When clinics closed during the pandemic, owners and their teams searched for alternate ways to generate income in order to keep business afloat. For Fatma (Faye) Salahi, owner of Prime Aesthetics in Sevenoaks, Kent, the pandemic presented an opportunity to start her own skincare label.
After promoting and stocking other brands in her clinic for years, Salahi realised she was relying on the income, despite not making much mark-up on products. “While I love the brands I stock, there’s things I would change about them,” she says. “I would often have to mix and match brands to meet my clients’ skin needs.”
Having her own clinic and skincare label wasn’t always the plan for Salahi. “I’ve been doing this for 10 years, but before that I was in the corporate world,” she says. “My degree is in marketing and advertising, but after having children I went self-employed to allow me to work around their needs. When I moved from London to Sevenoaks I made the decision to train in something different, that would give me the work/life balance around the kids that I needed.”
When the opportunity to found the clinic arose, it was to good to turn down.
“By then I had a customer base, and the kids were older. It seemed like the perfect time. I love what I do. Educating people and making a difference is what I really enjoy.”
When the business opened 10 years ago, Prime Aesthetics carried out beauty and waxing treatments, evolving aesthetics treatments as the business has developed.
“HydraFacial is our most popular treament.
We also offer microneedling and laser hair removal. We also have a doctor offering injectables.”
WHERE TO START
When starting the journey of creating her skincare label, Salahi didn’t know where to begin, going back to basics and using Google for her questions and queries.
“I had this idea in my head and just kept Googling, trying to find the right manufacturers, pharmacies and chemists.
But I didn’t really know where to begin,” she explains. “Some companies wanted large quantities, while others wanted you just to buy the product and put your branding on it,” she says.
After trying numerous formulas that ended up not being quite the right consistency or having too much perfume, Salahi went back to her Turkish roots to find what she was after. “I ended up going to Istanbul”, she says. “I’m Turkish and it’s a very forward-thinking country and advanced in dentistry and medicine. They sent fantastic formulations and we tweaked until we were happy. It was just finding the right people to perfect the products.”
It wasn’t just the product itself that needed tweaking, but also the packaging.
“It had to look professional so rather than just jars and bottles, I had to invest in airtight product packaging,” explains Salahi. “There were a lot of things to consider, because it has to look appealing, but also professional to reflect the clinic.”
She adds, “The packaging is still a work in progress but this will evolve as the brand develops and grows.”
With the formulation finalised and the packaging created, Salahi named her brand Prime Skincare, making a conscious effort to tie it in to the clinic’s name, Prime Aesthetics, while giving it its own identity.
“It was like starting a new business from scratch and although it was sold online, I wanted to keep a connection to the business I had already established.
Starting with just one product during lockdown Salahi’s confidence grew and with it so did the range.
The first product was an enzyme exfoliator based on what Salhai felt most met her client’s needs. “I’ve taken all our years of experience of talking to clients on what they’re looking for and used that to inform the products”, she says.”My focus for the range is skin health, this is what we advise prior to delivering any advanced treatments. All our products will hydrate while looking after the skin barrier.
“I thought start with something to really draw people in and believe in the product rather than putting on a cream that doesn’t physically or immediately do anything.”
The range has since expanded to include and 3 in 1 Ultimate Eye cream, Acne & Blemish Clearing Serum, 2%
Salicylic Acid Cleanser, Hyaluronic Acid Serum, Hydrating Cleanser, 15% Ascorbic Acid Serum + Vitamin E & Ferulic Acid, 10% Niacinamide Serum, 10% Lactic Acid Serum, 5% Niacinamide Daily Toner, 2% Salicylic Toner, 2% Salicylic Acid Serum, Retinol Renewal Cream, Oil Free Gel, Daily Moisturiser, Vitamin C & Retinol Cream, HydraBright Gel Eye Patches, Bee venom Mask, Alpha Arbutin Pigmentation Serum and Microneedle Eye Patches.
For Salahi, one of the main priorities for Prime Skincare was keeping it simple. “All our products names are super simple. For example, if it’s an eye cream, it’s called eye cream! I then list the key ingredients instead of words like anti-ageing /rejuvenating. They can mean anything.”
Prime Skincare is sold through the Prime Aesthetics online shop as well as in store through the clinic. In the future, Salahi says that she would love to push Prime Skincare to be a business on its own.
Visit www.primeaesthetics.co.uk and use code Prime30 for 30% off.