There are two things I justify spending money on: exercise and skincare. In my past life I swear I was a dermatologist, and have my mother to thank for teaching me at a young age to be mindful of starting a preventative skincare routine.
Prior to my wedding in 2014 I started to invest in regular facials at my neighborhood spa in San Francisco. While my skin did look amazing, it was a bandaid. If I went beyond 6-8 weeks between appointments my skin would get congested, my expression lines would appear deeper, and my skin coloring was dull. Two years ago, my best friend told me she started going to a med spa and was blown away by the results. I was intrigued, booked my first appointment, and now will ONLY visit a med spa when working on my face.
The biggest difference is that med spas can perform services that most spas aren’t able to offer, and their products are medical grade. Medical grade products have a higher percentage of active ingredients that are effective to achieve results, while most skincare products cost the same (or more!) but won’t deliver the same outcome.
I don’t normally partner with brands, but when a company reaches out to share something I truly believe in/feel others can benefit or learn from, I feel it’s a disservice not to share. When the Epi Center MedSpa of San Francisco wanted to celebrate their 20th Anniversary, I was beyond ecstatic. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen me share that I’m between jobs, and one of my personal goals during my “fun-employment” was to start taking better care of myself again.
At the end of summer, I had my first consultation with CEO and co-founder, Margaret Mitchell. She evaluated my skin type, highlighted where I was losing natural collagen/fat in my face, and helped plan a series of services that would turn back the clock without the use of fillers/botox. I’m not against either service, but since I’m still nursing my twins I’m unable to receive these treatments. What won me over was learning that Epi Center is the first medical spa in the nation and first LEED certified, eco medspa in the nation.
After years of worshipping the sun, and being a sleepless new mom, we decided to move forward with services to address my uneven skin tone and my natural expression lines that were deepening. My “Mommy Makeover” was about to begin, and I was thrilled knowing I was in such great hands!
Epi Center’s “Mommy Makeover” prescription:
- Hydrafacial: a multi-step treatment that exfoliates, flushes impurities, deeply cleanses pores, and hydrates your skin with antioxidants and hyaluronic acid.
- Microneedling: a minimally-invasive procedure that uses fine needles to puncture the skin to treat acne, anti-aging, cellulite reduction, hair restoration, pigmentation, and scar/streth mark reduction.
- PhotoFacial: a procedure that removes age spots and non-genetic pigmentation to brighten and even your skin tone.
I’ll be focusing on steps 1 & 2 in this post, as these are the treatments one can do more frequently for maintenance and preventative care — it’s also great for most skin types.
While I’ll only visit a med spa, most facilities don’t offer the most relaxing spa-like environment to really let you unwind. Upon arrival at Epi Center MedSpa, you’re greeted by the friendliest faces, and welcomed to make yourself at home. I immediately slip into a robe, pour myself a glass of infused water or tea or bubbles (sometimes all three!), and make myself cozy in their relaxation room.
Epi Center MedSpa is one of the few places that also allows financing. Let’s be honest, most of us don’t do some of these treatments due to cost. However, the longterm benefits can be worth the investment. If approved, you can break out your service into monthly payments so you can better manage your money and your skin!
This was my first time receiving a hydrafacial, and it was the perfect treatment to receive prior to going on our European vacation. The service has a series of cleansers and serums that vacuum out your impurities and apply products to hydrate and revitalize your skin. This is the ultimate treatment to receive prior to an event or special occasion — there is no down time and you leave looking radiant.
I did this treatment right before Europe, and it was the ultimate way to have an immediate fresh face. With the extreme heat we faced within Italy and France, I was able to wear little face makeup, while looking flawless — it was absolutely ideal!
For anyone that is skeptical of the hydrafacial treatment, just ask to see your water at the end of the service. I was blown away that after the double wash they perform at the beginning of the appointment that there was still that much dirt and residue on my skin.
As I mentioned earlier, I geek out over skin talk and spent my entire appointment chatting with my technician, Jasmine. I asked for some of the best practices/advice she gives clients, and her key takeaways were:
- Invest in a good skincare regiment, and using products such as a charcoal or hydrating mask in the shower is a great pro tip to having your product be even more impactful.
- Exfoliation is a step no one should skip — it allows for your freshest skin to be shown and helps ensure your product is being absorbed to the correct layers of skin. Be mindful of products that use micro-beads — they can cut your skin and are not biodegradable (which this is sadly the case for most generic brands).
- Buy your products from credible sources! Dermstore and Amazon are not authorized retailers, and you can be wasting your money buying false products.
This service is hands down one of the most incredible treatments you can be doing to your skin. I’ve been microneedling for over a year, and it has visibly corrected my largest expression lines on my forehead without needing botox. While at-home needling is fantastic for you to absorb your serums and moisturizers (ie, using BeautyBio’s GloPro), in order to see true results for your skin to repair itself you need to break the surface (aka, bleeding needs to occur). At-home needle lengths don’t surpass a .5 mm length, and the average needle length during a med spa service is 1 (this is dependent on your skin type, pain tolerance, treatment goals, etc).
With micro needling, there is typically a 24-48 hour window of down time where your face appears red, and it’s recommended not to wear makeup for at least 12 hours. I often try to avoid wearing anything other than mineral makeup to ensure I don’t clog my skin, and I typically get my service done on Fridays so I have the weekend to recover.
Things to note regarding Microneedling:
- Even though your face may be numb, you can likely still feel the puncture of the needles. The fattier the skin, the less painful. For example, it was more tolerable to have the needling done on my cheeks versus my forehead.
- I always bring a hat to my appointment. This is to a) protect my skin, b) hide my face from the redness when commuting in public.
- If you live in a city, plan your transportation accordingly — sometimes you can leave the treatment looking like you got in a fight with a cat, and the cat won.
- Mothers who are breastfeeding, the numbing cream they apply to your skin can get into your blood stream and give your babies a belly ache. You can forgo the numbing cream or use stored milk for your babe while it flushes out of your system.