Clinic of the Month

This month, I sat down to interview Meredith Hansen, owner of Illuminate Skincare Esthetics. Get ready because I think her story is actually quite inspirational! Especially for people thinking about Corneotherapy or about Dermaviduals. Let’s see what she had to say.

Can you describe what things looked like for you and your business before working with Dermaviduals?

Before I started working with Dermaviduals, I was more the esthetician that attracted the client for the ultimate relaxation treatments, the luxurious facials, and whatnot, which is awesome. But those people don't always want to invest in caring for their skin. They're often coming for the treatment and the treat, as opposed to working long term with me on their skin.

Do you remember that moment in time that you decided to switch things up in your business and bring Dermaviduals into your business? 

I had a client come to me wanting to correct her skin and wasn’t successful with the other line that I carried. I had been leaning towards Dermaviduals but I had a little bit of hesitation as I was already committed to a previous brand. But then I realized: “Wait a second, it wasn't working. I have all this knowledge, but I'm not able to apply it.” It was a fork in the road. I guess I was ready at that point, and I hadn't been before. 

Dermaviduals as we know marches to the beat of its own drum. It’s not mainstream. I tend to lack confidence sometimes so aligning with a brand that's got all the pomp and circumstance around it felt safer. But this client that I had been working with, we weren't getting any success. So I decided it was time to try something different. 

I call her like my “Canary in the Coal Mine” because she was very open and willing to go on the journey with me and within weeks of using the Dermaviduals product, I was watching her skin change virtually in front of my eyes. It was like magic. It still blows my mind. She was probably one of the easiest transitions I've ever made and very successful, very quickly. 

What has the impact been of bringing Dermaviduals into your business for you, personally, your business, and your clients?

I feel good about using Dermaviduals. I feel like it's a company with a lot of integrity, that does a lot of research and keeps it real. 

I've started attracting the people that are looking to go on a skincare journey, that are looking to stick with a plan and get real results. Over the last four years, I have watched my clientele morph into my ideal client. And if they're not, they just don't come to me anymore. Now it’s people looking for me to help them incite change in their skin or get them on a healthy skin routine. 

And in my world, part of the Corneotherapy philosophy is that inside out and outside in, and I think stress relief and relaxation, check a big old box there. So I love that I can marry those two things together. 

What were the surprises that came up for you in bringing Dermaviduals on board? I want the good, the bad, and the ugly? 

One of the surprises was how much you can influence change in the skin without aggressive intervention in the forms of peeling or that heavy exfoliation modality. As an aesthetician, that's sort of what we've lived, eaten, and breathed, People are still treating skin that way and they are getting results. But I learned the downside of that and also how a relatively simple formulation in a cream if formulated correctly with those principles of Corneotherapy and compatibility with skin lipids, how much that simple formulation can get results. I call it simple but intentional. It's intentionally formulated to sort of watch change happen without 15 different products and everything that, as an aesthetician, we have embraced over the years. It was a little bit of a surprise. I was a bit of a skeptic, but I changed my mind. 

What would be the bad? You have to think a lot. We're also used to being spoon-fed. But the more you work with the product, the easier that becomes. And it does set you apart from others when you learn how to link product composition with physiology, and explain that to your clients and then achieve results. It creates a lot of trust.

What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking about bringing Dermaviduals into their business?

I would say don't be afraid. Jump in. Don't get caught up in the pomp and circumstance of our industry. It is a small line and it isn't as well known in Canada, and that is what is super cool. So if you're thinking about it, and you want to be a leader, do it sooner than later, because I think that the industry is starting to catch up. I'm kind of jazzed about the fact that I get to be a pioneer in the industry by learning about the skin and then working with a product that truly supports skin barrier and approaches it from that skin-caring side, as opposed to the peel to heal philosophy, I think it's so exciting to be kind of ahead of the pack. 

Stop being afraid and just do it. You won't look back.

Thinking back, do you feel like the journey was necessary for you, or do you think that you could have made the decision earlier to become fully Corneo Therapeutic?

If I knew what I know now, I probably could have jumped faster. But I do think that things happened in the timing that they're supposed to. The results that I got with my “Canary” were so transformative that I almost feel like maybe that was a gift from the universe, that it was just such a crazy success with the first client out of the gate. It's not always been easy. Sometimes it takes longer, and it isn't so like, unfolds in front of your face so quickly. But for me, that happened. 

Of course, if I could go back and do it a little bit sooner, who knows where my business would be at now, you know?

What would you like to see Illuminate become over the next 10 years? What does the 5 or 10-year vision look like for you?

So now I'm 90% facials going from having a lot of grooming services (pedicures, manicures, gel polish) and transitioning primarily to the treatment room. So that's happened. And I wanted to even refine that more. I want it so that every person on my treatment table is there for corrective skin care. That's where I'd like to see it transition to being very much that all of my business is helping people with their homecare and combining it with being able to offer them their in house treatments. I actually don't see myself having staff, or getting bigger in that capacity. I do really like being in the treatment room.

I work to live, I don't live to work. And in the business world, that's a little weird, because so many business owners live to work. I love my work. But having lost my mom at such a young age, I have a father that has cancer, I do appreciate that life is short and so you do have to have balance. And that's why I keep my business the way I do because I do like that balance. 

I want to ‘kill it’, but how I want to ‘kill it’ is important.

The language of business is numbers but you don't have to have a crazy goal of having a million staff members. I think what success is, is very different for everybody and I love the clarity that you have around what that is for you. I think that's what the beauty is with this industry is that we can mold it and the way that we see it fit. 

Find Meredith on Instagram (@illuminateskincare) or Facebook (@illuminateskin).
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