Making Room for Skin Care

Have you ever thought about making skin care a niche in your pharmacy?

Believe it or not, skin care doesn’t always revolve around beauty. Having a skincare section in your front end can complement your care services while acting as a source for preventative healthcare tools. In fact, if you make it your store’s specialty, your pharmacy could become a destination for skincare help.

Link Your Pharmacy’s Services to Skincare Product Recommendations

When you stock the right skincare products in your pharmacy, it’ll be easy to guide your patients to what type is best for their personal skin needs. Here’s how:

Diabetes Counseling

Your diabetic patients need skincare solutions. As the disease shrinks their peripheral glands, they have difficulty sweating properly. This leads to dry and cracked skin that can get infected. Educate these patients about examining their skin daily for wounds, and recommend a daily moisturizer from your skincare section to help combat dry skin as a part of their daily regimen.

Wellness Programs

During dietary or exercise counseling sessions, include some information about the importance of selecting the right sunscreen. For patients who are avid runners, recommend a long-lasting, sweat-proof sunscreen that won’t have to be reapplied halfway through their run. Or feature waterproof sunscreen for patients who swim for exercise.

Make sure you stock and recommend spray or roll-on sunscreen for patients with children. The easier application methods will help make protecting their skin less of a struggle.

Flu Shot Immunizations

For patients who want to stay healthy during cold and flu season, stock hand sanitizers and cleansers in your skincare section to give them added protection.

Also recommend these products to patients who just got their flu shot, who are at high risk for the flu, or are especially concerned about getting sick due to their exposure to germs at their workplace.

Moisturizers are also important to stock in your skincare section. Remind patients that while washing their hands will help them stay healthy during cold and flu season, it can also dry out their skin. Recommend a good moisturizer or lotion to keep skin hydrated and supple during the winter months.

Smoking Cessation

For those who have quit smoking with your pharmacy’s smoking cessation program, help them combat some of the damage that smoking has done to their skin. Recommend age-defying and restorative creams in your skincare aisle.

Post-Operative Prescriptions

When patients come in to fill painkillers or other post-operative prescriptions, consult with them and their doctor about post-operative wound or scar care. Help them find the right product to transition from the dressings to the bandages and advise them on how to prevent infections and minimize scarring.

Guiding your patient to the right product for their wound will provide additional sales for your pharmacy. Plus, it will help them heal their skin when it’s most vulnerable.

Pregnancy Consultations

If your pharmacy provides services for new parents or medication consultations for pregnant mothers, don’t forget to include baby products in your skincare section as well.

Boost your sales by recommending products that will protect, cleanse, and care for the skin of newborns, toddlers, and children.

For moms, you can offer creams that can help prevent or reduce stretch marks or skin butters that help irritated skin from breastfeeding. All of this can enhance the value of your pharmacy for new moms.

Providing Natural Skincare Products

How many natural skincare products are stocked in your front end?

Be aware that natural is not only today’s new normal; it’s also a great niche to bring to the front end of your store.

People pay attention to what’s in products. Consumers worry about chemicals in their personal care products, which is why your pharmacy should take advantage of the opportunity to offer natural products and make a profit.

However, before you start adding products to your front-end shelves, know the difference between natural and organic.

Organic: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates what can be labeled organic and provides seals for approved products. The “USDA organic” or “100 percent organic” seal means the contents are at least 95 percent organic. Organic products must be produced using natural processes and materials and using practices that promote ecological balance and biological diversity. Products that say, “made with organic ingredients,” can have up to 30 percent of non-organic ingredients.

Natural: The term “natural” is much less clear and isn’t regulated. Therefore, it doesn’t come with an official definition. Products that are considered natural often depend on the positioning of the product and the perception of the shopper. If a product aligns with a person’s alternative diet or lifestyle, they may consider it natural.

For most shoppers, it basically comes down to the ingredient list. Natural products are typically determined by what they’re free from. In other words, what they don’t contain versus what they do. Natural products are typically free from certain ingredients, such as artificial colors and preservatives, and often void of one or more of the top allergens.

Where to source natural and organic products

While many traditional drug distributors carry natural products, they may have a limited selection compared to wholesalers that specialize in natural and organic products. As you decide where to source your products, approach it like you would any other product.

To capitalize on your independent advantage, source locally first. You may find natural or organic manufacturers in your own city, town, state, or region.

As an independent pharmacy, you can develop great ties with a lot of the natural brands that are also independent.

How to sell natural products

Fully stocked and ready to go? Now make the investment pay off.

You’ll first need to train your staff on how to talk to patients about the products, how to answer questions, and how to direct them to the right place.

Promote your natural products by providing product demonstrations. Hang signage up around your pharmacy. Give away samples and coupons to patients picking up their prescriptions. People love freebies!

No Nos for Natural Products

Ingredients that natural shoppers want to avoid:

  • Artificial fragrance
  • Fragrance
  • Parabens
  • PEG
  • Phthalates
  • Sulfates

From the Magazine

This article was published in our quarterly print magazine, which covers relevant topics in greater depth featuring leading experts in the industry. Subscribe to receive the quarterly print issue in your mailbox. All registered independent pharmacies in the U.S. are eligible to receive a free subscription.

More articles from the December 2023 issue:

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