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A licensed nurse practitioner, Susan MacPherson is at the forefront of innovative medical beauty procedures. Having eschewed an early background in plastic surgery, Susan prefers to seek out non-surgical cosmetic treatments and incorporate a view of whole body wellness. In the fall of 2008, Susan opened a holistic health, beauty, and fitness center offering a broad spectrum of services to increase vitality and longevity. After assessing the specific needs and goals of her clients, Susan designs a comprehensive beauty treatment plan that might include Botox, soft tissue fillers, skin rejuvenation, Foto facials, body treatments, sclerotherapy, laser hair removal, and hormone replacement therapy. Always on the cutting edge of anti-aging trends and techniques, Susan shares some enlightening information in this jam-packed two-part interview.
Please describe your background.
I started out as a registered nurse, specializing in plastic and reconstructive surgery as a surgeon’s assistant. In 1989, I became certified in plastic surgery and worked in a number of physicians’ practices throughout Palm Beach County. I focused on the field of medical beauty, especially injectables, and in 1997 I founded Beauté Therapies, a wellness center that takes a holistic approach to beauty. I also have a practice in Massachusetts and divide my time between there and my base in Florida. When the law began to change around 2004, I completed training to be a nurse practitioner, which enabled me to open my own facility last year. This past October, we unveiled our new center in a beautiful location that incorporates a 360 degree circle of beauty, health, and fitness. We are still building our full menu of offerings, including fitness classes and medical beauty treatments.
What kinds of services does Beauté Therapies offer?
We look at a person’s nutrition and fitness, as well as any depression or sleep disorders. I then recommend a targeted treatment plan, including lifestyle adjustments and supplements, or refer the person to a specialist. Our goal is to improve each person’s self-esteem through non-surgical technology. I have plans to expand the facility to include a Beauté Therapies School of Aesthetics, which will teach skincare the way the Italians do it. This Phase II of Beauté Therapies, expected to be ready for next year, will train estheticians to properly supervise current cosmetic procedures. It is so important for the injection technique to be precise. Now that fillers are lasting so much longer, if the injection isn’t done correctly, you’ll have to live with that for up to a year.
What is your personal philosophy about staying young, healthy, and beautiful?
Because of my background as a surgeon’s assistant, I have learned to treat the field of cosmetic enhancement as an art, rather than a science, like most dermatologists. Doctors and surgeons don’t specialize in medical beauty- their mentality is different from mine. I test pretty much every procedure on myself before administering it on a client. I am never satisfied with what’s currently out there, and I’m always looking for more effective treatments. I look and feel younger than my actual age, and I attribute that to the nutritional supplements I have been taking since my twenties.
What is the most common complaint/request from your clients?
Wrinkles and fine lines. Botox is by far our most popular treatment. Another good injectable, especially for around the nose and mouth, is Juvederm, an FDA-approved hyaluronic acid filler. It causes less swelling than others and usually lasts around 6-12 months. Radiesse is made of calcium suspended in a gel base that supports and stimulates growth of collagen. It is a longer-term cosmetic enhancement with great results lasting up to a year. We call it the 15-minute face lift, without the downtime. Although injections are generally safe, we offer a treatment that can reduce the number of facial fillers you need to only once or twice per year.
How does this facial treatment work?
It is called triniti, and it uses a combination of three machines that produce very predictable results. Not only does it stimulate collagen and treat fine lines, but it also gets rid of red and dark spots, corrects spider veins, evens out skin tone, and shrinks pores. Out of all the cosmetic treatments on the market, you get the most bang for your buck with this one. The first step is Photorejuvenation (IPL) for reducing sun damage and hyperpigmentation. Photo therapy is the latest technology to use a combination of radio and optical energies for improving skin texture. Step two effectively and gently tightens the skin. This procedure heats up collagen 4mm below the surface, causing the fibers to disorganize and to stimulate the production of more collagen at all levels. The end result is a noticeable firming, lifting, and smoothing of the treatment area. In the final step, a fractional laser called Matrix-IR targets sagging tissue, large pores, and acne scars. Every pulse emits six tiny needle-point laser beams that poke tiny holes in collagen. The series of treatments is both immediate and progressive because it continues to stimulate collagen 4-6 months after the procedure.
Want to listen in on more of Susan's anti-aging expertise? Come back on Wednesday for part two of this interview.