How to Qualify a Probiotic Skincare System – Universal Companies
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How to Qualify a Probiotic Skincare System

By Lori Vargas, founder of 360 Wellness Education

Professional estheticians have the training and experience to administer treatments, but the outcome of those treatments will only be as good as the products. Choosing a probiotic skincare system that aligns with the spa and the estheticians, and that delivers effective, reliable skincare solutions is a must.

Selecting a probiotic skincare system begins with aligning with the business's brand identity. Clients need to know who the business is and what they can expect from the spa, whether they’re browsing the website, shopping the retail store, or booking a service. Brand identity sets the business apart from the competition and expresses to clients a business’s unique offerings.

Before Adopting Probiotic Skincare, Ask Yourself These Questions

Adding a new skincare line is a big investment, so be sure to consider your answers carefully:

Does your brand identity support a probiotic skincare system?
Do the ideals of your business align with a probiotic skincare system?

Does a probiotic skin care system align with the skin professionals' beliefs and training?

Will the probiotic skincare system meet the clients’ expectations?

6 Key Features to Look for in a Probiotic Skincare System

1. Efficacious Ingredients

Look for a system that includes prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics or probiotic extracts that
will support your clients’ microbiome by balancing the bacteria and increasing the microbial

A. It is important that the system contains prebiotics to nourish the microbiome such as
polysaccharides fiber, omega-rich soils, triglycerides, and live probiotic cultures, which
can instantly replenish the necessary good bacteria on the skin. then post-biotics are the
metabolites produced by live probiotics such as vitamin K, enzymes, peptides, B
complex, and alpha hydroxy acids.

B. Lysates are beneficial but are dead pieces of bacteria.
C. Look for a system line that uses safe, natural ingredients without all the synthetic

D. For market competitiveness, it is important that a line can use three powerful words:
natural, organic, and/or clean. Be aware that fragrances and alcohols can be “natural”
but may compromise the performance of the live bacteria.

E. Labels should clearly state live and active bacteria.

2. Substantiation

Review the tests supporting the claims of the products in clinical settings.


A. Seek third-party verification if available. Some of these approvals are expensive
so don’t necessarily exclude a system based on this criterion alone. Most
countries are not regulating probiotic skincare systems.

KIND TO BIOME® is a third-party certification that assures the products
are skin microbiome-gentle with ingredient and formula assessments.

EWG Verfied ™
certifies that products meet strict criteria for
transparency and health.

B.   Multiple factors influence a product’s impact on the skin microbiome. One must
take the entire formulation into account, as various factors, such as the type of
preservatives, preservative boosters, pH level, fragrances, essential oils, and
surfactants, can disrupt the skin microbiome.

C.  Validate the safety and efficacy of every product in the following categories:

Skin irritation & sensitivity
Antimicrobial effectiveness

Microbiological test

Microorganism reports

Cytotoxicity Test

Certificate of analysis (COA) on all products

3. Product Variety

Understand the positioning of the product line and ensure that it supports the targeted
skin types and different concerns. Determine if the product line is a primary line or a
support line and fill that need.

A. Probiotic skincare systems may be used as a niche product to support
compromised skin or as a hero product to support healthy skin. It is important to
have a strategy when bringing in a probiotic skincare system and understand
how it will be integrated into the service menu and marketed to the public.

B.  Note, toners may not be needed since there is no need to balance the skin’s pH
level due to the benefits of probiotic skincare systems.

4. Labels

Evaluate the ingredient labels to understand what each product contains.

A. Ingredient knowledge and the importance of key ingredients are essential to
knowing what makes the products effective.

B. Understanding how natural and organic are defined will support transparency.

5. Innovation

It’s important to choose a product line that stays abreast of changes in the industry and
one a business can grow with.

6. Retail Options

It is important to have both high-quality professional products and retail products for your clients to integrate into their daily regimes to get both continued benefits and outcomes.


A. Pricing and packaging. Pricing of products is a key to success that many spas tend
to overlook, ensuring the retail price points are affordable for your client base.

B.  Clients are increasingly considering effectiveness and ingredients over price,
both clinically and for home care.

Brand Vetting

While the features above can certainly help you narrow down your options, don’t forget to
investigate the brand itself, not just its product offerings. Look for a company that’s been in
business for a while. The brand’s reputation will become linked with your own, so make sure
it’s a good one. Here are a few questions to consider:

Does the manufacturer’s brand align with your ideals?
How long has the company been in business?

Does the company have a history of inventive product development?

Are their products backed by clinical studies?
What resources does the manufacturer offer spa partners? While loyalty programs are
great, a reputable company will go above and beyond to support its spa partners.

Do they offer professional development resources and in-person training to make sure
your estheticians are equipped to deliver the high-quality results that will set your spa
apart and keep your clients coming back for more?

Does the manufacturer provide ready-made marketing assets to support the brand?

Does the manufacturer provide treatment protocols to support the service menu

Want to learn more? Enroll in the Skin Microbiome Balancing with Probiotics Training and Certificate
This online class will challenge skin condition treatment methods and you’ll learn how
to balance the skin microbiome to help clients achieve healthy skin. You’ll also explore the skin
microbiome, the importance of balancing the skin flora with probiotics, and so much more. A
balanced skin microbiome is a foundation for healthy skin and a thriving esthetic practice. The
course includes a facial treatment ritual featuring
LaFlore Live Probiotic Skincare.

About Lori Vargas, MBA (she, her, hers)

Lori Vargas, founder of 360 Wellness Education, has over 20 years in the spa industry as a founder of multiple spas, a massage school, and as a spa consultant. She also has 14 years of experience guiding Fortune 500 Companies with corporate strategies and business development. Lori holds a CPA and MBA from the University of Chicago.

To complement her online 360 Wellness Education courses, Lori has created an educational community focused on connections and growth through 360 Wellness Education CORE Membership. This membership provides easy access to affordable on-demand advanced education, live webinars (sip & learn style), Facebook private group, newsletters, and live events. Follow on Instagram at @360WellnessEducation .

In addition to CORE Membership and her other online courses, Lori offers 360 Business Workshops. This live webinar series focuses on business start-up and development, sharing valuable insight, advice, and templates to jumpstart business growth and maximize success.

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Universal Companies is proud to have a team of experienced spa advisors on staff and welcomes you to consult with our professionals about spa products and supplies, including ingredients, equipment, and retail. Dedicated to the success of spa professionals everywhere, we're grateful to be recognized with the American Spa Magazine Professional's Choice Award, Favorite Distributor of the Year for many consecutive years. (Thank you!)

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