Hand facials are coming into their own as a professional treatment offered by nail technicians. Beaucage salon owner Phyllis McKinnon in Boston finds hand facials have become more popular at her salon with women over 30 since she started promoting them through gift certificates and “tickler cards” at the reception desk.

Though hand facials are generally more popular in the winter, McKinnon encourages nail technicians to promote them year-round. “You just need to educate clients,” McKinnon explains. “The good part is that it’s easy! Hand facials are an immediate sell because a client can see and feel the difference right away. The skin looks more youthful, and the pigmentation is evened out.

“We also introduce the service to new clients by suggesting it as a gift certificate because it is something special,” McKinnon adds. Technicians at Beaucage (named “Best of Boston” for manicures two years in a row by Boston Magazine) recommend the treatment with manicures for bridal parties so the hands look attractive in close-up wedding photographs.

McKinnon prefers calling the service a “paraffin treatment” or a “therapeutic hand treatment” because, she says, these terms are more descriptive and inviting.

At Beaucage, the therapeutic hand treatment includes a manicure and is priced by doubling the cost of a manicure (about $17.50 at Beaucage). The hand facial itself usually takes 30 minutes, plus the time for a manicure.

And what about the training for hand facials? “It’s easy,” says McKinnon, “if the nail technician has a solid knowledge of nails and skin.

“In just four to five hours of training, a nail technician can learn the treatment. The important part is to be clean and organized because the procedure involves a lot of products that need to be properly presented to the client.” Follow these steps for a basic hand facial treatment.

Step 1: Cleansing. Place the client’s hands on a fresh towel. Cleanse with an antibacterial emulsion and warm water. Remove the emulsion with natural sponges and pat the hands dry.

Step 2: Consultation. Analyze the condition of the hands to determine what type of massage product you will use (e.g., pigmentation ampule for pigmentation spots, nutritive cream for dehydrated or dry skin). Ask clients about any allergies and check hands for any cuts or abrasions.

Step 3: Exfoliation. Apply an enzyme peel or exfoliating scrub to the hands to refine the texture of the skin; rinse off after 2-5 minutes.

Step 4: Conditioning. Massage a treatment cream or ampule of your choice up to the elbows for approximately five minutes. Depending on the client’s skin type, use a spot fade cream and a conditioning lotion that contains sunscreen, or use a hydrating gel that contains sunscreen. Use an effleurage (deep, strong massage) stroke to stimulate circulation and warm the hands so the skin is more receptive to ingredients.

Step 5: Paraffin Therapy. With the hand facial completed, McKinnon recommends following it with a paraffin service. This important service provides a barrier that helps lock the moisturizing cream into the skin, lengthening the moisturizing benefits of the hand facial. Many clients find that fine lines are diminished and their cuticles are softened.

Step 6: Manicure. Proceed with a natural manicure as usual.

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