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The Synergy of Medical Spa Treatments and At-home Skin Care

By: Ada Polla and Cyrille Polla, with contributions by Dr. Luigi Polla
Posted: November 25, 2013, from the December 2013 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Here, he likes to prescribe the Alchimie Forever Optimizing Body Contour Gel for at-home use, recognizing also that “any body gel with caffeine extracts and an anti-inflammatory ingredient will help with therapeutic results.”

Tighter Complexion

Problem: Lower face skin tightening
Treatment: Mini liposuction and Ultherapy
Product: Nothing for 7-10 days, then Alchimie Forever Firming Gel for Neck and Bust

When people hit their mid-30s, the skin begins to lose its elasticity. The fibroblasts—skin cells that produce elastin, collagen and the extracellular matrix—become progressively more scarce and lazy. Excess sun and tobacco accelerate the process of skin sagging, and around menopause, loose skin becomes more severe. The lower third of the face and neck are the most affected, creating jowls and what is sometimes called the “goose neck” effect.

While noninvasive treatments are ideal to help prevent this sagging, there comes a time when surgery is the only effective way to tighten and lift the skin. Dr. Polla recommends a combination of therapies, namely associating a mini liposuction of excess fat in the double-chin area coupled with Ultherapy, which is a focalized ultrasound that helps offer a scalpel-free, natural face lift. This treatment is specifically recommended for jowls, the loss of an oval face shape and double chins.

This treatment regimen enters the world of invasive surgery, which represents a different challenge in terms of associating treatment with at-home care. Indeed, in the case of surgery of the face, neck or body, when there is an open wound, product recommendations must be made with great care. Dr. Polla prefers to let the skin heal before recommending any type of topical product. In this case, topical products are recommended exclusively when the patient comes back for a postoperative check-up appointment after the surgery. Once again, the products are chosen specifically for the area treated, in this case the neck and décolleté.

Hair Rejuvenation

Problem: Hair loss
Treatment: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
Product: Hair growth supplement such as Rogaine

For both men and women, hair loss equates to a loss of confidence. At Forever Laser Institut, the team has found injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in the scalp to be very effective in terms of both a reduction in hair loss and a stimulation of hair regrowth. PRP is a skin-regenerating medical technique that uses the patient’s own blood to produce plasma enriched with platelets, growth factors and stem cells. Once reinjected beneath the patient’s skin, it accelerates cellular activity, revascularization and repair. The treatment protocol typically involves five sessions every 15 days and is repeated twice a year.

Once again, at-home daily care is essential in terms of maintaining the results of these treatments. Dr. Polla recommends combining both oral and topical products, whether an MD-prescribed supplement or over-the-counter product.

Together for Success

Overall, recommending at-home products is an essential part of any skin care treatment, whether at a spa or a medical spa. While estheticians and medical doctors are not always enthusiastic about “selling products,” a retail recommendation really does affect the end result of professional skin care treatments, and thus the overall satisfaction of the client/patient. While no topical product can—or should—have the same result as a professional treatment, the two should go hand in hand.

For beauty brands, this is an opportunity to think of ways your products can complement today’s popular professional treatments, to create specific retail protocols to highlight this complementarity, and to align your products with a professional environment and relationships.

In working with skin care professionals, physicians and therapists, encourage them to remember their patients and clients will be using some type of home care beauty products no matter what, so they might as well benefit from the ultimate in service, which is education about what products will best complement their therapies.

Ada Polla is the co-creator of the Swiss antioxidant skin care line Alchimie Forever, which launched in the U.S. in 2004. Her strategic focus and implementation have yielded double-digit annual revenue growth for the company. She holds an MBA from Georgetown University, majored in art history and political science at Harvard University and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1999. She is also a GCI magazine editorial advisor.

Cyrille Polla graduated from Cambridge University, where she obtained a BA and MA in anthropology. She has experience in the art industry, having directed Analix Forever, a contemporary art gallery in Geneva, as well as published a collection of poems entitled Une eau plus douce, and written and performed the lyrics for Planète bleue, a music piece by Giuseppe Mangione. She currently works for the family business, and after two years in Dr. Polla’s private dermatology practice as a research assistant, she is now the communications and marketing manager for the Forever Laser Institut.