By Richard S. Gubbe
The International Esthetics, Cosmetics and Spa Conference held its annual Spa and Wellness show in Las Vegas recently, and the 32,000 attendees got to see and feel all the latest in health and beauty products, many of them organic.
More than 500 vendors plopped down anywhere from $8,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars to exhibit and staff their way to financial success. With glitz and glitter, the blitz was on to showcase their wares for three days. Many of the products were quality contributions to this multi-billion dollar industry, but there were some questionable offerings that may have short lives.
While countless products recently have come into the marketplace and claim to be “all-natural,” remember that all-natural means very little. Dirt is a natural substance.
The current trend has shifted to organic products that are made with better ingredients and are scrutinized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under the cosmetics division to be able to stick the word organic on the label. Natural products do not undergo such scrutiny to prove their ingredients are good for you.
IECSC is the largest host for spa events in the country. Vendors are out to educate the public about being distinctive in a sea of competition. By exhibiting at the shows, vendors have access to spa owners, managers, estheticians, cosmetologists, massage therapists, makeup artists, medical estheticians and doctors looking to expand their services. Salon and spa owners and managers, skin care specialists, trade instructors and students, distributors, massage therapists, plastic surgeons and other wellness practitioners are the target audience. Also, with smaller events in New York and Florida, IECSC shows are open to the public. The IECSC also holds classes in spa management, makeup, wellness and sole practitioner and small business education.
Fringe types of companies in the areas of hair removal, permanent makeup and the microdermabrasion industry of products and machines participated. Also taking part were prominent media magazines such as Organic Spa and New Beauty magazines.
Brand marketing, bottling and packaging are crucial here. Image is everything in this industry that spares no expense. While the mainstays in the business dominated in space and personnel, the show also gave a chance for mom and pop businesses to show they belong.
The worst products
The electronic gadgets and many hair products led the way in controversy. Not only would someone not want to endure two machines while giving a facial and peel, there’s not much chance for the face to survive both chemical and electric processes. The use of electromagnetic energy isn’t a positive here, nor are the disturbing whirring sounds that come from machines made by Bio-Therapeutic and Glymed Plus from Canada. Doing both a chemical peel and skin treatment with their machines means literally scraping and burning skin off your face. Ouch! Stick with a normal facial with organic substances.
Hawaiian Moon Aloe is made of 100 percent Barbadenzis Miller Aloe and is produced at a renewable energy wind facility in Oregon. But the lotion was more like glue than aloe. Hawaiian products are creeping up everywhere, but beware.
Tiptop Confidence Building Fibers for hiding hair loss may be the worst product ever created. The hair enhancement creation is coined “Hollywood Top Secret” and is made from Keratin protein fibers and ginger root extract and sprayed on your head. The better use would be on Halloween to scare people. Created by Italy Hair Fashions of Pennsylvania.
The best products
Perhaps the biggest splash in both booth space and personnel was from a company producing Macadamia Oil. Made by Macadamia Natural Oil Inc., this potent hair product sinks in both hair and scalp and is produced in Los Angeles.
Coconut products are big. Organic extra virgin coconut oils were offered from two companies, Nohona Products and Cocoderm of Dana Point, Calif. Both are effective. The use of coconut has been incorporated into many products of late.
Valentina’s Home Brewed Spells and Potions creates Magickal Tea Infusion products. While this isn’t a beauty product per se, it was a delicious and organic tea line, which could translate into healthier skin. The small business began in Oregon and has grown quickly with single owner Valentina MacAdams creating such teas as Prosperity Brew and Prophetic Dream Brew.
The most intriguing
Mindful Minerals out of Orlando, Fla., was one of the smaller businesses represented, but had a strong offering of Dead Sea mineral scrubs, mud and salt. Dead Sea products are said to improve circulation and help relieve certain symptoms of psoriasis, eczema and acne. The Mindful Minerals products contain 21 minerals and high amounts of magnesium for better cell-to-cell communication to combat wrinkles and help detoxify the skin.
Eminence Handmade Organic Skin Care has an elaborate line of products incorporating organics and include acai berry, mango, ginkgo, tomato, plum, vanilla, mint grape, cherry and eucalyptus in moisturizers, creams, toniques, scrubs, washes, cleansers, exfolients and serums in such brands as Citrus Exfoliated Wash, Sweet Red Rose Tonique, Pink Grapefruit-C Gel and a Carmel Latte Tinted Moisturizer. The products stem from Hungary, but are distributed in Vancouver.
Sleep Squares blends “Natural Sleep in a Chocolatey Treat.” The product is billed as a natural sleep aid and claims to be non-habit-forming. The food offering comes from Slumberland Snacks.
Richard Gubbe is an award-winning journalist, public relations specialist and Reiki Master Teacher. He is a longtime Rockford resident who has taught preventive health, visualization and Reiki at Rock Valley College since 2003.
From the July 11-17, 2012, issue