This month we sat down with Priscilla Scharing, a highly respected SkinBetter sales representative with over 15 years of professional skincare experience, to understand why skincare is so relevant to practices today and how it can be effectively and profitably integrated into the medical office.
DSG: What is the opportunity for skincare in aesthetic medical practices?
PS: According to an industry report, physician practices are the fastest growing channel for the overall skincare market, and the opportunity extends beyond the one-time sale! We know patients are more likely to repurchase and continue using professional skincare products, like SkinBetter, that provide real and visible results, especially when they are recommended by a trusted source. Because of this expert trust factor, patients are coming into offices expecting that their provider will make a skincare recommendation.
DSG: What are the factors a practice should keep in mind when selecting the right skincare for their office?
PS: There are three core criteria practices should consider when choosing the right skincare:
- Look for brands with unique, proprietary technologies. The reason patients purchase from professional providers is that they expect medical-grade, clinically-proven technologies that are not available in any other channel. However, too often brands will carry products with active ingredients that are widely used and don’t provide a differentiated proposition. Patented, proprietary actives, formulations or delivery systems offer unique efficacy and skin benefits.
- Just because a product has the right ingredients doesn’t necessarily mean it has efficacy. Product stability, ingredient compatibility and effective formulations make the difference between real results and a superficial marketing story. To vet a product, you have to see real proof of efficacy which means in-vivo clinical testing with a biomarker, instrumental and test subject results.
- Selling skincare has become a very competitive, price-driven market. When selecting a skincare line, you will want to partner with a brand that is committed to your practice and its growth. A real partner brings added value through in-office support, both sell-in and sell-out, and provides a non-negotiable commitment to doing what’s right for the practice and the patient, and frequently that means not selling online.
DSG: How can practices effectively integrate skincare into the office?
PS: My philosophy on skincare has always been based on the necessity of education. You have to dedicate the time to explain the benefit of a customized skincare regimen to correct existing damage, prevent future aging and also work in synergy with in-office procedures to enhance results. A key part of this education is including skincare recommendations during the consultation so patients recognize the overall approach to treating their skin with both in-office procedures and at-home care. In addition, you want to create demand so your patients will ask about skincare. Merchandise the brands that you carry in a way that’s relevant, discoverable and educational.
DSG: What are the best ways to engage in the skincare conversation with patients without being too salesy?
PS: Educate, educate, educate! Professional skincare products are not about smelling pleasant or feeling good – they are about delivering results. No one can achieve their skin goals just through in-office procedures and no at-home care. How your skin is cared for on a daily basis is a key factor in your skin’s appearance. Patients can invest thousands of dollars in treatments but if they are not using the right products to support post-procedure recovery, complement treatment activity and protect skin against future damage then they will never achieve the full treatment results.
DSG: How can practices compete with online retailers and secure the repurchase in-office?
PS: Partner with the right brand that has limited-to-no online distribution – these brands, like SkinBetter, are truly committed to the physician-dispensed channel and can give you confidence that your investment in education and inventory will deliver a return. Companies with this business philosophy will collaborate and invest more personalized attention in growing your skincare business and overall practice.
DSG: How has the role of skincare changed in the professional channel over the course of your career?
PS: When I started, skincare at aesthetic medical practices were samples from mass brands merchandised in big bowls throughout the office. Back then, professional brands were still in their infancy trying to educate physicians on the patient and practice value in dispensing. Now, professional skincare goes hand-in-hand with every practice activity. Today, many in-office procedures are used to optimize and enhance skincare delivery into the skin and that’s the main objective! Think of the huge microneedling explosion! Patients no longer want the Neutrogena freebies, they want to invest in the future of their skin with proven, innovative technologies.
DSG: What do you think the future evolution of skincare and topicals will be?
PS: The sky is the limit! With evolving technology and ingredients, topicals will only continue to become more integral to practice activities – from being combined with in-office treatments for enhanced penetration and results to helping extend the treatment efficacy beyond the procedure. What I know for sure is that this is just the beginning!