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!

Feel Better With SMELL?

Essential oils seem to be all the rage lately.  You can buy them almost anywhere, use them for almost every malady or mood, and be as casual or passionate of a user as you want.  This all is with good reason-essential oils are a relatively low-risk, fairly inexpensive, and a thoroughly pleasant remedy.  It does get tricky though.  There are SO. MANY. OILS.  Seriously, there are millions (that number may be slightly exaggerated) of companies that sell millions (that number is not exaggerated) of different options.  For example, a universal favorite, lavender.  On my favorite supplier’s wholesale list, there are eight different types, not counting two different kinds of lavandin (a hybrid species of lavender).  How does the average person determine the best oil for their needs?

When Innovative Aesthetics decided to start carrying essential oils, we knew that with our signature commitment to the highest quality, we would need to be extra diligent in finding the perfect brand.  We found it in Amrita, a small company run out of Fairfield, IA.  Dr. Christoph Streicher, the founder and owner, has a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry and a Ph.D.  in Physiology, which he puts into use by ensuring that the oils haven’t been diluted, industrially processed or chemically manipulated, thus keeping their authenticity and therapeutic value.  Using their own gas chromatograph, they are able to make sure that the oils (mostly sourced from small, organic farms) have the necessary chemical profile to ensure its therapeutic usefulness.

It’s incredible to think that a little oil, diluted in a carrier (oil, lotion, or water), or diffused (we don’t recommend ingesting essential oils) can offer such great health benefits, but it can be confusing to know where to start.  Here, at our spa, we have a modest selection of our best-selling and most commonly asked about oils.  We have roll-on blends that are all set to apply topically (and fit perfectly in a purse, carry on, or diaper bag, just saying), and single note bottles of essential oil that you can  customize.  I’m going to list our favorites, along with the uses.  Keep in mind that these are basic descriptions.  There are usually more uses than what they can be known for!  Another basic rule of thumb with essential oils is that just because it’s a natural treatment doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.  It’s definitely a low risk option to try, but adverse reactions can pop up anywhere in nature!  Always ask about or research any contraindications before using.

1.) Lavender!  A perfect oil for beginners and experts alike, lavender harmonizes your nervous system, and is healing, rejuvenating, and cleansing for the skin. I have put it on small burns before (think curling iron burn!), and here at Innovative, we have applied to the skin after waxing.

2.) Peppermint.  Produces clear thinking and the ability to focus.  It’s great for headaches and neck pain, and also can help with dizziness or general weakness.

3.) Eucalyptus.  This is helpful in soothing sore throats and breathing passages.  It’s also antiseptic, not only on surfaces, but for airborn germs as well.  Try it as an insect repellant!

4.) Lemon.  A delicious, spirit-uplifting fragrance that is an immune booster, digestion aid, and disinfectant for the home.

5.) Headache Relief Roll On.  This is a pleasant-smelling way to relieve pain from migraines, and tension and sinus headaches.  Simply roll it onto the temples, forehead, and any other pulse points that you wish.  This combination of Peppermint, Yellow Birch, and Sweet Lavendin will be your new headache go to!

6.) Muscle Tension Roll On.  I use this one all the time in my massages.  It is a blend of Birch, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Lemongrass, and it is wonderful for an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever for sore muscles.

I could go on, and continue listing our entire stock of essential oils, but we do have a word space limit.  Are there any oils that you love, and wish we would carry?  Any questions about benefits of other oils, or questions about Amrita?  Let us know, and we’ll do our best to answer!








Who’s Ready for IA Open House?

Is it Spring already?  Well, judging by our weather…maybe you should ask someone else.  But according to our calendar, it IS now May, and you know what that means!  No, not flowers following April showers (this time).  It’s Innovative Aesthetics Spring Open House, and it’s right around the corner on May 18th.


In case you can’t tell, our staff likes to have fun.  Even better for you, we like to share our fun, and make it a big spa/clientele party.  Twice a year, in the winter and spring, we open our doors, decorate, put out food, drawings, and best of all, super-special pricing that you can’t get at any other time (and chances are, any other place).  Anyone who  has ever been to even one of our open houses leaves vowing to return to future events.


Now, our lips are sealed when it comes to specifics on special gifts, discount offers, and raffle info, but I can give you a little general information.  With a time frame of noon to 7, there is plenty of time for the busiest of the busy to stop in and peruse.  Some people run over on their lunch breaks, get some treats, make their purchases, and leave.  Others come and take this opportunity to not only socialize with friends, but also get answers and advice from our professional staff.  It’s a great time to ask about new products and services, and we’re all happy to share information.  It’s the perfect time to try something new.  Best part?  If you can’t make it at all, and still want to take advantage of our deals, you have until midnight on the 18th to call or email us with your orders.  Don’t worry if you don’t get an answer back right away-we see your time stamp and know to give you the special pricing!


There’s still time to RSVP, so call or email us to get on the list.  We’d love to see you!



This Blog is Up and Running Again

A few years ago, Innovative Aesthetics decided to venture into the blogosphere.  We had a good start, but we then experienced a surge of growth and activity, and this got pushed to the side.  Enter me.  I’m Rennie, one of our licensed massage therapists.  You may have seen me around the spa, or occasionally filling in at the front desk (and making you desperately grateful for our usual office administrators).  While I have never had a blog before, I truly enjoy (and have missed) writing, and jumped at the chance to combine my love of words with my amazing job.  In my posts, I will be covering various topics, such as services and products available at our spa, my own insights on body and mind care, and whatever pops into my head as it pertains to our work here.


If you have never been to Innovative Aesthetics, or haven’t been for a while, this is the perfect time to come!  While we have always prided ourselves on having the latest in medical cosmetic technology, we have really been growing in our offerings.  In addition to our injection based fillers and wrinkle treatments, laser facial care and hair removal, facial treatments, and massage, we now also offer Microblading, Micro Needling, Laser Tattoo Removal, Cupping, the “O” shot, HydraFacial…you know, this isn’t a full list.  You may need to make an appointment for a free consultation, and learn about all the rest!  We also still have our diet program, Ideal Protein, which is constantly being honed to the best that it can be for our clients who need a lifestyle change.  Oh, and our most exciting news?  We’re expecting a “baby”-Innovative Weight Loss Center: Protein and Coffee Bar!  It will be across from Linn-Mar High School, and in addition to our regular coaching and Ideal Protein products, will offer coffee and other IP-approved beverages, and ready to go IP-approved single serve meals by Kristeena’s Catering.  Construction is under way, and we can’t wait!


We are always on the lookout on new ways to care for our clients.  We are confident in our offering the most current and quality medical training, professionals, and products.  However, we consider our most valuable resource for feedback and our service menu to be you.  We want to hear what you think!  Tell us what you enjoy about our spa.  If you’ve heard about an awesome new treatment that you think would be a great fit here, we want to know-some of our most utilized treatments have been brought here by “popular demand” from our clientele.  Do you want to share your experience at Innovative Aesthetics?  Not only can you write a review on Demand Force (emailed to you after each appointment), but you can always comment here, through email ( or on Facebook.  We are always ready to listen, and work with you.


Have a great week, and don’t forget to sign up by May 15th for our Open House coming up on May 18th!




















Sun Protections Tips You Should Know


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ImageI came across this great article for Sun Protection Tips and guess what?! Just in time for Skin Cancer Awareness Month. So while you may not have time to reach out to other sources looking for all of these handy tips, it’s our job to bring them to you. Here are some of our favorites:

– Coat Yourself Before You Put Your Clothes- We offer so many amazing products in our spa, from NIA24 to Dermesse, but half of the benefit of the product comes from using it correctly.

“Working around your clothes will make you more likely to miss a spot,” says dermatologist Jeannette Graf. On your body, slather on a shot glass’s worth of a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30. For your face, you’ll need another teaspoon.”

Sadly, it seems that we see more and more clients with skin issues. Think back 10 years to the articles you used to see in beauty magazines- swimsuits, tanning oil, fruity beverages, beach towels, and a brief mention about sunscreen. With the change of our environment, our priorities are shifting to both preventing and repairing. Please take a moment to read through all of these tips to make sure you are protected. While we do our best to provide you with service to repair your skin and give you a fresh, renewed face, it’s crucial that you take steps to protect what we repair.

Hello world!

We, at Innovative Aesthetics, are very excited to be joining the blogging world! With years of experience in this industry, we have A LOT of information to share and frankly, this is the best way to reach all of our clients. We will share articles, products, services and advice straight from our professional staff to ensure we are providing you with a truly “full-service” medical spa.

Happy blogging!