Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lashfood for Thicker, Longer Eyelashes

After years of selling Revitalash, we were recently approached by the folks bringing in its direct competition, Lashfood. Both products are effective for enhancing natural eyelash growth, producing thicker, longer, darker eyelashes. One major drawback with Revitalash was the cost. At $238+GST, even with each tube lasting over 6 months, most found it a tad too costly. We did have some repeat buyers though, in that they saw great results and came back to buy more for their friends and relatives.

Doing my due diligence, I searched out this new product online, and found nothing but rave reviews. This is in contrast to Revitalash which did have some issues regarding irritation. Certainly, the original Lashfood conditioner which is the first product to be brought into Singapore, is specifically compounded to be safe even for the most sensitive eyes and even for those wearing contact lenses.

With regards to ingredients, all the components are natural, so no chemicals will be introduced anywhere near the eye area. The names are familiar, with copper, Arginine, Panthenol and Biotin being the key ingredients, all having good evidence of reversing hair loss. The product can even be applied on eyebrows, should there be any sparse areas or just general thinning.

The product is applied like an eye liner, twice daily initially. Results are seen after about 4-8 weeks. Pictures of the dramatic thickening effects can be seen on the Lashfood website.

Each tube costs $190 (price inclusive of GST). The distributors have offered our clients a 10% introductory discount for the month of June 2010, following which the price reverts back to normal.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Pain of Hair Loss

With a whole series of cancellations this afternoon, it was the ideal opportunity to slip across the road for a quick haircut. I made the very difficult decision of abandoning the hairdresser I'd followed around for almost a decade a month back. She had, in that time, moved from Wisma Atria to Harbourfront and a few months ago to The Sail. I visited her once at the new premise, but I hated the drive there, even though it was much closer than Harbourfront. I had gotten so lost on a relatively quiet Saturday afternoon. By the time I'd driven around the CBD 5 times, I was a frazzled mess! And I was so traumatised by it that by the time I was desperate for another haircut a good six months or more later (the joys of a pony tail), I could no longer remember how to get there!

So I made the difficult decision to switch. I was very concerned as all the haircuts I'd had before finding her were awful. But as I'd gotten friendly with the folks at Perfect Style (our old UE Square neighbours), and I had seen the work of William, I decided to take the plunge & chopped my locks off a month back. And as with all shorter hairstyles, the inconvenience of regular trims surfaced. Hence I was glad to just be able to slip across for a tidy up.

William is the bggest gossip I know. He's certainly entertaining & knows everything about everyone! Today, he commented that I was lucky to have naturally straight & oily hair. It saved me a fortune in treatments! My response was I would love thicker, more luscious hair, but have been too busy to try out our new hair treatment. He asked what hair treatment, so I showed him our results from the Divine MedSpa website.

His jaws dropped!

Poor William has a small thinning patch in his crown. He'd seen his GP about it years ago, and was dismissed with normal male pattern balding. As a hair stylist, he was sometimes even embarassed by his clients for not having perfect hair. And it certainly stopped him from recommending tonics to prevent hair loss. Anyway, his interest was piqued when I told him of our experiences with the treatment, and he was almost ready to run across the road for his first treatment.

It as certainly an eye-opening conversation for me. Having been dealing primarily with skin anti-aging, acne & slimming for so many years now, I never really stopped to think of the impact of hair loss. I was just dubious of expensive treatments at Yun Nan and Beijing 101. All that ridiculous hair analysis for what??? Hair loss is hair loss when seen with the naked eye or magnified 100x. And results are only worth talking about when the growth can be seen with the naked eye. And our clients have certainly been happy with their own results, and have had many commenting on their luscious locks.

Anyway, I'm hoping William will slip across for his treatments soon! I think he'll have fabulous results!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Painless Bikini IPL Permanent Hair Removal?

Where smooth armpits have been "norm" for years, having no hair or a neater "bush" has only been in fashion very recently. Waxing and shaving have been the norm in this area, but the trend has been strongly moving towards permanent hair removal, be it by IPL or laser.

We've certainly been zapping quite a few groins, particularly after our move to Robertson Walk a year ago. The interest was mostly amongst the expat community intially, but the trend has caught on with local Singaporeans in the last couple of months.

And with that change in client profile, we've noticed that what is a slightly uncomfortable procedure in Caucasians can be extremely uncomfortable amongst Asians, especially if the skin is strongly pigmented. This isn't terribly surprising since the energy emitted is targeted at melanin in hair, but is also present in dark skin.

As I'm incredibly pain averse, I re-acquainted myself with my Entonox (laughing gas) cylinder during a recent fractional RF trial. I have 3 cylinders which have been sitting idle for the last few years, after we stopped mesotherapy.

I then realised that this would be an ideal way of controlling the discomfort of Bikini IPL Permanent Hair Removal treatments. So we contacted a few gas supply companies to enquire on the current re-filling rates. It has always been expensive, but I nearly fell off my chair at how much the refills now cost, plus the turnaround time was a good 6-8 weeks!

But how much to charge? At a knee-jerk $50/session, there would likely be few takers. We had to try to work out as close to the real cost of refill as possible, then re-assess once we started using the cylinders in practice.

Fortunately, one of the cylinders was labelled with the gas volume. And that's where the Anaesthetist in me emerged. Based on the average volume in one breath and number of breaths per minute, we were able to work out the refill cost per 10 minute use. And we came up with the figure of $20. So that works out to just an extra $100 for each 5 session package. Hopefully that will just about cover our cost. We will have to keep a close eye on the treatment time though, and charge in 10 minute blocks. Just in case we meet someone who forces us to pause after every 3 shots. Then a 10 minute treatment can drag on for half an hour.

I've also been asked about numbing cream as an option. Honestly, I don't know how effective that would be. But if anyone is keen on that as an alternative, we can supply it at $10/session.

So painless bikini IPL permanent hair reduction... is it possible? Maybe not painless, but certainly tolerable. And we offer these pain management options at a very nominal cost.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Visagel for $600/syringe

Our suppliers are currently running an offer on Visagel dermal fillers at the moment, which brings our base cost down significantly. Rather than pocket the difference, we have decided to pass the savings onto our clients. So until the promotional stocks run out, Visagel costs $600/syringe. Each syringe contains 1 ml of filler, which is often more than needed for one treatment. If there are any remnants, we will store it for you, and subsequent top-ups will just cost $50 each time.

We have been using Visagel for over 2 years now, and are very comfortable with the product, and happy with the results and safety profile. It's a German product and is CE certified.

The alternative filler option available is Juvederm, which costs $800/syringe and each syringe contains 0.8 ml of product.

We brought in 20 boxes of Visagel at promotional price (10 boxes each of 16 and 24), so anticipate this offer will not last long. Delivery was made yesterday, and the first box used this afternoon, with a couple more booked in for tomorrow. We do not know how much longer our suppliers will be running their promotion for.

Visagel 24 is used for nose augmentation and filling out the nasolabial folds. Visagel 16 is used for lip plumping and filling in hollow tear troughs. Once the promo stock runs out, the price will revert back to $800/syringe.

Thank God for Entonox!

I'm not at all ashamed to admit to having zero tolerance for discomfort. Vanity takes over, but I do everything to make my treatments comfortable.

This afternoon, I had the opportunity to try out E Matrix personally. Manufactured by Syneron, this device uses fractional RF to coagulate the skin and stimulate collagen production. The treatment can be used for rejuvenation, but it's primary indication is for acne scars and wrinkles.

The before/after photographs shown were AMAZING! It's a shame we're not allowed to put up such photos on Singapore medical websites now. All doubts about whether the treatment works or not were cleared when I saw them.

So I bravely volunteered my face again. The rep had tried the medium intensity program on himself with no pain relief, but that was a bit too ambitious for me. So I applied a thick layer of numbing cream and waited...

After my lips went quite numb, we started. Even with the cream on, it felt like hot pricks. He reduced the intensity from medium to low, but it was still too much for chicken shit me! So I jumped off the couch and dug out my old Entonox cylinder. Three puffs later, I was high as a kite and happy for him to continue.

We bought the Entonox equipment when we opened the clinic almost 4 years ago. It's pretty much just gathering dust these days, cos most people are much better with pain than me! But it really was such a relief to be able to use it for this procedure. Phew!

As for my face, it's a bit red & swollen. It was quite sore for the first couple of hours, but much better now. I can't wait to see the results!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Rejuvenating Simply Aesthetic

The winds of change finally shifted towards Simply Aesthetic last week. With the departure of Joey and Candy within days of each other, the energy has changed considerably. Julie has finally settled the spa sufficiently to start focusing her attention on the clinic. And I've been very blessed in being able to persuade an old friend to come in to help organise the place medically.

I first met Celia in 2001 when I went to Cambridge to sub-specialise in Day Surgery. A fellow Singaporean, she was the Sister in charge of the transplant theatre. She also happened to live just around the corner from me! Although we tried to keep in touch after my return to Singapore, the inevitable happened and we lost contact with each other.

Out of the blue, I received a Facebook friend request from her. So I accepted and we sent a few messages to each other. Her comment was that I looked so different she'd never recognise me!

At the end of last year, she announced that she was taking early retirement, and heading home to Singapore. We had planned on meeting up, but never got round to contacting each other till a couple of weeks ago. I realised I needed someone strong and organised to come in to set the procedures right. Without a sensible leader in the clinic, things were spiralling out of control. Previously, we had either Mery or Dyna co-ordinating everything. Since they left, it seemed they took common sense with them too! So we had to come up with procedures & operational policies for everything. Decency & integrity seemed to have disappeared too, and I'd been robbed blind by some of the staff that had left!

So Celia started earlier this week. She's written out the policies and is now organising the chaos the old staff left behind. Julie has removed anything that is remotely scary for anxious patients in our treatment rooms. Jam, our spa receptionist has kindly donated sarongs, to match the bed skirtings, which have finally arrived. The rooms have now a much softer feel, quite different from the minimalistic clinical feel it had before. Every corner is being cleaned, and all unnecessary clutter tidied away.

Staff-wise, MJ is learning to cope with being the only trained Clinic Assistant in place. Marigold, another nurse from the Philippines is finding her feet. Aubrey's pass has just been approved (finally!) and she arrives next week. We have also just interviewed Jam's friend, who is keen on coming in as our Intern.

With the new furnishings in the treatment rooms, the walls suddenly look very bare. So I'm in the process of ordering some prints for the walls. I've chosen a pretty floral theme with frangipannis. These should be up by the middle of next week.

In addition to our new takeaway menus (designed a few weeks ago), we will soon have some posters outside our front door, so it's not so easy to walk past without realising we exist.

All in all, it feels really good to finally move towards the next phase with a new team, and two fantastic women helping me. After years of struggling on my own, it's such a relief to finally have assistance, and I'm truly blessed as both Julie and Celia are power houses on their own right.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

XL Hair Update

We often take our crowning glory for granted, but premature hair loss is becoming a very common problem, in women as well as men.

As a result, we've gone through all kinds of hair loss treatments over the past few years, mostly with disappointing results. The brochures and data are always impressive, the science irrefutable, but the results not impressive. Actually, only mesotherapy worked. All other topicals were a waste of space. We went through Minoxidil, Floxia Hair and Ballvic Serum & Shampoo. We don't stock any of these now. In fact, we got the distributor to take back virtually the entire Floxia range as we really didn't think they were as effective as the other medical skincare brands.

So when I was introduced to XL Hair, I was skeptical. If not for samples being available, I may not have even tried the treatment. So when the hair growth was unrefutable after just a month of weekly treatments, I was very impressed!

We've since treated 2 men and 2 ladies. One lady was not compliant with the treatment schedule at all, but just based on the home spray alone, has now grown a very luscious head of hair that is the envy of all around her. The thinning area which occupied her entire crown previously, is barely visible now!

The most recent gentleman, still in the middle of his treatment program, has started sprouting baby hairs in the receding temple area, which has been totally bald for many years now. We had not held out any hope for this area, the prime aim of treatment being to stop the hair loss in the crown area, which was thinning out very quickly. That seems to be responding well too!

So I could't be happier to offer this new XL Hair hair loss treatment at Simply Aesthetic. Finally, we have something that is as effective as mesotherapy, without the discomfort. Infact, most describe it as a very soothing treatment! And yes, I'm drooling... My hair's not thinning by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm lusting after luscious locks too!

Friday, March 19, 2010

From iPico to iEllios

We've been waiting for the Perfector upgrade for over a year now. It's been a long wait, with many changes in design and technology over time.

We had been promised delivery in mid 2009, then late 2009, then early 2010. But Dr Weiss is determined to create the perfect rejuvenation machine, so has continued to modify the prototype.

The latest news is that the machines will finally go into production in end April. There's over 120 orders before me, so it is likely to be mid year at the earliest.

What is most interesting, is how the device has changed, from looking like the current Perfector, to a new-age clear blue case, so the inner workings are visible, to one that looks like a Mac.

They've also decided to produce a cheaper device with some Pico functions (now named the iPico), and iEllios, the ultimate rejuvenation machine.

As far as I'm aware, I'm getting the iEllios. I'll be really upset if they pull a fast one on me now. Not my fault the name has been changed!!! And I've not parked my deposit with them for a year to be passed off with an inferior machine. No siree!!!

Anyway, here's a preview of the iEllios. What it looks like at the moment anyway...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ion Magnum 2: Now at Simply Aesthetic

It's here! It's here! After weeks of waiting for the latest upgrade to roll off the production line, our Ion Magnum 2 has arrived!

Actually, it arrived yesterday, but thanks to some sticky beak nose customs officers, the machine arrived with blown fuses. That set off a major meltdown with me last night, but fortunately Cirsten pointed us in the right direction, so a simple fuse replacement got it working!

I dashed back to the clinic after my SNEC list this afternoon, eager to try it out for myself. The last time I tried the original Magnum was 3-4 months ago, and it was not nice. I take my hat off to my patients who have had their entire body treated at high intensity.

So does the machine live up to its promise of being comfortable?

Treating the tummy alone, it certainly seems to be. The contractions are certainly smoother and less painful than before. There's still some prickling involved, but nowhere near as much as before. As I was in a rush, I didn't do the standard measurements/photos. My main concerns were whether the machine was working and whether it was more comfortable. A big sigh of relief yes to both. Phew!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The New Ion Magnum's En Route!

Patience is a virtue. That's what I've been led to believe. But sometimes, I wonder how much stress is caused by waiting and waiting and waiting...

We've been talking about the Ion Magnum upgrade for months now. Much negotiation happened behind the scenes to finalize a price which was just about within our reach. The money was sent across in early January, then everything ground to a halt! The machine we were supposed to get went for further upgrading, got trapped in UK Customs forever, and we were left stranded!

Well, not completely, but the old machine is starting to rebel from overwork now, so we're ready for the upgrade in more ways than one.

FINALLY, I received the e-mail with our tracking number this morning. Assuming no further delays (and I hope to God they didn't put a box of chocolates in it again this time!) we should have the new machine with us on Thursday.

I'm hoping to be the first on this new baby, but not sure. Some days, appointments are back to back! I'm going to try though!

For those wondering if there'll be a price increase, the aswer is yes. No choice lah, our prices are half of what another Singapore aesthetic clinic charges. With the mega package, half the treatments are full body 60 minutes. The other clinic charges double for single area, less than 30 minutes for first generation machine. The upgrade has cost me twice as much as I was prepared to pay. But our prices won't increase till the new machine arrives, so come on over these few days if you wish to avail the current price.