the skinny on fat reduction

The concept behind non-invasive fat reduction with permanent results and zero downtime sounds like hocus pocus, right? Sure. But it's true, and it works. I'm here to tell you everything you need to know about CoolSculpting and why we love it so much.

The science behind it has actually been around for ages - weirdly enough, there was a study done on kids who ate a lot of popsicles and it turns out they were getting indentations in their cheeks from the cold freezing and eliminating their fat cells. So a couple of smart scientists (thank you, Dieter Manstein, MD and R. Fox Anderson, MD!) decided to take that concept and apply it to body parts where all men and women struggle with carrying excess fat. Thus Cryolipolysis, the idea that cold can target fat cells without damaging the skin, was born. It has been blowing up all over the U.S. since 2012, but we all know it takes a little while for trends to hit the Midwest. We wanted to make sure it lived up to the hype before we jumped on the fat-freezing bandwagon and needless to say, we were impressed. We've been gong strong with CoolSculpting since July of 2016, but before you decide if this is the right route for you there are quite a few factors to consider. 


What is the process like? First, you'll schedule your consultation (which is completely complimentary) with one of our two technicians. Have an idea in mind when you come in of where you might like to treat first. They'll make sure you're a good candidate and have the right type of fat for treatment, break down the areas we can treat, decide which applicator fits best and break down the pricing structure. When you come in for your appointment, each application takes 35-75 minutes (depending what area you are treating). If you're going to be here for a few hours, you can watch Netflix on our iPad or bring your computer to get some work (or online shopping) done ;) We keep the room private and cozy. Dim the lights and take a nap if you want to. We'll even order you lunch! Over the next 30-90 days you'll watch the magic happen as your clothes start to fit better. Generally we have our clients come in after 2 months to take "after" pictures and asses if a second treatment is needed. Your optimal results will be 4 months post-treatment.

Are results permanent? Yes! Once we reach adulthood, the number of fat cells we have remain the same. That is, until CoolSculpting saves the day. When we gain weight, our fat cells expand and when we lose weight, they shrink. Through Cryolipolysis we are able to permanently get rid of 20-25% of the fat cells in the treated area. They are crystallized (frozen) and then die. Then it's time for our lymphatic system to get to work and process them out of our body!

Will I lose weight?  No, not directly from this treatment but you might see the scale go down a few lbs if you're making healthy changes in your diet and exercise routine. There is a difference between fat reduction and weight loss. CoolSculpting targets subcutaneous fat which is the light, fluffy stuff that sits on top of the visceral fat where we hold weight.

Is there pain or downtime? There is slight discomfort in the first 5 minutes when the cooling is turned on, but you'll go numb for the remainder of the treatment. After the time is up, there is 2 minutes of manual massage where your technician is trying to break up the crystallized fat cells. This feels slightly intense because your nerve endings are starting to wake back up - think about sticking your hands in snow and then running them under hot water. The following day you can resume your normal activities including work and exercise. It's common for the treated area to be a little swollen and tender for a few days but in the grand scheme of beauty procedures, there is little to no downtime involved. 

Who is the ideal candidate? If you are 10-40 lbs from your ideal weight and have a healthy exercise and diet routine but struggle with stubborn pockets of fat like the muffin top or just want your clothes to fit better, you're the ideal candidate. 

How much of an investment am I looking at? Coolsculpting is FDA approved to treat submental fat (aka the double chin), arms, abdomen, obliques, bra fat, back fat, inner and outer thighs but that doesn't mean it's realistic for all of us to have 1-2 treatments on our entire bodies. Think about what bothers you the most. For me, I made my lower abdomen and love handles the priority because no matter what I did, I would always have a little excess hanging over my jeans or yoga pants. We always recommend coming in for a complimentary consultation to get an exact price quote, plus we offer 12 months of interest free financing but the average client will spend around $2,000.  

Microneedling vs. PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)

Let's get down to the nitty gritty on skin rejuvenation with the ins and outs of two of our favorite services, Microneedling and the PRP Facial. I'll be answering all of the big questions: What's the difference? Why choose one over the other? What's What can you expect regarding the process, downtime and results? What's right for your skin? 

This 45 minute, minimal to no downtime, collagen inducting treatment uses a handheld device with 9 micro needles to penetrate the skin (at varying depths from .25 mm to 2.5 mm) to treat active acne, acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, pore size, uneven skin tone, stretch marks and poor skin elasticity. We recommend a series of 3 treatments spaced 2-3 weeks apart and for optimal results, complete in conjunction with laser and other collagen stimulating procedures. We say this all the time - our collagen response is just like our muscle response - we don't repeat the same exercise over and over again without switching it up because our muscles eventually stop responding as well, and our collagen behaves the same way. The ultimate goal with every anti-aging treatment we offer is to shock your collagen

What to expect:  

Upon arrival we will apply a topical lidocaine compound to your face and neck and let you numb for 30 minutes. Based on your skin's needs, your service provider will choose a serum - Vitamin C, Vitamin A or Growth Factor (my personal fave) - to use throughout your entire treatment. She will begin using the Rejuvapen microneedling device on your forehead in a circular motion while continuously applying the serum. The micro needles create tiny injuries to the skin and penetrate into the dermis triggering your collagen response and allowing for maximum product penetration so the product can get to work! She will then repeat this process for the rest of your face and neck. The forehead and bridge of your nose tend to be the most sensitive, but for the most part you'll just feel small vibrations and find this treatment very comfortable. Immediately after, you'll be pink or red comparable to a sunburn and may want to lay low the rest of the day. By the following morning you can go back to your normal routine and use a gentle cleanser, SPF and even apply a little makeup if you wish. The series of pictures below perfectly depicts what to expect regarding downtime. 

Before. Immediately After (only minor redness similar to a sunburn that subsides very quickly). Approximately 20 hours After. Notice an overall softer, brighter, more youthful complexion.

Before. Immediately After (only minor redness similar to a sunburn that subsides very quickly). Approximately 20 hours After. Notice an overall softer, brighter, more youthful complexion.

PRP Facial
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is an extract of your own blood that contains three to five times more platelets, growth factors and active proteins for tissue and injury healing. When PRP is placed back into the skin by injection or microneedling, it initiates a localized stem cell response. Over the weeks and months following treatment, this stem cell response recruits collagen-producing cells called fibroblasts. The fibroblasts replace tissue that has been damaged or lost through the aging process with healthy skin that looks refreshed and rejuvenated. The healing properties of the blood components in PRP can be used as a cosmetic treatment for the following:

  • Reducing fine lines and wrinkles
  • Tightening and toning skin
  • Brightening uneven skin tone
  • Mild collagen and volume loss
  • Crow's feet and dark under eye circles
  • Large pores/rough texture
  • Acne scarring
  • Rosacea

The process:

  1. We will apply a topical lidocaine to your face and neck while your blood is drawn. We only need 30 mL of blood so this is quick and painless. The vial is then placed into a centrifuge which separates your PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma, red in color) from the PPP (Platelet Poor Plasma, clear in color).
  2. Your red PRP will then be microneedled back into your skin. (See above description). This is truly the only difference between these two treatments. Instead of using one of our other serums (the Vitamin C, Vitamin A or Growth Factor) we use your body's own PRP. The benefits of PRP cannot be recreated in any cosmetic, cosmeceutical or pharmaceutical product because it's our body's own cells creating new tissue and healthy skin. 
  3. Rinse the plasma "red mask" off anywhere from 20 minutes - 24 hours post treatment. 
  4. We will send you home with your clear PPP so that you may take advantage of its benefits as well - rub it on your face for hydration and healing, place on your brows/lashes to condition and stimulate growth, or even rub on your thighs to help tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite.

What to expect:

  • The entire process will take 75-90 minutes.
  • Immediately post treatment, your skin will feel very tight and a little tender like you have a sunburn or windburn. Once you rinse the "red mask" off, your skin will be pink for 24-48 hours. 
  • You might feel a little dry and flaky but this is completely normal and should only last 2-3 days. 
  • You'll see the benefits of one treatment last 10-12 weeks so it's meant to be done quarterly - once every 3 months. 
Before. Immediately After (This "red mask" can be rinsed off as soon as 20 minutes post treatment). Approximately 20 hours After.    Notice the immediate improvement in active acne, skin texture and color.

Before. Immediately After (This "red mask" can be rinsed off as soon as 20 minutes post treatment). Approximately 20 hours After.  Notice the immediate improvement in active acne, skin texture and color.

So how do you choose? Microneedling is a great place to start if you are new to these types of services. If you hate having your blood drawn or the "red mask" makes you squeamish, stick to microneedling. If you are ready to take your results to the next level, the PRP Facial is the icing on the cake without having to deal with any major downtime. 

The major bonus of both of these services is they can be done on any skin type and ethnicity. This time of year can be tough because of sun exposure but you do not have to be at your fairest complexion to have this done. Just be extra conscious of wearing a hat and high quality SPF while you're outside - after all, what's the point in investing in your skin if you just let the sun wreak havoc on it?