#BeautyBoss: Shannon Esau, CEO & National Educator for Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals
This week’s #BeautyBoss is Shannon Esaun, CEO and National Educator for Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals—a professional skincare company that offers cosmeceutical skincare products to licensed aesthetic facilities, as well as extensive education. Focused on making a change and difference in the skin, the brand is dedicated to offering the purest quality skin nutrition for daily home use and the most effective, safe, results-oriented professional treatments available on the market today.
Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals is a research leader with more than 35 years of skin care success, always looking to nature for inspiration and blending the best of active, fresh, natural ingredients with highly beneficial, scientifically-developed compounds to create a synergy of superior professional treatments and customized home care products. All products are free from dyes, artificial colors, and artificial fragrances, and no animal testing is conducted. The brand is also known for its revolutionary work with peels and offers a variety of peels for all skin types and their needs.
We spoke with Esau, who discussed her journey in the industry, shared favorite beauty and wellness tips, best advice, and more.
When was Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals founded?
It was founded in 1998.
Tell us about your journey in the industry and how you became involved with the company.
I was essentially raised in the professional aesthetic industry by my mother, Rhonda Allison. She owned her own aesthetics practices throughout my teen years and into my twenties. As Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals began to form, I initially came in to help on the business side of things. My background was in technology working for PricewaterHouse Coopers and Mary Kay as an IT specialist.
I quickly saw Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals was positioned to transform the professional skincare industry. Not only was the company able to help people with their skin needs, but it also served as an educational resource for aestheticians to find inspiration and grow in their practice. This ambitious outlook is what I have been thriving on ever since. With my mother as a mentor, I learned early on the impact that skincare professionals could make on the lives of their clients by helping them achieve healthy skin.
Tell us more about your role and responsibilities.
My role in the early years was as a jack of all trades, with my responsibilities spanning from overseeing and developing all areas of the business to production to sales and education. As we grew, I was able to focus more on sales, education, and product development—which I love. As the company’s Director of Education, I spearheaded the opening of the Rhonda Allison Education Center in Golden, Colorado and the development of the RA Academy.
I also leveraged technology to bring much of the company’s advanced education courses online, making them accessible to aesthetic professionals around the world. Additionally, I helped relaunch the RA Symposium, a three-day educational conference aimed at helping professionals grow their business and expand their knowledge. My current title is CEO and National Educator at Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals, but let it be known that our company does not operate according to the hierarchal structure typically created by titles. We truly are a cohesive team.
Does Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals have a hero product?
From day one, Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals has been known for its revolutionary work with peels. Before the company was launched, the only peel available to aestheticians was a glycolic acid peel. Seeking to change this, Rhonda worked with doctors and chemists to develop acid solutions that could provide the most powerful, non-surgical skin improvements available. This opened the doors for the aesthetic world, as little was known about skin peels at the time.
Rhonda began educating and empowering other aestheticians to understand the skin and get lasting results through advanced peel formulations. In 1992, she produced a groundbreaking video titled “The Art of Skin Peeling” that revolutionized her industry. Looking to continue raising industry standards, Rhonda also wrote a professional instructional book called Cooking with Acids. Both were so well-received that they continue to be popular among skincare professionals. Nearly 30 years later, Rhonda is still referred to as “The Queen of Peels.”
While we have become known for our innovative peels, there exists another ingredient that has really put us on the map because we were one of its earliest advocates—that ingredient is our epidermal growth factor. So if I had to pick a hero product, I’d choose our Growth Factor formulations, of which we have a formula for every skin type.
What’s your favorite product from the brand?
No two skins are the same, so it truly depends on the skin type when identifying a go-to product for each client. However, there are a few universal products that dramatically benefit the skin. For starters, our Mandelic Arginine Serum, an antioxidant-rich rejuvenation serum, is highly effective at promoting potent re-youth activity and boosting cellular energy. Our ChronoPeptide A and SynErgy A formulas are equally impressive—both employ our encapsulated retinaldehyde, which is a gentle vitamin A derivative that promotes collagen production to deliver the ultimate in pro-youth benefits.
Where are Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals products sold?
Rhonda Allison products are available to aesthetic professionals directly on our website. Our product line is composed of specialized formulas with more active and corrective ingredients, which is why we recommend their use be guided by a professional rather than selling them directly to consumers on our website. However, clients can find our products in thousands of spas throughout the country and through several online retailers. If you’d like to see our retail partners or become one, our comprehensive list can be found at RhondaAllison.com/apps/store-locator.
Who inspires you?
I don’t know that I have one answer to this question. I’m inspired by the single mom who doesn’t give up, as well as those who have overcome great obstacles and yet still find ways to love and be kind to others. My grandmother’s kindness and giving spirit is a huge source of inspiration to me, as is my mom for her positive growth as a person despite the many challenges she faced early on. I also have to call out my husband here—his life is a testimony of beauty.
Secret to success?
Education. It's one of our three core values and for good reason. Knowing the importance of quality ingredients, understanding how the skin reacts, and how to use the right techniques will make all the difference in transforming your client’s skin. Continued education also plays a crucial role in helping to educate the Rhonda Allison staff, myself included. Our goal is to empower our staff to achieve the highest level of success with every interaction they have.
My biggest beauty secret is to simply take care of your body and skin. It isn’t a novel concept by any means, but some tend to overcomplicate it. For my skin, I cleanse morning and night. During the day I apply a calming antioxidant serum, moisturizer, and an IllumiColour product with SPF. At night, I incorporate a rejuvenation serum to help build collagen and keep my skin soft, then I use an omega-rich moisturizer to seal everything in. As a general rule of thumb, I pay attention to ingredients I use in my hair, body, laundry, and household cleaning products. I also love using food-grade essential oils to support general well-being.
My biggest wellness tips are simply to drink a ton of water and green tea, incorporate antioxidant-rich foods into your diet, take time for yourself, and do some form of exercise—for me, that’s Pilates.
Never give up. While in the process of striving toward your goals, don’t be too hard on yourself and remember that each setback will only help you grow as a person.
Favorite way to relax?
Spending time with my family outdoors, going to church, taking a Pilates class, and catching up on a good book.
[Images courtesy of Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals]
Kamala Kirk is a University of Southern California graduate and has been an editor/writer for more than a decade. She has written for E! Online, Total Beauty, TravelAge West, Malibu Times Magazine, and many more. She resides in Los Angeles and is a proud pug mom. Follow her on Instagram: @kamalakirk