Med Spa Guide

In the ever-changing world of beauty, it’s no easy job keeping up with all the pulls, peels, pin pricks and nifty colored lights that promise to reverse the hands of time and effects of gravity. To make life easier for you and frankly, to satisfy our own SpaGirl curiosity, we rounded up the newest and most popular non-invasive cosmetic enhancements available at medical spas (AKA, med spas and medi-spas) and cosmetic dermatologists’ offices today. Our A to Z-ap guide is meant to give you an overview of these aesthetic services but always remember to do your own research and seek out a dermatologist, registered nurse, licensed practitioner or physician highly skilled in whatever service you decide to get. Ask for a complimentary consultation, get references, discuss your treatment plan in detail with your provider, disclose any medical conditions you have and ask lots of questions. Okay, off we go!

Accent XL: For lumpy, bumpy orange-peel skin
Description: Both BiPolar and UniPolar radio frequencies are used to heat superficial and deep layers of tissue to literally melt away fat for a sleeker, less bumpy appearance.
Average Cost: $400 to $600 per treatment
Treatment Frequency: 4 to 6 treatments in 2 to 3-week intervals
Risks/Side Effects: Minor redness can be expected for a few hours after treatment
Duration of Results: 6 months to 2 years
Beauty Bonus: Targets problem areas that can’t be worked out through regular exercise.
Get it at: SKINovative in Gilbert.
Further Reading: almalasers.com (makers of Accent XL)

Acoustic Wave Therapy: For cellulite smoothing
Description: Also known as AWT, Acoustic Wave Therapy diminishes pesky cellulite dimples. Acoustic pulses stretch tissue, separate fat clumps and a thick band of collagen is formed to make skin appear more smooth and firm.
Average Cost: $150 to $300 per treatment
Treatment Frequency: 8 to 12 treatments separated by 3 to 4-day intervals
Risks/Side Effects: Slight bruising and possible pain at the treatment sight
Duration of Results: 4 treatments per year recommended to maintain results
Tip: Although AWT is less expensive that some other options, more treatments are required for full results.
Get it at: All About You Medspa in Tempe.
Further Reading: medsurgeadvances.com (makers of AWT equipment)

Botox: For superficial fine lines and wrinkles
Description: Botox works its magic by hindering muscle contractions that contribute to wrinkle formation; the result is reduced frown lines, forehead creases and crows feet.
Average Cost: Starting at about $400 per treatment region
Treatment Frequency: Every 6 to 6 months
Risks/Side Effects: Bruising, numbness and burning during injections. Eyelid droop is possible but rare.
Duration of Results: Results are visible within 7 days of injection and last an average 3 to 4 months.
Get it at: Neos Medspa in Chandler.
Further Reading: botoxcosmetic.com

Chemical Peels: For peeling away the years and acne-causing bacteria
Description: Chemical peels are used to address a wide array of concerns from rough skin texture to sun damage and acne scarring. Applied topically, chemical peels smooth facial skin texture by removing damaged epidermal layers. The depth of exfoliation depends on the type and strength of the peel. Mild to moderate glycolic and salicylic acid peels are ideal for people who suffer from excess oil, while a deeper trichloroacetic (TCA) peels help to halt acne causing bacteria and severe oil overgrowth.
Average Cost: Starting at $100 per treatment, usually done in conjunction with a facial
Treatment Frequency: Weekly, monthly or as necessary directed by the physician or aesthetician
Risks/Side Effects: Mild redness, irritation and skin flaking may occur depending on the level of peel. Diligent sun protection both before and after any chemical peel is a must!
Get it at: Advanced Medical Aesthetics in Mesa or Hansen Clinic of Natural Medicine in Scottsdale.
Tip: The deeper the peel, the more that visible skin flaking and peeling may occur.

CosmoDerm and CosmoPlast: For plumping lips and fine lines
Description: When it comes to restoring loss definition attributable to age and environmental factors, many docs are now using CosmoDerm and CosmoPlast. This collagen-based injection gives lips shape and fullness to create a more defined border and fuller pout.
Average Cost: From $500 per vial
Risks/Side effects: Bruising and temporary swelling that can last up to 7 days
Duration of Results: Up to 4 months
Beauty Bonus: No skin test is required before use, so you can go into the doctor’s office and come out with younger-looking lips in just one visit.
Get it at: BodyNew Medspa in Scottsdale.
Further Reading: allergan.com

Fraxel: For skin smoothing and preventative anti-aging
Description: The newest treatment in the Fraxel family, meet Fraxel re:fine, a superficial fractioned resurfacing procedure that is designed to address skin damage such as mild pigmentation before it becomes a nuisance. It also works to prevent fine lines and wrinkles from forming by boosting the skins own natural collagen production.
Average Cost: Starting at $500 per treatment
Treatment Frequency: A series of 4 to 8 monthly treatments are recommended for ultimate results.
Duration of Results: Maintenance sessions every 6 months are recommended.
Beauty Bonus: Treatment takes as little as 20 minutes with no downtime.
Get it at: BodyNew Medspa in Scottsdale.
Further Reading: fraxel.com

Juvederm: For pout perfection
Description: Feel your smacker is a little deflated? In the quest for the perfectly plump pout, Juvederm may just be the ticket. While this hyaluronic, acid-based injectable gel plumps and hydrates, it may also contribute to the stimulation of surrounding collagen cells and more collagen production, resulting in a longer-lasting fill. Juvederm is also frequently used on “smile lines” or the “parentheses” that run from the bottom of your nose to the corners of your mouth.
Average Cost: Starting at $500 per vial
Treatment Frequency: May require more than one treatment to achieve desired results.
Risks/Side Effects: Temporary bruising and swelling. Lumpiness is rare but possible.
Duration of Results: Results are temporary; can last up to 6 months or more.
Get it at: Perfect Skin inside Steven Paul Salon in Scottsdale.
Further Reading: juvederm.com

Laser Vein Therapy: For zapping away spider veins
Description: Spider veins are small, disconnected veins that look almost like star bursts. To get rid of these tiny veins, laser lights remove the hemoglobin, or red portion of the blood, in each vein cluster. After the blood vessel is zapped, it fades away and is naturally absorbed by the body.
Average Cost: $350 to $500 per treatment
Treatment Frequency: 2 to 3 treatments
Risks/Side Effects: Redness, bruising or swelling for a few hours after each treatment
Duration of Results: Permanent but does not prevent future outbursts
Get it at: Perfect Skin inside Steven Paul Salon in Scottsdale.
Beauty Bonus: No injections required.

Levulan Photodynamic Therapy: For beating back acne
Description: To treat acne from the roots, Blue Light with Levulan is a type of photodynamic therapy (PDT) that consists of the topical application of Levulan (aminolevulinic acid, a natural substance that occurs in the body), that absorbs into the acne causing tissues. A specialized blue light LED laser treatment than targets and shrinks them.
Average Cost: $1,000 to $1,500 per treatment package
Treatment Frequency: Several sessions may be needed depending on severity of acne.
Risks/Side Effects: Most patients experience some temporary reddening and minimal swelling of the skin after the treatment.
Get it at: Glow MedSpa in Glendale.
Further Reading: dusapharma.com

Microdermabrasion: For bringing smoother, renewed skin to the surface
Description: Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive, no-downtime treatment that helps treat an array of skin imperfections such as large pores, wrinkles, blemishes, pigmentation and scarring through exfoliation of the skin’s outer layers, revealing fresh skin. You’ll find two forms of professional microderm systems. With crystal microdermabrasion, tiny crystals are blasted onto the skin to perform the exfoliating process. With newer diamond-tip microdermabrasion systems, a diamond-tipped head is used to abrade the skin. Both systems finish with the dead skin cells being “sucked away” from the face and both generally lead toward the same end results.
Average Cost: Starting at about $75
Treatment Frequency: Weekly, monthly or as recommended
Risks/Side Effects: Most patients experience some temporary reddening after the treatment.
Duration of Results: Results are temporary but results continue to improve with repeated treatments.
Beauty Bonus: Exfoliation allows other products to penetrate better and deliver more effective results.

Photorejuvenation: For a more youthful, clearer complexion
Description: Light-based photorejuvenation treatments like IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) can help transform your skin to look its best. Recommended for just about any and all types of skin, Photorejuvenation facials have been shown to effectively increase the production of collagen and elastin in the skin as well as decrease acne, sun damage, rosacea and hyperpigmentation.
Average Cost: From $300 per treatment
Treatment Frequency: Results will be seen after the fist treatment; however, results are gradual and will improve after each treatment.
Risks/Side Effects: Permanent hyperpigmentation is possible on darker skin types.
Get it at: East Valley Women’s Skin & Laser in Mesa or Body Solutions Laser & Skin in Scottsdale.
Beauty Bonus: 45 percent of collagen is lost by the time a woman reaches menopause.

Restylane: For smile enhancement and diminishing fine lines
Description: Restylane is an FDA-approved dermal filler derived from hyaluronic acid, a natural sugar found in the skin intended for wrinkle correction, lip enhancements and thin superficial lines. When injected just under the skin’s surface the hyaluronic acid fillers replenish the skin’s volume by replacing deteriorated support layers of the skin restoring its youthful, smooth appearance. For lips, lines, cheeks and chins.
Average Cost: Starting at about $600
Treatment Frequency: Because the body naturally absorbs hyaluronic acid over time, touch-ups are needed to maintain the results.
Duration of Results: Results can last up to 8 months.
Get it at: CosMediSpa in Scottsdale.
Beauty Bonus: Unlike Botox, Restylane does not relax the facial muscles. Therefore, the face does not lose any of its ability to form expressions.
Further Reading: restylane.com

Sclerotherapy: For shrinking unsightly veins
Description: Unlike spider veins, varicose veins are larger and sometimes swell up from the skin. Needless to say, they are not very pretty and can even cause discomfort. To remove them, a solution is injected into the each vein to make them disappear.
Average Cost: $150 to $350 per treatment
Treatment Frequency: 1-4 treatments depending on each case, treatments are performed a few weeks apart.
Risks/Side Effects: Possible stinging and swelling, limited activity for 3-4 days.
Duration of Results: Results are permanent but it is possible for new veins can pop up over time.
Get it at: Xtrim Med Spa in Gilbert.
Tip: Compression stockings (think: thick flesh colored nylons) must be worn for several days after treatment.

Sculptra: For plumping up sagging skin
Description: Sculptra or better known in the medical world as the “liquid facelift,” works by both filling in lines and wrinkles and by stimulating the body to produce new collagen and underlying tissue. Sculptra contains a synthetic material that is injected to restore facial fullness and to treat sunken cheeks, deep wrinkles, and facial creases.
Average Cost: $450 to $550 per syringe
Treatment Frequency: Sculptra is generally done in a series of 2 or 4 treatments.
Risks/Side Effects: The most common side effects of Sculptra include tenderness, redness and discomfort at the injection points, which can last up to 2 weeks.
Duration of Results: Lasts up to 2 years or more.
Beauty Bonus: Your doctor may suggest the use of other fillers in conjunction with Sculptra to achieve the desired result.
Get it at: BodyNew Medspa in Scottsdale.
Further Reading: sculptra.us

Velashape: For diminishing cellulite
Description: Known for smoothing away cellulite on Kim Kardashian’s famous tush, this FDA-approved treatment works by using three elements: heat, light and massage. Tissue below the skin’s surface is heated to increase metabolism and reduce fat cells then a vacuum is used to shape and firm. Hollywood’s not-so-secret cellulite blaster also works on hips and thighs.
Average Cost: $200 to $400 per session
Treatment Frequency: 6 treatments over the period of 6 weeks
Risks/Side Effects: Possible mild redness and inner heat sensation for a couple hours after each treatment, mild bruising.
Duration of Results: 6 to 8 maintenance treatments per year are required.
Insider Tip: Plan ahead before jetting off to the pool or beach because bruising is a common side effect and lasts about a week.
Get it at: Vitality Med Spa in Mesa.
Further Reading: velashape.com

Further Resources

  • CosmeticSurgery.com offers overviews of cosmetic enhancement services as well as more invasive procures such as breast augmentation.
  • RealSelf.com combines cosmetic enhancement advice from experts with first-hand reviews and opinions from real people.
  • New Beauty Magazine are both solid sources for the latest cutting-edge beauty services.

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