As a medical assistant at LJC, Taylor Camarena is one of the first people you’ll meet, and she’s just the beginning of a warm and memorable experience. Her kindness, relatability, and her capacity to convey important information are key to helping people safely and comfortably achieve their goals.
An aspiring nurse injector herself, Taylor is always learning, listening, and absorbing the details around her. Hear about her favorite cosmetic treatments and the products she can’t live without.
Listen to the Podcast about Lip Fillers: Lip Flips, Duck Lips, and Fillers – Oh My!
Read more about Taylor
Speaker 1 (00:00):
You’re listening to The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast.
Hello and welcome everyone to The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast. I’m your hostess, Monique Ramsey. And today my guest is Taylor Camarena. She’s a medical assistant in our medical spa. So welcome Taylor.
Hi Monique. Thank you for having me.
Well, this is so exciting because usually when I see you, I’m getting something done. I’m getting something filled or pulled or…
The quick little high and bye visit.
The Botox and now I get to know you better. So it’s fun to have you on the podcast.
Yes, I’m so excited.
So tell me a little bit about your role in the practice and how you help patients.
Our role as a medical assistant is to bring back the patient, kind of get everything prepped, prior to the provider coming in to see what the patient’s wanting to do that day. We start with taking patients’ photos, asking what their concerns are and then going from there, just so that we can give their providers a little rundown before they go in.
So kind of just getting to know what are their goals for the treatment?
Yeah, exactly. And it’s kind of nice because once you start bringing back patients and you kind of talk about one thing, it leads to another. I like to actually show patients my own photos or let them know my personal or previous experiences in doing a lot of different aesthetic treatments. I feel like it creates a relationship and a bond with them because you’re opening up with them about things you’ve done. So they don’t feel like they’re alone essentially.
Yeah. I think all of us want to know that somebody’s blazed the trail before we did and, and it helps. I mean it helps create that relationship.
Yeah. And then it’s nice too, because I’ve done quite a bit of lasers in the past and then the patients will call back and be like, “Hey Taylor, I was talking to you about this”. Or after they get their lasers, they’ll call back. And it’s nice when they remember your name.
So what lasers have you done? Let’s just skip right over to that.
I’ve done quite a bit. My first laser I got done when I was 16, I had really bad acne scarring just with a lot of like melanin and skin differences. And then when I was around 19 years old, I did an MLP with Profractional treatment on top. Just kind of to level out the surface of my skin. And that one was one of my most aggressive lasers that one’s like pretty equivalent to a TRL, just one step down.
And then I did a Halo about a year ago. That one was really nice. I liked that one.
So you’re the person to ask then if people have advice about getting a laser done, you guys can’t see her, but her skin is like glowing. It’s so pretty. So pretty.
A little Botox always helps that too, keeps us smooth.
So when they see you in the practice, so like you were saying, take the patients back to the room and then you kind of are there to help the provider with whatever they need during the treatment.
Yeah. So I work throughout the week with each provider and then on Fridays, I’m primarily, Lauren’s medical assistant. So with Lauren it’s a little different. I do help her whenever she’s in the room actually injecting. I’ll either hold ice for her switch syringes, anything like that. And it’s really nice because in my future goal is to be an aesthetic injector. So it’s nice with following Lauren, she’s able to like educate me and have knowledge in regards to, I guess aging, the anatomy and everything. And she’ll explain to me like why she does certain things and kind of quiz me in the room. Especially when it’s patients we’ve seen for a long time.
It’s kind of like a little lesson. Like she’s teaching me her injection skills.
Oh, you’re thinking about maybe wanting to become an injector. So let’s back up to what was sort of your pathway to becoming a medical assistant and why you wanted to do that.
Right out of high school, I started going to school at an Imperial Valley College in my hometown and I was waitressing while I was going to school and I started getting Botox done when I was 18 in high school. And I kind of realized I don’t want to waitress much longer. So I started doing a medical assisting program while waitressing and after I finished that, I was like, I want to work at an aesthetic practice. Like I know that’s what I want to do long term. So I want to get my feet in it and see if that’s actually what I want to do.
So after my medical assistant program, you have to do a couple of hours of externship. And so I went around and just called multiple med spa offices to find my own externship. And I actually, coincidentally, where Julia was working. She answered the phone.
Oh, you’re kidding.
Yeah. And so she’s like, we’ll come in and we’ll do an interview. And then they hired me for my externship and I think it was like 180 non-paid hours. And there at that office, they just did a lot of lasers and so she essentially trained me on all my medical background in the aesthetic industry. It was kind of like art to me because there’s only a small percentage of people that work in plastics and there’s a very small percentage of injectors. And so to me it was like, especially when I started doing lasers at such a young age, it was like everyone has insecurities.
And so it was like, if I can do this to help people, I want to do that. I want to make people feel better. And so that’s kind of why I started doing aesthetics essentially too.
So what’s the educational path going forward if you want to get to that goal of being an injector?
So I currently am taking classes at Grossmont and then switching over to San Diego City College and then hopefully getting into a nursing program. That’s kind of what I want to do is receive my BSN and then hopefully start injecting in about two years is what my goal is.
Okay. Well that’s exciting.
Maybe you can let me practice on you.
I was just going to say, if you need a Guinea pig, I’m always that person who’ll be like, okay.
So tell me about why you decided to get Botox at 18.
So I had a TMJ like in the back of my jaw. So I first was going to my orthodontist. He was like, “you should sleep with a retainer on”. I guess like in the middle of the night I would just take it out and keep taking it out. And he was like, “you know you should try doing Botox”. And my dad was very against it. He was like, no. And then finally my dad’s like, okay, fine. So I started doing it in my jaw one day, my stepmom was like, “just do your whole full forehead, just do it”. I was like, okay. Then, I mean as you know, once you start it kind of…
You’re like, what is this when you start getting movement back. So I just kind of kept up with it.
And this is why your skin probably looks so perfect because I mean, besides the laser, I think Botox came out in the market, I remember I was pregnant with my son. And so I was 30 when it came out. So I couldn’t do anything earlier than that. Because there, it just didn’t exist. But now for younger patients and that whole idea of prejuvenation like treating stuff before, it’s a problem I think is very interesting. If you kind of make those dynamic muscles not work as hard, then you’re not creating those wrinkles.
I’ve noticed, I guess until recently women typically only did Botox filler and this stuff. And one of my guy friends, we were all at dinner and he’s like, “Taylor, what do you do for your skin? Like what serums do you use?” Botox. “I was like Botox and sunscreen”. And so I actually got him starting to do a little bit of like baby Botox. And so I think it’s kind of one of those things where it’s like, if you just educate people a little more and are honest with them, it kind of, everyone just kind of wants to start doing it.
Well, I think that’s true, if you have no experience with something, in this case Botox and you just think, oh, it’s for this kind of person or for this age of person or for guys or girls or you know, and then once they learn that it’s everybody’s kind of a candidate and you can benefit and it’s totally normal. And we have lots of guys come in and we have lots of women come in and it’s no big deal then they’re like, oh, okay. It opens that door.
Yeah. A little more comfortable.
What percentage would you say of men do we see?
I would say like if we saw a day with like 20 patients, maybe three or four out of those 20.
Yeah. I’m glad that men are realizing that it’s normal.
I think too, it’s like once they’re in the office they can kind of see other things like miraDry, lasers, stuff like that.
Yeah. And even if they don’t want to do Botox and they, I feel like everyone wants to look good. So it’s like sometimes they start with lasers and then they kind of venture doing other things.
So what have you learned from listening to patients?
I think going back to creating those relationships with people, I’ve learned that a lot of patients just want to feel good and be heard. And I feel like at the end of the day, when the patients do come in here, it’s they want to leave feeling better. Kind of like when you go to a hair salon.
That’s how I feel too. Yeah. It’s very similar. Just feeling confident. And I think, one of the things that I keep seeing in our reviews is how people constantly will say how it feels like home or feels like family and that they just feel so comfortable with us.
And I think part of that comfort is because people like you who, you have a genuine interest in who they are as a person. It’s not just a forehead of Botox.
I can’t tell you how many times, like we’re looking at the schedule the day before and we’re like, “oh my gosh, this patient’s coming in. I’m so excited to ask this”. And I’m pretty sure if we ask like any other of the medical assistants here, they could say the same. We all have our people that we enjoy seeing. So it makes work fun too. It’s like, not only are they happy to come in, but we’re happy to see them as well. So it’s fun.
I love that. So tell us about you. Where’d you grow up and what kinds of things do you like to do outside the office?
So I grew up in a small town in El Centro and then Pearl valley. It’s about two hours East. When I turned 19, I moved up to San Diego. Just wanted to get out of my small little bubble. And I go to school, I work, school. And then in my free time, I really enjoy working out. I like to hang out with my friends and my family. I’ve been into trying to venture out a little more, like go hiking and stuff like that. I like learning and doing new things and helping people.
So what kind of workouts do you enjoy? Cause I haven’t ever in my 54 years on the planet found something I just love. So give me some advice.
I workout at, it’s called Renegade. It’s a HIIT class type workout. I’ve tried doing CrossFit. I’m not really good at that. And I’ve tried yoga.
Now, if you ever want to try something new, yoga is very hard, but it’s a HIIT class. It’s a different combination of cardio, kettlebells and then like dumbbells and TRX stuff and resistant band workout. I like it because you can kind of modify it to your own type of workout. And then the people there too, you kind of start forming like a friend, relationships and friendships and they do like happy hours and stuff. So it’s fun to like go out with people that you actually work out with. And I find in San Diego, it’s a little harder to like meet people like coming from a small town. Everyone knows everything from the moment you grow up to now in my twenties, you still go back there. Everyone knows each other. So when you come out to like a bigger city, it’s hard to meet people.
I really like it, the community is really nice.
I kinda love the fact that the workout team also goes and does happy hour. I think that’s kind of, that might get me going.
I know that’s also what I like to do in my free time. Go to happy hour. Go to brunch. Yes.
So what’s one of your favorite places to hang out in San Diego?
So I live in Pacific Beach. It’s really sad to say, but I don’t really get out of there much. I do like to go up like Del Mar area or I like walking over like on the Cove in La Jolla. Just doing that little trail.
Yeah. Oh the coast walk trail.
It’s so pretty. I love that.
Getting a coffee at like Pete’s and then walking down and then, walking there and then going through the little shops there too.
Yeah. Tell me of the procedures that you’ve done yourself. What has been your most favorite?
If I had to choose between like Botox, laser and fillers, I would probably say I would forever do Botox then I would do laser and then filler. Yeah. Hopefully I would never have to choose between those three of what I can’t do, but definitely Botox just because I feel like it keeps my skin smooth and it’s kind of, everyone obviously wants like perfect skin and then the lasers, I feel like when I start to get, I usually have a lot of freckles on my skin just from being Mexican. I feel like I have a lot of pigment, so the lasers help keep my skin clearer and then the fillers just make me look great.
So now let me ask you about this because you mentioned baby Botox earlier, like and what does that mean for patients who might not have heard that term.
Yeah. Is it just like having less of it or?
Yeah. So when patients, when they come in and I typically will ask too, especially if it’s a new patient, I’ll ask have you ever received Botox? Which areas are you wanting to get Botox? And then I’ll ask them too, would you like movement at all? No movement? So baby Botox, I guess I would refer to patients that want movement still in those areas.
You could always get more.
Yeah. And then we always let them know too, like in two weeks we’ll call you to follow up with you. And then if you’re wanting to still have more in that area, you’re more than welcome to come in. But we always wait the full 14 days just so that we know that this is your result. And patients always ask me that too, in regards to filler. A lot of times people are a little like scared when it’s their first time, especially for lips and stuff. And I’ve told them, I was like, I started off with a half syringe and a half syringe. You kind of built up and then I’ve got to a point too where they were a little too big and they had to dissolve it too. So it’s always that honest conversation of knowing that okay yes, even if like you are scared, there’s always something that you can reverse it if you wanted to.
Yeah. Actually we have an episode for anybody who’s thinking about doing their lips with filler. We have an episode that Julia did for us a couple weeks ago and it talks about fillers and it talks about the fact that sometimes we lose perspective of how big things are getting. Because you get used to, and you get like kind of a new look and then you’re thinking, oh, do I need more? Do I not need more? And if you ever are at the point where you just really don’t like it or it seems like something’s just too big, yeah, that’s the great thing about it. You can dissolve it and take away some of the extra plumpness if you’ve gone too far.
And I think too, when you see yourself every day, it’s kind of like, okay, no, this looks smaller and smaller. And that’s what I think with my lips. I was like, Nope, they look tiny. And then I think it was Julie. Should she finally was like, “no”.
Take your time.
It’s like, let me help you a little bit. I was like okay, thank you for being honest, because I would’ve never known.
Well, this is true. And I think, and that’s what we don’t see ourselves from the side or when we’re talking, when we look at ourselves in the mirror, it’s usually head on we’re putting on our makeup or something. It’s not when we’re talking or see kind of the profile of what’s the effect of that filler and how it looks when you move your mouth. And she talked a lot about the whole area around the mouth addressing that whole area, not just the lips. Oh, sometimes it’s the folds along the side of your mouth or the little corners of your mouth that’s sort of dipping down, but it’s a good episode.
I’m excited to listen to that one.
Yeah. It’s good. It’s really good.
And it’s nice too, because it’s like sometimes while listening to these, you kind of forget a little bit of the information. So it’s a nice little refresher too.
So of the products you use, what products do you like or what could you not live without?
My AlphaRet SkinBetter? And Hydroquinone I really, I really, really like Hydroquinone and the AlphaRet SkinBetter. I use a lot of SkinBetter products. The SkinBetter line is really good too. But if I had to choose between any products, it would probably be the AlphaRet.
It’s sort of their Retin-A.
Yeah. It’s their overnight type retinol. It turns over your skin cells. So I have acne prone skin. So that’s why that’s something that it’s always one of my biggest concerns too. Especially with doing lasers. I want to keep up with like good skin care. So I don’t continuously reverse what I’m doing essentially.
Yeah. I would have to say that. And then the HQ helps with my pigment and all my browns.
So I really like those two and I feel like the hydroquinone keeps my skin pretty clear for whatever reason.
Oh really? Oh Interesting. That’s cool. And so the hydroquinone is, for those of you who might not know, it’s kind of a lightener, would you say, or does it kind, does it lighten or does it really break up the pigment?
It’s a little both. We have a lot of patients pretreat with it that are doing lasers, especially if they have darker skin tones just to help
Suppress the melanin production right? Is that kind of…
Yeah. And kind of because whenever you’re doing lasers, like someone like me that’s full Hispanic. Like if I don’t pretreat, there’s always that possibility of me hyper pigmenting so, that’s why we essentially have them pretreat so that they don’t hyper pigment from a laser and then too, always make sure they’re wearing sunscreen and stuff like that.
Do you have a go-to sunscreen?
I like the Alastin HydraTint.
That’s a good one. Yeah.
Yeah. And I like that one too, because I can do one layer, let it sit and then do another layer and it’s kind of like foundation.
Yeah. Especially like post laser stuff. I don’t like to put any makeup on for a while just so I don’t break out at all and I’ll use the HydraTint pretty religiously and do a couple coats of it.
Oh I like that. I like the fact that it’s buildable. That’s kind of cool. So any other procedures that you have on your hit list?
Another thing I would actually really recommend to patients, and we’ve been doing a lot more, are threads. I did threads before I did any filler in my cheeks or anything like that. And we noticed such a big difference. The reason why I started, because if you were to see my face, it’s a lot fuller. And I had a really prominent nasolabial folds and I wasn’t, I guess, understanding why I was getting those. And Con and Lauren were kind of, and Cara too, they were like, you should do threads in your cheeks because you are full already. So instead of adding more filler to those lines, like let’s just lift your fat and your skin up.
But once we put the threads in my cheeks and kind of lifted everything, it kind of gave me like a nice little contour, like as if I had cheek filler without cheek filler.
And then you’ve done them too, right?
Yes. I love.
Did you ever notice that it gave you like more of a V jawline?
Yeah. So I had mine done about two years ago and so I was on the schedule for a little redo cause I’ve lost a little weight.
And so what I’m noticing is that area like down by my chin, the pre gel. Yeah. The area down by my chin is sort of like a little more lax and to be fair, it’s been two years since I had it done. So, it’s like ready for like a little bit,
Pick me up.
A little pick me up. Exactly. So yeah, the threads I think are a really wonderful way to make a quick difference. And it’s safe and it’s like one of those things too, like we tell patients, because they’re always like, will my husband or will people know, like if I go to dinner that I did something and…
You actually don’t.
I’ve done it where we’ve Lidocaine like my whole inside where I was swollen a little bit. And then I just looked really full. And then I’ve done it too where we just didn’t have time. And we just did a couple on my cheeks and it was like, you couldn’t tell anything that like, other than me being like a little sore, that’s why I think I liked it too because people just looked at me and they’re like, oh, you look good. But they couldn’t put up their finger on like what you do?
It’s nothing super obvious. You just look good.
Yeah. You just look pulled back, pulled up.
So before we wrap up for our listeners of our podcast, I want to let you know, we give $25 off any product or service of $50 or more when you show that you are a subscriber to the podcast. So I’m assuming since we talked about your products that you like, if you had $25 to use towards anything, what would it be?
It would have to be probably AlphaRet, HydraTint probably those two.
So thank you so much for coming on the podcast. It was fun to get to know you and just learn about kind of how you got started and where you’re going. And so for anybody out there, if you have any questions about the sort services that we do or you want to schedule a consultation with any of our providers, our contact information and everything will be in the show notes. And I want to thank you, Taylor, for coming in. This was fun.
Thank you, Monique. Thank you for having me.
Speaker 1 (23:11):
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 at LJCSC. The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast is a production of The Axis.