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!



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!