An Outsider as an Insider in Medical Aesthetics

It has been over twelve years since I joined the Celibre Medical team as a registered nurse with only a Neurology background. I did not know Aesthetic Medicine, didn’t talk “skin”, and thought lasers were only for eye surgery.

Through the many years in my role here, I have come to recognize how important it is to be relevant, on top of trends, able to argue the science vs. the hype, and remain true to our mission of being…”the most trusted name in laser skin care.” Laser technology fascinates me, but how our body’s respond to the lasers fascinates me more. As the verse says, “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Lori HaneyI’ve prided myself on being a die- hard skeptic, and at times, to a fault. However, my questioning everything has served me well in an “industry” that relies heavily on marketing versus science. For example, in the last five years plus, we have seen a growing trend of manufacturers of medical devices, injectable products, and topical skin care market to the media. The magazine or the television show is given free, interesting content, and the manufacturer receives free marketing and publicity. It’s not long before the consumer calls us to request the latest treatment they heard or read about. Very rarely does that same consumer want to hear why we do not use what they are requesting.

There was a time, not that long ago, when the manufacturer would come meet with us to review the studies, to promote the science behind the technology or product. Not any more – the consumer is a much easier person to impress, and let them drive the demand to compel the practitioner to provide the requested service or product without much regard to science. It’s not unusual to have the reps call us and suggest we are “missing the band wagon” if we don’t act quickly like our competition.

Jump ahead to the latest copy of New Beauty magazine. One of our dermal filler representatives gave us a copy to peruse.  I read it from start to finish only to discover articles that were actually advertisements. It was overwhelming. Many “high end” dermatologists were quoted with no science or sound information to back up the claims or treatments they were promoting.

One topic that caught my attention were statements about there being little risk for antibodies, or as the author actually stated, “You cannot become immune to them (Botox/neuromodulators) entirely.”* Well, that’s just not science. I should know because I have been resistant to all neuromodulators since 2007. There is also an increase in the numbers of consumers reporting impending or actual resistance to their Botox treatments.

In reading this “beauty” magazine, I discovered there are answers for everything– my hair color, my nails, my pores, my tanning products, my injections, fat, cellulite, moisturizer, and the list goes on. I would literally have to spend all day and all of my week’s wages to keep up with the suggestions they made for head to toe beauty.

I recognize that I don’t look like the average “aesthetic nurse.” My hair is usually not coiffed. I show up to trade seminars looking inferior and sometimes feeling inferior. I’m not a polished speaker, but I AM passionate about aesthetic nursing.

The message is simple: I want my patients to feel good about being the best version of themselves. Delivering sound information, balanced feedback, good and equitable treatment options that rise above the hype.

I’m must admit I felt a little dirty and ashamed of our present culture when I put down this magazine. The experience made me want to question if there is any point in competing with the big names, big bucks, big marketing. The answer is “yes.”


*New Beauty Special Edition
Volume 13, Issue 3 pg. 60

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