Planning for Fall

Have you started thinking about fall yet?  To tell you the truth, I haven’t.  I’ve been enjoying the summer, and trying to stretch it out as long as I can.  However, after a day when my sunscreen didn’t work as well as it could, it forced me to start thinking about repair.

It’s interesting how quickly the sun can damage.  While my face didn’t get beet red and hurting, I noticed some pink, and that my normally faint freckles were showing big time-not to mention a change in skin texture.  This is not abnormal for most people, as most of us take a decent amount of outdoor time in the warmer weather.  While we encourage as much sun damage prevention as possible (hello, sunscreen!), we all have times when we slip up in our regime.

While we recommend waiting for end of summer to evaluate and fix our mistakes, it’s nice to have some ideas of what we should start planning for once fall hits.  The first treatment that we get great results with is a Halo laser treatment.  This is good for pigment and texture, and after a series, results are usually highly satisfactory.  Another option is a Skin Brightening Peel.  This is another one that brightens skin tone and fades pigment imperfections.  Both these treatments do require a bit of down time, so not the instant gratification that some other treatments give.  The thing to remember though, is that when we are penetrating deeper into the dermis to work with pigment, we are doing most of the work below the surface, and it takes a bit of time to pull it to the surface of the skin.

Of course, while I love both of the above treatments, and stand completely behind them, it is always a good idea to to ask our experts here before you fully commit.  Get a VISIA evaluation, and see what our professionals here recommend.  It may be a completely different option that turns out would work better for you.

I always find it a good idea to plan and budget for the services that may be in my immediate future.  We all know how once school, or non-summer work hours start, our schedules can go a little haywire.  If you can figure out your post-summer treatments, and get them onto the Innovative Aesthetics books, it will save time and stress once the new season begins.  However, in the meantime, it’s still summer, and I’m planning on enjoying every moment.  My professional recommendation?  Get your sun prevention routine on, and make the most of summer 2018!

New Hero Discount Alert!

Living in a country with freedom of lifestyle, politics, religion, and speech, it can be easy to forget that the whole world doesn’t live this way, nor always endorses the American culture.  Regardless of our own beliefs and politics, the US military is one group of people who are ready to defend the freedoms that we hold dear.

Keeping that in mind, we have decided to begin to offer a discount on those who serve our country.  Anyone military member, active or retired, will receive a 10% discount when they show their military I.D. It’s just a small way Innovative Aesthetics can say thank you!

Spread the word, and let’s fill the spa with heroes!

Saying Thank You by Giving

When we’re younger, we get lots of advice about our future.  Of course, being young, we promptly forget half of it.  Something I have never forgotten though, was my mom telling me to never come to a social gathering empty-handed.  It makes sense.  We’re being hosted, sometimes to great expense and/or effort, and a nice gesture of thanks can really be appreciated.  But I quickly got to the point where my usual bottle of wine or box of chocolates seemed to be a little…tired. Don’t get me wrong, my gifts were always graciously received, and I know I never have a problem being gifted alcohol or sugar! However, wouldn’t it be fun to have some unique little go-to items to bring your hosts?

One of our favorite things to do at Innovative Aesthetics is find fun, useful, and one-of-a-kind items to have for sale in our retail area.  Our criteria is simple-if we wouldn’t buy or want to receive it, we probably won’t stock it.  When we give these as gifts, it’s normal to see the receiver strolling in to purchase said item for them to give someone else-or to replenish their own supply!

Next time you need the perfect gift, keep these in mind:

  • Zents products.  I have written about these beautiful little body products (Find Your Zents!), and we can barely keep them in stock.  These come in a varied price range, so you can fit your budget, and have a mindful and luxurious gift for someone special.
  • Luminara Flameless Candles.  These high quality candles come in different sizes, and be either scented or unscented.  A safe, long-lasting, and no mess option, these can be used inside or outside the house, making it perfect for anything to a holiday party to an outdoor evening event.
  • Amrita essential oils/roll on blends (I’ve written a post with some general essential oil info-Feel Better With SMELL?).  Create your custom scent for your gift recipient, or make it easy and give a few pre-blended roll ons-useful and unique!
  • OMG masks and headbands.  These are not limited to women and girls.  We have been sent pictures of the whole family wearing these masks, and having a blast! How fun would it be to give these as a thank you gift for your vacation hosts, or your nanny?
  • Innovative Aesthetics gift card.  I know, I know, shameless plug.  However, what better way to say thank you than the gift of pampering?  Wouldn’t you love to receive one?

Gifts to say thank you are always a thoughtful idea.  While it may be thought of as an old-fashioned custom, I think of it as another way to spread gratitude and kindness to others.   Let’s continue to teach and continue this mentality, and as with so many other things, let Innovative help you do that!

Taking Years off the Face

Aging is inevitable.  While it comes with experience and hopefully good times, it can be hard to see the physical effects.  You know what I mean, the loss of muscle tone, the thinning of skin that makes the face look a little droopier.  Or the dryness or fat loss that takes away the smooth, plump appearance we took for granted.  Depending on your past sun exposure and smoking, you may have areas of pigment changes and wrinkles.  Oh joy!

Of course, this being Innovative Aesthetics, you didn’t think I was going to leave you hanging, right?  I have discussed the different types of fillers and Botox that we offer here, and what each one is ideal for (No Frozen Faces Here), but maybe now it’s time to pick up the phone and make that appointment for a complimentary consultation where we can evaluate you and your skin, and determine what would benefit you the most.  We have had amazing results in ridding of/reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and plumping up skin where needed.

In addition to our Botox (and other brands) and fillers, we also offer laser-both BBL and Halo, both of which can be extremely helpful with pigment, collagen, texture, and fine line issues.  While these procedures typically take a series of treatments for full results, we have had people tell us they feel like time had been halted on their faces!

We of course have different option with our facials, whether it be our Signature facials, microderms, or Hydrafacials, but to be honest, once you get to the point where you’re considering Botox, fillers, or laser, the facial treatments are best to use as maintenance between the former procedures.  Not only do they feel wonderful, but talk about a refreshing and revitalizing session!

I am all for accepting and embracing each year that passes for us all.  However, part of feeling good inside is making sure that you feel your most beautiful inside AND out.  We love having the privilege of bringing out the beauty that makes you glow.

DIY or Professional?

Like many people, I love Pinterest.  I love scrolling through my feed, pinning recipes, decor ideas, health tips.  As a matter of fact, I love Pinterest so much that I volunteered to run our spa’s Pinterest page (be sure to follow Innovative Aesthetics there!).  One thing that I don’t love, however, is the well-intentioned, but possible risky DIY skin treatment ideas.  Now, once a time, I might have read those tips, and tried some of them, but after working in a professional capacity and getting to know the skin more, I view that in completely different way.

Let’s take a few examples.  One that comes to mind is an at-home teeth whitening “hack”-you take “several” tablespoons (very specific, right?) of baking soda, mix with enough lemon juice to make a paste, and then spread that over your teeth and let sit for a few minutes before rinsing off.  How cheap and easy! And who doesn’t want whiter teeth?  Well…don’t try this one at home, kids.  Lemon juice is acidic.  That means that while this actually might make your teeth a little whiter, it is doing so by wearing away enamel.  As you erode more enamel, it gets thinner and it ceases to mask the yellow of the dentin (the tooth structure under the enamel). Your teeth get yellower and yellower, plus weaker.  Do you want whiter teeth?  Please, do your teeth a favor and go to your dentist, who knows the exact formulas, amounts, and frequency of treatments to use.

Okay, but there are other treatments that won’t harm anyone, right?  Well, yes, of course.  Natural and home remedies have been around since the beginning of humanity.  Obviously some of them work.  However, look at this one-at home microneedling.  Yes, this is a thing.  You can buy a derma-roller, .and go to town on your face at home.  There are also suggestions on topical products to apply to your face after you do so.  The only problem is, the estheticians and nurses at Innovative have had extensive training to do this procedure.  Everything is sterile and your treatment is based on your own personal specific skin type.  By doing this yourself, you may be introducing infectious agents, like bacteria, viruses, and slow-growing microbes-some of these things may not even manifest as problems for a few years, thereby making the issue harder to treat.  Microneedling is an amazing and beneficial service, just stick to the pros with this one-you won’t be disappointed.

How about moisturizers?  I mean, those can get pricey.  Aren’t there any options that I can do without spending a fortune?  I have read that coconut oil is a miracle moisturizer AND even works as a natural sunscreen!  And depending on where you buy it, it can be under $10!  Unfortunately, no.  While coconut oil has some great benefits, using it on the skin isn’t one of them.  Coconut oil is very comedogenic-meaning, it doesn’t penetrate into the pores, it just sits on top of the skin. It can lead to blocked and suffocated pores, breakouts, and since it’s not absorbing, it can actually cause dryness.  Plus, the sunscreen factor?  The SPF is around 4.  It will not absorb UV rays at the right wavelength.  If taking care of your skin with the right safe products is important to you, please don’t hesitate to speak to us at Innovative.  We have options for you that will be worth the few extra bucks you might shell out, AND you know that it’s guaranteed.

Bottom line?  I get it, it’s fun to try treatments at home, save a bit, and know what you’re putting on your body.  However, please believe that professionals know their stuff.  If you truly want to try something you’ve found online or heard about,  ask a licensed skin professional first.  At best, it could be a fun little home treatment to do, even if results are  not dramatic.  However, at worst, some of these ideas can be risky or dangerous, and we want you to be safe.  Never hesitate to talk to an expert.  At Innovative Aesthetics, we’re always there for you!

Scars, Be Gone!

When you struggle with chronic acne, it’s more than a minor skin annoyance.  It can be painful, uncomfortable, and take a huge toll on one’s self esteem.  I have outlined in other blog posts information about acne and possible solutions (Teenage Skin SolutionsAcne Blues), but today I want to talk about a possible after-effect, namely scarring.

I have mentioned before how many people come to Innovative Aesthetics with acne problems.  It’s incredibly rewarding when we see their skin clear up, thanks to our treatments and product/routine recommendations.  Depending on your acne type though, scarring can unfortunately be a lingering reminder.  Basically what happens is that the breakout has penetrated the skin and damaged the underlying tissue.  The good news is is that this is completely treatable.

Understand that scars lie within the dermis-treatments that only treat the top layer, such as facials and microdermabrasion, will not penetrate deep enough to truly improve or eradicate the scar.  Some of our top picks for scarring include:

Microneedling (“Isn’t That the Vampire Facial?”):  This treatment is where we would start.  We use a small “pen” with tiny needles to go over your face and make little tiny punctures.  It uses the body’s natural healing process to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.  In addition to scarring, microneedling also is great for tightening pores, tone, and texture.  The cool part about this is that results keep improving for as many as 9 months!

Skin Brightening Peel (and Skin Brightening Cream): This is a highly effective chemical peel that is wonderful for scars that are more pigment-based in nature, as opposed to pitted or raised areas.  This treatment, in the most simple words, tells the cells that are producing pigment to calm down, thereby not only reducing the marks, but also keeping them from turning into brown spots (or getting darker).  This peel comes with homework-we compound in the office a Skin Brightening Cream for you to take home and use according the aesthetician’s instrutions.

Halo 2: The Halo is a hybrid fractional laser that works by treating both layers of skin using ablative AND non-ablative lasers.  An ablative laser vaporizes aged/scarred tissue with less thermal injury, with mild to moderate levels of morbidity and downtime, while at the same time, the non-ablative laser causes thermal injury and tissue coagulation with lower levels of morbidity.  Sounds like it would be counter-productive, right?  Well, actually, the two processes work together perfectly to maximize the results that you need!

Acne scarring can be an unwanted memory of a painful skin condition. We’re glad your acne is under control, but let us take care of those reminders. We want you to feel your most beautiful.  Give us a call, and see which procedure would work the best for you!






Summer Skin Woes?

Summer is finally upon us, after a long winter and a spring that couldn’t decide if warm weather was really worth it.  I think we are all ready for sandals, lazy days, and outdoor fun. I know I have been spending every free moment I have outside!

But, the heat and humidity can bring its own set of problems, specifically with our bodies.  Of course, there are very few problems that don’t have an answer somehow. Here are a few common complaints, along with some ideas to fix them!

  • Acne-summer means you’re sweating more, which in turn, mixes with the bacteria and oils on your skin, clogging your pores.  For someone prone to acne, that unfortunately can lead to breakouts.  Solution?  Blot, don’t rub sweat away, and make sure to wash sweaty clothing between wears.  Make sure you’re wearing non-comedogenic lotions and sunscreens to lessen the amount of oils on your skin.
  • Sunburn-come on, we’re Innovative Aesthetics, you know we’re going to hammer this point home.  WEAR SUNSCREEN.  We have some high quality and affordable brands here in our retail area of the spa, so get in here and find some that works for you!  In the meantime, get out of the sun.  You can start with applying some hydrocortisone cream-it won’t help automatically, but within a few hours, will start decreasing discomfort.  Aloe vera gel is also helpful to hydrate and soothe the burn, but make sure it’s an alcohol-free blend so it doesn’t dry your skin further.
  • Dry, Irritated Skin-We don’t always think that dry skin is a problem in muggy weather.  However, hanging out in the sun, pool, or air conditioning excessively can lead to dry and irritated skin.
  • Razor Burn/Bumps-If you shave, chances are that you’ve had this irritating little rash, most common in face, underarms and bikini area. To prevent this, always use a good quality, sharp razor, free of debris such as hair and soap.  Lather up with shaving gel or cream, and use short strokes, being careful not press into the skin too hard.  Afterward, use an aftershave lotion or a little aloe vera to soothe.  Or even better, make an appointment at Innovative to get that pesky hair lasered or waxed off!

Summer always seems to end too soon.  Remember to have fun in the sun, drink lots of water, and take care of your skin!  Any questions? Innovative Aesthetics is only a call away!

Food for Life

I think at this stage in life, most of us know how important a healthy diet is.  The only issue that I see sometimes is the word “diet” can often only be thought of in the context of weight loss.  While eating well is a great way to take pounds off or maintain your weight, it’s so much more than that.

In recent years, more and more research has been done on what good food can do for our overall health.  We now know that the eating the right things can decrease physical pain, help heal or improve illnesses, clear our skin, give us more energy, and improve our moods and bodily functions.  But what foods?  Is there really such things as a “superfood” or a “magic” ingredient? Well…kind of.

There are definitely foods that seem to pull double duty in health benefits-a select few being eggs, brown rice, walnuts (don’t overdo the nuts-high fat content!), flaxseed, strawberries, sweet potatoes, blueberries, watercress, and black beans.  However, one certain food that can seemingly do it all doesn’t really exist.  That’s not to say that there aren’t certain ingredients that have a high potency in beneficial properties, but to think that one can eat high amounts of those, and not supplement them with a healthy lifestyle is a myth.

So, of course with Innovative being a medical spa that focuses on skincare, what are some specific foods that can help with your skin?  Some great ones are walnuts, watermelon, carrots, broccoli, berries, pomegranate, salmon, green tea, peppers, and kale.  These are all high in antioxidants, help build stronger collagen, and fight wrinkles and acne.

Whatever you decide to put on your plate, remember this-healthy food is great, but your lifestyle counts just as much.  Exercise, be positive, and maintain consistent results.  And don’t forget.  Everything in moderation-and at times, that includes moderation!



My Favorite Things-Service Edition

The internet world got to hear about my favorite Innovative Aesthetics products last week.  I thought it was fitting that this week I talk about my favorite services.  This may be a timely post, as we had our always anticipated open house last week, and one of the most popular purchases was our gift card, with a rare 20% off the total.  We may have a lot of people trying to decide how to spend those gift card bucks.

As I said in my last post, this is highly subjective.  Out of all of the services I’ve received here, I’ve never had a time where I didn’t get results.  Keeping that in mind, here are some of my top picks.

1.) 60 minute massage.  Okay, yes, I’m a massage therapist, so I may be biased, but can you blame me? Soothing hands gliding over sore muscles, releasing any tension, both mental and physical, and leaving completely rejuvenated.  If I had to pick one service to get for the rest of my life, massage would be it.  Wondering about the benefits?  This post will help you learn! Is Massage Not Right for YOU?

2.) Laser Hair Removal.  Come on, if you’re a shaving kind of person, you know what I mean.  It never ends.  That is, until you laser that hair away.  I can’t describe the freedom that comes with not having to plan your outfits around body hair removal.  For a little more info, check out my earlier post No More Shaving?.

3.) Red Carpet Treatment.  This is one of our combo treatments-a Dermaplane with a Hydrafacial.  The Dermaplane uses a razor to remove facial peach fuzz and the top layer of dead cells, revealing skin that is ready to completely absorb whatever treatment you want, in this case, the Hydrafacial.  The glow that immediately follows this treatment is so absolutely beautiful that I have had countless people comment on it, without even knowing that I had had anything done.

4.) Forever Young BBL.  This laser treatment is exactly what it sounds like.  It uses a BroadBand laser to target anything that ages you-fine lines, age spots, spider veins-and ends with a skin tightening treatment that is instantly effective and noticeable.  This is definitely one of our classic services that never seems to lose its popularity.

5.) Botox.  Well, of course.  I think Botox is one of the first things that people think of when “Innovative Aesthetics” is mentioned.  Botox is the perfect way to give your look a little “oomph” without too crazy of a commitment.  Our injectors here focus on a natural and conservative start-after all, as with many things, you can always add more, but removal isn’t where we want to start.  A consultation is good to determine details, but this post can give a little more info-No Frozen Faces Here

6.) VISIA consultations.  So simple.  So insightful.  And free!  The VISIA consult is the perfect way to get an in depth look at your skin and decide on the perfect treatment.  I will admit, it can be a little scary to get such a close look at what we perceive as our imperfections, but it’s also fascinating and informative.  And chances are it’s not as bad as you think!  Questions before you book?  Read What is VISIA?

As I said before, I have never had a session that didn’t give me results.  The best part of working at Innovative Aesthetics is having access to the expertise of our staff and highest quality equipment and products.  Medical grade is an important distinction we take great pride in! As always, feel free to call us and pay us a visit!



My Favorite Things

You know how Oprah has her yearly “Favorite Things”?  Well, move on over, O.  I’m about to lay down some of my favorite things at one of my favorite places, Innovative Aesthetics.

Now, we have a huge menu of services and products here.  I am honestly not exaggerating when I say that there really isn’t anything that I don’t like.  These are simply my go-tos when somebody asks.  Today I’m going to focus on products, but (spoiler alert!) next week I will list off my favorite services.

1.)Make-Up Eraser.  Even though I use my Clarisonic every evening, this little washcloth is great to use too.  Yes, it takes off every speck of make-up, but I like to use mine in the morning, when I do a quick cleanse after I wake up. This is also great to throw in for traveling, and/or when you’re tired and need to get make up off quickly before falling into bed.

2.) Journee.  I’m not a fan of foundation for everyday, although I do like a little color to even out my skin tone.  I am a fan of sunscreen, but I don’t love trying to figure the best stuff for my sensitive facial skin. And who isn’t a fan of moisture?  This product is great for a light hydration, SPF, and a small pop of color.

3.) Latisse.  What can I say?  Ladies love their lashes, and why shouldn’t we?  They’re the perfect frame to our eyes, “the windows to the soul”.  Latisse is only available in licensed medical practices, so it’s definitely not a product that you can pick up just anywhere.  Safe and easy to use, it’s the perfect way to get those Disney Princess-worthy lashes!

4.) Baby Foot.  Basically a pedicure in a box.  Soak your feet, place them in the product-lined booties, and relax for about 45 minutes.  For the next week or two, your feet will shed all the callouses, dead skin, and reveal soft, healthy tootsies.  Throw a little polish on those nails, and people will wonder where you got that amazing pedi done.

5.) AromaMist.  This essential oil diffuser not only spreads aromatherapy goodness throughout a room, but is also a mini-humidifier.  Try a few of our Amrita essential oils and find your perfect blend.

6.) Amrita Roll-On blends.  These portable, therapeutic roll blends come in all different varieties, from helping you sleep, to easing muscle pain, to relieving stress, and so many more. Bonus?  Amrita is made in Fairfax, IA, so you’re supporting a local business!

7.) Lumiere eye cream. I am a bit of an eye cream junkie.  This stuff rocks-it has growth factors, hyaluronic acid, matrix proteins, and antioxidants.  It perks up and brightens eyes, and tightens and repairs the skin.

8.) Zents.  Basically, all the Zents, whether it be lotion, Concreta, body oil, perfume, bath truffles, soap, or body wash.  This all natural, gentle line has some of the best fragrances I’ve ever smelled, and it’s wonderful on the skin.

9.) Innovative Aesthetics’ Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser.  I love our entire private label line, but this cleanser is awesome for almost any skin type and almost any age-a light, foamy cleanse that won’t dry out your skin.

So, there you have it.  And if you’re anything like me, you’ve been humming “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music the entire time you’ve been reading.  This post is, of course, very subjective, so I’m curious-what are your favorites?  Did this post make you want to try anything new at Innovative Aesthetics? Let us know in the comments!