I hope you are all keeping safe & healthy during these difficult times.
It’s lovely to be back writing my column in the Limerick Leader. I took a little break to have my baby boy Daniel who is now 12 weeks old and getting bigger & more active every day
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be doing a number of interviews with people from the beauty, lifestyle & aesthetic industries. It will be a mix of local and international guests whose thoughts I hope will be of interest to you.
This week I interviewed Michelle Ryan who is the National Training & Education Manager for Image Skincare.
- Agnieszka Orlowska-Kloda
Name: Michelle Ryan
Role: National Image Skincare Training & Education Manager Renaissance Products
Hi Michelle, can you tell me where you work and what is your role?
I have been the national trainer for Renaissance Products for over a year, having previously worked in other roles for the company. Renaissance Products is a professional skincare house that distributes and educates on brands such as Image Skincare, Yon-ka Paris, Genosys, Ultraceuticals and Hush & Hush.
Who are Renaissance/Image?
Image skincare is an advanced cosmeceutical skincare brand focused on results driven treatments, treating all skin concerns and conditions. The very first collection they developed was the Vital C line, which is predominately for dry/ dehydrated sensitive celtic skin. To date this line is still a favourite of Image Skincare users nationwide.
Michelle, when I first met you, I was impressed with your knowledge of skin & skin care. How did this journey with Renaissance/Image begin?
My career in the skincare industry started 11 years ago, working for Carmel Hough in Carmels at 25 Nenagh, before moving to Perth, Australia for a year. What was planned as a working holiday soon turned into more of a career progression as in Australia I got to work on skin that’s exposed to some of the harshest climates in the world. This gave me a newfound respect for healthy skin and how important it is to look after this living organ. When I returned from Australia I was given the opportunity to work for award winning skin and laser clinic Mediskin. This is where I was first introduced to Image skincare.
I began my journey with Renaissance Products in events, performing skin consultations from Dingle to Belmullet, to Longford and everywhere in between. Education was always an area I could see myself in as I loved learning, educating others and understanding the more technical side to skin science.
Can you tell me what a typical day was like for you before the Covid-19? - And what’s it like now?
My typical day as a Trainer normally resides in Howth, Dublin where the Image training centre is located. But because of current circumstances we have moved all training online to allow our customers to make the most of this difficult period. This is a new element of our learning platform but I am certain it is something that is going to play a more important role moving forward. We’re so blessed to have these amazing resources now. It’s given us the opportunities to think outside the box and be creative with what is the ‘new normal’.
What impact has Covid-19 had on the beauty industry?
These times are difficult for small businesses, but health and safety is priority right now and social distancing is proving to be extremely important. As a result the majority of our accounts have moved their businesses online offering online skin consultations and ecommerce solutions. This is giving their customers direct contact with them to help maintain skin health at home. It’s so important to keep your home routine as normal as possible,along with maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and of course getting a good night's sleep. Keeping up your skincare routine and allowing time for that small element of self care is more important than ever while we are locked down.. When the body becomes stressed, so does your skin, so its important to keep on top of your skincare routine to lessen the chance of dehydration and sensitivity.
Do you see changes for the industry once we are clear of Covid-19?
I can definitely see changes in the beauty industry after Covid-19 and feel the industry as a whole will become much stronger as a result. It’s bringing a lot of people in the industry together. One of our accounts, Opium Skin and Beauty, launched a campaign to give back to our front liners once all restrictions have been lifted. The response to this was incredible with salons, hairdressers and barbers across the whole country offering a free pamper day for all frontline workers as a way of saying thank you for all of their hard work during these times.
Michelle, you’re dealing with businesses all over Ireland, and this is one I’m interested to know, what do you feel is key to running a successful business?
Personally, I think that the key to running a successful business is being more and more focused on Customer Experience. Today more than ever, consumers expect more and have less patience for poor service. Customer experience is really a differentiator for brands and business in this new age of social media and influencing. Having the right products and partnerships goes a long way too!
What are the current skin care trends in Ireland and is the Irish attitude to skin care similar to what’s happening internationally?
I feel as a nation we are becoming a lot more aware of how to look after our skin. We are definitely more educated when it comes to skincare and advanced treatments in comparison to a few years ago. Climate can have a huge impact on the skin and in Ireland in particular our environment is very harsh on our fragile celtic skin. We are more prone to sensitivity and dehydration as a result of this. People are aware of the benefits proper skin care can have in repairing and protecting their skin while also slowing down the aging process.
From my own experience, clients want a quick result when it comes to their skin. Is it as simple as that?
I feel in general consumers expect a quick fix treatment to solve all their problems but it just doesn't work that way. Healthy skin takes time and commitment. I always describe it like going to the gym. You’re not going to see results instantly and your skin will change from time to time. So be patient.
Can you tell me what your skin care regime is?
Currently my skin is very congested and dehydrated. So in the morning I start with my Clearcell Cleanser, Ormedic Balancing Serum and spf 32.n the evening I’m cleansing with the Ormedic Cleanser twice, Ageless Total anti-aging serum and Iluma cream. I always the use the Image MD collagen recovery eye gel.
Finally Michelle, what does great skin look like for you?
My idea of great skin is a healthy glow, even complexion and skin that is visibly well hydrated. The ultimate goal? - Feeling confident in your own skin, without the use of make-up!