Fast Track with Chiza Westcarr

Originally published at Professional Beauty Magazine October 2018 Issue

Tell us about your role as a skin specialist
and nutritionist?

“I qualified as a skin therapist in 1996 and then worked on a cruise ship. I began teaching in 2000 and I soon realised that imparting knowledge and empowering through education was my bliss! After returning to Australia following a hiatus of seven years, I taught at a beauty school in Sydney called the Strand College of Beauty Therapy for two years before moving on to become a Dermalogica trainer for another two years. I was then invited back to the Strand as College Principal, preparing the students for both the National and International Diplomas. I did this for a year before accepting an amazing opportunity to move into Medical Aesthetics as NSW State trainer for a Cosmeceutical Product Distribution Company.”

What did you lessons did you learn along the way?

“As I taught medical practitioners about the role of active ingredients in managing ageing and a variety of skin conditions, it soon became apparent to me that a piece was missing from the jigsaw puzzle so I went on to make nutrition my focus and started to incorporate it into my training classes. The more I studied, the more I knew that I needed to share this amazing information with my peers in our industry and so the Nutritional Skincare Academy was born.”

Tell us about the Nutritional Skincare Academy…

“The Academy has been created to empower skin specialists with additional tools to achieve outstanding, long lasting results for the clients and patients with nutrition being a real focus. This has been a much neglected area in training up until now. None of our skin therapy programs in colleges or in higher institutions incorporate nutrition into their curricula and yet it is the most important aspect of skin health. You are what you eat after all.”

What does the Academy offer those in the industry wanting to expand their knowledge?

“The Nutritional Skin Care Academy offers both online and face to face seminars, providing a forum for skin specialists to both contribute to and learn from. Not everyone wants to go back to study nutrition at degree level and I have found that by combining my expansive skin knowledge with my knowledge of nutrition these seminars provide the exact information that is really needed.”

How popular in the industry has your online training for salon professionals been?

“The interest in my courses have exceeded my wildest expectations. Word of mouth and social media have been great in raising awareness. My aim is to reach every skin specialist in Australia. We cannot hope to achieve success and gain the confidence of our clients/patients if we don’t adopt a holistic approach and this is something all skin specialists should feel confident doing.”

What are the benefits for salon staff to upskill?

“Our industry has evolved from mainly providing fluffy facials, manicures and waxing to becoming focused on addressing problematic skin conditions and achieving lasting results for clients thanks to access to improved product formulations and in-clinic modalities. Now we can add a new focus on internal support because as skin therapists we are in charge of the largest organ of the body – the skin.

How is the skin related to gut health?

“The skin is a true barometer of what is going on internally with a real connection between conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis and gut health. Topical products and in-clinic modalities will only take you so far when it comes to achieving fantastic results for your clients. Glowing healthy skin is a reflection of a healthy diet and lifestyle.”

How can salons incorporate this knowledge into their business practice?

“Surprisingly, it’s very easy actually. We are seeing a rise in the number of nutracetutical companies targeting our industry because they understand that this is the missing link. By empowering the skin therapist and increasing the understanding of how and why nutrition impacts skin health, adding nutraceuticals into the homecare recommendations will definately increase sales.”

Tell us about your future plans…

“After Australia, the world, I want to empower skin specialists the world over taking one country at a time! I am so grateful for the opportunity to make a difference!”

Chiza Westcarr is a university qualified nutritionist and skin specialist and founder of the Nutrition and Skincare Academy