Where's the Loyalty? Extremely irritated with esthetic lines.

There's seems to be a shift that has occurred recently in our business and I'm not too happy about it. I came to this realization as I was walking through my local mall and noticed that an Aveda "store" is scheduled to open up across from Sephora who carries traditionally esthetic lines such as Glymed and Murad.

What I don't understand is how they justify expecting line loyalty from us and only selling backbar and pro-only products if we buy into their line, then deciding to by-pass us completely and sell directly to the consumer despite that we've spent several thousand purchasing into their line. Does this mean they're going to sell professional backbar to us without requiring commitment? Because I would be totally cool with their "stores" if I can walk into a local beauty supply and get my backbar like hairstylists do.

And also...stop calling yourself "professional" if you're no longer requiring "professionals" to sell your product...Ulta and Dermalogica that means YOU.

SORRY RANT OVER. I'm fully expecting to be able to get my favorite Decleor Deep Cleanser, Dermalogica Multi-vitamin Peel, and H2t pumpkin mask wherever supplies are sold. I should be able to mix and match my favorites too.

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You received lots of comments and thought I would give it a shot...

This is how it should go and this is how it goes for me!

A professional skin care line is just that 'Professional".  What that means is that the end user cannot do two things:

1. Buy it 'Retail' UNLESS it is purchased 'Retail' from a licensed skin care professional or MD

2. CANNOT buy it online

These two points protect the skin care pro and MD on their investment and the understanding that the line is results driven and CAN HURT YOU or cause you discomfort if you are not advised by a licensed professional trained on that line.

A professional line is available without a prescription but can only be sold by a person with a SKIN LICENSE.  THAT IS WHAT THE WORD 'PROFESSIONAL' MEANS! You cannot buy it retail unless the retail store has a "License on the Wall". 

I am sorry but the lines that were mentioned in the comments on this thread are mostly fluff and CANNOT harm the end user.  Any line that you can buy at Sephora / Online which is sold by un-licensed skin care pros (NOT JUST HAVE ONE ON DUTY) cannot be aggressive.  Can you imagine the legal and liability issues? Not a single product I formulate/manufacture could be sold at Sephora.  Oh, ya, maybe one...The Liquid Luffa.  Even then you can't because the client needs to understand the size of the beads in the Luffa and an examination from a professional with a magnifier to see the size of pores on their face to see if there could be a problem.  Nope sorry I don't have one.  See what I mean?

A professional line must be met face to face and through a valid skin analysis by a licensed professional who is understanding of the Fitz Scale in detail and resurfacing products and wound healing. Did you know Vitamin C has sunscreen properties and can have skin lightening effects, thus the reason you put it on in the morning.  That knowledge takes time and training.  The kind of training you get from being a PROFESSIONAL.

Any skin care pro selling a line or using a line that is sold online and or at a retail store such as Sephora is not understanding of your profession and what your license truly means...

You are selling yourself short. Way short...

I understand your frustration (you have a very valid reason to be angry) and skin care professionals should take back their profession and refuse to use a line that says "PROFESSIONAL" yet sells online or at a retail store such as Sephora.



Marty--what a great way to describe the junk at many of these so called "beauty stores."

What line do you use? I am always open to hearing about new product lines.


I manufacture a product line called: Serene 'Professional Skin Care'

I would like to say this - Early in my career I was fortunate enough to meet an individual that really taught me a few things and some way more important then others. And to be honest he and I do not see eye to eye on everything but there is one thing we are 100% in agreement on and this is it:

He and I would rather go do something else then sell a skin care line that says it is a professional line then allow it to be sold either online or through a retail establishment. This person is one of my distributors and he would never think to cross me nor I would of him. If we find anybody diverting or selling online it is like a war zone.  It is taken very serious!

I can thankfully say that to date we have not had to go after any skin care professionals for diverting. 

Your paying rent right?  You have a license right?  Cost you lots of money and time to get it right? Well shouldn't I respect that as well and not go after dollars and undercut you and what you believe and stand for.



This conversation has strayed a little from my point, which is that I want lines to sell me my favorite backbar the same way hair product lines do, through a beauty supply.

While I understand the diversion issue and its importance in our industry, I have found that exclusivity has lost it's luster for me. And I don't feel like I've sold myself short. If you had asked me several years ago, I would have agreed with you 100%, but I've come to realize that my clients are smarter, savvier, and can keep up with me when it comes to product knowledge. We've gone to a whole new level and I have as much love for gentle, organic skin care lines that are rarely aggressive as I do for deep, results-driven skin care products.

I embrace any and all products that show results. I've had my hands on people's skin everyday of my life for the past five years (and I only love it more) and what I've learned is that no line, no matter how pure or concentrated can meet the needs of all people's individual skin chemistrys. There is so much going on chemically in a persons skin that one can never know how a persons whole body is going to react to the ingredients in a product. My spa carries five skin care lines, four of them available in stores or online. People come to me to help them wade through the millions of options they have and because I can troubleshoot through their product problems by adjusting their regimens without additional cost to them. I make it my life's work to know many popular products ingredient lists, even products like Oil of Olay.

I don't care so much about how they retail their product as long as clients are buying them and using them and seeing results. My treatment room products are another story, I want them to be highly concentrated, effective, and exclusive. I want product knowledge down to how one product interacts with another on an atom and DNA basis. I want technique training to make my services better than all others. Lines like Decleor Paris (<3<3<3) have amazing products that don't go more aggressive than a 16% glycolic but you bet I'm selling them because they're amazing for preserving the skin and stopping aging in its tracks. But if I want to reverse the signs of aging, I'm going to pull from another line.

So all that said, I love diversity in product, I disparage no product line (okay maybe I bash Mary Kay a little :)), I'm just tired of being told I have to be loyal to one damn line when so many of them aren't loyal to me. If that's the way it's going to be, I want the freedom to pick and choose as I like. I'll embrace the changes as long as I'm not forgotten in the process.

I totally get this and agree!  My previous comment was based on the fact that I use mainly lines that did not require a huge minimum opening order, and have reasonable reorder minimums (if any).  There are so many options now!  What's wonderful is that because we are able to sell face-to-face, we can transcend the big names which have become ubiquitous through the internet and other outlets.

Still, I would be careful about being quite so free and loose with clients' home care, especially when doing active treatments that will promote absorption of whatever is used afterwards.  Clients are walking around with your name on their face, and if they're using drugstore junk, expired, diverted, over-hyped department store stuff, angel-dusted, whatever, they may not be advertising you very well.  I do make a point that with just a few exceptions here and there, my clients need to be using my recommended home care if they want to have treatments with me.  You could say that this is a luxury that I am able to require it -- I personally look at it as by requiring this, I have been able to achieve really superior results, which has yielded lots of referrals and a busy book to the point that I don't need to take on clients who are not serious about their home care.

Our situations are very different because it sounds like your practice is different than mine. And we've responded differently to our clientele. Which is an interesting new perspective for me that while we're all estheticians, we all have different types of clientele and we adjust to meet their needs. Soon I am going independent (like next month) which is why I'm spending a lot of time on these boards learning. But up until currently I've worked in a spa that has grown to 75 service providers (35 when I started) and I am one of eight estheticians (3-4 on staff at all times). And we are BUSY but a lot of our clients are gift card users which means eyre not doing this for themselves. Which means they're not serious. I've been lucky and I have 90-100% return request rate every week but the other girls are still struggling to convince clients that they should use better skin care.

I need to get out!!!! LoL

Well said Marty....

Agree 100%!

Very early in my career when I discovered Dermalogica was being sold online with Sears I dropped the line faster than you can say bull*&^%.  Moved on to a very popular line that's been around for 20+ years and now only use their peel line since their retail products are found EVERYWHERE on-line.  No harm to my business.  I have now moved on to an excellent skin care line that is only 5 years new and still not recognized by the masses. But I know if they continue to do well, they will end up in major stores too.    When that happens I may or may not move on. But in the mean time I will continue to recommend and sell the best "Professional" products available to me and my clients.  I'm not going to take it personal and freak out about it.  Business is business.  These major skin care companies are watching their bottom line as all of us independent Esthetician's should be.  My clients trust me and my product recommendations so I'm still doing very well with my monthly sales. For me personally the best way to make it through all the BS with these skin care lines is to formulate my own line. 

Sears was never authorized to sell Dermalogica, we checked with the company when we found out about it.  It was the same as all the unauthorized online selling of other lines. 

Sears was never authorized to sell Dermalogica, we checked with the company when we found out about it.  It was the same as all the unauthorized online selling of other lines. 

It is the manufacturers responsibility to ensure the integrity of the distribution channels it uses.  It should not be up to the end users to do the policing for them.

Sales success isn't all about volume -- contrary to popular belief about "corporate beauty companies"   PRICE and POSITION are two of the linchpins are marketing, and allowing your products to go to channels that denigrate your position in the market and impact your price -- whether an actual price erosion or a perceived price erosion by being associated with a discount channel -- ultimately reduce your bottom line.

I saw Dermalogica at Nordstrom's Rack!!

Dermalogica is getting sold at the CVS across the street of my spa . In the process to switch lines . I don't care if dermalogica say that CVS is authorized or not , it is their job to stop selling bulk for begets offenders . 


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