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!


Get Ready for Warmth!

It’s officially spring!  Now, of course, in Iowa, we all know that “spring” doesn’t necessarily mean balmy, sunny days-in fact, here in Cedar Rapids, snow is predicted for later this week (sigh).  However, one thing is certain.  Even though the weather may not seem like it, summer is around the corner!

Sorry, hope I didn’t scare you there.  But yes, swimsuits, longer days, and vacations are coming up.  But hey, we have time to prepare!  Lucky for you, Innovative Aesthetics is here to help you get ready for almost every part of summer, and this is the perfect time to ensure that you can get your routine started and in effect by June.  What are some good services to begin with?

  • Laser hair removal-I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  I HATE SHAVING.  Start some sessions now for those pesky hairy areas, and flaunt that bikini with no worries!
  • Waxing-Don’t have the time to commit to Laser Hair Removal?  We also wax!
  • Sun protection-I will never stop pushing my SPF advice on all of you.  Sun damage causes wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and melanoma.  Stop by our retail boutique and browse our sun care section.  Whether it’s traditional cream, tinted moisturizer, make up setting spray, or more, we have you covered with SPF options.
  • Hydrafacial-has the winter left you with dry, rough skin?  Book a Hydrafacial to hydrate, help resurface, and remove impurities from your skin.
  • Microblading-no longer can you pull your winter hat over your sparse brows.  This semi-permanent treatment gives you the brows you’ve always wanted.
  • Injectables-Have you been slacking on your Botox or fillers?  Have you been wondering if now is the time to try?  Let’s prevent new wrinkles and fix current lines from squinting in the bright sun-call now!

As many of you know, this is not a full list of our services, but they’re all good areas to start in.  Welcome spring, and let’s not let summer catch us unprepared!


Allergy Season Just Starting!

For those of you in Cedar Rapids, IA, you know that our weather has been…interesting lately.  Within one week, we had 60 degrees and sunny, then all the way to about 25 degrees with rain, sleet, and snow.  You may have heard the old joke.  “Don’t like the weather in Iowa?  Stick around for a couple of hours, it will change!”  I only wish I was exaggerating.

Now, of course we know that all of these weather “mood” swings are leading us into spring.  Most people love spring-the warmer temps, the snow melting, sunny days.  However, there is a significant portion of the population who dread these upcoming days when the earth is coming back to life.  I’m speaking, of course, of allergy sufferers.  This time of year can be torture for those with seasonal allergies.  I’m talking symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, watery eyes, coughing, dark under eye circles, and itchy eyes and nose.  Sounds like a blast, huh?

So, besides buying stock in the antihistamine tablets that you’re undoubtedly stockpiling, what can you do?  Is there anything you do to feel better?  Well, we think so!  Massage therapy can be enormously beneficial for relief of those allergy symptoms.  We now have a special 30 minute massage session that we tailor to these issues.  I don’t want to give too much away, but it includes special facial and neck work, steamed towels, and our amazing custom Allergy Easer essential oil blend.  This is a treatment that we are very excited to roll out, as roughly half of our staff at Innovative Aesthetics have already started sniffling, sneezing, and tearing up with this milder weather.

There’s no reason to keep suffering with the unwanted side effects and symptoms of spring.  Call us now to set up an appointment and start feeling better!



Find Your Zents!

Everyone knows how Innovative Aesthetics has the best skin care products ever.  We research the heck out of the best of the best, and then make sure that we all actually trial them ourselves.  If we find something does not have the desired effects, we try the next one.  If something better comes out, we upgrade.  That being said, we have mainly focused more on the face (chest and above, if I’m being strictly accurate).  Until now.

We have been wanting to offer a body care line for a while, but we knew we needed to be careful and make sure that we were offering a product that would exceed the expectations and results of other admittedly high quality body care.  As we were looking for the right line, we had some specifications.  We wanted it natural/organic, high quality,  and cruelty-free (both animals AND people).  We wanted as many people as possible to be able to use it and receive exactly what it promised.  Enter Zents.

Zents’ creator was involved in a serious car accident that left him with brain and physical injury, which included chronic pain, intense migraines, and the loss of smell.  After his healing process plateaued, he learned that doctors predicted him not getting any better.  He then made the decision to move to India.  Under the support of his family and his Indian host family, along with yoga, massage, and internal herbal treatments, the unforeseen happened.  His pain subsided, smell and taste came back, and his body began to heal.

During and after this process, the idea for Zents was born.  Realizing that synthetic scents triggered his migraines, and certain products hindered the healing process, he made it his goal to create gentle, fully natural scents, and use the best organic healing ingredients.  And boy, did he.  This line has not only been loved in resorts and spas, but also people with severe allergies, sensitive skin, and even chemo patients. As we have tried these beautiful products, we have been consistently amazed.  And the scents!  Believe me when I say there is a fragrance for everyone.  I don’t think I’ve smelled one that I didn’t like-and you can get each product in each scent (or unscented). The line includes:

1.) Probiotic-infused lotion.  This highly moisturizing blend also includes hyaluronic acid, peptides, antioxidants, shea butter, and coconut oil.  This lotion protects against toxins, aids skin cell regeneration, plumps lines, and improves skin elasticity.

2.) Concreta.  OMG, can I first tell you about Concreta’s highly repurposeable packaging?  These come in these gorgeous little stone boxes that are actually made by his Indian host’s family (along with their newly acquired staff, which was the result of Zents’ success)-they had originally made stone souvenirs (think little stone elephants you would find in gift shops).  This business opportunity for them has brought about income for clean waters, better schools, and a better quality of life for their village.  And that’s just the box!  Inside the box is a lovely blend of a deep conditioning daily conditioning balm that firms, hydrates, and repairs-people have seen results after the very first use.  And back to the box-when you run out, you have a perfect small jewelry box, tealight holder, air plant container, or just a perfect vessel to gift.

3.) Body Oil.  This is a nourishing blend of safflower and vitamin E oils.  It is wonderful for a moisturizing and youthful glow, and also is recommended for applying after sun exposure to soothe and prevent sun damage.

4.) Body/Hand Wash.  Made with 100% organic shea butter.  Sugar cane and fruit extracts gently exfoliate without harsh particles. Organic aloe speeds healing and soothe nicks from shaving. Detoxifying lotus flower restores supple, smooth, healthy skin.

5.) Body Polish.  This sugar, salt, and organic shea infusion gently buffs, and imparts softness, for soft, satiny smooth skin.  Can be tailored to your every exfoliation need: hands, feet, elbows, knees, and body. Use on damp skin for a gentle exfoliation, or use before stepping into the shower for more polish power.

6.) Soap.  These lovingly hand wrapped, triple-milled shea butter soaps are unbelievably creamy.  Ayurvedic skin care ingredient neem bestows its natural antibacterial qualities as a natural, gentle antibacterial that combats acne, eczema, dermatitis, and other skin concerns while deodorizing and balancing skin zones.

7.) Bath Truffles.  My girls and I love these.  Deliciously softening, muscle melting bath fizzies. Dissolve one in a warm bath and let the arnica work on sore, tired muscles. Epsom salt and pink Himalayan salt help detoxify and remineralize the body. Rich shea butter hydrates the skin for a luscious all-over soft, smooth, youthful glow.

8.) Zen Blend Oral Tonic.  A stress-busting flower essence spray.  Spray it in the mouth for a refreshingly minty, and subtly sweet happiness boost.  It uplifts the mind and body, detoxes, and promotes wellness. Tip-I’ve had my high school age daughter try this before school, and she is now addicted!

9.) Eau de Toilette.  All of the amazing scents (or excuse me, Zents) in perfume form.  Described as a liquid memory of life’s most cherished experiences. Drawing on the powerful connection between scent and memory, ZENTS scents become potent potions as they react with your body’s natural chemistry. Nothing overpowering, just gentle and uplifting fragrance!

These are the Zents products we are offering at Innovative at the moment, not a full line.  Stop in, try our testers, and tell us if you have any requests for other products in the Zents line! I promise you’ll love them!




Guys Welcome Too!

Does it ever seem like guys get the short end of the stick when it comes to skin care and spa treatments?  It’s not an overt thing.  While I know there are actually women-only spas out there, it’s not like most places are putting up “No Boys Allowed” signs.  However, there are still segments of our population that deem taking care of yourself somehow “unmanly”, and a lot of spas subconsciously market to women through advertising, verbage, and decor.

So, is there anything at Innovative Aesthetics for men, besides the Ideal Protein diet program? Short answer-yes!  While I would wager that a larger percentage of our clientele is female, we have no shortage of male clients, and we love that.  And what are our men loving?  Well, honestly, most of the same products and treatments that you probably love.  We have our guys coming in for Botox, facials, tattoo removal, massage, laser, and filler.

What are the goals here?  Same as women?  Some of it does stem from identical reasons.  Both genders will come get a massage if their bodies are hurting or out of alignment.  If they’re getting breakouts, they’re both going to come in and seek similar facial remedies.  We’ve noticed a couple of slightly different motivations on certain treatments though.  For example, male Botox (or similar) and fillers clients tend to be in their 40’s and 50’s, many in the corporate world, who want to keep an edge by getting rid of a more “tired” look.  Laser may be more for age spots and scars, as opposed to the fine lines and texture  that a lot of our female clients like to get rid of (although plenty of females also want to treat age spots and scars as well).  These are just general observations, though, and we get every reason and condition across the board from both men and women.

Establishing the fact that men deserve to feel their most physically attractive is important-the same way that it’s important for women to know the same thing about themselves.  Come see us at Innovative-we’ll help you through the rest.



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!