Ask the experts: Stretch marks

Which topical ingredients work best for treating stretch marks?

 Stretch-marks are scars caused by tearing in the dermis when skin is stretched to the point of breakdown, at which time they start to show through the epidermis manifesting as reddish, purple striae. At this early stage therapists can have impact on the scars, helping to rapidly reduce redness, promote repair and prevent further stretching.

Bear in mind stretch marks cannot be eliminated completely; however, the appearance can be improved greatly with correct early care. It’s essential to treat whilst the striae are reddish purple, not silvery.

Oils and creams that work superficially only moisturise; they cannot treat or prevent stretch marks as they only work epidermally, not where the tearing occurs. It’s important to deeply nourish the skin with multi-functional active ingredients that penetrate to the dermis to heal, repair, thicken and re-elasticise. 

With continued use of such treatments, skin becomes stronger, more resilient, and able to stretch without damage. Treat stretch marks as you would scars, with high-percentage wound-healing plants such as centella asiatica, aloe ferox, bioflavonoids, and anti-glycation peptides, as well as elastin and collagen-stimulating ingredients and scar-healing anti-inflammatories. For example, RégimA Scar Repair & Anti-Stretch Complex twice daily provides treatment as well as prevention while helping eliminate the incessant itching associated with stretch mark development. Improvement rate depends on age and elasticity factors. With reddish purple stretch marks, you should normally allow two to three months to see improvement. To help further accelerate the repair process, treatments containing lactic, malic or citric acids every fortnight will promote healing, with dramatic improvement in as little as six weeks.

Jacqui Faucitt is founder of RégimA International Skin Treatments. Originally from the UK, Jacqui has been manufacturing cosmeceuticals in South Africa for plastic surgeons, dermatologists and skincare professionals since 1990.

What’s the best way to launch a new product without damaging loyalty to existing brands?

 The beauty industry is extremely dynamic, with new innovations in products and treatments all the time. However, on the flipside, knowing when or if you should introduce new products or services can be quite challenging. 

Before considering the introduction, you should assess if it’s a good brand fit with your salon’s philosophy and client profile. If not, don’t deviate from your beliefs. If it is, then the next step is to gain customer insight into the product before launching by issuing questionnaires and hosting focus groups or informal discussions with your target audience. This will allow you to assess demand and potential business from the introduction.

Market to your target audience using a range of tools such as your own website, social media, point of sale material, PR, events and emails. The campaign should begin before the products have even arrived; creating excitement will stand you in good stead for when you do receive the stock.

Do communicate your products via the normal marketing channels to stimulate interest, but bear in mind that in our industry the best route is through good consultation. It’s an opportunity for your staff to build trust and identify genuine reasons to trade up or purchase related products. It’s down to the skills of the staff to prescribe an appropriate programme for each client.