The outbreak of the virus hit Dermalogica hard in the region as all of its salons were forced to shutter their businesses temporarily.
In SEA and Hong Kong, Dermalogica is distributed by EIG Dermal Wellness, a publicly listed company based in Malaysia.
According to EIG, all the outlets have reopened as of mid-June, albeit to a challenging environment where there is a fear of physical contact with another human being.
“What counts is that we have defined the most appropriate steps now so that the industry can embark on the changes necessary to make facial skin care services a reality. With big businesses focused on digital or sitting it out, skin therapists are not willing to give up on the important industry of human touch and connection,” said Dermalogica Global CEO Aurelian Lis.
This is not the first time the Unilever-owned Dermalogica has come head to head with such a problem.
“In 1994, we were facing a very different challenge, a different virus – HIV. Dermalogica pulled in top experts from the AIDS projects and collaboratively we designed an education programme around that virus and how we could educate our skin therapists to keep themselves and the clients safe,” said Michelle Lam, Senior General Manager, EIG.
Leveraging on its past experiences, Dermalogica has developed a programme with the help of experts to train its therapists to adapt to the new normal.
“Again, we will lead with education. We assembled a range of experts to share with us what we know, what we don’t know and what we believe are the best protection and procedures for us to adopt in the new normal,” said Lam.
Dermalogica therapists that undergo this training are awarded the Dermalogica Clean Touch certification.
“These standards are observed in addition to, and not replacing the regulations by local authorities. The objective is to help skin therapists, create a safe environment for the practice of skin treatment services, and to instill trust and peace of mind with consumers,” added Lam.
In addition to the certification, the firm also put in place new measures to help salon owners and professional skin therapists reopen their businesses.
The Dermalogica Principles for Enhanced Service Safety, for instance, is a set of directives such as maintaining physical distancing by staggering appointments and limiting entrance; wearing masks in common areas and masks and face shields during treatments.
Additionally, the firm has implemented detailed safety protocols that address specific touchpoints such as pre-appointment screening; client arrival and departure; retail and common-area floor services and treatment room sanitation.
Lam added that the firm was confident that consumers will return to its salons for treatment, especially with the safety protocols in place, noting that the human touch “has never been more needed”.
“We are confident that consumers will return to the salons. Prior to reopening, we did an online survey and our regular customers have stated that they were looking forward to coming back for skin treatments.”
However, in light of the volatile nature of the pandemic, the firm has also undertaken some steps to connect with its consumers online such as virtual skin consultations.
During the lockdown, the firm also conducted Instagram Live sessions with its experts to educate consumers on skin concerns and organised influencer ‘takeovers’ to share yoga and workout sessions to keep consumers engaged.