“Patients are just as nervous about getting their lips done for the first time as they probably were for their first kiss,” laughs Dr. Garrett Griffin, Facial Plastic Surgeon and Cosmetic Injector with Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery.
Many women desire fuller and more defined lips, but they are gun shy to pursue dermal fillers because of some of the ‘overdone’ celebrities they see on popular TV shows. In reality, it is very rare to see a physician inject to such an excessive degree, and this style of enhancement, unfortunately, gives dermal fillers a bad name. The medical aesthetics market is hearing women loud and clear and is answering with a family of new dermal fillers that are perfect for the first-time user!
Volbella® XC, created by Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox, was launched to select practices in late 2016. Being a national training center for Allergan, Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery was one of the first practices in the area to obtain Volbella® and to train other providers on its use. Approved by the FDA for use in lips and perioral (around the mouth) wrinkles, Volbella® is used to increase lip fullness and to soften the appearance of lines around the mouth for up to one year.
“Volbella® is like training wheels for a lip enhancement,” says Dr. Griffin, “It’s soft, pliable and completely reversible,” he shares. “Due to its softness and lightness, it is the perfect product for patients who want to explore fuller lips, but want to start conservatively.”
As we age, so do our lips! Many of us notice a decrease in the coloration of our lips, drooping at the corners, and those pesky little vertical wrinkles that are present even if we aren’t smokers. It is also common to lose the definition of the border of the lip, which gives our lips lift and structure.
“Dermal fillers like Volbella® are not solely intended to make the lips larger,” explains Dr. Griffin, “they replace the structure of the lip to what it was years ago.” He continues, “It’s not about getting bigger lips, it’s truly about restoring youthful fullness and definition.”
A lip enhancement can have a dramatic effect on the youthfulness of your face. Lips that have a defined border, turn up at the corners, and have fullness in the center are key visual signs of youth. In addition, beautifully balanced lips can balance the features of the entire face and soften your appearance.
“I love seeing the look on my patients’ faces when I hand them the mirror after their lip enhancement,” says Dr. Griffin smiling, “they all say they would have done this sooner if they’d known how easy it would be!”
Curious about boosting your “kissing confidence” this Valentine’s Day? Schedule your consultation with Dr. Griffin or Dr. Tolan to discuss a lip enhancement with Volbella! 651.632.9700
Partnering with a Licensed Aesthetician can maintain and enhance your cosmetic surgery outcomes!
You’re well on your way into your 2017 resolutions and just wrapped up a long workout at the gym. Feeling famished, you scan the options beyond your windshield during your drive home. You pull into a Mc Donald’s for a Big Mac and fries?
Wait a second! Something is wrong here, right? Why on earth would you choose to fuel up with junk food after you made a healthy and positive investment in your body? Believe it or not, this is EXACTLY what many patients do after a cosmetic surgery procedure. They buy cheap drugstore products that are laden with fragrance, fillers and chemicals and let Groupon dictate where they’ll receive their next facial.
Facial cosmetic surgery is a serious decision and investment. Why not protect it? With the right aesthetician on your side to help navigate your options, you can dramatically increase the outcome AND longevity of your surgical results!
“One of the reasons our practice and our approach is so unique is how we partner our surgical patients with licensed aestheticians after surgery,” states Dr. Christopher Tolan of Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. He continues, “Surgery is only one piece of the ‘rejuvenation puzzle.’ Patients need to care for their skin after procedures to truly see the full potential of their results and make them last.”
To fully optimize this partnership between physician, aesthetician and patient; Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery recently launched FACE Cosmetic Skincare. Dr. Tolan, as well as Dr. Griffin, had realized the immense potential that proper skincare and non-invasive aesthetic treatments, such as laser, could bring to their surgical patients. FACE focuses on treatments that restore, enhance, and maintain optimal health and beauty in the skin. These are surefire ways to protect the investment of a surgical procedure!
“I not only have our aestheticians prep my patients’ skin for surgery, I have them map out an entire post-operative plan,” states Dr. Tolan. “Regular visits with their aesthetician will ensure that my patients are on the proper skincare routine to keep their skin strong, supple and healthy post surgery,” he continues. “In addition, our aestheticians can recommend treatments that actually enhance patients’ surgical results, such as photorejuvenation to clear dark spots, or laser resurfacing to smooth acne scarring,” Dr. Tolan adds. “These are conditions that surgery doesn’t treat,” he concludes.
While cosmetic surgery is great at restoring lift to the face, as Dr. Tolan states, it does very little for conditions like facial redness, sun damage, enlarged pores or rough, uneven texture. This is where the expertise of an aesthetician comes in! The licensed providers at FACE Cosmetic Skincare map out an ideal post-surgical plan for each patient. This includes comprehensive skincare products and treatment recommendations for not only post surgery, but also for the years to come to maintain your results!
In addition, Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery and FACE Cosmetic Skincare have launched MRewards. This membership program partners patients with an aesthetician who, quite literally, acts as their skin concierge. Patients get the most customized skin strategy possible and save money while doing it! All members save 40% on all skin services at FACE Cosmetic Skincare.
“My partnership with our aestheticians has been wonderful,” shares Dr. Tolan. “It gives me the security and confidence in knowing that our surgical patients will have optimal outcomes and that their results will LAST,” he continues. “This is a true partnership amongst experts who have the patients’ best interests at heart,” he concludes.
Considering facial plastic surgery? Call our clinic to schedule your consultation with Dr. Griffin or Dr. Tolan. Together, with our licensed aestheticians, they’ll get 2017 situated to be your most beautiful year yet!
A Licensed Aesthetician can help you reach your skin’s ultimate potential and save you time and money with MRewards Membership at FACE Cosmetic Skincare. Here’s how!
Do you feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of products and options available to your skin in today’s market? If so, you are not alone! The beauty product industry rakes in over 6 billion dollars a year in the United States and continues to grow rapidly. Beauty department stores, such as Ulta, are setting aggressive “Starbucks-like” goals of being a 20 minute drive from ‘anywhere’ by 2020. Everyday consumers see and hear about new products their favorite celebrities are hawking on QVC. So, how does the average person know how to navigate through this circus to decide what is right for THEIR skin type and condition? The answer is…they don’t! Not without help at least!
“My average client has bathroom cabinets FULL of products they aren’t using because they ended up not being right for their skin,” shares Cyndi, a licensed aesthetician at FACE Cosmetic Skincare, a division of Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “They are tired of wasting money and frustrated by the lack of results they are getting from these products,” she continues. “I am usually the first person who truly hears them out and takes the time to do a proper skin analysis to determine what products and procedures are most appropriate for them and their goals,” Cyndi states as she shakes her head.
Partnering with a licensed aesthetician is literally like having a concierge for your skin! Not only can they identify the current state of YOUR skin and what it needs, they have the experience and product knowledge to match you with ingredients, products, and procedures that are customized to your goals. This can save an immense amount of time and money in the long run.
“Sometimes my clients are intimidated by the idea of ‘physician-grade’ skincare and what it may cost,” shares Cyndi. “This caliber of skincare isn’t full of cheap fillers and fragrance, it tends to have higher concentrations of active ingredients and company profits go straight back to R&D, NOT 5 million dollar celebrity endorsement contracts,” laughs Cyndi. She continues, “You’d be surprised at how much money you can save by having the RIGHT skincare recommended to you by a licensed aesthetician who is actually trained to assess the skin and its health.”
The team at Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery has taken this partnership three steps further by launching not only FACE Cosmetic Skincare, but also their MRewards Membership program. In addition, they have launched a physician and aesthetician approved skincare line to make high quality products more affordable to their patients!
FACE is a division of the clinic that focuses solely on products and non-surgical procedures that allow patients to realize their skin’s true potential. It is here that licensed aestheticians meet with patients and conduct thorough consultations to map out product and treatment plans unique to each person. FACE offers services such as clinical facials, chemical peels, and state of the art laser treatments.
“You need to know and understand where your skin has been, and the condition it is in now, to truly appreciate where it can be in the future,” instructs Cyndi. “Each patients’ skin has a unique story and I help them write the next chapter,” she laughs. Cyndi continues, “I am thrilled to be able to offer our patients the MRewards Membership, as it gives me the opportunity to meet with them on a monthly basis and monitor their progress and results!”
The MRewards Membership program was launched to assist clients in taking all of the guesswork out of what their skin needs, and to make products and treatments affordable. Clients meet with their licensed aesthetician on a monthly basis for customized treatments and to ensure that their prescribed home care products are working effectively. Annual savings with this program can be extensive and include:
- 15% off ALL SKINCARE
- 40% off ALL SKINCARE SERVICES
- Discounts on Botox and Dermal Filler
“My clients love that we set goals for their skin together and check the progress monthly to make any tweaks or changes,” says Cyndi. “They feel confident with me at the driver’s wheel charting their course because they know I have their best interests at heart,” she says with emotion.
Curious about what a licensed aesthetician can tell you about YOUR skin? Interested in saving thousands of dollars each year with MRewards? It’s easy! Call our clinic to set up your complimentary consultation with a licensed aesthetician and start your journey today! 651.632.9700
How buying your Botox now and banking it for later use can get you better results AND save you money!
The team at Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery is providing a whole new way to “invest in your beauty!” This holiday season marks the return of our “Botox Bank.” This strategy of pre-purchasing your Botox at discount rates and banking it for later use can not only ensure better results, but also save you money throughout the year. In addition, it ensures that your appearance will look consistently fresh and youthful all year round!
“We have a passion for what we do and believe in the efficacy of the treatments we provide,” firmly states Dr. Griffin, Facial Plastic Surgeon with Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “This is exactly why we wanted to make it easy for patients to stay compliant and consistent with their Botox treatments and to save money doing it,” he continues. “We believe in Botox and want to make it as accessible as possible for our patients,” Dr. Griffin states.
Botox remains the ‘golden child’ in the world of non-surgical facial rejuvenation. Virtually painless, preventative, affordable, non-invasive and with consistent results that require no downtime, Botox is oftentimes considered the best investment of a patient’s aesthetic budget. It is for these reasons that we wanted to make it easier and more affordable for patients to stay on track with their quarterly Botox treatments.
“When a patient is consistent with their Botox treatments their appearance stays consistently youthful,” says Dr. Griffin. “There is a preventative aging aspect to this which our team wants to support, as the more regular a patient is with their treatments the less they may need in the future,” he adds. “In addition, Botox has a way of maintaining the results of other treatments and increasing the longevity of complimentary treatments such as dermal fillers,” adds Dr. Griffin shares.
Many patients who are treated with Botox or products in the Allergan line of injectables, such as Voluma, are familiar with the Brilliant Distinctions® Program. This rewards program ascribes points to each Allergan treatment or product a patient purchases, such as Latisse®. In turn, when a patient returns for subsequent treatments they are able to apply these earned points as cash towards their next Allergan treatment! When a patient combines their Brilliant Distinctions® rewards points with ‘banked Botox’ pricing, they can literally save hundreds of dollars throughout the year.
The team of providers at Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery is unique in that ONLY physicians administer Botox and dermal filler treatments. This is to ensure that our patients are provided with the absolute highest caliber of patient care and results they can trust. A patient will never be encountered with a provider who is untrained, non-licensed or practicing outside the scope of their specialty. We take the safety of our patients very seriously and believe they deserve providers who are both highly credentialed and educated in their specialty.
Here’s how you can save with Botox Bank at Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery:
- Purchase 100 units at $13/unit: $1,300 ($200 savings)
- Purchase 200 units at $11/unit: $2,200 ($800 savings)
- Purchase 300 units at $9/unit: $2,700 ($1,800 savings)
Get a kick-start on your 2017 “Beauty Resolutions” and book your next Botox treatment with Dr. Griffin or Dr. Tolan by calling 651.632.9700.
Increase the longevity of your results AND pocketbook with the “Get Holiday Ready” (Liquid Facelift) Package!
If you are looking for an effective, yet non-surgical approach to facial rejuvenation, the so-called “Liquid Facelift” may be your answer. Using a combination of dermal fillers, and in some cases, neurotoxins like Botox; this comprehensive and balanced approach to restoring facial volume can literally have you leaving your physician’s office looking 10 years younger in under an hour. What most patients don’t realize is that scheduling their quarterly injectable appointments this way and receiving multiple syringes of product at once, may not only heighten their results, but also save them hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in the long run!
In a world in which we see “Real Housewives” with over-filled cheeks or lips on a daily basis, the average patient can quickly learn to appreciate that there is a balance to beauty. Excessive use of filler in one area of the face can minimize, if not stamp out, a beautiful understated feature in another panel of the face. In addition, if filler is consistently administered to only one area of the face, that area can eventually appear ‘heavy’ or draw the face downwards, leading to an unflattering and unbalanced aesthetic. The proper use of dermal fillers should balance and compliment the natural beauty of the face, not caricaturize it or hide beautiful subtle features that make you YOU.
“I first went to Dr. Tolan at Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery seeking Juvederm for the lines that run from the corners of my nose to the corners of my mouth, my nasolabial folds I guess they’re called” shares Wendy, a current Liquid Facelift patient. “Dr. Tolan acknowledged that I needed filler in this area, but also shared with me how having Voluma along my cheekbones would lift the middle of my face, further diminish the appearance of those lines, and increase the length of my results,” Wendy continues. “It was a no brainer for me,” she jokes, “do more now to get better results and save so I don’t need to do as much later and pay more” she laughs!
“Many of our injectable patients come into their appointments thinking that one syringe of filler will address every concern they have,” says Dr. Tolan, co-directing physician and owner of Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “I spend a great deal of time educating them on how different fillers are indicated for, and work differently in, various parts of the face, and when performed together can have truly transformative results that LAST” he continues.
The visible signs of an aging face are not singular. They are multi-dimensional and can have a domino effect. For example, the loss of fat pads under our cheeks can lead to the flattening of our cheeks and cheekbones. The excess skin that lies atop now pulls downwards and increases the appearance of the lines that run from the corners of our nose to our lips. In turn, the corners of our lips droop downwards and lose their definition. Because the entire mid face has now fallen, this causes weight, or "jowling" of our jawline.
We can see how visiting your doctor and asking for one syringe of Juvederm to restore volume to the corners of your mouth, will do absolutely nothing for the rest of the face. Some would say it is like treating the symptom and not the cause. Your aging is unique to you, so the methods you take to restore youthfulness should be as well!
“I take a complimentary approach to balancing a face with dermal fillers,” continues Dr. Tolan. “Starting with a product like Voluma in the cheeks and along the cheekbones can trigger immediate lift to the mid face which patients love,” he shares. “As an added benefit, it may also diminish the look of under eye hallowing and the look of nasolabial folds,” he says. “As a result, patients now need less filler in these folds, so we can use the remaining Juvederm to restore structure and balance to the lip area and marionette lines that run from the corners of the mouth to the chin,” he continues excitedly. “Or, we may use that product to give a little brow lift or smooth the jawline,” Dr. Tolan finishes.
Using more dermal filler initially seems to equate to using less in the future. It’s important to understand that 5 syringes of filler is equal to 1 teaspoon, and a good rule of thumb is to plan for one syringe of filler for each decade of your age (so if you’re 50 years old, you can estimate that you’ll need at least 5 syringes of filler to get to full correction.) When multiple dermal fillers are used at one sitting to address the multiple factors of aging, the fillers complement one another. In turn, the patient gets far better results than doing one syringe each visit. Framing your treatments with this approach can also save a patients hundreds of dollars a year, if not thousands, as each filler is increasing the longevity of the other’s results.
“We strongly recommend that our patients look at the big picture when scheduling their injectable appointments and we take the time to really explain where the aging on their face is truly stemming from,” informs Dr. Tolan. “This is why we encourage the Liquid Facelift,” he continues, “it gives our patients better and more immediate results, and saves them money in the long run,” he smiles.
Interested in scheduling a Liquid Facelift with Dr. Tolan or Dr. Griffin of Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery? Call 651.632.9700
We’re offering incredible savings on our Liquid Facelift through the end January 2017, because we want our patients to achieve the best results possible – for the best value.
Save $3,500 on our “Get Holiday Ready” - Liquid Facelift package.
- 4 syringes of Voluma
- 2 syringes of Juvederm
- 1 syringe of Volbella
Don’t need all syringes right now? No problem! Bank them and use them at a later date to cash in on the savings!
How prepping your skin can lead to faster healing times and enhanced surgical results
“Our patients are often surprised to hear me say that a facelift procedure is not the end all, be all,” shares Dr. Griffin candidly. “The health and condition that the skin is in BEFORE the procedure can dramatically impact the quality and end results of a surgical facelift,” he adds. “At Midwest Facial Plastics, we want our patients to have the absolute best outcome possible. This is why we have all of our cosmetic surgery patients partner with our licensed aestheticians to create a “Prepping Protocol” to maximize skin health, condition and strength before our surgical procedures,” Dr. Griffin continues. “We see so much value in this approach, that we include a pre and post-operative skincare kit with all of our cosmetic surgery patients.”
To understand the benefit of starting with skin that is “prepped” we need to first understand what healthy skin looks like and how it functions.
Skin that is in great condition possesses the following characteristics:
- Fullness, bounce and spring due to a healthy collagen and elastin matrix
- Soft, pliable and hydrated due to adequate moisture balance and absence of TEWL (trans epidermal water loss)
- Clear and even tone. Absence of both brown discoloration (sun damage/dark spots) and red (broken blood vessels/telangiectasia)
- Resilient and quick to heal due to optimized desquamation cycle (your natural exfoliation or cellular turn over)
“By having all of these attributes attained in the skin BEFORE a surgical procedure we find that patients not only have a better result, they heal faster, the results last longer and patient satisfaction is far higher,” shares Dr. Griffin. “Imagine trying to lift and stretch a material like sand paper. It’s thin, dry, rough and may tear easily. Although this example is extreme, it becomes the difference for surgeons working with skin that is in ideal health and condition during surgery, to working with compromised skin. It is well worth the investment to pre-condition the skin as part of your pre-op protocol,” he advises.
Now that we see the value, how does a patient go about ‘prepping their skin’ for surgery and what treatments or products are advisable?
“When one of our physicians first refers a patient to me to pre-condition their skin before surgery, I go through a full skin analysis to truly customize what their strategy should be,” shares Sara Manulikow, Lead Licensed Aesthetician with FACE by Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “In an ideal world, we are prepping at least 3 months out from their procedure so that there is ample time for the skin to respond to products and treatments,” she continues.
Common treatments and products to get the skin in shape for surgery:
- RADIANT - our retinol, the gold standard in thickening skin, normalizing cellular turnover, and increasing resiliency
- IPL/Photofacial - to remove any dark spots and to treat any diffused redness, small blood vessels and telangiectasia
- A series of Fresh-Faced Chemical Peels to regulate cellular turn over, remove dark spots, normalize moisture retention
- NOURISH – our signature hyaluronic acid, which binds water hydration to the skin, to treat dehydration
- RESTORE - If needed, this ceramide-rich emollient hydrates oil-dry skin and keep it soft and pliable
- ALPHAEON EPIDERMAL SERUM - which contain epidermal growth factors to turn on the ‘youth switch’ in skin cells and get them behaving like younger cells, firming the skin and leading to faster healing times
- SHEER ARMOR or SUN SHIELD - sunscreens infused with antioxidants to combat free radical damage and skin inflammation and prevent hyperpigmentation
“As you can see, there are lots of options. We carefully design programs that are unique to our patients, their present ‘skin state,’ and their future surgical procedures. You’re unique! Your treatment plan should be too” exclaims Sara.
The success of a facelift procedure has many moving parts. The beginning overall health of the patient plays a crucial role as well, in terms of their lifestyle choices and exercise and diet. All in all, the healthier YOU and your SKIN are before a surgical procedure, the better the healing and outcome.
“We know that a surgical procedure like a facelift is an investment for our patients, which is why we want them to protect that investment by taking care of their skin both before and after their procedure. We take this partnership in health very seriously, as the satisfaction of our patients is paramount in our clinic,” concludes Dr. Griffin.
The role of exfoliation in the pursuit of vibrant, beautiful and healthy skin!
Winter is coming to the Midwest and you may have already seen the change of season manifest itself in your skin. The hydrated and bronzed days of summer are over and are quickly being replaced with dull, dehydrated and lackluster skin. Regardless of the season, there are plenty of ways to boost vibrancy and hydration with exfoliation!
The natural desquamation cycle, or the amount of time it takes a newborn skin cell to reach the skin’s surface and flake off, slows down as we age. Have you ever noticed how children’s’ skinned knees heal so quickly? That’s because their cellular renewal cycle is as short as 7 days before 9 years! It’s a different story when we get into our 20’s, 30’s and beyond. A normal adult cycle lasts about 3-4 weeks. This rate can expand to 6 to 8 weeks in our 60’s! If no measures are taken to expedite this cycle, we can be left with cell buildup, which can appear as dull, lifeless and sallow skin. The solution? Exfoliation! And luckily, there is a method that will prove to be perfect for your skin, budget and lifestyle!
There are two forms of exfoliation, physical and chemical. Physical exfoliation involves methods that physically remove dead skin cells, think scrubs, microdermabrasion, some laser treatments, or even your Clarisonic! Chemical exfoliants tend to be more versatile and utilize different acid compounds to encourage a chemical response in skin to allow for the detachment of dead skin cells over time. This may be as simple as the glycolic acid found in your cleanser or serum, or as advanced as a customized chemical peel at a medical spa that will cause your skin to shed or flake within 3 days and unveil smooth and soft skin!
Are there benefits of one method over another? Yes! Physical exfoliants like scrubs and microdermabrasion are fantastic ‘pick me ups’ for normal healthy skin. They immediately brighten the skin, allow makeup to set flawlessly and enhance the absorption of any subsequent products. But, due to friction, possible abrasiveness, and the increase in circulation they may cause, they are not suited for sensitive or redness prone skin.
Chemical exfoliants, on the other hand, can literally be matched to the specific needs of your skin! For example, if you are battling acne, you may choose a serum or chemical peel which includes salicylic acid, which loves targeting oil and can clean out the dead skin cells within a pore that cause acne. If your problem is dark pigmentation, you may partner with a licensed aesthetician to be treated with a chemical peel that includes acids such as glycolic, lactic, TCA, or even phytic acids. These acids love to target damaged pigment cells and do a wonderful job at progressively evening out skin tone!
When pursuing professional exfoliation techniques such as laser peels or chemical peels, it is important to plan your social schedule accordingly and to partner with a qualified provider. Most chemical peels, and certainly laser resurfacing, cause the skin to shed, or slough, for anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks depending on the strength of the treatment.
The licensed aestheticians at FACE Cosmetic Skincare of Midwest Facial Plastics have all received advanced trainings in all methods of exfoliation and can help build the perfect strategy for you to Shed the Dead! Call us to schedule your appointment 651.632.9700.
Utilizing intense pulsed light therapy for your most even skin tone yet!
Dull…muddy…uneven. Are these words that you think of when you look at your skin in the mirror? Maybe it’s especially noticeable now that your sun-kissed summer bronze has faded and small dark spots seem to be appearing everywhere, or perhaps this has been a constant struggle regardless of the season. The appearance of dark spots and patches on the skin can dramatically age the appearance of the face, neck, chest, arms, shoulders and hands. Some studies show that the appearance of even skin tone is a higher visual marker of youthful skin and age than even lack of wrinkles! So, how do we banish these dark spots and get even? Let’s shine some “light” on that topic!
When lasers first began to be used in the aesthetic industry, experts noticed that different wavelengths of light, when absorbed in the skin, were attracted to different targets, or chromophores. Certain wavelengths were attracted to the hemoglobin in blood, and could be used to ablate the skin. Other wavelengths were attracted to the pigment in a hair follicle, and therefore, could be used for laser hair reduction. An entirely different wavelength of light was attracted to the melanin, or pigment cells of skin, leading to one of the most effective and popular skin treatments in the industry! The “Photofacial”!
Whether under the name of IPL (intense pulsed light), BBL (broad band light), or AFT (Advanced Fluorescent Technology), a Photofacial harnesses the power of light to dramatically improve the tone of skin. It can literally lift off years from your appearance by targeting dark spots and diffused redness on the skin.
How does it work? During your treatment, your laser technician will thoroughly cleanse your skin and protect your eyes. An IPL cannot be performed on tan skin, as your tan will compete with the dark spots for the attention of the laser and may, subsequently, cause a burn. Next, a thin layer of a product like ultrasound gel will be placed on your skin to enhance the slip and glide of the laser hand piece. Your provider will then travel over your skin with a cool rectangular hand piece, stopping to pulse the light across sections of your skin in a grid pattern. This sensation feels like a small rubber band snap to most patients and is only mildly uncomfortable. Your provider will pay special attention to dark spots and vessels.
Immediately following your procedure you may feel slightly warm, similar to a sunburn. Mild swelling may be present, especially if your provider targeted any vessels during your treatment. You will also be photosensitive (sensitive to sunlight), and a physical sunscreen must be worn the days following your IPL.
The magic happens in the days that follow! You will slowly and steadily begin to notice a salt and pepper, or coffee ground appearance to the dark spots on your skin. The procedure may even ‘pull up’ pigment that hasn’t surfaced. This process can last up to 10 days and it is important not to pick at or scrub these areas. Once this pigment has sloughed off, you will notice a brighter and more even skin tone underneath!
Although some patients can get significant improvement from only one treatment, a series of at least 3 treatments is usually recommended spaced 3 to 4 weeks apart. Many patients opt for a series every fall after damage of summer sun exposure sets in.
Your provider will discuss other treatment options and products to compliment your results, such as the use of hydroquinone and Vitamin C serums.
Contact the licensed aestheticians at Face Cosmetic Skincare to discuss your customized skin strategy to get your most youthful, bright and even skin tone ever! Want to receive this treatment at a 40% discount? Ask about our MRewards membership program! 651.632.9700
“Lighten Up! You Don’t Have to Live with Dark Spots!”
by Amie Walden, Licensed Aesthetician & Laser Technician
For years, the focus of anti-aging treatments and creams has been on addressing wrinkles and fine lines, once considered the #1 sign of aging. Studies now show that most of us visually interpret “even skin coloration” as a true mark of a youthful complexion, far surpassing the presence of wrinkles. Therefore, the consumer has seen an explosion in the availability of products and procedures to lighten dark spots and restore clear skin. When making decisions about treatment, it is important for the consumer to understand the source of discoloration to treat it successfully.
Melasma is the scientific term for dark patches of discoloration on the skin. A combination of genetic propensity and hormone levels, Melasma most commonly manifests after direct sun exposure. Although men can experience Melasma, it is much more prevalent in the female population. Many women first encounter Melasma as a dark patch on their upper lip as a result of using oral contraceptives in the summer months without a SPF. Others experience what has come to be known as “the mask of pregnancy,” a dark patch of pigment that spans across the cheeks and nose during pregnancy. In these cases, the discoloration is a direct result of increased hormone levels that ‘turn on’ melanin in the skin, especially when exposed to the sun. Although it does not harm the skin, Melasma can have a detrimental impact on self-esteem.
As we cannot turn off the Melasma gene or hormone influence, the first step in treating the dark patches is to stop new formation by blocking its catalyst, sun exposure. This is as simple as wearing a hat in the summer and meeting with a licensed esthetician who can recommend a Physical SPF product, which suits your skin and lifestyle. Physical sunscreens reflect the sun’s rays, while Chemical Sunscreens scatter the rays and trap heat against the skin. As heat can also trigger Melasma, patients should avoid these blends of sunscreens.
Your next step is topically treating the existing pigment with Hydroquinone. Hydroquinone in concentrations of 2% and above has been clinically shown to not only stop the formation of new melanin, but also lighten the existing pigment. It can come in several formulations such as liquid, pads and creams, making it easy to find a product that matches your lifestyle and skin condition.
Although commonly called a ‘bleaching cream,’ Hydroquinone is nothing like what we may use at home in the laundry room! It does not ‘whiten’ the skin; it merely targets the rogue melanocytes (pigment cells), which are causing patches of undesirable pigment. The effectiveness of Hydroquinone can also be boosted with the use of Retin-A, which enhances it delivery into the skin. Many patients also work with their esthetician to design an in office treatment plan of chemical peels or other means of professional exfoliation.
Once you are diagnosed with Melasma, you will always be susceptible to its formation in the future, no matter how much clarity you achieve with products or treatments. One long day in the sun without protection can bring back the pigment in one day. It is important to design a sophisticated home care regime with products that protect and treat your skin.
The licensed Aestheticians at FACE Cosmetic Skincare, are trained in an entire portfolio of products and treatments to assist you in your journey to your most clear and even skin ever!
If there is one concern cosmetic injectors hear over and over again from first time patients, it is a fear of looking like one of the many ‘overdone’ and ‘over-filled’ celebrities they see on TV and gossip magazines. “Trout Pout, Cat Lady, Real Housewives…these are all references that patients give me of what they DON’T want to look like when they come into our practice,” says Dr. Garrett Griffin. “Although I did my Facial Plastics Fellowship in Beverly Hills with Dr. Paul Nassif, I have immense respect for the more subtle and natural approach our Midwest patients want,” continues Dr. Griffin of Midwest Facial Plastics in Woodbury, MN.
We’ve all seen them and we all have one celebrity that pops into our minds when we think of overdone Botox or dermal fillers. The overzealous lip enhancement that leads to the unnatural, unbalanced “trout pout”. Followed by the over-inflated cheekbones that lend a puffy and almost cartoon-like appearance to the face. And, last but not least, the excessive use and placement of Botox that obliterates all expression and readable emotion. It is no wonder that the excessive approach taken by some celebrities instills fear and misunderstanding of cosmetic injectables.
“Hollywood helps us and hurts us as cosmetic injectors and plastic surgeons,” laments Dr. Griffin. “Many celebrities have amazingly natural work done that brings patients to our doors inquiring about services, but just as many celebrities take things too far, which can deter patient,” he continues. “Lip enhancement is one of the most misunderstood and abused of all non-surgical aesthetic procedures. If administered poorly, the results can be very noticeable and exaggerated and disappoint the patient,” shares Dr. Griffin.
This leads many of us on the other end of the needle wondering, what makes a bad lip job? Is it the product? The skill of the injector? How can the average patient ensure that they are scheduling with the right provider?
“In my experience, there are several factors that can make for an unnatural appearance in cosmetic injections; overzealous application of product, lack of understanding of facial anatomy and symmetry, ignoring the patient’s specific goals, and lack of experience and qualifications,” informs Dr. Griffin. “When there is a Groupon advertising cheap procedures, the patient needs to be even more proactive about seeking qualified providers because you literally get what you pay for,” he warns.
Loss of facial volume and elasticity are natural parts of the aging process. The lip muscles are extremely active in speaking and facial expression which over time can result in thin, deflated lips. The use of dermal fillers, such as Juvederm, restores the youthful fullness, border and structure of the lips. This simple restoration can take years off the appearance of a face.
Dermal fillers used in lip enhancements are comprised of a gel-like substance called hyaluronic acid. This compound is naturally occurring in the skin and attracts 1,000 times it weight in water, thereby plumping the tissue. When injected correctly, this results in smooth, full and defined lips.
For patient comfort, hyaluronic acid fillers may also contain numbing lidocaine, making the procedure less painful. “I prefer to use a blunt tip cannula for my lip enhancements as opposed to a sharp needle to further my patient’s comfort,” says Dr. Griffin. “Instead of having to poke the tender lip tissue multiple times, the blunt, flexible cannula is threaded through the lip and used to inject the product. This results in much less trauma, swelling, and bruising for the patient,” he concludes.
“Your lips, your smile and your aesthetic preference are as unique as you,” states Dr. Griffin. “It’s important to align yourself with an injector who is qualified, experienced and who listens.”