Some of each, please!



The professional skin care industry is hurting at the moment. We all face worries and uncertainties about the future. But this deviation from our usual day job of giving skin treatments and providing grooming services has provided an opportunity for us to focus on training. I know how difficult it normally is for skin therapists to have the time to attend training, though the rise of webinar-style training has certainly helped. However, just now we possibly don’t have the same time restraints and our biggest question may well be: What type of training shall I do – product-specific or generic?

If you think back to when you trained to become a skin therapist, the training was predominantly generic, as it should be. The foundations of our industry are in the science; before we learnt about any particular product, we needed to learn the science of skin and cosmetic chemistry. But the need for generic training didn’t stop once we had our beauty therapy certificate. In fact, it became even more important as a way for skin therapists working in the industry to keep up to date with new science – with things that weren’t in the curriculum during our undergraduate training, eg, a recent study which confirmed that exposure to pollution causes premature skin ageing. This is the type of training that is thought of as ‘generic’ rather than product-specific learning.

I certainly don’t want to suggest that product-specific training is not necessary. Unless we understand how a product works on the skin, we can’t feel confident in recommending it, so product training is very important. But I encourage you to also explore the options for generic training – and there are some excellent industry providers. It’s not just about revisiting your old knowledge or going ‘back to basics’ – there’s some wonderful new knowledge to be found.

So, generic vs product specific training? I’ll have some of each please!