While Americans have become more beauty, health and fitness conscious in the last 20 years, it is only recently that they have begun to recognize the need for skin care that goes beyond soap and water or drug store remedies. This growing concern and appreciation of professional skin health care can be direly attributed to Joseph and Elizabeth Grady pioneers in facial aesthetics and the driving force beyond Elizabeth Grady Face First, the largest chain of skin care salons in the world.
With over 30 years' experience in the skin care and cosmetic fields, Joe Grady found American attitudes toward skin care and the purchase of facial products and cosmetics paradoxical. "We're a nation known for wanting the finest the world has to offer, yet Americans were willing to settle for far less when it came to skin care than their European counterparts," he explains. "For the European, professional analysis, individualized treatment by am aesthetician, and a daily regimen of prescribed at home care are a way of life - not a luxury," he continues, adding, "And it shows."
Recognizing the need for quality skin care in this country, Joe Grady founded Elizabeth Grady Face First in 1974, opening the first salon on Boston's fashionable Newbury Street. Incorporating many of the time tested European methods of deep cleaning and facial massage treatment, the Grady Method further developed the science of skin care by taking into consideration the nutritional, hormonal and emotional factors that affect the skin.
In a radical departure for the skin care industry at the time, Joe Grady took dramatic steps to improve the quality and consistency of treatment offered. First, he and his daughter Elizabeth designed a rigorous training program for aestheticians, requiring over 900 hours of classes and instruction in skin care, nutrition, cosmetics and aesthetics theory. Grady trained aesthetic then joined on staff by board-certified dermatologists, enabling Elizabeth Grady Face First to supplement aesthetics treatment with more strident clinical measures when necessary.
With their success in achieving and maintaining healthy skin has come public approval and support. The aesthetics training program has since grown to become the Elizabeth Grady School of Esthetics, the first fully licensed aesthetics school in the country. Expanding his efforts to promote industry control measures and safeguard the public in the area of skin care, in 1987 Joe Grady authored a legislative bill in Massachusetts that bear his name, becoming the first law of its kind in the nation.
Professionalism and an innovative approach to skin care, coupled with dedication and an unswerving regard for the public's best interest led to the opening of a network of skin care facilities. In 1984 the success of Elizabeth Grady Face First came to the attention of the Gillette Corporation, which later that year purchased a major equity interest in the company.
Today, Elizabeth Grady Face First operates a total of 18 skin care salons in New England, with future corporate plans calling for continued expansion. In keeping with its firm belief that a complete skin health care maintenance regime includes a prescribed at home routine, the company recently launched a revolutionary line of treatment and cosmetic products. Developed by aestheticians, dermatologists and cosmetic chemist, individual components of the product line will be combined to form a comprehensive at home program, based on the client's individual skin condition.
Through the concerted efforts of both Gradys, the integrity of aesthetics care in this county has been established. Now, with their expanded efforts and diligence, it will grow.
She has been called the Estee Lauder of the 80's. She casts a meteoric presence over the world of facial aesthetics and cosmetics, all at the ripe old age of 33.
Elizabeth Grady exudes, "I couldn't be happier."
It is no surprise that Elizabeth Grady is Executive Director of the Boston-based skin care salon chain "Elizabeth Grady Face First". She began her career in aesthetics while still in high school, working part-time in her father's cosmetics company. There she met many European-trained aestheticians, including several women then considered the world's foremost authorities in the non-medical treatment of common skin diseases and conditions. These professionals trained her in the time-tested Continental methods of cleaning, protecting and maintaining healthy skin.
This early apprenticeship, Elizabeth says, "made me aware of how great a need there was in this country of aestheticians who wee truly knowledgeable about the structure and function of the skin.. Who could educate and help people, rather than simply sell them cosmetic cover-ups." She also credits her contact with these European skin care professionals with "destroying the stereotypic idea I had of aestheticians as beauticians who slapped cold cream on rich people's faces. They helped me view aesthetics as an intellectually stimulating, fast changing and challenging profession." she has since dedicated herself to this industry, an industry which is just now beginning to develop in America.
After high school, Elizabeth spent a great deal of time visiting aestheticians in Europe, studying the widely contrasting therapeutic regimes used in Western Europe, the Eastern Bloc, Israel and Asia to treat the skin and skin problems. She also received intensive instruction in the chemistry of cosmetic products, and became knowledgeable in both the positive and negative interactions between commonly used chemicals and the proteins and oils found in facial skin.
Today, Elizabeth Grady is one of the moving forces for change within the cosmetics industry and the field of aesthetics. She is considered an expert in such area as the recognition of skin conditions as symptomatic of systemic disease, the connection between nutrition and the health of the skin and the homeopathic treatment of different types of acne. Elizabeth often discusses these topics on radio and TV talk and news programs. She has also become an international lecturer and a recognized expert in the rapidly changing field of aesthetics, addressing such reputable groups as CIDESCO in Dublin and the AIA in Houston.
With a strong background in business, having helped build, guide, expand and direct the successful "Elizabeth Grady Face First" operations, she has also become an outspoken authority on women's roles in the corporate sector. It is just this strong business sense and key participation in the Grady operation that The Gillette Company has recognized and enlisted since purchasing majority equity in "Elizabeth Grady Face First".
Responsible for training and motivations, Elizabeth Grady oversees the more than 60 aestheticians and support staff who service the suburban facilities and the Boston headquarters of "Elizabeth Grady Face First". And under the new Gillette-owned organizational structure, Elizabeth will take on additional public duties in representing aesthetics and the unique "Elizabeth Grady Face First" approach to skin health care.
A special "Thank You" to Joe Grady for taking time from a very busy schedule, to research this article, accumulate the photos, and respond to our press schedule.