StudioZ beauty salon owner Alisha Lim loves helping her clients address their skincare issues so they can look and feel healthier.

“We are not beauty therapists; we are skincare therapists. We support our clients to map out their skincare goals and solve any issues. It’s about helping everyone mature gracefully.”

Alisha has been in the skincare industry for more than 20 years, working and owning salons and teaching in a beauty school in Singapore before moving to New Zealand with her husband Jit 10 years ago.

They set up StudioZ in Coast in 2011, looking to create a beauty hub in Whangaparāoa where clients could go for all their skincare and make-up needs. As well as the usual skincare treatments, hair removal and brow and lash services, the salon offers make-up and photography, popular during the ball season and for clients wanting professional photographs for their business or corporate roles.

But consumer behaviour has evolved in recent years, with people becoming more aware of their skincare needs and adopting more sophisticated skincare regimes and StudioZ has had to focus more on medical skincare treatments, Alisha says.

StudioZ uses Dermalogica products in all its skin treatments and has achieved Dermalogica Skincare Expert certification.

This accreditation, given to only 20 of Dermalogica’s 70 salons nationwide, means StudioZ can provide more specialist medical skincare treatments. The salon introduces new treatments every year and now offers microdermabrasion, Dermalogica skin peels and IPL.

To maintain the salon’s expert certification, Alisha must meet learning and training requirements to ensure she has the expertise to provide the best possible skincare consultations and services.

“One of the great things about this industry is that every day we are learning about new things – new therapies, new technology and new products,” she says.

After originally graduating with a bachelor’s in business, Alisha worked for a renowned skincare distribution company in Singapore. The job took her to Malaysia, the US and Japan, and gave her the opportunity to learn in depth about the industry. The experience inspired her to become a skin therapist, so she enrolled into beauty school and graduated with excellence, before going on to teach and work in the industry 

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in life,” she says.

One of StudioZ’s signature treatments is the Dermalogica Pro Power 60. It begins with an enzyme peel followed by a lymphatic face massage that helps reduce water retention, increases circulation to stop skin looking dull and tones the muscles to lift the face.

This is followed by a neck and shoulder massage, then a Dermalogica mask is selected to match the client’s skincare need. Options include a hydrating mask, a multi-vitamin mask or an anti-ageing collagen mask. These are infused using LED light therapy which stimulates the client’s natural collagen and increases absorption of the mask.

While the mask does its work, the client receives a hand massage.

“I call it Dermalogica ‘facial bliss’,” says Alisha.

She’s long been a fan of Dermalogica products, switching to the brand from a French skincare range when she owned a salon in Singapore. 

“I like the philosophy behind the products. Our formulas are free of artificial colors and fragrances, mineral oil, lanolin, S.D. alcohol, parabens and microplastics.

“Dermalogica products work from the inside out – it’s about more than just looking good. People want their skin to feel good and be healthy.”

Skin is the body’s largest organ and it’s important people take care of it, says Alisha.

“In New Zealand we see a high percentage of ageing caused by the sun. We can reverse a lot of that damage with a good skincare routine. People experience better skin elasticity, and hydration, which plumps up fine lines and improves their overall appearance.”

Alisha says she is blessed to have many clients who have been coming to StudioZ since she opened in Coast 10 years ago, and she has seen visible improvements in their skin’s condition.

It’s also gratifying to help them with the different skin issues that come at different ages. “Dermalogica covers all skin types and all life stages,” she says.

Another new trend Alisha is seeing is that women are buying skincare treatments for their husbands and sons and daughters and StudioZ has a full range of skincare for men and teenagers.

The salon has won a Dermalogica Skin Centre of Excellence Award every year since 2012 and Alisha is also proud to be part of the Dermalogica Sustainable Salons programme.

“Clients can return their old product containers to the store when they buy new products, and they will be recycled into items such as plastic beads and sunglasses.”

Alisha says she is very grateful to all the Coasties who have supported her business for so long. “By supporting local, we all emerge better.”

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