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Just the other day, I was on the phone with someone from India who works in our industry. Lots of similarities in spa products and services over there, yet not surprising, they do some things differently. Take waxing - it's very popular among Indian women. But for a slight variation, spas add local ingredients and mint to the waxing to cool down the skin.


What goes into a product and what it does for the client is always of interest. I formulate all of BIOTONE's products, so I'm always on the lookout for new ingredients for new products or to expand one of our existing lines.


People ask me how I learn about new ingredients. Talking to people in the industry even as far away as India is one way. And I'm always reading trade magazines or searching for articles online. Of course, I get a lot of information from manufacturers, which I validate with my own research and fact checking.


It's not only ingredients I'm after - I want to learn about ingredient trends. I'd say right now the trend for ingredients is about getting results up and down the customer food chain. You want products or 'tools' that make it easier to do your job. Your clients in turn want treatments with demonstrable results - enhanced skin hydration from a wrap or a massage that alleviates soreness. Our job at BIOTONE is to find ingredients that meet your needs and your clients'.


Another trend is 'natural' for those ingredients that I call behind the scenes - the binders and preservatives that ultimately make the product come together. We're doing a lot of research in that direction.


The hunt for new ingredients is a never-ending process not to mention passion of mine. New ingredients mean new product possibilities - it doesn't get any more exciting than that to me.