Let’s be honest, I would absolutely love to have a retail space the size of Sephora for skincare product sales but that’s not my reality. I may not have a fancy product retail space, but I do have products housed on a beautiful Restoration Hardware bookcase directly in front of patients when they check out. I want my practice space to be brochure-free, clutter-free and clean, (yes, I am that anal), therefore, I have to be selective of the products I place on this shelf.
Being selective on which lines I carry means not having 10 SKUs of sunscreen and Vitamin C serums. When you have multiple versions of the same category of product, patients are often confused on which one to purchase. Oftentimes, product sales occur at check out and if you are not there to guide them or do not have shelf talkers provided, the client and the receptionist can be at a loss as to which product is best. My suggestion is to have one to two different versions of a product. For example, I carry two different Vitamin C preperations. Patients enjoy a choice but having too many options is detrimental.
At The Look, I chose to go with two main skincare product lines: Young Pharmaceuticals and ZO SkinHealth. Each line has everything I need to provide quality skincare options to patients of varying Fitzpatrick types and skin fitness goals.
Here’s what I love about Young Pharmaceuticals:
- There are over 100 SKUs! I only carry about 12 of those 100 SKUs. You can pick and choose what YOU need for your practice depending on your clientele needs.
- It’s customizable. You must know chemicals, molecules and proportions. Adding Arbutase to their Kojic Acid Brightening Pads yields a perfect customized product to treat hyperpigmentation. And, by the way, that is one of my top selling products.
- You can private label. I am not convinced that private labeling is the way to go; however, it does prevent online Amazon and Ebay purchases from patients looking for a cheaper version of what you prescribe.
- If you have a deep understanding of skincare and active ingredients, you will flourish with this product line. Patients achieve fantastic results with the product and chemical peel options because of the back-bar customization that can be done.
- The chemical peels do NOT burn! Halla-freakin-lu-jah! Their Mini-Melanage peel is the best peel on the market, in my opinion, for melasma. Combine with the Kojic Acid pads and you have a recipe for melasma success.
In addition to Young, I also carry ZO. I will be very honest and tell you that I did not want to bring on another line. I was adamant but you know how it goes: the rep brings in a customized regimen, you take it home, and either you don’t see a change, it breaks you out, or you fall in love with your skin. Well, I fell in love with it and here is why:
- My skin has never looked better. I am a 40 year old, FP II with resistant pigmentation. After 8 weeks on the am/pm regimen for hyperpigmentation (non-hydroquinone), my skin had never looked better. My static crow’s feet improved, my pores vanished and my skin reflected light like I have never seen. I was sold.
- They have protocols! Easy to use, easy to teach protocols for every type of skin condition you might see in your practice. When it comes to time, I need a line that has resources to educate patients on proper application. You can definitely piece together a regimen but there is no need because the protocols are already done for you.
- The ZO 3-step peel is ah-mazing for pigment. With TCA and salicylic acid, pigment doesn’t stand a chance. Yes, it burns like a mother going on during application ( I have to dance around while I apply it to myself) and it peels for a solid 4-5 days, but oh, it’s so worth it. (Check out my Insta page to see the results.)
- Kits. Their prepackaged kits are so easy to sell. The kits typically have smaller product bottles, but it allows a patient to get started on excellent skincare without spending $500. The antiaging kit is $249 and the sun-safe hyperpigmentation kit is $269. We sell them so fast we can’t keep them in stock. That’s a good problem, right?
- Education. Product education for employees and patients is professionally executed. They have regular webinars and an online portal for education. Listen up, I do keep their brochures out because they are beautiful.
- It’s not Obagi. When I think “Obagi”, I think red, peeling, irritated skin for up to 6 weeks. Even though Dr. Obagi developed ZO, I did not experience any irritation while using the program because retinol, rather that tretinoin, options are available.
As always, there are negatives with every line. Other than price, I think ZO is the almost-perfect skincare line. ZO is a high-end, expensive regimen; their non-hydroquinone skin pigmentation protocol costs around $550-$650. Yikes. I offer 20% off the skincare line if they are also having injectables done at the same time.
With Young, there are three major negatives for me:
- Product shipment. It takes forever and a day for products to ship once ordered. You have to stay on top of inventory and pre-order well in advance.
- You have to have extra time built into your appointment with a patient for regimen creation and customization.
- They are stingy with samples.
Here’s the kicker for me, when I opened in March, my skincare product sales were lackluster. They continued to be lackluster until I brought on ZO. I have doubled my skincare sales with the addition of ZO in my office merely because they have protocols and kits already created. It’s a game-changer for me. It’s not that I don’t understand chemicals or the regimens with the Young line, I just don’t have an extra 15 minutes per patient to write down their personal AM/PM regimen and then educate them on its application.
If your practice has an esthetician who is very sharp with chemicals and their interactions, then they will adore Young because they can mix and mingle their potions for superior results. If you are like me, an injector, who wants to add skincare on at the end of your injectable session but doesn’t have a lot of time, then you will love ZO because the results are stellar and it’s easy to prescribe.
My favorite products within the Young line are the Kojic Acid Brightening pads, Vitamin C serum (it’s honestly one of the most stable formulations on the market), tinted sunscreen, acne pads and the Mini-Melanage chemical peel.
I also carry Elta Sport suncreen, Revision Intellishade, Bioesque Foot Peel, SkinMedica’s HA5, TDR sunscreen and their chemical peel line. I am beginning to phase out the multiple sunscreen options I offer.
Before you know it, you can have thousands of dollars caught up in inventory, so choose your products wisely. Every practice is different. Evaluate the needs of your clientele and choose based on the science of the products, not how pretty the packaging might look.
One word of advice, if the skincare rep has bad skin, then you better run like the dickens away from that line! If the rep has beautiful, light reflecting skin, then you might want to stop and listen to what they have to say.