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!

Acne Blues

Acne is one of the biggest skin frustrations out there.  While we tend to associate it with teens, the truth is, it’s not just teenagers going through puberty that struggle with it.  We have a lot of adults who come into Innovative, puzzled that they’re still battling this skin condition when they no longer have a “one” in front of their age.

So, what’s going on?  What’s causing it?  Well, there’s a good reason why teens are usually considered the victims of acne- a mixture of heredity, hormones and just starting to learn how to take care of their skin tends to make even the most healthy teen susceptible.  With adults, hormones still play a main role, even if they’re past the onslaught of new and unfamiliar hormones flooding the system.  Another common issue can be what we eat-dairy has been found to trigger break outs in some individuals, along with poor dietary choices. While the wrong make-up, menstruation, pregnancy, and the wrong skin care routines can also cause acne, the most likely culprit comes from within.

How can this be fixed?  The first thing to do is probably the simplest-take a good look at what you’re putting on your skin, and how you’re treating it.  Are you scrubbing your skin?  Are you putting pore-clogging moisturizer, sunscreen, or foundation on it?  Do you exercise with make up on, then don’t cleanse after the work out? Do you sleep in make up?  Do you skip washing your face at night or in the morning?  These can be quick steps to take to see if there is a quick fix here.  You want to make sure you’re washing your face with a cleanser formulated for your skin type-not scrubbing, as that can irritate and stimulate excess oil production. You don’t need to wash more than twice a day (unless you need to after a work out, or to wash make up off beforehand), but make sure you’re getting that skin cleansed!  Check your moisturizers, sunscreens, and make up.  Invest in good quality, oil-free, non-comedogenic (for acne-prone skin, a formula that is less likely to block the pores).   Also, look at your diet-switch to cleaner, less processed foods, such as veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and lots of water.  Try cutting dairy and see if that makes a difference.

If you’ve made these switches, and have noticed no change, then it’s time to call Innovative Aesthetics or a dermatologist…or both!  There can be a long wait list to see a dermatologist, and and Innovative can usually get you in within a week or two, either while you wait for the dermatologist appointment, or before you decide to see one.  At Innovative, we will do a skin analysis (VISIA) to see if we can figure out the cause.  We will then decide which treatment works best-it may be laser, a specialized facial series, Hydrafacial, or customized medical grade skin care routine.

At Innovative, we are looking at you individually, and we are going to make sure that you get the best possible care.  When it comes to acne, there’s no reason to have to suffer!

 

 

Rich in Gratitude

At a yoga class this week, our instructor touched briefly on the subject of perspective-namely realizing how rich we truly are, in the midst of difficult times.  That was an interesting thought for me, as I tend to get stuck sometimes in a mindset that is not always the most beneficial.  Even more intriguing, when I dug a little into the science of gratitude and the effects, I was surprised to see how many benefits can come about through a grateful mind. It can have effects on your emotional state, your health, your social life, even your career!

Something we try to practice at Innovative Aesthetics is a sense of camaraderie, that is, building each other up, and encouraging one another.  It’s not always easy.  Sometimes other people will frustrate you, and things won’t always go your way.  But is that really important?  Will it matter after 5 days?  5 months?  5 years?  Maybe it will.  And that’s how you know that it’s time to constructively handle it.  But maybe in the end, it won’t matter.

Let’s work on empowering ourselves by appreciating what we have in this life.  We may have personal struggles, or we may still be striving toward a bigger goal, but regardless, let’s take the time to acknowledge our gifts, and feel a sense of gratitude for where we are on our current paths.  And remember, share that gift with others-it costs nothing, but it will still multiply!

True or False?

You know how there are some things that seem so obvious and normal to one person, but to the next person, it’s completely unknown?  Then we hear the truth, and wonder how we thought the previous idea was accurate?  I thought I would clear up a few common misconceptions that we hear of in our lines of work at Innovative Aesthetics.

1.) Myth: I want to get Botox, but I don’t want to come to Innovative, since I know some of the people that work there, and I don’t want my secret getting out.

Truth: We’re a medical spa.  That means that we’re under medical supervision with medical grade products/procedures, and under HIPPA law.  Basically, that means no one is finding out you came here unless you tell them.  Your records are sealed, our computers are password encrypted, and if we know you, we’re not going to stroll up to you at the grocery store and say “Hey Sally!  The Botox you got at Innovative Aesthetics looks great on you!” Heck, our practice is even within a big medical practice building, so even if someone sees your car outside the spa, they won’t know what you’re doing in there.

2.) Myth: I use really good quality skin care that says it’s Botox/fillers/microderm in a jar, so I don’t need profession medical spa treatment.

Truth: Unfortunately, what you buy over the counter is not going to do what most of our procedures do.  Invest in good products by all means, however, those products can’t penetrate or go under the layers of skin.  Ask us for recommendations on what will work the best for you.

3.) Myth: Injections are painful and take a lot of down time to heal and show effects.

Truth: Actually, most people describe the pain of injections as a 2 or 3 on a scale of 1 to 10.  It’s a very quick process-we have people who sometimes run over on their lunch break and are back at work afterward with no one being the wiser.  AND it only takes about a week to kick in fully, and we have plenty of people who notice changes even before that.

4.) Myth: Facials and massages feel great, but the results don’t last.

Truth: Just like with working out, or dieting, you’ll feel results if you do them regularly-maintain the good stuff!

could go on and on…in fact, I may have to do a “Part 2” of this post someday.  However, if you have a question or concern about our services, give us a call-we are always happy to to answer and explain!

This Too Shall Pass

Cedar Rapids, IA isn’t the only area that is experiencing winter weather in spring (hence, the “sprinter” of 2018).  Apparently, this is happening in more place than one.  And okay, it’s not an ideal season for most people, but at least we all know that there are better things on the horizon.  We’ll get our balmy, sunny days soon, and the cold and bitter weather will just be a memory.

It’s kind of like that with treatments that have progressive results, that is, results that take a little while to fully form.  You may need multiple sessions (laser, Microneedling, etc) or a lifestyle commitment (diet, skincare, etc), but you know after a while, it will all be worth it.

It’s hard to sometimes look ahead and know that things will improve.  This is true of many times in our lives, not just spa results.  It takes patience and trust, and if we can all invest in some of those qualities, we’ll see changes.  How many times have you looked back at a pivotal or important life choice, and seen how far you’ve come?  It suddenly seems so much easier.  All it takes is courage and that first step.  Tired of your skin making you feel self-conscious?  Sick of your weight zapping your energy?  Had enough of a certain action?  Take that first step, and remember, better times and better skin is ahead!

What is VISIA?

I have mentioned VISA in previous posts.  I usually just give it a quick one sentence explanation: our machine analyzes your skin and helps us to decide the best treatment for you.  But why is it such an important part of our initial appointments?

Simply put, VISIA is able to find accurate facts and information about your skin that we just wouldn’t be able discover in one visit.  Before almost every appointment that has to do with your face, we have each client come in for a free consultation.  This is where we take details about your daily skincare routine and relevant info about your diet and lifestyle.  Make no mistake, this information is crucial to your skincare plan, however, VISIA takes it up a notch.

The process itself is very simple.  You sit in front of the little portal where the camera take your “picture”.  From there, in a matter of seconds, it has determined 8 different skin features, including wrinkles, surface spots, and UV damage, and compares to a broad database of your peers to determine the skin condition and age. This is immensely helpful when we’re trying to figure out determining factors for certain conditions and figuring out the best course of action for future treatments.  Sometimes we get people who are pleasantly surprised at what they find out, and often we get individuals who hadn’t realized the extent of what was going on under their skins’ surface.  Everyone, though, takes solace in the fact that these results are not going to stay the same if they commit to the skincare routine we give them (this is also a good time to remind everyone that as all of our clients’ information, these pictures and details remain completely confidential).  After a few months, we like to take VISIA pictures again, and see the improvements, as compared it to the originals.  Those can be really impressive moments, as our medical grade treatments and products bring about dramatically visible changes.  Skeptical?  Just ask us for some before and after pictures!

The more knowledge we have about our skin helps us at Innovative to give the best possible care we can, and make you feel like a million bucks.  Call us now for your free VISIA consult!