“Everything has turned online, so we are using every tool possible to try and stay connected to our consumers and our partners,” said Janna Ronert, Founder of Image Skincare, a privately-held clinical skin care company offering targeted solutions for a variety of skin concerns. Founded in 2003, Image Skincare is comprised of 200 corporate employees and employs a network of 20,000 licensed professionals, across 60 countries. With a large portfolio of offerings, such as chemical peels, that can only be performed by licensed professionals, the company has had to adapt to a technology-focused approach to education and shift focus to at-home skin care offerings. Here, Beauty News spoke with Janna about business is being impacted by coronavirus, the digital tools being used to service consumers and the ways employees are keeping connected.

BN: Are you funded to operate during these times?
JR: We are very fortunate as we have been fiscally responsible for the past 18 years. We are going to keep all of our employees and ride this tidal wave together, as a team.

BN: How has your business been impacted?
JR: Since Europe has shut down, we are at a bit of a standstill, and can’t ship anything to the region. We are still shipping a lot of packages and boxes within the U.S., giving consumers and professionals the tools that they need to continue to learn and educate themselves on the product and skincare generally. Numbers wise, the end consumer is going up and the professional is going down. There has been a huge impact due to clients being unable to get into spas for treatments, which is why we are integrating new ideas onto our website and our social platforms.

BN: How are you utilizing social media?
JR: We are using social media to communicate how to keep everyone healthy and wrinkle free. As a skin care company, we are so used to touching the client, providing treatments, consultations and more, so it has been an adjustment to communicating the necessary information for all consumers on social media. As of now we are having our professionals reach out to their clients, offer free consultations, skin care tips and tricks to do at home, and any other guidance they may want or need. On social media, we are changing up the messaging and content programming. A lot of families are going to be spending extended quality time with each other and now more than ever, is the time for skin care self-care to bond families together.  For example, Wellness Wednesday and tutorials of at-home treatments.

We are encouraging consumers to make virtual appointments with their estheticians, who can suggest at-home facial techniques, calming skin care regimens with Image products, and more.

We are also endeavoring to provide lighthearted content that lifts the spirits of our clients, followers and fellow professionals around the globe. We’re asking and letting our customers tell us what they want to see and hear from Image right now.

BN: How have you changed your marketing strategies? 
JR: It has been strictly social media, online and trying to assist our partners and our customers with their needs. How can they reach their end user? It used to be communication from the educator to the professional and then the professional to the consumer, but now we are talking to everyone, sharing as much education and advice as possible. We are trying to help our 20,000 professionals feel connected with us and each other. It is a radical change, but our customers seem to be enormously grateful for these solutions that we are offering to continue their business from an online status.

BN: How are you reaching out to the media?

JR: We are looking at offering the media access to virtual skin consultations and meetings through FaceTime, Skype and Zoom.

BN: What tools have been put into place to keep employees connected?
JR: We’re utilizing all of the different programs out there. For example, Lifesize allows the majority of our company to stay connected via video conferencing. Every day we have team calls, strategy calls and team building calls, so we are definitely connected. The majority of employees are working remotely with the exception of the warehouse and we are working together to follow all recommendations by the CDC. I am so fortunate that we have a team that is very open minded and “can-do,” and we have a culture that does whatever it takes. We are in the wellness industry, so it is our job to create wellness globally and get the message across that we are here. We have an opportunity to make an impact here, that is much more than sales, it goes deeper into the heart.

BN: Future plans?
JR: In 2019 we looked at every single formula to make sure they were clean clinical so that will be the focus for our products in 2020. The other focus is on sunscreen. We’re looking into creating formulas that not just protects against UVA but can protect against digital aging. Another focus will be adding as many antioxidants to protect the skin against environmental stressors from the cold to the wind to the sun.

BN: As a result of staying home, self-care routines are trending. What are your recommendations?
JR: This is a great opportunity for the industry, and this world to reset and take a pause and spend time with your family, do self-care with your loved ones and connect on a different level. At home, my daughter and I have been talking a lot about skincare, testing out the products, creating an at home routine for her and just educating her about skincare and wellness.

I’m a huge fan of three ingredients I think will change every women’s skin. The first is vitamin C to brighten and repair damage. The second is retinol which is still one of the most clinically proven ingredients to plum up collagen bundles. Finally, the most important antiaging product for everyone is a sunscreen.