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Beauty File: Caroline Parker on the biggest skincare trends, industry shifts and her ‘pinch me’ moment

Beauty File: Caroline Parker on the biggest skincare trends, industry shifts and her ‘pinch me’ moment

As part of ProCollective’s Beauty File series, we shine a spotlight on the people behind-the-scenes. From those at the forefront of innovation to savvy beauty entrepreneurs, we speak to experts to learn how they got their start, what their day-to-day involves, and their predictions for what’s next in their field.

With a deep-rooted passion for skincare and a dedication to empowering through education, Caroline Parker is a one of New Zealand’s most respected skincare experts. As the Head of Education for Dermalogica NZ for over 26 years, Caroline has become renowned for her expertise in skin therapy. Her journey in the world of skincare began in London where she earned qualifications as a beauty therapist and electrologist before transitioning into a role as a tutor in a beauty therapy training school. Caroline’s dynamic approach to training and development has not only elevated the skillset of numerous professionals but has also shaped the educational landscape of the wider skincare industry.

ProCollective (PC): Firstly, talk us through your career journey to date. Have you always been passionate about skin?

Caroline: I have always loved skin care and experimented with trying a few basic products in my teens – I didn’t know what I was doing so this wasn’t always successful, but I still loved the process and discovering how the formulas felt on my skin. After completing my training as a skin therapist in London in 1985, I worked with a variety of brands but when I found Dermalogica in 1998 it was a revelation. I loved the education that Dermalogica provided which, combined with cosmeceutical professional products, allowed me to get results on skin that I had never achieved before.

PC: As Dermalogica NZ’s Head of Education, what does a typical day for you entail?

Caroline: I’m usually up early to make time for a quick coffee and then run for the bus!  A face-to-face training day begins with me setting up the learning space so it’s ready to go with whatever subject we’re focusing on. A typical training session is three hours long and involves some theory but also practical hands-on experience which gives the skin therapists the opportunity to give and receive a skin treatment. The rest of the day is spent planning and preparing for upcoming training or events.

PC: What aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?

Caroline: Training skin therapists and helping them be successful is something I love. Whether the training is face to face or a live stream online, interacting with therapists and talking about skin is my favourite thing to do.

PC: Throughout your career, what would be some of your key highlights?

Caroline: I have had the opportunity to present at Dermalogica HQ in Los Angeles which was really a ‘pinch-myself’ moment. To stand on the stage in front of Dermalogica educators from all over the world was such a privilege.

PC: You’ve been with Dermalogica for a long time! Reflecting on your career, what are some of the key changes you’ve noticed in the industry since starting out?

Caroline: Yes I have! I love the way product formulations and technology have advanced so that clients can now experience an advanced skin treatment like a chemical peel and not need any down time. Another change has been the combination of therapies that can be used by a skin therapist along a client’s skin journey, including microneedling, IPL, LED, or hydrodermabrasion.

PC: How about now – any trends you’re currently observing?

Caroline: We are seeing more skin health savvy consumers in their 20s and early 30s who are looking to preserve the appearance of their skin. They are already well-versed in the importance of SPF and want more than hydrating serums, so are open to investing in more advanced skin treatments and homecare products.

PC: Dermalogica is renowned for its new product drops. If you had to pick (we know it’s hard!) what would be your favourite launch these past few years?

Caroline: We have had some incredible products over the last few years, but one that I’m really excited about is the Pro Collagen Banking Serum.  It’s a very different, innovative approach with this product which, while it does plump and hydrate, also goes beyond that, to protect collagen that is in the skin and help it last longer.

PC: Education is the cornerstone of Dermalogica. How do their partner clinics benefit from this? What depth and consistency of training and education is offered when becoming a professional Dermalogica stockist?

Caroline: You’re right – education is so important to Dermalogica. Our education is post graduate and available to any skin therapist working for a Dermalogica stockist, free of charge. The education can be in person, live streaming online, or online eLearning. Dermalogica has a global curriculum which means the training is transferable and recognised across the more than 80 different countries Dermalogica is found in.

PC: Are there any new Dermalogica PRO treatments or products coming this year you can hint to?

Caroline: There certainly are!  We have Melanopro launching this month, which is a 6-week clinical peeling system for hyperpigmentation – it has shown some amazing results during clinical studies. Towards the end of winter we will also be launching a fantastic new service which will give your skin instant luminosity – and no downtime.

PC: Coming into winter, what is your biggest tip for treating client’s skin over the cooler months?

Caroline: The colder weather and lower humidity, after our lovely warm summer is a big adjustment for our skin, so to avoid tightness and dryness look to add moisture into your skin care routine by including a hydrating serum into your regimen or add a little more emollience in  and insulate your skin with a more nourishing treatment product.

PC: Of course, we couldn’t let an opportunity pass to peek inside Dermalogica’s resident skincare guru’s routine. Can you talk us through your morning and evening skincare regime?

Caroline: My focus right now with my skin is to even my skin tone and get my skin ready for professional peels, so in the morning after cleansing I’m using a vitamin C serum (Biolumin C) under my moisturiser and SPF; then, at night, 2-3 times per week, I’m using an at-home peel to exfoliate and fade surface pigmentation (PowerBright Dark Spot Peel) before I use my brightening night time moisturiser (PowerBright Overnight Cream).

Images: Supplied