business support, advertising and marketing to name but a few.

Beauty salons and spas will usually take on skincare and body care, make up and nail care brands. The larger the business the more product houses on the menu. Salons will usually go for a good skin care brand with make up and nails but body wraps and mud treatments are not as popular. In the health/hotel spas however, body massages and wraps are high on the agenda.

The health spa will definitely have a marine range as these establishments excel in balneotherapy, detox treatments and slimming. Massage though is the main source of income for a spa so aromatherapy oils and body brands are key. Product houses promote their ‘natural’ ingredients which can come from these three key areas:-


Marine extracts are used in Thalgo, Phytomer, Repechage and Spa Find. Seaweed and algae extracts like Spirulina and laminaria digitata aids in the removal of toxins, stimulates lymph thus is a diuretic. Combined with exercise and healthy eating, marine wraps and treatments can enhance and increase slimming and weight loss. Spa Find in particular uses salts from the Dead Sea, to rehydrate, remineralise and treat body concerns.

Aromatherapy product companies include Decleor, Darphin and Absolute aromas. Aromatherapy can have a range of benefits whether it’s to treat skin, body or the clients mood. Aromas are absorbed into the blood stream and through the olfactory system (smell).

Plant/flower extract

Plant and flowers extracts can correct skin flaws, cleanse and soften and found in Guinot and Clarins products. White Lupin is in Guinot’s Doucer de vie and Clarins use hibiscus extract in their pore minimising serum.

  • Please not that some product brands mentioned here use a combination of Marine, Plant and essential oils in their products but I have generalised into these groups.

New therapists will be eager to train up with a couple of brands to add to their skills, learn new techniques and develop their sales technique to increase income. The best places to gain a wide range of product training, experience and exposure to various product companies are the larger health spas businesses.

After your initial probationary period is complete you will have the opportunity to train with the brands your spa is working with. Training will commence with introduction to the company, like the history, the founder, their development and their future growth plans. It will then move on to product knowledge, where you will learn ingredients, how to use, who it is for and their unique selling point. The first few days of training are very intense with lots of revision and homework.

You and your colleagues will then get to experience treatments and perform on each other; you will get to feel what the products are like which will help you to recommend them to your clients.

At the end of the week practical and theoretical tests will be taken, and certification will be issued to successful therapists.

As you develop your career and gain more product training you will have a favourite and may seek employment with salons or spas whom carry them.

The more product training achieved the better for your Curriculum Vitae; it also gives you a better understanding of brands and increases your prospects.

Your employers may also offer incentives in the form of retail commissions. Once trained recommending homecare will be easier and achieving sales targets will boost your income. Top sellers will be noted by the brands themselves and may win further incentives from these companies.

The most popular companies today are listed here and having three or four of these in your repertoire will keep you up to date with the industry and is expected after gaining experience in beauty. To be trained in these brands you need to be employed as a Therapist within a business who has these in salon.

Vive la France!

A lot of beauty brands herald from France: the capital of beauty, chic, and sophistication.

Guinot – Founded by Biochemist Rene Guinot over 50 years ago, Guinot was the ‘createur de hydradermie’: the first facial to combine ionised gels with gentle galvanic stimulant and high frequency Ozone.

This result driven treatment is available in 70 countries and remains one of the top skincare houses to date. Bespoke products are grouped into ‘sources’, and include the longue vie range which contains 56 active ingredients.

Decleor – Developed in 1974 meaning ‘golden key’ (to the temple of beauty), Decleor uses a holistic approach to treat the skin and body. Aromatherapy is instrumental in the development of their trademarked ‘aromessences’ and is recognised worldwide.

Decleor products and treatments are available at department stores, on selected cruise ships and in their flagship salon, Spa Illuminata.

Darphin – Created in 1958 by Pierre Darphin, this luxurious skincare line combines aromatherapy and plant extracts to give radiance, even skin tone and reduce lines and wrinkles. Darphin is one of the only skincare lines to have created a tooth paste Denblan for a brighter, whiter smile.

Clarins – This family run product house was created in 1954 by Jacques Courtin-Clarins, whose clients wanted to purchase the products used in their treatments.

This company has gone from strength to strength and is probably the most recognised of the professional brands. Clarins beauty rooms and skin spas are located in department stores up and down the country and their promotional ‘try before you buy’ miniatures and marketing achievements are second to none.

Thalgo – Thalgo have been developing skincare, body care and supplements with marine active ingredients which began more than 50 years ago. Thalassotherapy dates back to the ancient times with Greek and Roman baths. Thalgo combines this ancient ritual with using the most potent active marine ingredients for balneotherapy. Thalgo wraps benefit clients resulting in a svelte silhouette.
The Best of British

Elemis – ‘defined by nature, led by science’. Elemis is the fastest growing British product house. With over twenty years on the market, it is available worldwide and dominates the cruise ship spa industry. Elemis counters can be found inside department stores and it has regular air time on QVC.

Espa – A family run business headed by founder Susan Harmsworth, Elemis uses a combination of essential oils, plant extracts and marine extracts to develop this holistic brand of products and treatments. Available in 55 countries and being innovative in spa design, Epsa boasts its contribution to the British economy by manufacturing here in the UK.

Monu – Cotswolds skincare products by Susan Molyneux use natural ingredients in their product ranges and form the smaller end of the beauty market. These are very popular with students.

Spa Find – Dead sea minerals and harmonised water are the key ingredients to Spa Find products. Spa Find focuses on health and wellbeing of the body by re-mineralising through its products and treatments. Training and flagships spa are located in the beautiful Kent countryside.
Born in the USA

Dermalogica – The most recognised of the American brands was developed in California in 1986. With continual research and pioneering formulations Dermalogica prides itself on its use of natural ingredients. It is renowned for its skin mapping consultation techniques.

Pevonia – This botanical product house created by husband and wife team Philippe and Slyvie Hennessy in the early 90’s. Eco-friendly with business support and spa design concepts, Pevonia whose name is derived from Greek mythology, is now represented in hotel spas and health clubs nationwide.

Repechage – Founded by Lydia Sarfati in 1980, Repechage is a family run business in New Jersey. Since its formation to the UK Repechage continues to grow and is used in salons and hotel complexes in England and Scotland. Seaweed nutrient-enriched products are the core of this brand.
Nail companies

  • OPI
  • Mavala
  • Jessica
  • Nailitiques
  • Essie
  • Nails inc
  • Orly

Make up brands

  • Clarins
  • Masters
  • Darphin
  • Mii
  • Jane Iredale
  • Anthony Braden.

Developing your career

There are opportunities for experienced Therapists to develop their careers for a product house as a brand ambassador within the flagship salon or department store. There are also opportunities to become a Trainer, Account Development Manager and so forth.

There are several ways to achieve this, one being to work your way up by staying with a business for a long period of time, or when moving to a new Spa keeping with those that have your particular brand in store.
Experiencing travel within your career will set you apart from your competitors and since these brands are worldwide you can still continue to work with your favourites.

Gaining employment within the department stores with companies like Clarins, Decleor and Elemis is a great first step to working with the brand. However, to advance from this to management will take further experience and more training. This will involve teaching, business management, human resources or operation management and will need to be acquired to propel you up the ladder.

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