Coffee and Willpower

I am the first person to admit that when it come to food and beverages, I have no willpower.  Or if I do have a few strands of willpower, they are fragile, and make me sad and emotional at what I’m missing.  My husband does not get this.  He is of the type who, when wanting to diet, or cut a food out, or add something, just does it.  Like a pyschopath.  Just kidding, but seriously, that isn’t me.  I struggle with cravings, and have a hard time turning down food and drinks that I love.  Put me in a standard coffee shop, say Starbucks, or somewhere similar, where they have a bakery case filled with carb-olicious, sugar-filled treats, and drinks that are more like milkshakes that provide roughly an entire week’s worth of calories….and I’m in heaven.  Guilt-tripped and post-regretful, but heaven.  So when I heard over a year ago that Innovative Aesthetics was going ahead with our plan to open an Ideal Protein-approved coffee shop, I was ecstatic.  I could treat myself with options that were actually healthy?

Now, while I have acknowledged my lack of willpower, I will also state how important I think healthy living is.  I think food is our best medicine.  Unfortunately, food doesn’t always fuel us for good.  Sugar can be an addiction just like a drug, along with carbs.  It’s just our bodies process certain foods.  I am not alone in this struggle.  Many other people have the same problem, and have found immense help with the Ideal Protein lifestyle.  It goes in phases, with the first phase being the strictest-no sugar, no carbs, no fruit, etc, but plenty of approved veggies and protein.  To help with the restriction of your menu, we have a huge selection of drinks, bars, soups, snacks, desserts, etc.  It’s insanely helpful, and has brought thousands of people to not only a reduction in body weight, but simply a better life.  BUT. (You knew that was coming, right?) It does take work.  It takes willpower and strength to look at foods and drinks that you love, and say no.  So imagine a little cafe you can go to, and know that the majority of the menu is designed for YOU.  You aren’t a breakfast person, but have a hard time when you hit that mid-morning slump?  Well, zip through our drive thru, and order any of our coffees with an IP twist-you will add flavor and protein to your coffee, and all you had to do was drink that nectar of the gods, COFFEE.  How about lunch?  Maybe you get busy at work, and when you run out for a quick bite, you see those golden arches beckoning-it’s so easy!  Well, so is running into the coffee shop and grabbing a deli style meal, complete with the required amount of lean protein and veggies, made by our awesome Kristeena’s Catering.  Or you’re like me, and you like to treat yourself for no good reason at all except that you made it through another day.  Congratulations!  You’ve just earned a mocha frozen blended drink and a muffin or chocolate bite-no guilt included!

This is exciting to me.  When we make the right choices accessible and appealing to everyone, it’s so much easier to do the right thing.  Not just for us if we’re watching our diets, but kids as well.  Teach them to enjoy and treat themselves, but do it with a customizable whole fruit smoothie.  Or a fragrant herbal tea.



Slow Down!

The other day I ran into a friend whom I hadn’t seen for a while.  Of course, one of the first things she asked was what I had been up to lately.  I took a deep breath, knowing that it was going to take a while to update her, since I haven’t gotten a chance to sit down since 2013 (okay, slight exaggeration-maybe 2015?), and half the time feel like my house is simply a landing pad for infrequent stopovers. Funny thing though, I couldn’t think of anything to tell her except that I work, drive my kids around, and go to meetings.  That’s not exactly an update.  Those are errands and responsibilities that honestly should be the in-between minutia of our fulfilling lives, not my entire schedule-who wants to hear about those parts??  After that bit of self-realization, as I stood there a little disappointed in myself, my friend said “I thought I was the only one!”  Now, of course, that feeling can be a casualty of our social media society-we think everyone else is living an amazing life while we’re struggling to stay above water.  But there’s more to it.  It’s somehow become a badge of honor these days to go nonstop, to run ourselves ragged.

My friend then asked me what I do for myself.  Myself? Do?  I waxed poetic on getting time to read, get massages or facials, or exercise.  “After all,” I said sagely, “we are much better people when we take care of ourselves.”

True?  Of course.  True for me?  Well, it would be if I actually did the above activities enough to make a difference in my hectic life.  Look, it’s a busy time for a lot of us.  For example, I’m a wife, a mother of 3, work outside the home, and have this common disorder where I can’t say “no” to volunteer requests (if you find a cure, let me know).  But does that mean that we need to make this our “normal”?  And if it is our normal, how can we break it down and give ourselves a rest?

First, let’s stop and figure out what we can cut out.  Can we carpool for kids’ activities, get notes instead attending each and every meeting, throw together some make-ahead meals for the following week, etc?  Is there anything unnecessary that we’ve mistakenly deemed necessary?

Next, how can we force some downtime?  That’s right, I said force.  This is easier said than done.  We have conditioned ourselves as a society to see downtime as a luxury, and an impossiblity.  But we have to change that.  Call Innovative Aesthetics and schedule a massage or a facial, heck, get some Botox (shameless plug!).  Or go take a walk, and practice breathing.  Tell the family that you need an hour to yourself, and go get a coffee or smoothie (hey, I just thought of another shameless plug-Innovative Aesthetics has just opened a coffee shop!*).  Go hang out with a friend.  Whatever it is, it’s vital.

Let’s change things.  Starting with ourselves and our families, let’s stick with what we truly love, and truly need.  It all starts with each individual.  Stop and really think about what you’ve been up to lately.  You may be surprised at what you realize your main actions are. We can make ourselves better people by taking care of ourselves first…and isn’t that the first step in making our corner of the world a better place?


*Innovative Aesthetics Weight Loss Center-Protein and Coffee Bar

901 Tower Terrace Rd-Marion (across from Linn-Mar)

Is Massage Not Right for YOU?

Believe it or not, there is a significant number of people who have never gotten a massage before.  I know, I’m as surprised as you.  Not just because I’ve been practicing massage therapy since 2005, but because it’s just so darn awesome.

Most people who have never received massage before usually have the same few reasons, and once they’ve tried it, they’re almost always converted.  Let’s run down a few excuses, and I’ll give some reassurances.

1.)  “I have cellulite/ugly feet/extra pounds, and don’t want to be judged or feel self-conscious.”  Oh, honey, put that out of your head now.  First of all, we get all body types on our tables, and they all have one thing in common-we don’t see them as appealing/unappealing.  Your body is on the table for healing of some sort, whether mental, physical, or both.  And that’s the only way we see it.  We touch and work on your body the same way you navigate to the bathroom at night-by rote.  In fact, going with the previous nightly bathroom example, half the time, I’ve realized that I have my eyes closed as I’m working.  We know where the muscles are, we know where bony landmarks are, we know where to touch to bring relief.  We don’t do this by critical sight, we do it by our touch’s instincts keying into your body.

2.) “I just can’t get nude in front of a stranger/someone I know.”  There should never be a point when your full nudity is on display for us.  You should always be draped in a way that the only body part out is the area being worked on.  If you are at a legitimate massage practice, your comfort and dignity are our priority, and that doesn’t include us getting a glimpse of your entire birthday suit.

3.) Piggybacking on number 2, “Do I have to take my underwear off and /or get my butt touched?”  We do learn gluteal massage.  It is extremely beneficial, as we spend a lot of time not tending to our glute muscles.  We sit on them, we work them with almost every movement we make, and as a core area, they can be the root of low back pain, or hamstring pain.  BUT.  If you are not comfortable having your rear end worked on, we don’t have to do it.  You can tell us off the bat, or you can let us take the hint by leaving your underpants on. Honestly, over the years, I have realized that it’s best if the therapist brings this up before the client gets on the table.  I usually try to word it pretty close to how I just stated it.  It’s always up to the client’s comfort level, never what I deem as necessary.  I would rather have my client leave relaxed and comfortable with a slightly tense booty than have them get off the table feeling embarrassed or awkward, albeit with relaxed glute muscles.

4.) “I had a massage once and it was painfully deep/annoyingly light.”  One of my personal pet peeves with massages is when I voice a preference for a certain type of pressure, and I still don’t get what I requested.  Communication is important, but I will relate my first massage experience-it was incredibly, uncomfortably deep pressure, but I didn’t want to hurt my therapist’s feelings by telling her to ease up!  I know so much better now…on both sides.  Now, while my first therapist did ask me how the pressure was, like I said, I didn’t want to hurt her feelings.  Two important words-you won’t.  A massage therapist’s skill lies in her/his technique, not the amount of pressure he or she can do.  So, if the massage therapist asks you how the pressure is, and you’re not happy with it, tell them. Any good therapist will happily adjust to your liking.  And if they don’t, you may not be with the right person to work with. Speaking of which, onto number 5…

5.) “I had a massage once, and it didn’t help me/didn’t feel good.”  Don’t give up this easily!  Just like other professions, we are not one size fits all!  The work that I did on your bff may not be the work that you are wanting or needed.  And visa versa.  While most of us try to have a wide range of different techniques and practices that work for the majority of clients, they won’t work for every single person.  There are two massage therapists here at Innovative Aesthetics, and we have both had clients who after getting a massage from one, ended up going with the other the next time.  And it’s not personal (at least I hope so!).  We understand that our different styles work differently for certain needs.  I would rather you go to someone else and have relief than quit getting massage at all after an unsatisfactory session with me.  Speaking of which, the following has also happened…

6.)  “Well, this is awkward…I love massages, and I regularly get them from someone who isn’t you.”  I cannot stress how okay this is, and how not-awkward you should feel.  At the end of the day, massage therapists are healers.  If you’re getting massage and feeling good, don’t feel guilty that you’re going to someone else.  In fact, give me his or her name-I’m always looking for good massage practitioners!

The benefits of massage are so numerous that I could write a book.  Heck, I could write a series of books on the benefits.  Sometimes the decision to get a massage though, isn’t as simple as just knowing how therapeutic it is.  I understand the intimacy created during a session, and when we feel anxiety or second-guessing on our bodies or minds, it can put a stumbling block on our health journey.  However, I’m here to let you know that for us, we are in this profession to heal and guide others in body and spirit.  Give us a chance to find out with you what will work the best for you, through communication and our desire to bring you physical and mental harmony.

Microblading-Think About it!

Who remembers the razor thin eyebrow trend in the 90’s (my hand is going up)?  I, who had inherited my dad’s bushy eyebrows, busily spent waaaay too much time tweezing them to sparse, skinny perfection.  My mom walked in while I was doing that one day, and worriedly said “when you tweeze your brows too much, they may not grow back in!”  My response was something along the lines of “well, if Dad hadn’t given me his horrible eyebrows, I wouldn’t have to tweeze them so much!” (You can picture the teenage attitude.)  Fast forward to present day.  The trend now is thick, bold brows.  I would be fitting right in naturally, although, surprise, surprise, Mom was right-my brows are not what they used to be.

I’m not alone in the Post 1990’s Skinny Brow Debacle Recovery Group (okay, so there’s no such official group, but I know I’m not the only one who messed up perfectly good brows during that time).  There are a lot of options out there for faking the right eyebrow look.  After all, brows are an important part of your face. Have you ever seen the picture where they show celebrities’ faces, then the same faces with the eyebrows photoshopped off?  It’s pretty bizarre, let me tell you.  Whether you want a better arch, more feathered, bold, whatever, there are products out there to do it-gels, pencils, even tattooing.  However, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that most of you don’t want to spend precious time every morning drawing in your brows.  And I’ve seen brow tattoos, and while some of them are great, I’ve seen a lot of very obvious and unnatural looking designs.  So, are there any other options?  Well, yes.  Microblading is a method that has gotten skyrocketed in popularity recently.  Unlike tattoos, microblading is only semi-permanent, which is perfect for a look which tends to follow trends.

Here at Innovative Aesthetics, our esthetician, Mandy has trained in the microblading process extensively, and what sets her apart from other practitioners is her study of art technique in college.  Anyone who has any sort of background in the artistic facial form knows that it’s harder than it looks to achieve proper proportion and form.  Mandy uses that knowledge and training to literally draw on the strokes, one by one.  After your (free) consultation where you discuss your goals and make sure this is the right step for you, she starts the first appointment by outlining and creating the shape with a removable pencil.  This takes a while, as it’s a meticulous process, plus she wants your frequent feedback to make sure you’re happy.  Once this is completed, she uses the special microblade pen to make tiny, hair-thin strokes along the specified areas.  The pigment, which is specially customized for each client, is deposited in a way where it will “seep” into the thin scratches she has made.  And that’s it.  Afterward, you are free to take all the selfies you want, and bask in your awesome new brows, but know that it’s normal for slight fading within a week or two, after the healing process.  This is low-maintenance downtime-she recommends ointment over the brows for a week, no picking at the tiny scabs, and avoiding facial products with certain ingredients, but you can be out and about and looking fabulous as soon as you leave the office!  Worried about pain?  Don’t be.  This is a relatively painless procedure, since we send you home from the consultation with numbing cream to have applied before you come in for your session. Afraid that you’ll get home, and decide that you would have liked to have put an extra hair or two somewhere?  Included in the price is a follow up session to ensure your satisfaction, and touch up wherever is needed.

Isn’t it great to know that your “follow the trends” mistakes don’t have to be permanent?  (You may want to hide those pictures from the 90’s.)

Hydrate That Face!

One of my favorite skin treatments is a classic-the microderm.  It’s a simple, but so, so effective.  A little device both exfoliates and sucks all the dead skin, oil, and other crud from my pores.  Instant gratification!  So, when we had a training on a newer device/treatment that was supposed to have similarities to the microderm, only much better, I was excited to try it out.

What is this new miracle treatment, you ask?  The Hydrafacial!  We have been doing a lot of these lately.  People like to try new things, and when those new things work, word gets around.  But, just what does the Hydrafacial do, anyway?

Well.  As our nurse/esthetician Beth says, it’s like a big drink of water for your face.  You still have the suction and abrasive tips to sweep away dead skin, the way our beloved microderm does, but also incorporates different serums and agents to get an even better result, with radiant skin for days to come.

The Hydrafacial is a 4 step process.  The first step is a deep cleanse (which, by the way, I’m for some reason never able to duplicate at home).  Next is a light glycolic and salicylic peel, with NO visible peeling (yes, you can go to an outdoor concert that same day, and have no issues).  Step 3 is the painless extractions, and lastly, an infusion of peptides and hylaronic acid to get that gorgeous, sought after hydration.  Now, you can also add “booster” steps-brightening and/or anti-wrinkle treaments. We also have blue and /or red LED therapy-the blue LED helps with acne by killing bacteria, and the red LED helps to counteract redness in the skin.

So, yes.  You can continue to love your microderms, but if you’re wanting to try something new, check out our Hydrafacial.  With no downtime and a treatment time of less than half an hour, you have nothing to lose.  That means brides can come in the day before their wedding, you can stop in over your lunch hour (and return to the office with make up on, and no one the wiser), or your teenager can get a quick skin refresh before they start school.  Give us a call, and come see us!

How did you get those BRUISES?!

Think back to the last Summer Olympics.  Remember when the internet went crazy over those strange circular bruise-looking marks on Michael Phelps?  Suddenly everyone was discussing the therapy that led to those marks.  I’m talking, of course, about cupping.  Funny thing, cupping has been around for a long, long time, long before the Olympics, and I predict long after.  But what is cupping, and how the heck is it beneficial?

Cupping is an ancient, multi-cultural practice that has been used for dozens of ailments. Simply put, it is using the power of negative pressure to treat the body.  A small cup is either applied to the body and air suctioned out, or traditionally, a flame is used to quickly pull the air out of the cup and then placed on the body.  Either way, we want to create a suctioned pull.  Here at Innovative Aesthetics, we use the pump method.  Although there are many maladies that cupping is used for, we mainly stick to working tense muscles that are having trouble responding to deep tissue massage.  You see, with massage, we use the opposite of negative pressure-we sink deep into the muscles with our hands and fingers to loosen and release the muscle fibers, and recirculate the blood and oxygen that are moving sluggishly throughout.   By using negative pressure, we are taking out of the equation the limit of how much positive pressure one can comfortably stand. The negative pressure of the cups use a gentle pull to gradually release the fibers, and allow the the blood and air to pull upward and start flowing in a natural and healthy pattern.  In fact, that’s where the marks come in.  The more stiff and tense a muscle is, the more stagnant and sluggish the blood flow is.  The more stagnant the blood is, the more blood is pulled to the surface, creating a bruise-like mark.  Therefore, the darker the mark, the tenser the muscle.  However, unlike a bruise, these marks fade differently-you won’t have the usual fade to greenish yellow, they will simply get lighter each day, most marks lasting for roughly a week to a week and a half.  Because of these marks, cupping tends to be a more popular winter treatment.  Now, I have no problem letting my marks show in tank tops or swim suits.  They’re completely circular, and really don’t look like bruises or hickeys, although trust me, you will get many jokes about the latter.  I like to use them as a talking point to open people to a new possibility of pain relief, but it is completely understandable to want to be a little discreet.

Whichever season you choose to do your cupping doesn’t really make a difference.  But if you’ve become resigned to living with pain, because massage has reached its limits, or chiropractic care just isn’t getting the whole picture, cupping may be an option to try.  Either way, it’s not going to make anything worse!  A few marks?  Eh, you got this!

Get the Ink Out!

Tattoos are everywhere.  Good tattoos, bad tattoos, artistic tattoos, basic tattoos, meaningful tattoos, spur of the moment, “what was I thinking” tattoos…my point is, is they’re out there.  About 23% of Americans have at least one, and that number climbs to closer to 40% in the age range of 18 to 29.  That’s a lot of ink.  And for good reason! Tattoo can be a gorgeous and intricate art form, and to commit to a permanent design on our skin really adds a depth of meaning to something already important to us.

But (you knew there was a “but” coming)…permanent?  Oops.  Lately that barbed wire around your upper arm that you got back when you were an edgy 19 year old, or your husband’s name gotten before that cheating bastard broke your heart may be seeming a little unwelcome.  Or maybe the colors now look funny, or you just aren’t into yin yangs as much as you used to be.  Whatever the reason, you’re regretting that tattoo.  The most common solution used to be tattooing over the no longer wanted image.  Remember Johnny Depp’s “Winona Forever” ink that he had transformed into “Wino Forever”?  But what if you don’t have another design in mind, or just want that area clear?  Laser was always given as a super expensive, painful, and uncommon option.  Nowadays though, this has changed.  Lasers have gotten more precise, more affordable, and the technology keeps getting better each day.

The way lasers work is by breaking up the pigment color with a high intensity light beam.   As effective as laser tattoo removal is, there are always a few things to consider.  Age of the tattoo, color (both tattoo pigment color and skin color), size, and how the tattoo was applied (was it professional or a more amateur job?) are all factors.   For example, black pigment completely absorbs all laser wavelengths, so that’s the easiest color to treat, with red being a close second.  Another example?  While a professionally done tattoo tends to have a better appearance, the ink usually goes in deeper and more evenly, so an amateur tattoo may sometimes be easier to remove.  These are issues that our nurse practitioners will determine at your free consultation for the tattoo removal.

I recently had the opportunity to assist on a tattoo removal for one of our patients.  This was his second treatment (another thing to remember is that one session will not be sufficient for removal-it usually takes at least 6 appointments to achieve optimal results), and he was ready to go.  This is definitely not a painless procedure, but we try to make our clients as comfortable as possible.  This particular client has told us multiple times that any discomfort is completely worth it for these results!  You are welcome to take a Tylenol (but no aspirin or ibuprofen) beforehand.  The area was numbed up (we use both topical and/or injection), and we use a small portable cool air unit to “blow” on the treated skin. It was fascinating to watch-as the laser targeted the area, I could actually see the skin change, and the pigment shift in color.  After we finished, we applied Vaseline, then a bandage over it.  He was cautioned to keep the area covered and clean, and if going outside, to apply sunscreen (and in fact, keep it out of sun before and after for at least 12 hours).  Erica, the NP I was assisting, also made sure that he had her cell phone number in case he needed to call with any problems or concerns.

While the decision to get a tattoo shouldn’t be made lightly, it is definitely reassuring to know that it doesn’t have to be a permanent reminder of a mistake.  At Innovative Aesthetics, we have your back (or your arm, your hip, your ankle…take your pick!), and will get you back to being as comfortable as possible in your skin.





“Isn’t That the Vampire Facial?”

All right, yes, we’ve all seen the pictures of Kim Kardashian after getting a certain procedure done.  Her bloody, swollen face made most of us cringe and say “who would do THAT?!”  You know the pictures I’m talking about, right?  If not, google “Kim Kardashian vampire facial”.  Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about it.  About the so-called “vampire facial”.  First things first, it’s called Micro Needling with PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma).  And it’s awesome.  This is one those treatments that I was a little nervous to try.  After all, I don’t like needles.  I’m not crazy about blood draws.  And Kim Kardashian made it look so painful!  Luckily, Mrs. Kanye West apparently is a bit of a drama queen.  Who knew?  I was asked by our aestheticians Amy, Beth, and Mandy to be their model for a training session, and after figuring out my plans for the weekend (there is a bit of downtime that may affect any plans where you want to look your best), I agreed.

Before I describe my own procedure, let me give some information on Micro Needling.  When we’re born, our epidermis (the surface layer of skin) is about 70% collagen.  Sadly, by age 35, that number has decreased by almost half.  Happily, there’s still hope, no matter what your skin type is!  Micro Needling uses Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) to create small micro-channels in the skin to stimulate and manipulate the body’s natural healing process.  This shifts the skin into “regeneration mode”, which cycle intensifies the release of growth factors in the deeper skin layer, and results in accelerated collagen and elastin production.  This is working to heal the tiny wounds, building new layers of healthy skin, improving fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, stretch marks, skin tightening, and more.  The micro-channels also offer optimal absorption of therapeutic serums, made from your own plasma, and super high in hyalauronic acid.  Oh!  And even cooler?  At Innovative Aesthetics, for an extra charge, we can inject your PRP into your forehead for the wrinkles which with you might normally use Botox!

I have said it before (and I will more than likely say it many times more), but we really have the best staff of professionals here at Innovative.  I was taken through each step of the treatment, and reassured with any questions I had.  I started out with a current VISIA picture to assess my skin.  We saw the usual – fine lines, sun damage, a few scars, and uneven skin tone (VISIA pictures make the scariest, but most fascinating things to look at).  After that, we applied a numbing cream, and let that sit for 10 minutes.  During that time, my blood was drawn, and the plasma spun out to make the serum.  Once I was sufficiently numbed, they injected the serum around my forehead, eyes, and cheekbones.  I barely felt anything except a little pressure, and a tiny bit of burning as the PRP started working.  Next they began the Micro Needling process.  This tool looks like a pen with a circle of tiny needles on the tip.  Due to the vertical needle insertion, fast perforation, and the aforementioned numbing cream, I felt very little except for a small amount of pain around my nose and eyes.  Very manageable!  Afterward, I looked in the mirror, and quite honestly, was impressed.  Remember, I had seen the Kim K pictures.  My face was red, yes, but not overly so.  There were traces of the direction that the pen had taken, but nothing that looked too ghastly.  Once the numbing cream wore off, I did feel some tightness and heat (similar to a sunburn), but as long as I kept applying the serum they gave me to take home, the discomfort was easily kept at bay.  Now, I’ll admit, I did have a couple of commitments the following two evenings at which I did not love showing my make-up less face (no make up for at least 24 hours, although we recommend 48), but it wasn’t as bad as I had expected (plus most people know where I work, so….).  By the time the weekend rolled, I still had a very small amount of redness left, but I could slather on sunscreen, apply make up, and go about my activities without feeling self conscious (my friends who knew what I had done were shocked at how normal I looked just 3 days later).

And…then it was time to wait.  You don’t get your full results right away-it can take about 4 weeks to completely heal, and it will continue to keep working for 10 to 12 weeks.  But you know what?  It was totally worth it.  My skin glowed, my fine lines were lessened, and my skin tone was so much more even!  Even the dark circles under my eyes (one of the banes of my face’s existence) were lighter.  I just looked…well, younger and refreshed.  Definitely not the usual look of a tired mom with two teens,  one tween, one dog, two ferrets, one lizard, one turtle, and, oh yes, a husband.  I am now the newest convert to the benefits of Micro Needling. And side note; is there anything PRP CAN’T do??




No Frozen Faces Here

As an employee of Innovative Aesthetics, I’m a little ashamed to admit that prior to working here, I was one of those misinformed people who thought that the only people who had Botox or filler treatments were rich, pampered women whom you could TOTALLY tell had it-you know, because they had a tight, pulled up, frozen face look, and could make two expressions-slightly surprised, and/or frighteningly pouty.  You know, like the women that we see on reality or talk shows who are addicted to facial work.  It didn’t occur to me that these injectables could be such a helpful and widely used set of products.

The first few days I started at IA, our amazing nurse Rhonda Smith, gave me some info about the injectables that we offer here.  While I interestedly listened, I remained a bit skeptical. Again, I remind you that I had a bit of a skewed perception.  That meant that the first time I was able to take a peek at a Botox client, you’d better believe that I peeked.  And….I saw a perfectly normal-looking woman walk out of the room.  She was smiling and chatting with Rhonda.  Smiling.  And chatting.  Her eyebrows even moved! Also, she shared no resemblance to the “Real Housewife of Orange County” look that I was picturing.  Okay, so clearly I was mistaken.  In the years that I’ve worked here, I’ve seen both men and women, various ages (although usually starting in the 30’s), and always natural and satisfactory (and if not satisfied, things were adjusted to their satisfaction).

While we have a lot of clients who know exactly what they want, and what works best for them, we also have many people who are new to this, and need some guidance.  To those people, I first recommend our free consultation, where you would meet with one of our nurses or nurse practitioners to determine the best place to start.  As a little cheat sheet though, I will list off the wrinkle treating injections that we offer, and a few details about each.

Botox/Dysport/Xeomin-While Botox is the most well-known and commonly used, these 3 are similar, and can often be used interchangeably.  Your injector will determine the best one for you, as there are slightly different formulations that can make a difference in the patient.  Used for moderate to severe wrinkles in the eye, brow, mouth, and cheek areas.  FDA approved to last around 3 to 6 months.

Restylane/Restylane Silk/Restylane Lift (filler)-Augments the lips and eliminates facial wrinkles especially around the mouth and nose areas. Corrects moderate to severe folds and creases.  Depending on the type, this can last up to 18 months.

JuveDerm (filler)-Smooths and plumps deeper facial wrinkles and creases, as well as fine lines around the mouth and eyes. It can also augment the lips. Results last for about a year.

Radiesse(filler)-Stimulates the body’s collagen production to to restore lost volume due to aging, adds volume to cheeks, and makes the hands look more youthful.  Can last up to 1 year.

Belotero (filler)-More used for fine and superficial facial wrinkles around the eye and mouth area, as opposed to cheek volume and deeper wrinkles.  Can last 6 to 8 months.

Voluma (filler)-Instantly adds volume to the cheek area-the apex, apple, and hollow.  It can last for 2 years.

Sculptra (filler)-Basically a non-surgical face lift. Over time, restores fullness to deep facial wrinkles and folds.  Sculptra is a little different than other fillers, as it actually corrects the facial wrinkles by addressing the underlying causes.  Results can last for up to 2 years.

Most of these are finished within a half hour. While bruising or slight swelling may occur, those side effects are not super common.  There may be a few aftercare instructions (such as not lying face down for a few hours, so don’t schedule your massage to follow!), but these are normally very low-maintenance procedures.  Easy, right?  Stop in and make an appointment-your secret is safe with us, and I promise you that your face will still move!