You name it, and Janelle Wagner’s probably done it. She started a new phase of her career in 1995, after a two-year stint as an oncology nurse. “I shifted my career this way and found my passion,” she says, admitting, “It was a switch. I didn’t think I was helping people that much at first – but I am. What I do helps build self-confidence in people.”
Wagner is a nurse practitioner at Longevity Medical Spa’s newest location in north Oklahoma City. She loves her work, and has tried all of the treatments she performs, so that she fully understands what they do and how they feel.
Let’s start at the top: the face. Wagner says a great self-esteem booster is to lock those wrinkles down. The most effective way to de-wrinkle your face is to indulge in a syringe or two full of delightful neurotoxins. “Botox and other neurotoxins really give you the most bang for your buck,” Wagner says. “When you just want to freshen up, Botox makes a big difference.”
Our Holy Lady of Botox and her lovely sisters, Xeomin and Dysport, are all about relaxing your muscles. Well, OK, actually paralyzing them for a few months, so that the wrinkles that have been created via repetitive motions or expressions take a little sabbatical. “You can use Botox on the forehead, crow’s feet, neck and lip, where it will erase those vertical straw lines that tend to appear after we hit about 40 years old,” explains Wagner.
“Botox and fillers are great when someone is feeling like they need to see a change right now,” says Joan Hardt, owner of Rejuvena Cosmetic Medical Center. “But for someone thinking in the longer term, I’d say Thermage or DOT Resurfacing or a combination of the two is a good option. Thermage uses radio frequency and is the standard of care. We’ve used it for about 12 years.”
Hardt opened Rejuvena in 2002, after working as an emergency room physician in Oklahoma City. What prompted such a dramatic switch? “I like skin,” she says, simply. “I loved suturing in the ER. It was my favorite thing to do. What I do now is very satisfying because people are so happy and grateful after we finish. I know I’m really doing something that makes people feel better.”
When it comes to the jawline and neck, Thermage and other radio frequency treatments are effective because they bypass the outer layer of skin and go to work way down deep. “Thermage affects change in the tissue through heat and by causing contraction,” Hardt says. “There is a 2.5 square centimeter wand, which we use to go over the treatment area several times. The wand sends pulses of heat into the deeper tissue without disrupting the surface of the skin.”
Another treatment with relatively little downtime is Broad Band Light, or BBL. This is a favorite of Wagner’s, and can be used almost anywhere on the body. “BBL brightens the skin, evens pigment, stimulates collagen and gives you a healthy glow. It reduces sun damage,” Wagner says.
Did the holidays leave you with a belly that shakes when you laugh, like a bowl full of jelly? Or was it childbirth? Either way, Hardt has a new trick up her sleeve that effectively reduces cellulite anyplace on the body. “It’s called Reaction, and it’s a combination of suction and radio frequency. It takes 4-8 treatments to get the area in question to its end point, and after that, maintenance is one or two treatments a year,” she says.
Each treatment lasts 30 to 60 minutes and, according to Hardt, there is no ouch involved. “It’s very relaxing, and feels like a deep massage. The heat is bipolar, and there is no need to use high heat because of the multiple treatments. I believe that radio frequency treatments are one of the next big things in cosmetic medicine,” she says.
Hardt is a dedicated lifelong learner, and is always busy learning about the next “big thing,” another of which she feels certain is something called functional medicine, which benefits your exterior by taking care of your interior. “It’s about healing and helping yourself through preventative medicine, wellness and also aesthetics. For example, autoimmune diseases have been linked to permeable gut syndrome,” she says. She’s taking courses and plans to complete a fellowship, and hopes to offer functional medicine and a broader range of radio frequency treatments later in 2017.
But Back to the Topic at Hand
No butts about it, cellulite is a bugaboo for many women and some men. In fact, about 80 percent of women have it. Until recently, treatments for it have been neither plentiful, nor particularly successful. Hardt likes what she sees in Reaction, and Wagner is a proponent of CoolSculpting, which is a non-invasive treatment that yields liposuction-like results.
“With each CoolSculpting session, 25 percent of the fat cells in the treatment area are eliminated,” Wagner says. “I have used it myself on my stomach and muffin top, and flanks. It can be used almost anywhere, like under the chin, bra-line fat, stomach, buttocks, thighs or arms. It delivers a smooth result, and most people need two treatments, which we do about a month apart.” Wagner regularly uses CoolSculpting to fine-tune and smooth out lumpy liposuction results.
Looking for an even less-invasive mood boost? In-office teeth whitening can take years off of your smile. A great haircut and some highlights and lowlights can, too. And although we’ve explored some new-fangled high technology, never ever underestimate the aesthetic powers of a regular fitness routine, plenty of water, a healthy diet and a good night’s sleep.
► Zap to It
“You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.” – Dr. Evil
Or just the laser beams. Which one’s for you? Zip it, and we’ll give you the run-down.
These are the big dogs. Ablative lasers work by delivering intense wavelengths of light to your skin, which essentially burns off the outer layers of skin. That means it will burn off sun damage and lots of wrinkles. Ablative lasers also stimulate the underlying skin, encouraging the formation of collagen. As the lasered skin heals after the procedure, new skin forms that is smoother and tighter. You might be interested in ablative laser treatment if you want to work on your fine to moderate wrinkles, liver and age spots, acne scars and sun damage.
Medium dogs. Non-ablative treatments work by creating heat in the skin without taking off the top layers. The heat they create down in the deeper layers causes collagen production, which makes the skin look plumper and tighter. These lasers’ power is often delivered to your skin in a “fractionalized” manner, meaning that the heat is delivered through thousands of tiny entry points called microthermal treatment zones. Not as painful, slightly less dramatic results. Great for age spots, milder scars, sun damage and fine wrinkles.
Smaller, mixed-breed dogs. This group includes Thermage and other radiofrequency treatments, intense pulsed light therapies, infrared treatments and ultrasound treatments. These are offered under many brand names, and can yield a variety of positive results. Intense pulsed light (IPL) can help with rosacea and redness, skin tightening and even some hair and tattoo removal. Infrared treatments can be used for skin tightening, nonsurgical facelifts and collagen stimulation. Radiofrequency treatments can be used to eliminate fat, tighten the skin and rejuvenate the face. Ultrasound techniques can tighten and firm the skin, increase collagen production and improve elasticity. The treatments in this group have little to no downtime.
Janelle Wagner’s Top Three
405 asked Wagner for three treatments that offer the biggest benefit with minimal downtime and moderate expense. She thought for a minute and said: “What you want to do is replace volume, smooth wrinkles and improve tone and texture. So I’d say Botox, Ultherapy and BBL (BroadBand Light) Laser.”
► All the Feels
The end results can be really exciting … but for many, a moment of pause occurs when the fear of the unknown sets in. What will BBL really feel like? Is CoolSculpting going to feel cold? What about Botox? How big are the needles? We asked our experts to describe what some of the procedures in question really feel like, and here’s what they said.
This is a series of quick sticks. Some are barely perceptible, some are zingers. It just depends. The ones in the center of the forehead tend to be milder, the ones in the crow’s feet definitely smart. There can also be a funny crackling sound as the neurotoxin enters its target. It’s very quick. Immediately after the injections, it looks like there are grapes or marbles under the skin, but that dissipates in minutes. Tiny spots of blood and light bruising can occur, but this is not a big, painful deal.
Broad Band Light
A great procedure for evening skin tone, diminishing sun damage and stimulating collagen. There’s not a lot of downtime, but as Wagner puts it, “It takes about a week to like the results.” The treatment itself is done with a laser and feels like a hot, popping rubber band. Over and over. It can be used anywhere on the body and the results are great. Most people see nice results after one treatment, and the collagen production becomes apparent at the 30-day mark or so.
It’s going to be uncomfortable, but you probably won’t scream. This procedure freezes and kills fat cells – and it works. Results are smooth, and start to be visible within weeks of treatment. A suctioning wand applicator, reminiscent of a vacuum cleaner attachment, is placed on the treatment area. It sucks the skin and fat up into it a bit, and then it gets really cold. REALLY cold. The suction sensation varies based on each person and body part being treated. It can feel like a mild tugging or pinching. The cold is pretty uncomfortable, like an ice pack you can’t take off, for about eight minutes, and then the area becomes numb and it’s no big deal. Then, after treatment, the area must be massaged to increase effectiveness. This part of the process can also hurt, much like when you’ve been out in the snow and you come inside and your toes hurt as they thaw.
As Hardt puts it, Thermage used to be “exceedingly painful,” but innovations in the wand used to deliver the treatment have made it much better. “They have made the piece that is in contact with the skin larger, so the sensation is less localized, and they have added vibration to it, which distracts the mind from the sensation.”
► Pssst …Can You Keep a Secret?
When you want to do a little fine-tuning, but you don’t want to bump into anyone while you’re doing it, a great way to keep it on the down-low is to head south about an hour. Sole’renity, the spa in Sulphur’s upscale Artesian Hotel, became a medical spa in July.
Owner Rhonda Mordecai says she sees groups of women come down for spa weekends with a little extra kick. “We are very discreet, and we’re becoming known as a place where women can go, who want to have certain things done, perhaps without their husbands knowing,” Mordecai says. “Our medical director, Dr. Kim Charles Jones, is very conservative in his approach to medical spa services.”
Sole’renity offers a unique treatment, the HydraFacial MD, which is customizable and can include lymphatic drainage, microdermabrasion and chemical peels ranging in strength from mild to deep. “We offer injectable gels and fillers. Volbella is a filler for lips, which has lidocaine built into it so the discomfort is minimized,” she says.
“HydraFacial MD is a non-invasive, multistep treatment that combines the benefits of next-level hydradermabrasion, a chemical peel, automated painless extractions with no pinching and a special delivery of antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and peptides. It does all of this in one quick treatment that delivers real results without downtime or irritation,” Mordecai says. “Hydrafacial is just not for your face – you can have Hydrafacial treatments for your hands, arms, back, décolleté.”
This month, Sole’renity is launching a line of body wraps, which Mordecai is very excited about. “The treatment area is measured, then the product is applied and the wrap is left in place for 45 minutes. When it’s removed, the results are significant, from five to 20 inches depending on the location. Now, most of that is water, but it’s a very popular treatment for brides to do before their big day.”