Disconnect to Connect... Dermalogica brings the tribe together for an inspiring event on Osea Island.

Last Sunday morning Lynn and I set off down to London for our first Dermalogica Congress together. We had both attended an event separately before, Lynn in Barcelona and I in Los Angeles and had had great experiences but this year seemed different. The message behind the event was “Disconnect to Connect” and instead of being held in an exciting glamorous city and the Dermalogica tribe taking over a swanky 5 star hotel for a few days we were going to an island… off the coast of Essex in October. The accommodation was mainly bell tents and we were told to pack wellies and jumpers instead of a fab new outfit specially bought for the legendary end of event party. We were both excitedly curious to see what was in store.

Osea Island is privately owned by music producer Nigel Frieda. The 400 acre land is accessible by car for only 4 hours a day when the tide is out and displays a narrow winding road leading to one of the most serene, enchanting spaces I’ve had the privilege to visit (and I’ve been lucky enough to visit some pretty cool places!) We settled in, unpacked and got ready to explore and connect with as many of the 400+ therapists, salon owners and Dermalogica team as possible.

The first evening was spent down by the beach eating delicious barbequed burgers and pots of mac n cheese, followed by toasted marshmallows! A few red wines to keep the cold at bay too! We met up with some of the girls who we see at the Dermalogica training centre in Glasgow and others who I hadn’t seen since L.A. There was a definite Dermalogica festival feel in the air and everyone was so relaxed and excited for the next couple of days. After catching up with old friends, meeting some new ones and having a wee dance under the stars we headed back to get some shut eye for the next day.

The next morning I woke up, turned over in bed (We were lucky enough to have been one of the first to book and managed to blag a room instead of a tent!) and could see one of the most beautiful sunrises from the bedroom window! We got quickly dressed and headed out to see what was happening. There was sunrise tai chi down by the beach, a yoga class to get us all energised for the day ahead or a meditation class to help ground and focus our busy minds followed by a healthy breakfast before the first day began.

The first day was filled with inspiring speakers and there was a common thread, from the CEO to the Vice President to the Head of Education and the Dermalogica Ambassadors they reminded us of how fortunate we are to be one of the only industries to be able to connect on such a deep level with our clients. In an age where most people spend more time at work than ever, where most are dependant to the point of addicted to technology and spend more time on phones than having real life connections. We as therapists have the power of touch. In June this year I rebranded our salon image, I knew that there had to be more focus on wellness, that people need and want a safe place where they can relax and be looked after not only physically but mentally as well. We introduced little changes to our treatments to stimulate more of the senses, we added in things like touch therapy to some of our traditional beauty treatments, sourced a selection of oils to allow our clients to choose from different scents and invested in a music system so that our clients could listen to whatever they wanted whilst on the couch. We want you to have a great experience when you visit us, not just a great treatment. It was great to hear that our beloved skin care brand was on the same page! It was a brilliant first day, finished off by more yummy street food around campfires and dancing to an amazing motown/disco band!

Day 2 began in a more leisurely manner, by that I mean we overslept for yoga! After a morning walk to the beach and another great breakfast (should defo point out that both of our uniforms were pretty tight on the flight back to Glasgow!) we began the final events which included talks from guest speakers Sarah Jossel, beauty director at the Sunday Times and Nicola Moulton, beauty director at British Vogue! Pretty cool eh! we had sneak peeks at some new innovations coming soon from Dermalogica including a new range of skin peels! Super excited for the launch of this in January! And the day was finished off by a hugely inspiring talk from Mathew Divaris, the creative vice president reminding us that we are all just a teeny tiny little piece of this world but together we can do amazing things.

I left the island feeling inspired, connected and focused. Dermalogica completely nailed it. The event was everything that we had hoped and more. There has been times over the last year or so where we have toyed with the idea of changing our skin care brand or launching another brand alongside Dermalogica, after working with the brand for over 15 years I worried that we needed something more to offer. The event completely put those thoughts to bed. I was reminded that we work with the no 1 professional skincare brand in the world, that Dermalogica led the way in skincare when it launched in 1983 and still continues to do so. That the science and innovations behind the products can be mind blowing at times and that most importantly they’ve got the professional skin therapists back. Through their amazing education system (We are a Dermalogica Expert salon meaning we have put in hundreds of hours of learning to be the best at what we do) and through their love and support to their Dermalogica family.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on skincare. Do you feel we offer everything that you need? Do you have any questions or concerns? If so just get in touch!

Arlene xx

Arlene Conroy