Aesthetician trades shop for online skin care business
When Rosaline Lowe opened Rosaline’s Skin Care and Spa more than 20 years ago, the aesthetician had a goal to serve a diverse clientele.
Lowe says she has met that goal, but after decades of working in a bricks-and-mortar business, she made the decision to close her business and serve her diverse group of clients and others in a new way.
Lowe released her skincare book “Skinversity: A Guide to Treating All Skin Types” last February and established a website, skinversity.com, where her skin products and the book is sold and a blog site, skinversity.wordpress.com, where she shares tips on the various types of skincare products and provides tips on caring for skin during the changing seasons.
As mentioned in the title, the book provides skin care tips for all skin types and explains the specific challenges African Americans, Asians and Caucasians can face with their skin.
“The book is really based on my experience treating every skin type,” Lowe said.
Lowe decided to write “Skinversity” after being pushed by her clients due to her experience working with clients from different ethnicities.
“There’s so much conflicting information out there on how to care for skin. What you should or shouldn’t do. What you should use,” Lowe said. “I think people are so confused. The book really gives a clear description of what people of color, or Caucasians or Asians should know about their skin type to be prepared to go out there and buy the right products.”
The 16-chapter book also includes information on the common ingredients found in skincare products, anti-aging techniques, a step-by-step guide on how to analyze skin and habits that result in healthy skin.
Lowe made the decision to brand her own line of skincare products, which existed long before the book, to coincide with the name of the book.
The Skinversity products—which are free of parabens, mineral oil and lanolin, according to the skinversity.com—accompany an online questionnaire where customers can evaluate their skin to determine which of the products would be best.
For Lowe, the transition from a brick and mortar business to an online business has its positives and negatives.
Lowe, who said she began to feel burnt out by the business, made the decision to close her spa three years ago.
“I was really beginning to feel like ‘gosh, what do I have left to share with my clients?’” Lowe said. “And even though, seeing the number of years [I spent in the business] I’ve built up a good reputation, I didn’t feel as though there was anything left or anything new and exciting within the spa business that I could utilize in my spa that would make me continue to move on in the field of aesthetics.”
When Lowe first closed the spa, she struggled with the lack of day-to-day interaction with clients.
“I missed getting up in the morning, getting dressed and coming into the spa and coming into contact with clients all the time, having the conversation and seeing people every few months or every few weeks,” Lowe said.
Lowe was able to counter the isolation by treating some of her clients at a clinic in Coolidge Corner once or twice a month.
The upside of running an online business for Lowe is the level of flexibility; something she said was hard to come by as a bricks-and-mortar business owner.
“If I were invited to a networking event, let’s say 7 to 9 on a Thursday, it would be very difficult for me to get out of the spa if I had clients that were already previously booked,” Lowe said. “That means I’d have to call them and say ‘can you come in another day or another week?’ and sometimes people don’t like when you start changing your schedule.”
Regardless of the pros and cons, Lowe said she has not looked back and doesn’t regret her decision to change her direction a bit.
She admits that she still considers herself in transition despite the launch of her website and release of “Skinversity.”
Next on her quest to educate on skincare is holding workshops.
Lowe said she is partnering with a nutritionist to hold workshops, starting in the fall, to talk about skin and nutrition and how both work well together.
“The first workshop is at the Brookline Center for Adult Education in October,” Lowe said.
Lowe not only has the work experience and education to teach about skincare, but Lowe had her own personal experience that ultimately led to aesthetician career.
While studying social work at Concordia University in Canada, Lowe’s mother took ill and died suddenly in Grenada, West Indies. She returned to her homeland for a few months and upon returning to Canada, Lowe suffered from an extreme skin breakout.
Searching for answers, Lowe visited a dermatologist who couldn’t offer an explanation, but prescribed a cream that only dried her skin.
Through the suggestion from a friend, Lowe visited an aesthetician that recommended products that cleared her skin in a couple of months.
“I just thought to myself ‘this is great. I would like to do this. I’d be good at this,’” Lowe said.
“Skinversity: A Guide to Treating All Skin Types” can be purchased at Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner, Frugal Bookstore in Roxbury, Amazon.com and skinversity.com.