PODCAST: Filters Are Great, But Great Skin is Better!

Raving fans across all of San Diego follow esthetician Cameron Vessey’s expert skin care recommendations, and we’re here for it!

If you’ve ever wondered why products from the drugstore are different from medical grade skincare or how some people have skin that truly glows, Cameron’s advice for good skin care will be truly life-changing.

Read more about Cameron Vessey and learn more about skin care services at LJC.


TRANSCRIPT

Speaker 1:

You’re listening to the La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast with the LJC Chief Community Officer, Monique Ramsey.

Monique:

Welcome everybody to the La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast where dreams become real. I’m your host, Monique Ramsey. Today I’m joined by Cameron. She’s our aesthetician. She’s a master of skincare. She’s a master about everything, getting you glowing, how to take care of your skin. You’re going to love this. I’m really excited about today. Welcome, Cameron.

Cameron:

Thank you so much, Monique. I’m so happy to be here.

Monique:

Tell us about your background and what made you get into this field.

Cameron:

Oh my goodness. I was so lucky to have a grandmother who had a modeling agency and a school. In those olden days, you would go to modeling classes, like etiquette school, right?

Monique:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cameron:

Finishing school, how to take care of your skin, all of those things. I started using Clarins I think at age 13.

Monique:

Oh my goodness.

Cameron:

I know. Yes. I was really blessed. I know that that’s not the norm, but I’m telling all you moms out there, get your kids started young. Then I had the opportunity, I did my gap year between high school and college in Paris. Yes, it was wonderful. One of my really good friends that I had met, her mother was an esthetician. She told me, “Cameron, do this stuff now.” So I’ve been going to get facials every four weeks since I was 17.

Monique:

Wow, and this is why she’s glowing. You guys can’t see her, but literally she radiates. I think you definitely look 15 years younger than your age at any given day, because that is something that you really stress the importance of skincare, because you know it. You’ve lived it.

Cameron:

I think that what happens in the US is we’re all instant gratification and we’ve been sold this for a long time with all of our great marketing and advertising. It’s about the long game. You can’t go to the gym once every two months. You’ve got to be consistent. I really like to help people get a protocol that’s going to work for them.

Monique:

Fast forward, you’ve been doing the facials and you decide to get into medical aesthetics. And so, could you explain a little bit about, what is a medical aesthetician? What does that mean? Or what’s the schooling involved?

Cameron:

Absolutely. It was a career change for me and I was going to a cosmetic dermatology office in Scottsdale, Arizona. My aesthetician said, “Why don’t you do this? You know more about this than I do.” And so, in Arizona, the laws are a little bit different than California. California is very strict on what you can do. But in Arizona, as an aesthetician, I went through the aesthetic program. And then I also went through laser training as well.

Cameron:

I did an internship at a laser and skincare clinic. I’ve always been on the medical side. What makes you different with the medical aesthetician here in California truly is the ability to be able to work and know how to work with laser patients, how to take care of post-laser skin. Also working with higher percentages of acids and just more medical-based procedures. In Arizona, there is training for that. I believe in California, there is too. But really it’s on the job too.

Cameron:

I’ve been blessed to work with incredible doctors, and PAs, and nurse practitioners that teach me every day. Yeah. Now can anybody in skincare call themselves an aesthetician? No. You actually have to go to aesthetic school. There are a lot of people who know about skincare, certainly. I always want to tell people in regards to the internet though, understand that the internet is information. It’s not necessarily education. And oftentimes, people on social media are paid to promote certain products that may not be the best. But yeah, you need to go to aesthetic school to be called an aesthetician.

Monique:

That’s true. I think all of us who love skincare, me being one of them, we all love to fancy ourselves as a mini expert, but we’re really not. We don’t understand how the different ingredients work, how they penetrate the skin, what they do long term, what the risks could be of certain kinds of… Can’t just throw glycolic acid on something and say, “I’ve got a peel. I’m good.”

Cameron:

Yeah. Yeah. That’s what an aesthetician, especially a medical aesthetician would be… One of the things that’s important to me is being able to have the medical grade products, which are far superior to anything over the counter and really being able to fit that to someone’s needs and their skincare goals.

Monique:

We’ll get into that in a minute. First I want to talk, though, the basic menu of what you offer. Let’s go into some of the facials and one of the newest… I feel like calling it a facial is almost downgrading the experience, DiamondGlow. DiamondGlow’s a new protocol from SkinMedica and treatment. Let me have you talk about that a little bit.

Cameron:

Sure. I love that you said that about facials, because I think that when people think of facials, they think of European-style facials, which are wonderful. But what we do here at the med spas, we really look… I want to get results. Ours are more medical. We like to call them treatments or procedures. The DiamondGlow is incredible. The DiamondGlow is great because it’s a three in one. We use a diamond tips for physical exfoliation.

Cameron:

It extracts and it infuses all at the same time. We can really customize it by having more of an aggressive tip for people who have rougher skin. We have different infusions, everything from growth factors, to skin brightening, to vitamin C, just depending on what the person needs. So you can really customize. It’s a great treatment and you can also do this treatment if you’re pregnant.

Monique:

Oh, interesting.

Cameron:

Yes.

Monique:

That must be, for those moms out there, or moms to be, who want something safe, but also that’s really going to keep them glowing. Now, how often would you say somebody does a DiamondGlow? Do you recommend a series or to get their skin to a certain level?

Cameron:

People always ask me how often to do it. For anyone under the age of 30, every six weeks is good. But as we get older, really every four weeks. One of the things is that when we’re young, our skin cells turnover for 29 days. As we get older, it takes a little bit longer. So I really recommend for people to see me every four weeks.

Monique:

Okay.

Cameron:

As far as the series, I always recommend a series only because that if you purchase a series, you get a better pricing.

Monique:

Because they’re unlocking a deal.

Cameron:

Yes.

Monique:

We all love a deal.

Cameron:

The thing about it is that you can’t just stop going to the gym, right. So it’s the same thing for your skin too. But we may [crosstalk 00:07:00]-

Monique:

Yeah. Or those of us who color our hair.

Cameron:

Yes. Right hands up.

Monique:

Same here, and I’ll do it till I die. But that is something that I think people think, “Well, do I have to keep doing it?” Well, yeah. But you do a lot of other things as a maintenance activity to keep yourself healthy. Then there is the staple of HydraFacial MD. The HydraFacial I think… Didn’t they just upgrade their product or machines or something?

Cameron:

Yes. We’ve been doing HydraFacial here at LA Jolla Cosmetic for a long time. It’s a great treatment. It’s been around for a long time. But we did just purchase the Elite platform. With the elite platform, we can do lymphatic drainage. What we do is we can do the red light, we can do the blue light for acne. We can do the different boosters. What we do differently in a medical facility is that we use higher percentages of acids. There’s certain boosters that we have that maybe a regular spa would not have.

Monique:

The HydraFacial, I think we have the HydraFacial MD. Is that correct? And so, maybe a day spa might not have that same version of the machine. Is that correct?

Cameron:

They may or may not have the same version, but they will not be able to get the same boosters. For example, there’s higher percentages of glycolic and salicylic that only medical facilities can get. There’s certain boosters that, for example, the growth factors that only medical facilities can get. So it’s a little bit different in that respect.

Monique:

Oh, interesting.

Cameron:

Plus, I will tell you too that the HydraFacial rep came and I gave her a treatment and she said that’s the best treatment she’s ever had. So I think that one of the things is that when we do HydraFacial here, we get in there. It’s not about the fluff. We get in there.

Monique:

Well, yeah. Get your money’s worth, right?

Cameron:

Yes. Yes.

Monique:

This is the thing. I mean, you’ve had patients coming to you for years and years. They rave, of course, because their skin looks amazing. Then there’s also the OxyGeneo. Tell us about that.

Cameron:

The OxyGeneo is a fabulous treatment. It’s an oxygen facial, so it’s a three in one. What’s great about the OxyGeneo is that anytime that you would have an oxygen facial, they typically will use a machine to push the oxygen into your skin. What’s different about this is that it actually creates a chemical reaction, which floods your bloodstream with oxygen from within your body, and then pushes that oxygenated blood up to the surface of the skin.

Cameron:

I mean, it helps with tone. It helps with texture. And then, after we do that, we actually will use a massage head to help with circulation. Then we use ultrasound to push the product deeper into the skin and to lift as well. There’s three different OxyGeneos that we currently do. One is NeoRevive, which is more for anti-aging, more hydrating, NeoBright, more for texture and tone. And then, the OxyGeneo Balance, which is the charcoal facial for more acneic skin. So you can really customize them as well.

Monique:

Because they all sound amazing, and I’m sure everybody in the audience is with me here where we all want to say, “Can I come next? And I want all of them.” How do you customize that? Are some people better candidates depending on their goals for one treatment or the other, or can you switch in between?

Cameron:

Well, I’ve been known to just pull out different things in the middle of the… A patient may come in and they think that this is the best treatment for them. What I think is different about a medical facility is that, when you go to a spa, you look at the menu and you look at what’s… “Oh, this is what I want.” That’s not so when you come here. You tell me what your concerns are and what your goals are, and then I help you achieve those, and we may do many different things.

Monique:

Okay.

Cameron:

Again, I may just start out with doing the first step of the OxyGeneo, and then I may add on the hydro… So we can really customize. Sometimes with the DiamondGlow, I add a peel on top of that, an Illuminize peel. Yeah. So different things for different people. Yes.

Monique:

I love that. Do you do other… Like you were talking about that European-style facial. Or do you do other kinds of facials?

Cameron:

I do do European-style facials as well. Let me just tell you, I do have patients who love those too. And so, with the European-style facial, it’s more about exfoliation. There, of course, is the massage that’s involved, which people love, and always extractions. I do extractions with all of my facials. Again, it’s more of a calming relaxation type of thing. I will tell you that, honestly, I don’t have a lot of patients who want to do that here because they really want results.

Cameron:

But we do accommodate whatever people’s needs are, and sometimes with my older patients, they like that. When I know that, I may just do the HydraFacial and then give them a little shoulder massage. It just depends. We aim to please.

Monique:

You have that paraffin wax outside your door.

Cameron:

Yes. That’s another little treatment as well that we like to do for people to really hydrate those hands that we’ve been washing so much and using so much PRL on. So we do put in a little bit of that TLC for the facials too, for the treatments.

Monique:

Now, I know that you also do, because I hear people talking about it all the time, you do a hydrating facial after lasers. If one of the providers does a laser, let’s say a Halo or any of the different lasers that we have in the office, then they come see you?

Cameron:

Yes. And so, what’s great about that is that we actually call it the post-laser hydration treatment because it’s not truly a facial. What this appointment is really about is we want to see your skin. We want to take photos, see how you’re doing, and then we want to hydrate and calm the skin. It’s a very simple treatment simply because you’re just two… Typically, it’s done two weeks post-laser. We don’t want to over touch the skin or what have you, or over-stimulate the skin. So a nice cleanse.

Cameron:

We use a hydrating serum, then a calming mask. We use steam to help that penetrate. We lightly massage that in the skin, but not a lot of touch. And then at that point, we really go over how to best take care of your investment. How do we take care of this laser? How do we maintain and enhance our results?

Monique:

Yeah. Because why bother putting all the money into something that you’re not going to then really keep perfect?

Cameron:

Yes.

Monique:

Especially probably San Diego. We’re sunny all the time, or at least most of the time. And so, we have to be really, really careful about, after our skin has been exfoliated like that, even with a facial, that you’re educating them on sun protection.

Cameron:

Absolutely. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen, face, neck, decolletage, chest area, back of hands. I always tell my ladies, and my men, I actually saw a patient of mine when I was out walking on the beach. And when I walk, I look like someone who’s… I’m completely covered. I look like I’m walking the moon or something. She heard my voice and she said, “Cameron, you really practice what you preach.”

Cameron:

But what I like to tell people is that, especially women, we get so much incidental sun on our neck and decolletage, and your chest, wear scarves, cover that. Then when you come inside, let that beautiful decolletage be shown, you know?

Monique:

Yeah. Yeah. That’s a very good point. You can take care of your face, but then if your neck and chest or your hands look from 20 years younger… I mean, older, excuse me, it really gives away that. Think of it all together. Then you mentioned peels. We have a few different peels. Tell us about, we’ve got the Perfect Derma Peel.

Cameron:

Yes. The Perfect Derma Peel is wonderful. What I love about the Perfect Derma Peel is it actually incorporates TCA, retinoic acid, salicylic, kojic. So it’s for discoloration as well. It has glutathione in it as well, which is a really powerful antioxidant. With the Perfect Derma Peel, it addresses tone texture. It’s great for pigmented acne scarring, which a lot of our skin types, four through six, have.

Cameron:

And so, it’s a great peel. You can really time it, so it’s really accurate. You usually peel 48 hours post peel and peel anywhere from five to seven days. There’s a post peel kit that comes with it. People get great results from the Perfect Derma Peel. If you want, you can do one just for refreshing up. If you want something that is going to be an improvement, to improve certain… Like pigmented acne scarring, you may need to do a series. But it’s a really great peel and we get great results with it.

Monique:

Is there anybody who’s not a candidate for the Perfect Derma Peel?

Cameron:

I wouldn’t say that. What I will say is that if you are a skin type four through six, which is Italian, Greek, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, African-American, you really want to pretreat your skin. When I say it, in a lot of places, a lot of people don’t know that with these skin types, when there’s trauma to the skin, what happens is you can have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. So you need to pretreat these skin types. People don’t realize that these skin types, you have to be more gentle with. You pretreat with a bleaching agent two to four weeks prior to. But all skin types can do these peels.

Monique:

That’s really nice because you’re thinking ahead. It’s not just come in, get the peel tomorrow. We’re going to plan and maybe put you on a hydroquinone. How long is the pretreatment?

Cameron:

It depends on someone’s skin type too. Usually, I do four weeks, but it just depends. I love what you said about looking forward and looking at their treatment plan. My job is to keep your skin safe too. I don’t want to just do a peel just because you come in and say, “I want to do a peel.” I don’t want anything traumatic to happen to your skin.

Monique:

During COVID, we had our quarantine with LJ CSC. There was a little trend happening that was a little bit scary out there, which was some offices were shipping peels to their patients to do on themselves at home. That was something that you said, “It’s a little bit sketchy because you could inadvertently damage your skin.” Can you talk a little bit about why you don’t want to do some of these things at home?

Cameron:

You have to understand too that the peels that are done in a medical facility are more of a medium depth. So why this is important is that you might have someone who is a skin type four through six, and they don’t pretreat, and the peel, it may burn them. And so, they could have that post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Also, it’s really important to look at what products you have been using.

Cameron:

If you’re using any kind of alpha hydroxy, beta hydroxy products, benzoyl peroxide, retinols, you can actually burn your skin. So you have to be off of those products for five days before. Sometimes, I mean, people will come in and their aesthetician doesn’t even ask them what they’ve been using. I always ask because there could be some contra-indications. One of the reasons that we don’t do really deep peels anymore… Remember years ago when the doctors would do-

Monique:

Yeah, the phenol. Yes, big time.

Cameron:

Because what would happen is you cannot control the acids. So people were getting burned and they were getting hypo pigmented.

Monique:

When they get a white spot where all the-

Cameron:

Exactly.

Monique:

So the pigment has been burned out out of the skin and it doesn’t come back.

Cameron:

That’s exactly. So that’s why we do lasers for other things, because you can control to the micron how deep they go. But with peels, you’ve got to know what you’re doing. Not only that, if for some reason, you’re like, “Oh my God, I forgot that I had been using benzoyl peroxide,” you could burn yourself. So I think it’s really important to have a professional to do the professional peels.

Monique:

Yeah. Yeah. Another peel that is really popular is the Cosmelan peel. That’s something that is really targeted, I believe, for people who have melasma.

Cameron:

Yes. I love the Cosmelan. What’s great about the Cosmelan peel is you do not have to pretreat with the Cosmelan peel.

Monique:

Oh.

Cameron:

Okay. When I talk about the Cosmelan, I want to explain that it is a treatment. It is not just a one and done. When I’m talking to patients about this, I really want to know what their level of commitment is because you really have to be committed. With the Cosmelan, it actually is two treatments. They come in, we do photos. We love to do photos because we want to see what your improvement is. We want you to see what your improvement is, and we want to document that.

Cameron:

With the Cosmelan, they come in and we do a mask that they may leave on. It’s putty almost on the skin. They have to leave it on anywhere from eight to 10 hours, and then they wash that off at home. The Cosmelan comes with the whole kit that you use for post-care. At the at-home post-care, once you’ve peeled, you start using what we call the Cosmelan 2 that has hydroquinone. It has retina-A in it. It has hydrocortisone. So it’s really to, again, combat that pigment and the discoloration and the texture.

Cameron:

And then, 20 days later, after your first treatment, you come in and we sit down with the patient and decide together, we spot treat those stubborn, patterned pigment. Then we talk together on what we’re going to do. Then you leave that on anywhere from 10 to 12 hours.

Monique:

Oh, okay.

Cameron:

Then you come back, and once you peeled, you again continue to use that Cosmelan 2, which is a very active product. It’s a real commitment, but the results, the results are amazing. I’ve had patients, I mean, there’s some that have literally cried because they’ve been dealing with this for so long. And so, it’s a real game changer.

Monique:

This is for people who, that mask of pregnancy. Actually, even Janelle in our office, she went through it. Has she done it more than once? Because we filmed it one day, but it was a couple of years ago.

Cameron:

No, she just did that one. I don’t know that she did her second spot treatment. We’re so darn busy that it’s so hard for Janelle to even leave her desk.

Monique:

Yeah. We’ll have to get her back on.

Cameron:

Yes. Yes.

Monique:

Then we also have SkinMedica peels. There’s the Illuminize, the Vitalize-

Cameron:

And the Rejuvenize. Yes.

Monique:

And the Rejuvenize. I was going to say that and then I was like, “Am I getting it wrong?”

Cameron:

No, you never get anything wrong, Monique. What I will tell you is that the SkinMedica peels are great. The Illuminize peel is going to be more what we call the wedding peel.

Monique:

Oh.

Cameron:

And so, it gives you a glow. It’s not a really in-depth peel. That’s one that I do with the DiamondGlow. I may do the DiamondGlow, really exploit them, and do the Illuminize peel on top of that. It’s a great treatment.

Monique:

I love that.

Cameron:

It’s for people who want to freshen up. Oftentimes, when I’ve had patients, is it really gives you just a glow. So if you have a big event coming up and you don’t want to really peel a lot, this is a great treatment.

Monique:

Like how many days pre event would you do?

Cameron:

Well, first of all, I would try one out a month before to see how-

Monique:

Make sure.

Cameron:

… your skin does. You don’t want to just do a peel and have never done anything. They’ve never done this-

Monique:

Before the big day.

Cameron:

Exactly. That’s really important. A lot of my brides who I’m doing HydraFacials on, or DiamondGlows, or what have you, we may look at doing this and do one after I do a DiamondGlow and then see how their skin does. And then just do this like two days prior.

Monique:

Oh, great.

Cameron:

Because really, it tightens everything up and it just makes your skin glow. It’s beautiful.

Monique:

Oh, neat. So it all comes back to, what are the problems? What are the areas that bug you? Where do you have to be in the next six months that’s really important to you? Let’s figure out how to get you to the goal. That’s where your expertise really comes in. I was digging around the website, doing a little research, and I have a quote that’s on your profile page on our website. You said, “Putting my patients’ needs first is the most important part of what I do. I love knowing what my patients need and want before they even ask.”

Cameron:

Yes.

Monique:

How do you approach somebody who’s looking for your help for the first time and really balance listening to them with your recommendations?

Cameron:

The first thing that I do is I ask a lot of questions. When someone first comes in, I do want to know what you’re using for a skincare protocol. I do want to know what you’ve done in the past, what your concerns are. When I talk about concerns, some people are just like, “I just want preventative,” or, “I want a good cleanser or exfoliation.” So I really ask a lot of questions. I like to know where they’re at as far as what they’ve done in the past, because I have people who come in who’ve never done anything.

Cameron:

I’m certainly not going to say, “We need to do a Perfect Derma Peel. Some people don’t even wash their face at night. These are things that I want to take into consideration and really put together something that’s going to work for them. I want you to understand that it’s a relationship. They get to know me and trust me because they see that I’m recommending things that really work for them. I’m not giving them a whole skincare protocol.

Cameron:

Like if you don’t wash your face or don’t use sunscreen, I’m not going to give you a five-step protocol. I’m going to introduce one thing at a time because I want to see what works for you. If I have someone who’s more seasoned, then we’ll go into an in-depth protocol or what have you. So it’s knowing what the patient feels comfortable with. It’s getting to know their skin and really listening and hearing what they want.

Monique:

Something that comes to my mind, and I think all of us who’ve been… Let’s say, we’ve gone to a spa or salon or we go somewhere or even a skincare counter at a department store. They start asking us what our routine is and we’re worried about being judged because maybe we’re not living up to what we should be doing. And we’re also worried about like, “Is this person trying to sell me something?”

Monique:

What I know about you and what I know about La Jolla Cosmetic is that you’re there to really help them get to their goal. And so, we know we have the best products and the best way to get you there, but it’s not just to make a sale because that’s not that long-term, like you talk about, relationship. And so, talk a little bit about how you approach the different skincare products and how to maybe even deal with a patient who’s worried about changing their normal routine.

Cameron:

Absolutely. Well, tell you, first of all, I love the makeup counters, but I mean, makeup and skincare are two different things. When you go to somewhere like Sephora, and God bless their hearts, they’re great girls, but they’re told what to sell and they work on commission. We don’t work on commission here. That’s not what we do. Oftentimes, what I want to do is I ask people what they’re currently using because I will just incorporate things into what you’re already using.

Cameron:

If you’re using a product and you say, “Cameron, I love this,” I’m going to keep that in your protocol. I’m just going to introduce things… Because I don’t know about you, but I remember before, I would go to a makeup counter and I’d love the sales girl, and I’d get 52 things home and think, “What am I supposed to do with this?”

Monique:

Yeah, yeah.

Cameron:

What I do for patients is I actually put together a protocol and I do an AM and a PM regime. I list step one, step two. Obviously, if you’re not doing a lot, I’m here to be your cheerleader. I’m here to be your skincare concierge. I’m here to not shame you into, “Oh my God, I can’t believe.” I think that as women, it’s so funny because I see a lot of women go to that. “I’m not doing it well.” And I say, “There’s no such thing as bad or good. I’m just here to help to remind you and to cheer you on and to show you the right things to do. That’s it.”

Monique:

My brain goes right to the Visia. We have this tool in the office called the Visia. The Visia, you put your face into it, you put your chin on there, and it will take pictures of your face. But then we can bring it up on the screen and you can look underneath the skin and you can see things like sun damage. What else can you see?

Cameron:

You can see pore size. You can see redness. You can see texture. And so, it’s important to look underneath. You’ll see, for example, when you do the UV light, all the pigment that’s underneath that is to come. We want to make sure that we can really combat that together.

Monique:

Yeah. I think what’s cool is that it’s not just how it looks on the outside, but what’s going on underneath. Sometimes that’s the best way as a patient that we know something’s working. We might think it’s working, but I love being able to prove something’s working. And so, then you can say, “Okay, let’s, in a few months, after we’re on these products for a little while and after we’ve done some DiamondGlows or some peels, let’s take a look again and see the difference,” because it is hard to remember how you were three months ago or six months ago.

Cameron:

It’s absolutely. I love that you say that too, because what I tell people is that this is all about preventative. You are taking care of the woman that you’re going to be in 10 years. I love when I have 20 year olds come in and they want to start taking care of their skin because a lot of people think they won’t come in until something’s wrong. That’s not the way you deal with skincare. You start when you’re young. And so, I think it’s a great tool, the Visia. You’re absolutely right. It really shows you underneath what is going on.

Monique:

But anytime you start is a good time to start.

Cameron:

Absolutely.

Monique:

I’m 53 and I’ve really taken my skin so much more seriously in the last five years, just because it’s like, “I can’t mess around anymore.” I’m starting to get compliments, and it’s, “Oh wow.” So whatever I’m doing, which is just, A, being consistent, and, B, using the right products, really is working. And that always makes you feel good.

Cameron:

Absolutely. I think that you can start any time and it does make a difference. When people are getting all the different treatments that we do here, Botox, filler, lasers, all those things, and you don’t use good skincare, It’s like going to the dentist and not brushing your teeth in between.

Monique:

Oh, right.

Cameron:

I mean, it really does make a difference.

Monique:

I want to ask you about four really common conditions and the ways you might address them. Let’s talk about sun damage because I think everybody’s got sun damage.

Cameron:

Sun damage, really depends on how some damage shows itself on your skin. Some people it’s a loss of elasticity. Some people it’s pigment. Some people it’s redness. So it really just depends. But first things first, sunscreen. Let’s start using the sunscreen. There are some great products that actually help with elasticity, in collagen production. But usually sun damage, people are mostly looking at the color, the pigmented spots.

Monique:

Right, the brown.

Cameron:

Using specialty product i.e. hydroquinone, which is a bleaching agent, or non hydroquinone lightener too. What these products do is they actually will inhibit the tyrosinase. So you don’t produce that pigment, so it’s suppressing that. It also helps with the pigment that’s on the skin as well. Antioxidants are great too. Skinbetter has an incredible… The Alto Defense is a wonderful product and really helps with that discoloration. That’s a great one.

Monique:

Now, if some people have brown spots, would those brown spots theoretically be from sun damage or could be melasma or hormones or…

Cameron:

Melasma really presents itself as a patterned pigment. They might have it on their cheeks or their upper lip or what have you. But as far as hyperpigmentation, most people have that. All we’re trying to do here at the med spa, we’re just trying to create a clean canvas that reflects light. When you have pigment, fine lines, and wrinkles, poor texture, large pores, you absorb light and your skin looks more dull.

Monique:

Oh.

Cameron:

So what we’re trying to do is clean everything up so that you reflect light. And so, that’s where you have all these products now that create that. But when you cleanse someone’s skin and there’s a natural glow, that’s what we’re looking for.

Monique:

Now, if somebody has rosacea or redness, is there a way that you treat that?

Cameron:

Rosacea redness is really tough with facials. Typically with facials, not necessarily.

Monique:

So that would be more in maybe the laser department?

Cameron:

Yes. But there are two schools of thought where people feel that a rosacea can be helped with peels as well. As far as products go, I would really look at using something that’s a growth factor or a peptide to stimulate collagen. But I also would look at, there’s some good products that… Even Tone’s great. The Skinbetter Alto, those together can help with redness as well. But that’s going to be, more so with the rosacea, that’s going to be treated with my other providers.

Monique:

Okay. And then for people who have acne, it sounded like with some of the procedures that you do, you can have a acne add-on, let’s say, whether it’s the blue light or whether it’s the type of infusion that you’re using. Do you see people with active acne?

Cameron:

Absolutely. I do see people with active acne. Now, if it’s really pustule, we’ve got to be really careful. What’s great about the treatments that I do is that I’m able to really customize, like I said. If it’s really active, again, I might do the OxyGeneo because bacteria can’t live in an oxygen-rich environment. So that’s really good for acne. I do definitely see acne patients and usually I will see them every three weeks for a series, just to get everything under control.

Cameron:

I work very closely with the other providers too. We might do like the blue light with the IPL, acne IPL, and then do facials to get things under control. So I do work a lot with the providers with the acne too.

Monique:

Awesome. One of the great things about La Jolla Cosmetic is the full range of options. I’m wondering if you’ve ever sent people to another part of the center, and tell us about that.

Cameron:

What I love about working at a medical facility is that as an aesthetician, I can only do so much. I’ve sent women who have been patients of mine down for facelifts. I’ve sent them to the surgery center. It’s wonderful to have all the providers that I have up here because I can’t help with skin laxity. What I love is that I’m able to be honest about that too. What I love about all the providers here is we’re extremely honest about what’s going to work for you. So they trust that I’m going to send them to the right person. Absolutely, we work really closely.

Monique:

I love that because it’s really a holistic approach. Okay. Let’s get into the fun part also. I mean, everything’s fun in your department. But let’s talk a little about the skincare lines, and let’s talk about, how are they different? SkinMedica, Skinbetter, Alastin, EltaMD. Tell us about the different lines. Do you have people go into one line only or do you mix and match? And then how is that different from what they could get at Sephora, or Nordstrom, or Target?

Cameron:

I’m so glad you’ve asked this because this is so important. The skincare industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Only 7% of that is medical grade product. When I say medical grade product, it’s what’s sold in doctor’s offices. This is the difference. When you are in a doctor’s office, doctors require white papers, which are clinical studies that show that things work. There’s white papers on all the lasers. There’s white papers on the Botox. There’s white papers on the fillers. There’s white papers on everything that’s in the office as well as all of the skincare.

Cameron:

That is a big difference. It’s not like, “20 women tried this product and 20 of the…” They’re actual clinical scientific studies. A lot of these products are written up in dermatology periodicals as well. So this is not just something that you get over the counter. One of the things I also want to say is that I have a lot of patients who’ve used products from Neiman Marcus, or Nordstroms, or Sephora, and they’re very disappointed because they spent a lot of money and it doesn’t-

Monique:

They’re expensive.

Cameron:

Yes, yes. What I want to say is that medical grade products have a much higher percentage of active ingredient. Plus the quality of that ingredient is so much far superior. But not only that, it’s the delivery system. Right now oils are really big, right?

Monique:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cameron:

Well, oils have a huge molecule. They do not penetrate the epidermis to get to the dermis to make a change. What you see in a lot of over-the-counter, and I’m talking anywhere from Nordstroms, to Sephora, to Blue Mercury, is you see a lot of instant gratification, but you do not see long term. Medical grade skincare is here for the long term. It’s for the long game.

Monique:

I was on a SkinMedica class and they were talking about the new TNS Advanced+ Serum, which I cannot stop raving about. But in their class, they talked about the growth factors. They talked about, some of these products out there talk about plant stem cells. They’re like, “That sounds great. It’s natural. It’s from nature and the plant stem cells,” blah, blah, blah. They talked about the fact that our skin doesn’t have a receptor for that.

Monique:

So you can put the botanicals on and put the plant stem cells. That doesn’t mean it’s going to work and make it change. I thought that was fascinating, because I am a little bit of a beauty junkie. And so, I see all this stuff out there and all these new products that come out right, left, and center that we’re seeing. Yeah, it sounds great that it’s from plants, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to help you.

Cameron:

I love that you just brought this up because what I’m going to tell you is that anything over the counter is going to use plant growth factor. Your DNA doesn’t record nice that. It does not work. I have a lot of people who will say want natural, which I get. But it’s not going to make a change for your skin.

Monique:

You can use it but-

Cameron:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. But your DNA doesn’t recognize it. It’s not going to work because it’s not compatible.

Monique:

Now, so getting into the fun part, the really fun part is, tell us about what’s in your medicine cabinet, or what’s your regime in the morning? Or do you have like 900 products in your medicine cabinet?

Cameron:

Oh my God, I definitely am a product junkie. But, oh, so I love all product lines that we carry. I’m not just about one line. I like certain different products for different people and places. In my medicine cabinet, I have everything from the TNS Advanced+, which I am crazy about, to the Skinbetter AlphaRet, which I think is the best retinol out there on the market. I love the Alastin neck cream. I love Bio cream.

Cameron:

There’s so many different products I love, the Skinbetter Even Tone for my discoloration, to keep an even skin tone. I have it all. Let me just tell you. When I go traveling with friends of mine, they’re like, “Well, and then you bring the skincare.” And I’m like, “Yeah, no, no.” If you were to go into my cabinet, you would see it all because I love it.

Monique:

But it depends on what people need.

Cameron:

Right. This is true.

Monique:

It depends on their ages as well. I think you try to work within a budget too.

Cameron:

Absolutely.

Monique:

Because sometimes it might be one heavy hitter product. If they can say, “I can afford X amount per month,” then we’re going to make it so that it’s going to give you the best bang for your buck, so to speak.

Cameron:

Well, absolutely. I think that’s really important, and I always look at that. I understand I’m a working girl. I get it. Yes. And so, we also look at ways that we can maximize. There’s some really great programs that you could become part of, like the Alle program, where the benefits to using a product line are really important. So it just really depends. We also have the GLAMfam where we give you savings on your products and all kinds of stuff. So we work with you, yes.

Monique:

Yes. I think each of the programs has a loyalty program. Each of the skincare lines has that. And then plus we have our own, so you can almost double dip, which is fun. This is maybe putting you on the spot way too much, but if you’re on a desert island, it could only pick one thing, one product, what would it be?

Cameron:

If I could just pick one product and I was in desert island, it would be sun screen.

Monique:

True. Okay. If you’re going to pick two products, it would be sunscreen. What would be that one do it all? Is there a do-it-all kind of product?

Cameron:

There’s no such thing as to do it all. But, like I said, my favorite retinol is the AlphaRET. I love that. Now, since I’m on a desert island, I can’t use retinol. So I’m not going to use that. I love the Alastin, the Restorative Skin Complex.

Monique:

Yes.

Cameron:

Actually, yes, that has the collagen and elastin stimulators, as well as the antioxidant. It also has a lightener and brightener. So it’s a really great all-in-one. So I love the Alastin Restorative Skin Complex. I love the TNS Advanced. The TNS Advanced is just amazing.

Monique:

TNS A+ because it’s a Advanced+ and it really is an A+. You’ve got two chambers of stuff and it all works synergistically to help your skin lift and firm, even tighten a little bit. I mean, it’s pretty amazing for a product. I mean, it’s not going to do the same thing as a facelift or a session of Ultherapy. But it does make a nice, visible difference.

Monique:

They have clinical studies, all of these, Skinbetter, Alastin SkinMedica, Neocutis. They all have the studies to back it up, which I think is huge. Last question for you. Do you ever say to somebody, you say, “I love my Cetaphil and I get it at Target?” You’re good with that, right? Or they could work in their product…

Cameron:

Well, cleansers, I’m just going to tell you that cleansers and moisturizers, cleansers, especially if you don’t have breakouts, I mean, I want you to invest in what I call the food for the skin. So the collagen and elastin stimulators, antioxidants, retinols, and specialty products, like for pigment and for dry dehydrated skin. Cleansers and moisturizers, if we’re looking at a budget, I’m just like, “Use Aveeno Brightening Cleanser. Use CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser in the morning. Use Aveeno moisturizer at night.” Of course, you can do use those things.

Cameron:

Now, would I get a collagen stimulator at Target? No. But I can certainly incorporate… There’s great over-the-counter sunscreens as well. La Roche-Posay is incredible sunscreen that you can get at CVS or any drug store. But there’s some great products out there, and there’s some great antioxidants that you can get at like SkinCeuticals. It’s a great antioxidant as well that you can get. But there are certain products that you really just want to go medical.

Monique:

Yeah. Well, that makes sense. Well, thank you so much for this fun, fun, fun session. If people want to reach you, can they do a skincare consultation with you? Do you do those?

Cameron:

You know what? I will tell you this. It’s really important for me to be able to feel your skin. It’s hard for me just to do a skincare consult without seeing you live. So I prefer for you to come in for, again, a signature HydraFacial, or a DiamondGlow, or an OxyGeneo, and bring your current products. And then we go ahead and I put something together for you, just maybe filling in the blanks of what you need.

Monique:

Perfect. Well, thanks again, Cameron. This was so much fun. I look forward to talking to you again soon. We’ll have to talk about some of these other things in depth. Maybe we’ll have a growth factor session or an antioxidant, food for the skin, session. Now, for everybody in the audience, we’ll have links in the show notes to the different treatments that we talked about, to the products we talked about, how to reach us.

Monique:

And then, if you subscribe or follow our podcast, you just bring us your phone and show us that you’re subscribed and we’ll give you $25 off of 50 or more, which is amazing. And so, we’re excited because we know that Cameron can help you put that to good use in our skincare department. Thanks everybody, and I look forward to talking to you again soon. Okay. Bye-bye.

Cameron:

Bye-bye. Thank you.

Speaker 1:

Take a screenshot of this podcast episode with your phone and show it at your consultation or appointment, or mention the promo code podcast to receive $25 off any service or product of $50 or more at La Jolla Cosmetic. La Jolla Cosmetic is located just off the I-5 San Diego Freeway in the XIMED Building on the Scripps Memorial Hospital Campus. To learn more, go to ljcsc.com or follow the team on Instagram @ljcsc. The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast is a production of The Axis, theaxis.io.

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