No More Shaving?

My mind is kind of blown right now.  While looking up statistics for this post, I ran across this little gem.  Apparently women spend 72 days on average shaving during her lifetime.  That’s 1,728 hours.  Of shaving.  That is a lot of time.  Personally, I hate shaving.  I’m the kind of person who has stubble a few hours after finishing, and I have darker body hair.  But, I also personally like the clean shaven look, and so I devote time to that portion of grooming.  There has to be a better way!

Of course there is.  Innovative Aesthetics has offered Laser Hair Removal since our inception, and it remains one of our most valued services.  I mean, who doesn’t want smooth skin without any hassle?  Luckily, this is one of our easy services that gets consistent results for most people.

Basically, the laser process is pretty simple.  The laser energy is converted to heat, which, when passing through the dermis, is absorbed by the pigment in the hair, damaging the follicle, which then inhibits further growth.  Now, this isn’t a one time visit.  We usually recommend about 3 to 5 treatments in 5 to 8 week intervals to ensure that we’re reaching each hair in its active growth cycle.  These are best started in the fall or winter, thereby ensuring silky smoothness just in time for your Spring Break or summer vacation.

Right off the bat, I know the price tag looks a little steep. And granted, yes, it’s more than the cost of a can of shaving cream and a disposable razor.  However, if you factor in the amount of money spent on shaving supplies during a lifetime versus our cost for the 3 to 5 visits, you will be coming out ahead.

Big question-does it hurt?  Weeelllll…it’s not painless.  Most people describe it as a
“rubber band snapping against the skin” with each pulse of the laser.  We have found that using a cooling fan or numbing cream can be helpful with the discomfort.  Afterward, you may feel like the treated area is sunburnt, but that shouldn’t last more than a day.

Ready to see learn more?  Call us at Innovative Aesthetics, and set up a free consultation.  We all have busy lives.  Do you really want to spend some of your precious down time, shaving?

Drugstore Masks-Worth it?

Whenever my 12 and 15 year old daughters purchase presents for their friends, I’ve noticed a trend-those cute little at home face masks.  You can get them anywhere (in fact, we actually carry the hugely popular OMG Face Masks and headbands in our retail boutique), there’s a huge variety of different types, and the price tag is usually pretty low.  These are usually mud-based, or sheet masks that they apply and of course follow up with lots of selfies, complete with goofy filters.

They are definitely a lot of fun, but as this trend grows, it’s made me wonder if we may actually be harming our skin by using them so often without aesthetic knowledge.  With working here, my girls have the privilege of getting to come get treatments here at Innovative Aesthetics fairly often, but for a lot of kids, most parents don’t want to spring for professional treatments, especially if they can get the at home masks so easily and cheaply.  And I get it-kids are expensive!  However, with these drugstore masks, it’s a bit of guess work.  A lot of tweens/teens don’t know their skin the way a professional would assess it, so they could be buying products that actually could be stripping natural oils, providing too much moisture, using too harsh a product, etc.

A great option for our younger guests is first setting up a VISIA consultation (our skin analysis machine), and then an appointment for an express facial.  An express facial is exactly what it sounds like-a facial that is designed to fit in a shorter length of time for a smaller amount of money.  Your child is able to learn about their skin, along with do’s and don’ts about taking care of it.  The facial, while less money and less time, doesn’t skimp on the quality-it’s still medical grade and customized to exactly what their skin needs, giving great results.

(I do feel the need to add here that if you or your daughter or son is struggling with more serious skin issues, such as problematic acne, a service that we’ve had tremendous success with for our teens and tweens is the Hydrafacial (discussed here Hydrate That Face!).  While it’s at a higher price point, it may be worth the extra to get the results that our clients have recieved.)

Bottom line?  Drugstore masks can be fine as long as they’re not overused, but make sure you speak to a professional to be sure of the right types to get, and remember that a visit to Innovative Aesthetics while they’re younger can be a great foundation to lasting clear skin!

 

 

Prevent or Repair, or Both? (Part 2)

In my last post (Prevent, Repair, or Both? (Part 1)), we discussed skin issues throughout the different decades of our lives.  We got as far as getting through our 30’s when I realized that my humble little blog post was turning into a novel.  Not wanting to bore everyone into a nap, I decided to make this post a two parter. We’ll start this one off with a difficult age for many people (in terms of skin changes)-your 40’s.

As you enter your 40’s, your estrogen decides to take a hike.  What this does is affect the firmness, elasticity, and moisture of your face, and also affects your facial structure as estrogen also escapes the bones.  This commonly looks like dullness, hollowness, more visible wrinkles, broken blood vessels, capillaries, and age spots. Your lymphatic system also starts to slow down, so the toxins that were usually eliminated quickly are now lingering, causing puffiness around the eyes and the cheeks. None of this sounds particularly fun, but at least Innovative Aesthetics has options for you! Now, if you’ve been a faithful client of ours, you probably know that we love our Retinol.  Seriously.  It thickens skin, minimizes wrinkles, helps with acne, strengthens blood vessels, and helps fade age spots.  This and hyalauronic acid are wonderful products at this age.  Make sure your at home routine includes the right stuff!  Now, for in-office, Botox is wonderful for helping those wrinkles to decrease, and it may be the right time to inquire about fillers-it can help with the hollows from bone loss and fill in some of those deeper wrinkles.  Micorneedling, Forever Young BBL laser treatments, and Hydrafacials are also all highly effective services that will keep your skin the way you want it to be.

50’s and on?  Hello, menopause! Estrogen has now just decided to stop, and testosterone takes over.  Expect dry, thinner, and looser skin, deeper wrinkles, stretched pores, hooded or hollowed eyelids, and peach fuzz.  A big “do” is hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  Hyalauronic acid?  Yes!  Retinol products?  Still yes!  At this point though, for more noticeable changes, you’re going to see the most improvement with in-office treatments.  Botox and fillers will smooth lines, fill out wrinkles, and plump up the skin.  As before, Forever Young BBL laser and Microneedling will help to tighten and improve lines.

As we focus on ways to work on the skin, let’s not forget the rest.  Love yourself.  Fuel your body with good food.  Exercise in the fresh air.  Drink lots of water.  Get massages.  Be mindful.  Laugh and love with friends, and remember that beauty can be skin deep-take yours within!  Innovative Aesthetics is privileged to be part of this journey of yours. Live life like the gift it is, and feel your best!

 

Prevent, Repair, or Both? (Part 1)

One of my favorite things about our client base at Innovative Aesthetics is the huge varied range of ages, gender, personalities, and places in life.  I’ve mentioned before that this spa isn’t a place for the perfect “Hollywood”-type people.  It’s for everyone who wants to look and feel their best.  To that end, we have everyone to the teenager struggling with acne, to the 45 year experiencing weight changes, to the elderly individual whose physical discomfort needs relief.

I’ve wrote about the array of services that we offer at Innovative.  We all know that there’s something for everyone.  But at what point do we look into certain treatments or procedures for our skin?

Here, something often said is “it’s better to prevent than repair.”  While that is certainly true, we always want people to know that there aren’t many times when we can’t improve an area of concern.  But how do we know when it’s time to prevent, and what are we preventing?

Let’s start with on the younger end.  With our teens, we aren’t just clearing up a breakout or two.  We are helping them to build their skin’s foundation for the future. We get them started with an at-home skin care regime, the importance of sunscreen, dietary and hydration tips, and a schedule of customized facials, microderms, Hydrafacials, or laser treatments.  Following this individualized advice will take the teens into their college years.  Around age 25 skin will begin to start changing again…

…and we begin the prevention process for the next stage.  At this point, hormones, while still changing, are not the huge chaotic mess of a teenager.  Acne might be under control, or you may be experiencing adult acne, which is treated differently than it would be in a teenager.  You may be on birth control, whose estrogen might be causing brown spots or discoloration.  As cell turnover starts to slow (around age 18, actually), fine lines around the eyes could be appearing, along with occasional static (in place even when not moving the face) wrinkles.  It may be time for new products, as what worked in high school and college is for a different time in your skin’s life.  Stick with the sunscreen, but you may want to look at some products with retinol in it-it can help with acne, and is great for the fine lines that may be appearing.  From age 25 to 30, we even have some people coming in for Botox.  It’s definitely a possibility if you have, as mentioned above, a few static wrinkles.  Botox will only help to keep it under control as you age.  As for repair?  Ask us what we can do to help with scars from acne or other skin problems from years past.  Laser can work wonders, especially at this age.

Into your 30’s, your estrogen levels are starting to dip a bit, along with lowered levels of skin tightening collagen and elastin, and that skin plumping hyalauronic acid.  Cell turnover will continue slowing too, causing a slower recovery from inflammation and breakouts.  Skin is getting a little thinner and dryer, you may get some age spots, and more lines around your “expression areas” may be growing more prominent.  Take a look at your at home regime-at Innovative, we can make sure that you have the appropriate products for your skin (but again, keep up the sunscreen!).  It may be time to introduce some more intense anti-aging goodies.  This will help with both prevention and repair.  If you haven’t tried Botox yet, it’s a good age to start treating fine lines and wrinkles that haven’t gotten too set in yet.  Look into customized facials, Hydrafacials, and/or laser treatments to work with discoloration, skin tightening, and uneven skin tone.  Again, any areas of desired repair should be brought up as soon as possible!  This is also a great time to make sure that your water intake is high, your food is as fresh and natural as possible, and that you’re curbing sugars, sodium, and processed foods.

Our staff here at Innovative Aesthetics has ages from early 20’s to 50’s. Not only do we have the training and education to take care of your skin in every stage, but we can empathize with your issues.  We’re here to make every person feel the best that they can in their skin.  Tune in next week to read Part 2 of this post, and learn about changes and treatments for aging skin.

Teenage Skin Solutions

At some point we were all teenagers.  While I hate to make sweeping generalizations, I will say that teenager-hood is a great equalizer of life.  We have all had moments of feeling awkward, emotional, and clueless.  It really hasn’t changed too much in this day and age, except most kids have smartphones that document all these stages, and these teens’ make up skills are much better than my own.  What’s one thing that’s the same?  Unfortunately, skin problems.  These stem from a big mix of new hormones, emotions such as anxiety and stress, and/or undiscovered issues in the dermis.

Some people are surprised when they find out that Innovative Aesthetics has a sizeable teenage client base.  If you think about it though, it makes sense.  When your skin is ready for some outside help, most people think of a dermatologist, and that’s a great idea.  Sadly though, an appointment usually comes with a long wait-sometimes 6 months!  That’s a long time to wait, and struggle.  We are a good first step, either by coming in before you call the dermatologist, or by making an appointment to see us while you wait to get in to the doctor.  We will start with our free consultation, which includes a VISIA skin analysis, and a plan to go forward with our medical grade products and treatments.  This may be a new skin cleansing and care regime, a series of facials formulated to their skin type, a Hydrafacial,  laser treatments, OR if you haven’t looked into a dermatologist, we may even recommend that an appointment is made for that specialist’s opinion.  Everyone’s skin is different, and what works for one teen won’t necessarily work for the next.

We do have a few tips for managing teenage skin:

  1. Make sure you’re cleansing each night and morning, but don’t overscrub! A clarisonic is great investment to get both a deep clean and light exfoliation once a day.  Don’t overdo the products though.  A good base to start with is a good quality cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen.  Add ons may include acne sticks for spot treatment, toners, and at-home masks.
  2. Use sunscreen!  It’s better to prevent sun damage than to repair.  If you must have that bronzed glow, try a spray tan, a tanning lotion, or a tinted moisturizer/sunscreen.  Ask us at Innovative about our line of sun prevention products-we have organic and light, healthy formulas that won’t make you break out.
  3. With make-up, less is more.  Piling on heavy foundation, powders, and others may cover up blemishes temporarily, but will block pores and cause more skin trouble than you started with. Besides, a natural look is in right now, so let your naturally beautiful face be what you present to yourself and the world!
  4. Be careful with stress.  I know school, activities, and family make for a busy and sometimes hectic time, but take some time for yourself.  Be kind to yourself, get off the phone/computer for a bit, get some fresh air, exercise, and socialize with people you love.  Your mind, body, AND skin will thank you for it.
  5. Drink lots of water and eat a balanced diet.  Are you noticing a pattern that good skin starts from within?

We get it.  Like I said before, we’ve all been teenagers, and we remember the struggles.  We know at Innovative how skin issues can make our confidence and self worth drop, and we want to help change that.  We all deserve to feel happy and beautiful in our own skin, and we will help you get there.

 

Pregnancy and Spa Treatments

Since the owner of Innovative Aesthetics is none other than Dr. Jason Rexroth, one of our area’s finest OB-Gyn doctors, we get a lot of referrals from him and his patients. Now, obviously, there are a good number of his patients who are excitedly expecting new additions to their families.  Because of that, a question we get asked a lot is “is it safe to get Botox or fillers when I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?”

While we of course want our amazing clients to feel as beautiful as possible, Botox is a no-no for pregnancy and breastfeeding.  There is always a small chance that Botox could get into the bloodstream and possibly have an effect on your baby.  There haven’t been many studies done on this, since the condition of pregnancy is one that most people don’t want to risk safety on.  However, from what has been studied, it has been determined to treat pregnancy and nursing as a contraindication.  It’s the same case with fillers-not many studies, and while many are made with hyaluronic acid (a naturally occurring substance in your body), it is best to wait until after pregnancy and breastfeeding to get those treatments.

So, what can you do?  I’ve been pregnant before, so I’ve been there.  I wanted to feel pretty and pampered just as much as the next mom!  Well, at Innovative, we have options for you.  First off, your Clarisonic should still be your BFF.  It will give your skin a nice deep clean, light exfoliation, and a daily glow.  But on the professional level, our estheticians have a full line of various facials that can help you deal with the skin changes that these hormones can bring.  While we’ll skip the peels,  we have relaxing and effective treatments like dermaplaning, Hydrafacial, and customized masks and blends.  You can also go full force into pampering and healing mode and get a full body prenatal massage. While Josie and I both do pregnancy sessions, Josie has had further specific training, and does an absolutely incredible massage.  Hint-it involves a special pillow that may allow you to lie on your stomach again (whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding).  No joke.

Once that baby is born, and you are finished nursing, you can go back to your favorite previously off-limits services, but we also have some special treatments that can do wonders for specific post-pregnancy skin.  If you’ve gotten some stretch marks that you aren’t thrilled with, we have a microneedling treatment that has shown very impressive results.  Melasma is a common side effect of pregnancy, so to counteract that, we have both chemical peels and a Skin Brightening Treatment that both treat pigmented areas, and brightens, tightens and tones the skin.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding are a truly special time of life, for both you and your baby.  Remember to slow down and take care of yourself as much as you can-you deserve this. And remember, a happy and relaxed mama makes for a happy and relaxed family!

 

Perfect? Nah…

I was here at Innovative the other day, and some of us got to chatting with a couple of clients.   These were a couple of our regular clients who come in pretty frequently, and in addition to being successful, intelligent, and beautiful, they are also incredibly friendly and kind.  It got me thinking though.  As we were talking, they both separately mentioned some issues that they were going through in their individual lives, and as I was listening, I found myself starting to feel surprised.  The reason? Well…look at them-they’re perfect!  They don’t have problems!  Of course, that’s ridiculous.  We know no one’s life is without bumps in the road,  but it is hard to remember that sometimes.  People sometimes look at spas like Innovative Aesthetics, and assume that our clientele consists of the lucky flawless folks who float in here, get their beautifying treatments, then head back to their amazing lives.

You can find these “perfect” people anywhere.  Perfect moms, whose children are angels , crafts and cooks like Martha Stewart on a Pinterest binge, and live in a gorgeous house that seemingly defies any speck of dirt.  The hipster local, who takes advantage of every single business, event, and hot spot of your home town/city, complete with Instagram-worthy filtered photos, and just generally seems like they have a much cooler life than you do.  The beauty guru, whose impeccable make up and styling skills give her the look of a goddess.

Let’s try to remember something though.  Innovative Aesthetics exists to give each person a way to feel their most beautiful.  That may be through diet, massage, facials, wrinkle reducer, scar removal, etc.  The people I listed above? They’re coming here to feel beautiful, to heal, to be cared for, the same as everyone else.  And trust me, the details I listed for those examples?  Those are only the surface details.  Their lives have just as many ups and downs as yours and mine do.

Chances are, these people are not intending to make you feel like a less of a person than they are.  If they are, well, that’s their own insecurity that they’re dealing with.  Working in the spa industry, I see a lot of airbrushed supposed perfection.  I see a lot of insecurity.  But do you know what else I see?  I see people.  The people that come into Innovative Aesthetics come from all backgrounds and lives.  That’s how we want it.  We want everyone to know and benefit from what we have to offer.  Our business would dry up pretty quickly if we only dealt in perfection.  In fact…

Let’s get rid of the mindset that perfection exists.  If you’re kind to yourself and others, and allow for flaws, no matter what the facade is, you will be more comfortable with yourself as a person.  You deserve to feel treated and pampered, and to feel and look your best.  So, give us a call-make this your time to be the best version of yourself!

 

Let’s Get Started!

All right, the holidays are finished, and there are a lot of us reevaluating choices from either the time of indulgence, or past habits.  It’s completely normal.  We want to be the best versions of ourselves, and the new year is a blank slate.

So what are we looking to change?  It could something as simple as getting an adult-level quality skin care regime for your face, instead of your old habit of sleeping in make up, and waking up to cleanse your face with your Dove bath soap bar.  Maybe you’ve had it with your less than ideal posture at your desk job, and want to start maintaining your strengthening core with regular massages.  Or maybe you have finally made the decision to take some weight off, and are looking into ways to change your dietary lifestyle.

Here at Innovative, we are into new beginnings.  We believe that it is rarely too late to improve on yourselves.  So why don’t you come set up a general consultation with one of our skin specialists, and find some treatments, procedures, or products to make your beautiful face its healthiest?  Or set up a time to speak to an Ideal Protein diet consultant, and see if you can both lose those pounds, and feel more energized and positive as a result.  Realize that you don’t have be in physical pain or discomfort from those tense muscles, and come get a massage or try some cupping.  Now is the perfect time to start, even if you’ve been putting it off.

We can achieve our resolutions.  It’s easy to procrastinate, but remember, the first step is the hardest.  Once you’ve accomplished the first step, whether it’s making that initial call, or even just making the firm decision that you’re doing this, you have started on that path.  It gets easier-just go bit by bit.  But the first step?  If it’s something Innovative Aesthetics can help you with, pick up that phone and call us!  We look forward to cheering on this new journey.

Watch THIS Hydration!

I’ve mentioned this before-my skin gets DRY in the winter.  I have also made mention in a previous post (Hydrate That Face!) of a relatively new service (a little over one year old at this location) at Innovative-the Hydrafacial.  I still sometimes get questions when I bring this treatment up, and I thought this time of year would be a great time to freshen up my parched skin AND show you lovely people what it all entails.  So…here we go!

Here I am, skin dull and dry, in desperate need of TLC…

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Does anyone actually enjoy picture taking?

Want to see part of the actual process?

The professionals who perform this treatment are amazing-Amy, Beth, and Mandy.  They have years of experience in aesthetics, and make sure that each person gets the individual care and procedure plan they need.  For example, Beth noticed a little redness in my face, along with some inflammation (from the dryness), and determined that a red light treatment would be valuable.

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Red is so not my color.

Less than 30 minutes later, we were finished.  I love that there’s an option so effective in such a small amount of time!  No discomfort, no peeling, no side effects. Here I am post-Hydrafacial.

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I feel glow-y!

Bottom line?  This is an awesome treatment.  5 days later, my face still feels hydrated and smooth, and ready to take on the holidays.  Seriously, if you haven’t gotten a Hydrafacial yet, what are you waiting for?  Give us a call here at Innovative Aesthetics, and get on our schedule! Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

Open House Coming Up

Snow is on the horizon, we’re almost finished with Thanksgiving leftovers, and Christmas decorations are up.  Okay, so the average Christmas decoration has been up since Halloween, but mine are just now going up, so that’s what I’m going by.  We are now officially in the holiday season.

Here at Innovative Aesthetics, that means one thing-our bi-annual open house.  It’s on Thursday, December 7th this year, and we are excitedly preparing.  This is the time where we open our spa up to everyone, and celebrate.  We have food, drinks, raffles, insanely amazing deals, and you get to see our smiling faces.  If you haven’t RSVP’d yet, please do!  I promise you will be not be disappointed.

Looking at the RSVP list, it looks like pretty much every client has signed up.  And why not?  Seriously, it’s a blast.  But what about your sister who thinks it’s crazy that you get a massage once a month?  Or that friend who’s been on the fence about Botox?  Or your partner who insists that no medical spa treatment is worth that price?  You know, the ones who haven’t come to Innovative yet?  This may be your chance to prove both your fabulous taste and financial savvy.

But what do you tell them?  First of all, clear up any misconceptions they may have.  They may hear about Botox and fillers, and assume that we’re intent on turning our good citizens of Cedar Rapids into frozen, plastic faced Barbie and Ken dolls (we’re not).  Explain that our medical professionals who administer those options are going for subtle and natural results.  Tell them that massages and facials aren’t just for rich, bored housewives, and actually  play a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and muscles.  Show them our state of the art equipment that our owner and director, Dr. Jason Rexroth researches and invests in to make sure that our clients and patients get the top notch care they deserve.

Here is what I love about this place.  Our staff?  We listen.  Whether you’re coming for the Ideal Protein diet, injections, laser treatment, Microneedling, tattoo removal, facials, products, or massage, we communicate with you.  We feel so strongly about that that we generally preempt most first appointments with a free consultation.  We sit down with you, ask you questions, take VISIA pictures (VISIA is our skin analysis machine), and make sure you’re getting the best treatment for your concerns.  That means, for example, even if you are positive that you want, say, Radiesse, after speaking with you and studying your skin, we may determine that a different, maybe even less expensive treatment may be best for you.  And we will tell you that.  We will explain the products and procedures, and help you figure out what will make you feel the best about yourself.  That’s the only way we know how to operate.

Here’s a really great part.  At open house, our first and primary responsibility is to answer questions, and be there for you.  It’s not only the awesome once a year specials, prizes, and yummy food.  Our staff is all present to make sure that all of you, clients or not, get the best treatment of all.  And when a non-client decides to follow up with an appointment with us later?  Then we know we’ve done our job. Hope to see you all there, and remember, this year, if you bring a friend, you’re entered into a contest for three Forever Young laser treatments for you, and a Hydrafacial for your friend!