Spa Inc. Spring 2022

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Ideas for perfectly paired treatments and products


power of Synchronicity A Canadian first:




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spa news

New business ventures and a Montreal massage competition debuts


Finding buried treasure, making the most of your assets


science of the spa


Synchronicity now, embracing technology


in the know

When two become one: new tech combo leads to great client results



Perfect pairings in your spa treatments

fresh & new


Beautiful together, products that work in harmony


spa business

Growing a spa franchise in the face of a pandemic

spa star

Meet Ashley Perri who has perfected the art of giving back





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between us SPRING 2022

Synchronicity: a powerful force in treating your clients

Award Winner ISSN 1710 -1727 Volume 18, Number 4 Publisher Susan A. Browne Managing Editor Jana Manolakos Copy Editor Brooke Smith Contributors Ildi Arlette Alison McGill Vivienne O'Keeffe Senior Account Edith Dhillon Executive 905.707.3525 Director Stephanie Wilson of Marketing


sychotherapist Carl Jung described synchronicity as the simultaneous occurrence of events that seem to be meaningfully related. To some this definition has a deeper, spiritual meaning where events are seen as a message from the universe. To others, they are merely coincidences. In Canada’s spa industry synchronicity echoes in the divine dance between physical, emotional and spiritual experiences - in treatments of the body, mind and soul. Combining seemingly unrelated modalities like massage with the benefits of thermae, epilation with aromatherapy, or microdermabrasion with the soothing sounds of alpha waves, Canadian spas are tuning in to the power of synchronicity. In this issue, we look at products and treatments that pair well together - such as the unique combination of CO2 laser and microneedling pioneered by Canadian dermatologist, Dr. Renita Ahluwalia (page 24). Spa consultant Ildi Arnette offers advice on making the most of your spa assets (page 20), while renown spa expert Vivienne O’Keeffe offers thoughtful insights into the emerging realm of VR as a complement to traditional spa treatments (page 8). We focus on the success of a leading Canadian spa franchise out of Alberta, the Achieve Wellness Spa and speak to Ashley Perri, who takes caring about her clients at her med spa to a whole new level by giving back to their community (page 16). It all adds up to a superior client experience that will inspire customer loyalty. Don’t miss our summer issue with tips and ideas on building long lasting client relationships. And while on the subject of community, we at Spa Inc are thrilled to be the official media sponsor for the Leading Spas of Canada Aspire Wellness Conference, June 12 to 14 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I hope to be able to Jana Manolakos meet some of you there. Stay healthy and beautiful! MANAGING EDITOR

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Production Crystal Himes Manager Art Director Charlene Everest

Published four times a year by: Dovetail Communications Inc. President: Susan A. Browne Tel: 905.886.6640 Fax: 905.886.6615 Email: SUBSCRIPTIONS AND RETURNS 30 East Beaver Creek Rd, Suite 202 Richmond Hill, Ontario L4B 1J2 PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40026342 Legal Deposit – National Library of Canada. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, in all or in part, without the written permission of the publisher. Dovetail Communications Inc. cannot be held responsible for any losses or other damages incurred by readers in reliance on information appearing in Spa Inc. Spa Inc. and Dovetail Communications Inc. do not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement and any and all representations or warranties made in such advertising. Spa Inc. will review unsolicited submissions (hard copy or digital texts, photos or illustrations) for editorial consideration but does not guarantee their publication. The submitted material may be used without consent or payment. One-year subscription: Canada $25, U.S. $39. Single copies: $6. Please add GST/HST where applicable. PRINTED IN CANADA Funded by the Government of Canada

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Kalahari Lumi-C Face Oil Refine radiance with our new fast-absorbing, Vitamin C-intensive Facial Oil that illuminates skin while delivering a balanced, silky finish. Infused with Organic Kalahari Melon Seed Oil and plant derived Lumiskin™, this intensive and superbly nourishing skin booster offers Vitamins A, C and E in a hydrating complex of Kukui, Argan, Almond and Sunflower Oil for a brilliant skin glow. All Yüm products are formulated in accordance with our “Philosophy of Purity”, a preference for naturally-derived, organic-source ingredients procured from ethical suppliers.

spa news JOB FLEXIBILITY, MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS ARE TOP CANADIAN PRIORITIES — ESPECIALLY FOR WOMEN Flexible working hours, free at-home testing kits, safe reopening of schools, and mental health supports are among the top priorities for Canadians at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest Prosperity Project cross-country poll. Conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights in partnership with The Prosperity Project, CIBC, and Enterprise Canada, the survey found men and women largely aligned on top priorities, with the exception that women are almost twice as likely as men to cite emotional support from family (35% vs. 19%) and mental health support from government (30% vs. 17%) as important needs. “Moving forward from the pandemic will clearly be a group effort — at home, at work, and in government,” said Pamela Jeffery, founder of The Prosperity Project, a registered charity created to ensure Canadian women are not left behind in the

COVID-19 recovery. “As a society, we must recognize and respond to these needs, collectively putting the supports in place.” Top priorities for participants included flexible hours (31%), an increased number of sick days (31%), hazard pay for essential workers (27%), flexible working locations (22%), and opportunities to take time off work without losing their positions (21%). They also wanted government to provide more COVID-19 at-home testing kits free of charge and more mental health supports. According to the survey, working mothers are more likely than working fathers to need mental health support (25% vs. 13%), financial support for a childcare provider when schools are closed (20% vs. 15%), and affordable childcare (16% vs. 7%). For more information on the Prosperity Project, go to


relaxation and detox To help clients unwind and make the most of their treatments, some spas are offering special non-alcoholic shots. Guests at the Away Spa Dallas can now enjoy a complimentary detox shot that sets the mood for pampering. The blend of cucumbers, mint, lemon juice, agave nectar, and water is said to help lift energy, boost digestion, and support weight loss. Check out the recipe at If you don’t want to create your own blend, the Relax Spa Shot is specifically designed for spas and the wellness industry. It's made from a blend of powerful nutrients — including tart cherry, malic acid, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), and organic green tea leaf — that promote a positive mood and even support muscle recovery. This all-natural functional beverage is to be consumed five to 10 minutes prior to massage or spa treatment to quickly quiet the mind and deeply relax the body.

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Massage competition to showcase Canadian talent Massage therapists from across Canada will gather this spring to showcase their talent in a first-ever competition in Montreal on June 5 and 6. Hosted by Les Nouvelles Esthétiques (LNE) and Spa Inc, as well as World Wellness Weekend ambassador, Phiane Duquet of Spa Phiane, the contest kicks off with an online selection of 24 finalists, followed by a hands-on competition for gold, silver and bronze at the Palais des Congrès des Montreal. “The championship pushes you to surpass yourself and reach your maximum potential. It is a competition, but ultimately it is with yourself that you compete. We all come out winners," explains Duquet, an award-winning facial massage expert. “By participating, you contribute to the advancement of the profession.” According to Duquet, the contest is meant to create a friendly atmosphere for the exchange of knowledge and the advancement of the profession in a supportive community. A panel of industry experts, including Duquet, spa consultant Kathryn Gallagher, Chair, Leading Spas of Canada and Mark Balchumas from the Quebec Association of Natural Therapists, will judge participants on their technical performance and artistic presentation in massage. For more information or to register go to www.



WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT? The new spring collection from OPI merges two unlikely realms: manicures and gaming. OPI partnered with Xbox for a unique collection that features 12 animated hues in four different formulas. Palette colours range from fresh blues and greens to fantastical shimmers, and they match the in-game content for Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5. The company says that manicures and gaming are both pathways to relaxation, stress relief, and imagination; this collection brings these ideas together through the colours, which are simultaneously bright and calming.

The Ottawa Skin Clinic has joined Functionalab Group, a brand developer with a growing distribution network among aesthetics clinics operating under the Project Skin MD and Dermapure brands, and in the dermocosmetics market with Jouviance. The partnership allows Functionalab Group to strengthen its position in the Ottawa and Ontario markets. “It’s an outstanding opportunity to join a fast-paced growing group and to be able to participate and evolve in an even greater project than I could have created on my own,” explains Dr. Alain Michon, Ottawa Skin Clinic founder. “The Functionalab Group has great culture and philosophy and thrives on success and growth. They are really the best partner for our team and clinic.”

How cute is this? In February, just in time for Valentine’s Day, Huawei Canada introduced a lipstick-shaped charging case and earphones. The FreeBuds Lipstick was designed by a group of multinational designers from global luxury, fashion, automotive, digital, and brand strategy industries in Huawei’s Paris Aesthetics Research Centre. The elegance of the rounded arcs and fine lines hides a sturdy stainless-steel charging case that is corrosive- and wear-resistant.

Québec medical aesthetics clinic becomes investor flagship Founded in 2015, Montréal-based Clinique Chloé recently joined portfolio company MedSpa Partners (MSP) in an effort to grow its practice and further develop its medical aesthetics team, a move that’s expected to open future opportunities for the investment firm. Speaking about her reasons for joining MSP, founder Dr. Chloé Sylvestre said, “We’ve worked diligently to build Clinique Chloé and to make it one of the most trusted clinics in Québec. MSP shares our dedication to providing the best possible patient experience, as well as our belief that the patient experience should be a unique, personalized one.” MSP CEO Dominic Mazzone added, “Clinique Chloé is one of the largest and most prestigious clinics in the country and will be operating as MSP’s flagship location in Montréal. With this acquisition, we look forward to welcoming more like-minded, top-tier Québec-based clinics to the platform in the near future.”

JOIN THE PARTY Leading Spas of Canada celebrates its 25th anniversary The Canadian spa community is about to turn Winnipeg, Man. into a whirlwind of exciting events and learning opportunities as Leading Spas of Canada marks its 25th anniversary with a reinvigorated in-person conference, June 12 to 14. Plans for the event include presentations by some of the biggest names in the industry. Regularly updated information is available at S p a I nc .c a




Why you should explore, not fear, tech’s coming capabilities.


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o the spa industry, synchronicity is viewed as the process of allowing events to unfold rather than forcing them to happen, or, in some cases, as a kind of invisible force that guides and directs our lives and work. Many healers and skincare specialists pay close attention to synchronicity and delight in its occurrence. Imagine yourself stretched out on a comfy recliner on a secluded beach, happily contemplating the placid expanse of a turquoise sea before you. Overhead, you hear the beat of wings and raise your head just in time to spot a pair of Yucatan jays. While the rolling surf nuzzles the sandy shore, you breathe in the stimulating scents of eucalyptus and pink grapefruit. You’re so immersed that you almost forget: only the smells are real. The sun, the surf, the chirping birds? Digital images in that headset you’re wearing. You’ve actually just dropped the kids off at school and have been taking a break at your favourite spa. This isn’t science fiction. Social media giants and big tech companies — including Facebook, Microsoft, NVIDIA Omniverse, and others — are funnelling big bucks and resources into augmented reality and virtual reality (VR) faster than you can say "Buzz Lightyear." Gaming, movies, and socialization are converging into new forms of entertainment that are only just beginning to take shape in a space that’s being called the “metaverse” — a future iteration of the internet where users will work, meet, game, and socialize together in 3-D. In one of my favourite books, Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership, Joseph Jaworski sees the world as mainly made up of relationships rather than things — an ever-evolving narrative full of possibilities where nothing happens by accident, and in which all our actions and decisions play a vital part. Success accrues to those who replace traditional hierarchies like bossemployee or teacher-student, and even the laws of Newtonian physics, with an altered mindset committed to new ways of understanding, to accepting the inevitable tides of change, and eventually reaching a state that Jaworski calls synchronicity. Jaworski’s book is full of excellent advice for helping spa leadership teams and other business managers prosper in times of radical change. His strategy for shaping the future is to create new realities — or what Synchronicity reviewer Peter Senge calls “operating in the moment and participating meaningfully in the unfolding of reality.” Today’s tech onslaught with its immense size and power is a perfect example of an opportunity to practise the kind of open-mindedness Jaworski champions. S p a I nc .c a



“operating in the moment and participating meaningfully in the unfolding of reality.” A report from think tank Wunderman Thompson Intelligence underscores the impending impact of the new tech era. “From picking outfits for our avatars to wear…to fostering virtual relationships and intimacy and constructing virtual homes…we’re outgrowing the bounds of the internet (and) precipitating a new era of digital platform.” If you’re having trouble imagining a world where something as literally tangible as a spa treatment and as digital as a VR experience created by Silicon Valley could have a synergistic union, remember that the spa business is all about offering customers feelings of physical and emotional rejuvenation. So rather than struggling to imagine or even oppose the infiltration of emerging tech into a spa environment, why not, as Jaworski might suggest, ask what other businesses are better positioned to embrace the coming changes? Spa customers are already coming (in part, at least) for a mini vacation. They’re a captive audience, hardly stirring during treatments. A headset might be a simple add-on to an already enjoyable visit. I recently had the pleasure of reconnecting with Simona Gozner, who is the esthetic program director at the Blanche Macdonald Centre. Gozner has observed a recent threefold increase in student admissions to her leading makeup school, and sees massive opportunities for the synchronicity of combining technology and touch. “With the rise of tech, it’s inevitable that the hunger for human touch will increase and create an outstanding opportunity for us in the spa and wellness industry,” she said. I guess that’s the other way of looking at it. The more time people spend staring into their devices, the more they’ll be needing real human contact. Tech is already infiltrating spas in other forms, of course. One example (my client, in this case) is a medical skincare spa in Edmonton, which offers a menu of eight Power Tech Facials, most incorporating lasers guided by trained specialists, while others deploy timed exposures of coloured LEDs to control harmful bacteria and improve appearance and collagen production. Of course, there are many trends spa owners should be aware 10 S p a Inc. | Sprin g 2 02 2

of. As I’ve reported before, today’s eco-conscious consumers are rapidly embracing the challenge of changing social and physical realities, largely rethinking the way they live and spend. Some say they’d commit to an entire lifetime of reduced material consumption. Somewhat pandemic-propelled is a related (and also growing) desire to spend more time outside. The World Economic Forum, for example, forecasts a “nature-positive” economy that could unlock US$10.1 trillion in annual business by 2030. Enjoying an aromatherapy session on a virtual beach on the Mayan Riviera may not strictly qualify as nature-positive. But once you accept the possibility that it could — and maybe should — be available at your neighbourhood spa, you’re on a good path. Vivienne O’Keeffe, CIBTAC, AAD, PEA, is President of Spa Profits Consulting Inc., and an expert in designing successful spa concepts. She is an international consultant in developing product lines, treatment plans, and training programs; a member of ISPA; and a recipient of the Spa Industry Association of Canada Outstanding Industry Service Award in 2001, 2005, and 2012. For more, go to


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in your spa treatments B Y J A NA M A N O L A KO S

well-paired spa treatments work in harmony, creating balance and amplifying each other for an optimal client experience.

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ive-star restaurants know it’s not enough to have great wine or great food, but that it’s the perfect pairing of each that brings out the best aspects of both. Likewise, well-paired spa treatments work in harmony, creating balance and amplifying each other for an optimal client experience. Taking inspiration from perfect wine and food pairings, we looked at how some of Canada’s leading spas combine treatments to deliver indulgence and enhanced results.

Luxury massage and body scrubs

An urban hideaway in Old Montreal, the Spa William Gray is located in the historic

hotel of the same name. The 5,600-sq.-ft. spa provides guests with exclusive offerings, including high-end Gharieni spa beds that involve a healing warm quartz massage and Spa Wave sound therapy. Masters in the art of pairings, the spa includes a luxurious hot/cold thermal experience with a Himalayan salt room, Finnish sauna, steam room, experiential showers, cold room, herbal sauna, and a seasonal outdoor pool. The spa features several combined experiences. Among these, massage is paired with thermal therapy and facial treatments, as well as a body scrub (with chia seed, matcha tea, and caffeine) and foot reflexology to stimulate the body’s natural healing and promote deep relaxation.

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Cryotherapy coupled with facials

At the award-winning Ten Spa in the Fort Gerry Hotel in Winnipeg, cryotherapy is paired with a rejuvenating facial to transform and resculpt facial contours. “Our new Anne Semonin Cryo Freeze Facial is the first in North America,” says spa director Elena Zinchenko. “This ultimate, truly rejuvenating facial combines marine active ingredients with back-to-back comprehensive lifting and lymph drainage massage, followed by cryotherapy to stimulate cell renewal.” In the cryotherapy treatment, spa staff apply ice cubes infused with active ingredients derived from botanical extracts and hyaluronic acid. The result is a revitalized, brighter, and instantly rejuvenated complexion.

Exfoliation and bejeweled body wraps

Precious metals and gems like gold, silver and diamonds have found their way into facial masks, creams, and body wraps. Benefits include enhanced collagen production, deep hydration, a luminous sheen, and the reduction of dark circles. First, the skin is exfoliated to eliminate dead cells and prepare it to absorb the minerals and nutrients. Next, a wrap is applied with gold-based lotion that imparts a beautiful glow. The treatment finishes with a relaxing massage.

Organic aromatherapy massage pairs well with almost anything

The undeniable enchantment of aromatherapy is matched with an array of spa treatments at Tranquility Organic Spa in Vancouver. One of the spa’s signature organic treatments, a deep cleansing and moisturizing Hydradermie facial, is followed by a massage that meshes essential oils with Eastern and Western techniques. And, for an ultimate aroma massage pairing, clients can select from a delectable array of manicures and pedicures like green mint tea, lemonade rose garden, vanilla chocolate, and lavender milk.

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spa business

Strength in numbers

Achieve Wellness Spa keeps its franchise growing



tarting a new spa business isn’t easy. But then again, expanding it to a successful franchise takes it to a whole new challenging level that demands an abundance of commitment and passion. It’s the kind of vigour Alethea Austin and her husband brought to the table in 2014 when they opened their Achieve Wellness Spa franchise, one of only a handful of spa franchises in Canada. For entrepreneurs, joining a franchise allows them to run their own businesses with the help and support of larger companies. It’s ideal if they can find an operation like Achieve Wellness Spa, where mutual success is central to the business relationship. 16 S p a Inc. | Spri n g 2 02 2

When Austin and her husband began their business journey, they wanted a life where they could work together while helping others “in a rewarding way.” They looked into becoming franchisees, but nothing fit their vision. The options available had mixed reviews and appeared to have limited support and poor business models. So, they decided to create their own franchise. They incorporated Achieve Wellness Spa in 2009 and spent years planning, researching, and developing it, until opening five years later. But just before construction began on their first location in Fort McMurray, Alta., an unimaginable tragedy struck the young family with the accidental death of their

spa business

three-year-old son, James. “The tragedy could have defeated us, but instead we used it to fuel our passion to complete the project and to continue to grow the business in his legacy,” says Austin. While most wellness businesses focus on one niche or service such as aesthetics, medical aesthetics, or physical therapy, Austin says her organization looks at wellness more holistically, at the dimensions of body, mind, and spirit. “We’re the only company that offers multiple revenue streams with over 60% of our services directly billed to insurance providers at no cost to our guests.” The aim is to help guests achieve better health and improved quality of life through an exceptional experience in affordable

luxury. The business offers full spa and wellness services and lux amenities like robes and slippers, showers, baths, hot tubs, and steam rooms, as well as a licensed alcoholic beverage service. “Self-care is a booming multibilliondollar industry,” explains Austin. “More and more people are understanding the benefits of self-care, and health insurers offer direct billing for many of the services we provide.” Sixty percent of the spa franchise’s current consumers are women ages 25 to 45, with the next largest cohort consisting of men ages 25 to 45. “However, there’s a growing trend with baby boomers and the aging population to becoming more health conscious and seeking out our services,” adds Austin. This has never been truer than during the global pandemic, which has pushed up consumer demand for wellness and worklife balance. “Spending so much time these past two years working from home has made people more aware of the importance of family and wanting to continue to have a career and a business that allows them the flexibility that comes from owning their own business while helping others in their communities to achieve a healthier lifestyle,” explains Austin. It’s partly the reason they were able to add two new spas as the COVID-19 pandemic raged last year. Two new franchises were scheduled for construction early in 2020, but the projects had to be halted. “We moved forward once it was safe to do so and signed a deal in December 2020.” One project opened last June in Calgary and a second franchise followed in November, located in Lloydminster, Alta. “We’re still new to this, but we’re working hard to find the right people who match our brand core values. We have a third [franchise] location being constructed for this spring, opening in St. Albert, [Alta.], and we’re in end-stage discussions with a franchisee in the Oshawa, Ont., area.” As Achieve Wellness Spa branches out and grows, it’s opening doors for smaller businesses to prosper with less risk — and greater support.

Canada is home to only a small number of day and med spa franchises Meet three at the front of the pack Considered the largest in Canada today, The Ten Spot opened in Toronto as a one-stop beauty bar and self-proclaimed “anti-spa” in 2006. In 2012, the first franchise opportunities were created to fuel growth. It has since exploded with franchises throughout Canada and the United States. With over 500 locations, Hand & Stone is among the largest in the country, offering massage and skincare spa services since 2006 in Canada and the U.S. It’s currently looking to expand into markets in Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Southwestern Ontario. True Balance, a Canadian health and beauty clinic, offers medical aesthetics, Botox, fillers, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, and a range of spa services. It even provides supervised childcare at its St. Albert, Alta., location.

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Profe s s i o n a l s ki n c a r e . Fo r the es thetic ia n , by the es thetic ia n






in the know

Treasure B UR I ED

Making the most of what you already have can lead to a hidden revenue stream. Angle-double-right

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in the know



n the spa industry, there are two ways to increase revenue and profitability: either make more money or save more money. Making more money means attracting more clients to your spa and selling more services or products. But there are ways to save, too. Consider this advice from U.S. tennis pro Arthur Ashe: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” There may be some hidden value and simple efficiencies in your spa that will help you find savings.

sales rep will give you ideas for additional uses the device can offer, and you can learn what other spas do to maximize that machine’s capabilities. For example, the Oxygeneo offers multi-use efficiencies. An informal survey of 10 med spas that use this device revealed that four of them invested in an affordable add-on called the Tripollar, a patented thirdgeneration radiofrequency technology from Pollogen that works non-invasively to tighten skin and decrease facial wrinkles, including fine lines around the lips and eyes. With this add-on, these spas attract clients who are looking for a device-based facial and increase retention of more clients who already love their experience with this device but want to try something new. As you search for savings, you need to objectively assess each piece of equipment you have and ask if it’s delivering the results that keep clients coming back. In other words, do you avoid or hesitate to recommend a service because past clients have been unhappy with the results? Devices and technologies also need warranties, maintenance, or repair—and that costs. One spa recently decided that fixing a hydra-body treatment device just wasn’t worth it. After a review, the spa found that it was much more cost-effective to expand three of its top-selling services than to replace the one device. During the first phase of the pandemic, fees for keeping warranties on lasers and other devices came as a shock to spa owners and managers, especially when they evaluated the equipment’s performance against the revenue it was bringing in. Many med spas that eliminated an underperforming device saw an increase in revenue within three months after “retiring” it. The revenue from the new service more than compensated for the decommissioned device.


Most spas and med spas have their favourite devices or technologies. That’s nothing new. But what top revenue-generating spas do differently is use each piece of technology to its maximum efficiency, taking full advantage of the functions offered by the device. Unfortunately, some med spas are notorious for using only one to two main functions of a laser and then purchasing new equipment—even though the original laser offers the same treatment. A quick call to your

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At your spa, your most valuable asset is your staff. So, instead of hiring new staff, upskilling your employees within a culture of cross-functional training has been a long-standing, proven strategy for revenue growth. But having employees perform more than one job and contribute to two or three areas of your business means a shift in mindset and behaviour. The benefits? It increases staff retention because people love doing work that gives them the opportunity to use their skills, talents, and passions. It provides coverage in multiple positions or areas of your business when there are staff absences or lastminute changes. Ask your team members if there’s an area of your business they could contribute to for two weeks and then return to their current role. Their answers may surprise you. If you have the time and resources, book your staff for reciprocal treatments or services from teammates. Even if they’ve worked at your location for years, this simple activity instantly increases cross-promotions, organically promotes cross-credentialing without fake-sounding scripts, and boosts team bonding and morale.


Finally, don’t be afraid to eliminate products that continue to be your poorest sellers, and bundle your top sellers into kits or groupings. While reducing or eliminating entire product lines seems counterintuitive to increasing revenue, it has been shown to work. It keeps your selections clear and meaningful for your clients. While strategically adding new product lines can increase revenue, it often requires a larger investment of time and money to achieve positive cash flow. Using your existing top-selling products is a more cost-effective, low-risk way to increase revenue. Determine if you can bundle these existing products to provide more value and better results for your clients. Identify your top-sellers and how you can feature them together to share their benefits with clients, and relegate the poorest sellers to the back shelves. In the health, wellness, and beauty fields, there’s often a culture of looking for the “next best thing.” This pressure, along with a big dose of “what’s my competition doing”—thanks to social media— can be overwhelming for spa managers. The prevailing mindset is that we have to keep drastically adding or reinventing our offerings to stay competitive. But is that always the case? Before adding the next best thing, take a look at what you have or are using more frequently. You may be able to bring in untapped revenue more quickly, and easily, than you think. For over 20 years, Ildi Arlette has elevated medspas to achieving status as in-demand, profitable workplaces where leaders and teams are inspired to serve, build and sell.

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“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” There may be some hidden value and simple efficiencies in your spa that will help you find savings.


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science of the spa

When two

become one A unique marriage of two technologies leads to amazing results, according to one dermatologist. And, it’s a first in Canada. BY JANA MANOLAKOS


hy settle for one, when you could have two? A Toronto-based dermatologist is taking her clinic to the next level with an innovative device that combines two popular technologies — the fractional CO2 laser for skin resurfacing and radiofrequency (RF) microneedling for dermal remodelling — in a single device. “Both modalities are very popular, and a lot of our patients are getting those treatments separately,” says Dr. Renita Ahluwalia, lead dermatologist and co-founder of the Canadian Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Centre. “To combine them within one machine in one treatment session, the results can be just amazing. I’m always looking for the best technology for our clinic.” She found what she was looking for in Cutera’s Secret PRO. For Dr. Ahluwalia, the opportunity to treat patients in one session with one device, the first in Canada, was

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appealing. “At the Canadian Dermatology Centre, we want to be cutting edge, we want to bring in new technologies, and we want to challenge ourselves and get the best results for our patients. So this fit right in.” While the CO2 laser fractionally ablates the outermost layers of the skin, the invasive RF technology reaches the deeper dermal layers. With this combination, the clinic can treat the full thickness of the skin to address superficial photoaging while also stimulating collagen and hyaluronic acid production for more youthful, healthy-looking skin. The CO2 laser creates microscopic punctures in the skin at different controlled depths. “A lot of our patients choose a lighter CO2 in combination with the RF treatment. We’ll polish the superficial layers of the skin to get that laser peel and that exfoliation to eliminate the superficial browns and reds. And, if we go more aggressive with it, they’ll notice fewer wrinkles and more overall skin tightening.”


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science of the spa Dr. Renita Ahluwalia, lead dermatologist and co-founder of the Canadian Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Centre

The procedure also promotes collagen production to address scarring, and it reduces crepey skin through fractional skin resurfacing in a single treatment. Treatment options range from a light laser micropeel for prejuvenation to intense comprehensive skin renewal for aging skin. “We’re able to offer treatment options to patients with all skin types, which is really important to us.” The intensity of the treatment can be customized to target problem areas, like around the mouth and the eyes, as well as wrinkles, fine lines, pores, acne scars, and stretch marks. While more intense treatments can be done only on patients with fair skin, the laser can be adjusted to emit fewer joules of energy and much lighter peels for darker skins. The more aggressive approach is particularly popular among older patients who have a lot of fine lines and wrinkles, or who have a lot of pigmentation. The CO2 component can be painful, so for more aggressive treatments Dr. Ahluwalia will premedicate her patients. “We use a strong topical numbing cream. I often give [patients] an Ativan and a Tylenol 3 or Percocet.” (If patients are given Percocet, the clinic always ensures somebody drives them home.) “I find it makes the treatment much more comfortable. And since I started giving more medication prior to the treatment, patients are able to tolerate a more aggressive setting and get better results.” The medication helps “because, while you’re coming to a clinic, you want to have a nice experience. If you’re in too much pain, you’re not going to have a positive experience. We’ll probably have to lower the settings and then you won’t get as great a result.” For the RF needling, however, a good numbing cream is usually sufficient, she adds. Downtime after treatments also varies. “With the RF needling alone, the downtime is really minimal. A lot of people look red right after the procedure. And then by the evening, they’re fine,” says Dr. Ahluwalia. “With the CO2, if you go very aggressive, it could take up to two weeks for recovery. If you go light, [it’s usually] just a couple of days for most of our patients.” Her advice for clinics thinking of incorporating this type of device? “Especially 26 S pa Inc. | Spri n g 2 02 2

when dealing with the CO2 component, it would be nice to have a physician come in and review some of the science behind the machine and go through the dangers and what to look out for, because when you’re trying to do more aggressive settings to get some of those better results, you really need to make sure you know what you’re doing.” To get up to speed with the use of the machine, she suggests taking baby steps, beginning with lighter treatments, like the RF, and then incorporating the lighter CO2, working up to the more aggressive levels. “Make sure you’re comfortable and you’re safe. I think the one thing about the laser industry is that there are really no regulations at all. Anyone can buy a laser and start firing it in their basement. And that’s what really concerns me. I want to make sure that anyone who’s using this device knows its power and its strength. In order to get the best outcomes, you need to be able to use it to its full capabilities, because it can do so much.” She cautions that good training is critical because the machine is unlike any that spa staff may have used previously. “You need to be very skilled, and you need to be confident — especially for the CO2 portion. The Cutera team will train physicians and technicians, with both didactic presentations and hands-on experience,” explains Dr. Ahluwalia. In the short time the clinic has offered the treatment, it has quickly become popular among patients. “It was a very easy sell for them because the results are so good,” she explains. “We’re a full-service dermatology, plastic surgery, and medical aesthetic spa, so we like to have that experience where possible for our cosmetic patients, because there are a lot of options out there and we’re happy they’re trusting us. We want to make sure their experience is as comfortable as possible,” she says. “It really is a great treatment, and it’s really become our most popular. My technicians are telling me to get another [machine] because we’re booked out six to eight weeks with it. We’re really happy with the device and with the results we’re getting — and so are our patients.”

the clinic can treat the full thickness of the skin to address superficial photoaging while also stimulating collagen and hyaluronic acid production for more youthful, healthylooking skin.


Premier Spa Conference


JUNE 12- 14 In the heart of the country Winnipeg, MB at the Fort Garry Hotel


Register for this in-person event and benefit from industry networking opportunities, panel discussions and speakers over two days.

fresh & new


Sculpting + Toning Facial Cupping Set


White Balm

This 99% natural origin ingredients formula is composed of concentrated and cold-extracted vegetable oil and vitamin E. This pair of active ingredients acts all day long as an envelope to repair lips. The lip balm formula is vegan and cruelty-free, and does not contain beeswax. It doesn’t include petroleum derivatives or silicone, either.

As part of a daily skincare routine, this traditional beauty tool helps improve radiance and naturally sculpts and tones the face. The facial cupping set, inspired by traditional Chinese medicine practices, is composed of high-quality silicone and revitalizes the look of skin by gently pulling the skin’s surface from deeper layers of fascia, promoting circulation and smoothing wrinkles.


Premium Skincare Gift Set


Day & Night Eye Duo

Working in tandem, this set includes a diamond dust-infused illuminating product that features a daytime highlighter eye cream for brightening dark circles under the eyes during the day, and the best-selling Restorative Eye Crème for wrinkle-smoothing hydration throughout the night.

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For the perfect gift, Hommage has curated a selection of its most popular products, designed to last for at least 60 days. The beautifully presented box includes face cleanser and moisturizer, eye serum, and styptic match sticks.

fresh & new


Healthy Glow Colour Gel

Healthy Glow Colour Gel can be mixed with other skincare creams for healthy, glowing skin. Simply combine a very small quantity with sun protection cream or another cream until you achieve a desired hue. The natural formula features the softening qualities of jojoba and sunflower oil and the antioxidant characteristics of rosemary extract. Silicone-, perfume-, and paraben-free, it’s perfect for all skin types.

Skin Multi-perfecting Vegetal CC Cream

With its white fluid texture and universal tint, this CC cream contains micro-encapsulated mineral pigments that transform into complexion correctors adapted to every skin tone when applied. Infused with fresh citrus and green tea notes, the cream is 98.6% natural and includes hydra-plumping hyaluronic acid of low molecular weight and a number of nutrient-rich vitamins and oils.


Cascading Anti-oxidant Serum


Triple Acid Peptide Peel

Hydropeptide’s gentle overnight leave-on peel visibly renews and rejuvenates the skin with a gentle blend of hydroxy acids and peptides that work to brighten, smooth, and protect. The product encourages cell turnover, improves signs of aging, and protects the skin from oxidative damage through a combination of triple-acid complex, algae extract, and skin-renewing peptides.

This serum is a high-potency multi-C cocktail that drenches skin in an infusion of powerful antioxidants. Sodium ascorbyl phosphate and high ORACscoring kakadu plum, phloretin, astaxanthin, and ferulic acid offer advanced protection from photoaging and dermal instability caused by free radical aggression.

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spa star

To date, Skinprovement has donated over $100,000 worth of complimentary microblading services to those in need.

On Winning the Pillar of the Community Award

“It’s a thrill and an honour, and incredibly humbling. I’m so grateful for this recognition within my industry for community service. From Day 1, it has been something at the heart of what Skinprovement is all about.”

On the Importance of Giving Back



iving back to the community has been a fundamental part of Ashley Perri’s business since she opened her first Skinprovement location in Vaughan, Ont., in 2013. (She opened a second clinic in Schomberg, Ont., in 2021.) “As a skincare specialist, I have the privilege of helping clients look and feel their best,” Perri says. “As a civic-minded citizen, I aspire to enrich the well-being of people surrounding me, which means helping the community that made my business the success it is today.” In 2016, Perri started Brows for the Brave, a feel-good initiative aimed at those who have suffered hair loss due to cancer. To date, Skinprovement has donated over $100,000 worth of complimentary microblading services to those in need. This incredible program is just one of the many ways Perri gives back, and one of the key reasons why she took home the inaugural Pillar of the Community Award in Spa Inc.’s 2021 Canadian Spa & Wellness Awards. Here, Perri shares her thoughts on what this award means to her, what drives her success, and how you, too, can raise your own level of community involvement. 30 S pa Inc. | Spri n g 2 02 2

“Being involved and helping my community is of the utmost importance to me. In addition to Brows for the Brave, I’ve also pledged my support to the Mackenzie Health Foundation’s Exceptional Care Begins Here campaign. I’ve pledged $150,000 to the Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, which will fund a critical care room. This is something desperately needed in the pandemic, but also something of special personal significance, as I spent a lot of time in a critical care ward as a teenager when my mom was ill. Other charitable involvements include helping to raise funds for the local Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter and event sponsorship for Hospice Vaughan.”

On Motivating Her Skinprovement Team to Be Community-minded

“There are 13 incredible people on my team, and everyone is exceptional at supporting the growth of Skinprovement by promoting Brows for the Brave and helping with every charitable program we’re involved in. They are an incredible support system, and all of us feel incredibly rewarded knowing that what we do is for the greater good of our community.”

On What Drives Her Success

“Fear always holds us back from our dreams, and the greatest fear we should all have is not knowing what could have been because we didn’t try. For aspiring entrepreneurs and future industry leaders my advice for success is to wholeheartedly believe in yourself, persevere, and work hard because, as I well know, ultimately, your dreams will become reality.”

On How to Become More Involved in Your Community

“Pick a foundation or start an initiative that speaks to you and has a particular personal significance. Start small, and steadfastly build on your involvement. Having a successful business is wonderful, but the feeling of giving back is priceless.”



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