A woman receives cosmetic injections from a medical spa professional.

If These Walls Could Talk: Confessions Of A 90210 Medical Esthetician

     After enduring the pressures of working as a Medical Esthetician in a popular Cosmetic Dermatology clinic on what is known as the “beauty block of Beverly Hills,” I pride myself on having never had a single cosmetic filler or Botox injection. This comes from being a woman who is now the age of 35, and a practicing beauty professional who has now been licensed for 15 years.  Throughout my career, I have operated a few salon and spa small businesses and provided professional beauty advice to hundreds, if not thousands, of skin, hair, nail, and makeup clients along my career journey.  While on staff as an Esthetician at a corporate spa in Marina Del Rey, I provided a facial in 2018 to the Wealth Manager of a popular cosmetic dermatology clinic in Beverly Hills.  She was impressed and referred me to their Office Manger where I was then interviewed and recruited to become a member of their staff as a Medical Esthetician.  At the time, I thought this would be the biggest break in my career as an Esthetician and that I had really made it to a thriving career in the field of professional skincare.  Ultimately, I quickly became exposed to a toxic beauty culture surrounding pharmaceutical cosmetic injections and fillers.  This experience has since then led me on a path to advocating as a skincare professional the importance of taking care of your skin on a routine basis using reputable professionally recommended skincare - versus relying on instant results from injectables that are short term, and may actually be harmful to your skin and body long term.  

     The typical role of an Esthetician is to provide an exceptional skincare service that aids in the remedy of the skin concerns the patient or client presents, to provide a treatment plan for how the patient can achieve noticeable and lasting results over a reasonable period of time, and provide home care retail suggestions that are best suited for the patient's skin goals and/or needs at the time.  Typical spa staff Estheticians receive incentives that range from commission on retail sales, gratuities for services, compensated continuing education paid for by the clinic, and sometimes discounts on skin care or the occasional free product.  Occasionally loyal clients or spa management does opt to take you to lunches/dinners, provide gifts, possibly even vacations, and discounts on skincare products, and sometimes having the ability to trade with the other Esthetician's or staff members “service for service.”  These rewarding career benefits are created through loyalty and reputability built over time during your work as an Esthetician. 

        The experience employed on staff at this popular Beverly Hills cosmetic dermatology clinic as a “Medical Esthetician” felt like being uncomfortably pushed to mislead patients in the wrong direction for their treatment plans and skin care in the name of greed & profit.  Comparably, in a short time period as a new staff member with a lack of substantial client relationships established - as an incentive of my compensation as the Medical Esthetician, I was offered any service or injections that I wanted to try in the clinic for free.  After giving it some thought, I decided to ultimately turn down the offer for any invasive cosmetic medical injections, fillers, invasive facials, or lasers.  This is because as a Licensed Esthetician with a background of over 15 years in the spa industry, I value my physical health, and the integrity of my skin (and so should you!) more than the risks involved for the instant results of cosmetic injections and aggressive laser treatments.  Oddly enough, I was not offered the opportunity to simply get a facial from my colleague - only "the hard stuff.”  The truth is that the same, if not better results, can be achieved with a quality skincare regime that includes skincare, face yoga workouts, and the use of modalities such as Microcurrent and LED Therapy devices.  There were many incentives at this clinic comparable to that of working on a film set, like the daily catering from high end Beverly Hills restaurants from the Allegan representative.  It almost seemed from the perspective of being a new staff member to the clinic like the staff was nearly being bribed by the drug companies to push the facial injections.  Who doesn't enjoy a strong cash flow, a catered lunch in Beverly Hills, along with comped staff dinners with reps in Beverly Hills at times too!? It also seemed practically as if I was joining some type of cult.  

     In between patients, on slow days I was tasked with providing medical assistance to the clinic Dermatologist, NP, and RN by making mini ice packs to fit in areas of the face where injections had taken place to help with the bruising.  Who wants to deal with costly and painful injections that leave visible bruising and potentially may have long term detrimental effects on your health?! Once while observing a Vampire Facial for a patient who was a working actor and also was having his first experience with this type of blood platelet treatment was astonished when he was told that he would be leaving the clinic with his own blood smeared on his face, and that it was not a "good idea to proceed with picking up his sister and walking through the airport at LAX as planned because it might scare the TSA!”  Not to mention, the opportunities this would have presented to the paparazzi for the ultimate embarrassment...

     Another afternoon the boyfriend of one of the staff members came in for a service during lunch and the nurse decided to not provide the standard local anesthetics.  Audible noises of pain were coming from the treatment room during this service.  The majority of the patients coming into this clinic were seeking honest, valuable skincare advice and were paying a handsome cost to be mostly mis-advised or oversold unnecessary injections and high cost procedures by the greedy staff of this clinic that has been overly engrossed in cosmetic injection culture.  One evening after the clinic had closed, I walked into the Dermatologist's office (head of the clinic), only to see her nearly looking like a junkie sitting in front of a mirror with a facial injection syringe to her forehead injecting herself making statements about how she was “perfecting herself.”  The body acceptance movement collective community would cringe at the appearance of this sight if a reel depicting this scene were to go viral. 

     This was one of the most eerie incidents I have ever witnessed in my career since becoming licensed in 2006 and having worked in the states of Colorado, California, & Oklahoma in the field.  Not to mention, the actual facial program was grossly under developed.  The skincare back bar consisted of a random variety of medical grade and professional skincare products, with no chosen skincare system in place - despite the clinic's ability to access some of the best skincare around.  The masks being used in their treatments were mostly from Esthemax, which provides alluring visuals on Instagram with "hydrojelly masks.” Yet, these masks are lacking in quality formulations, and have little to no impact on the skin in comparison to the results provided by reputable medical grade skincare lines such as IS Clinical and many others they could have easily been working with.  It was clear to me this clinic was great at deceiving their patients into believing they needed "stronger and more expensive treatments due to the "lack of results from facials they already had.”  Yet, the lack of results was actually related to the lack of having a sufficient facial program with a reputable medical grade skincare line in the first place.  Many of these patients had been attending this clinic for years, and some were the teenage children of parents who had treated with the clinic's founding Dermatologist who had recently retired.  The head of the clinic had inherited the practice as the 2nd generation Dermatologist in the family following the "family footsteps," and basically had their career and reputability handed down to them from their father - who had had been an established Dermatologist prior to the invention of these types of drugs. The point is, please be careful where you invest in your skin and who you take skincare advice from seriously.  Especially since it has become a trending career field over the past decade and the amount of misinformation being provided on social media in combination with excessive beauty campaigns that were intentionally created to undermine one's self esteem - everyone is out to make their money and many will tell you anything to get the highest grossing sales revenue at their clinic.  

     Shortly after, I was brought into a one on one meeting with a pharmaceutical representative for one of the leading manufacturers of cosmetic pharmaceutical intjections, and told to simply, "Just tell EVERYONE they need Botox.”   This made me hesitant, not being a Licensed Physician or have any medical licensing, yet being a Board Licensed Esthetician and thus it is not my place and not within the scope of practice that my Cosmetology and Esthetician licensing provides.  It was shockingly unethical for the medical director of this very popular Dermatology Clinic to set up the meeting without my prior knowledge and to predisposition it to be part of my “training,” and for the pharmaceutical representative to attempt to pressure me into deceiving my facial patients into believing that I was of the professional ability to suggest pharmaceutical injections as a treatment. When I then asked the representative, “What are the long term effects of Botox, after all isn't it derived from a life threatening toxin called botulism?!"  The pharmaceutical representative quickly ended the meeting and shadily exited the room while she replied that I would need to speak to the MD about my concerns on the side effects of Botox.  This pharmaceutical representative herself personally had so many injections at the time, that she was unable to make a facial expression it seemed.  After working years to take care of my face in a holistic and effective manner, I wasn't going to let this position compromise my beauty with the toxic injection culture or allow them to induct me into their highly profitable beauty cult.  This pivotal moment made me realize how important it is to love yourself for who you are and continuing to cultivate a healthy self esteem at all times! Shortly after this meeting I decided to resign from my position as a Medical Esthetician at this clinic, and have since moved on to opening the Starshine Spa and Derm Planet to continue my mission of providing safe and healthy resources such as quality retail skincare and professional facials, chemical peels, and Face Yoga coaching to assist all people in achieving safe and lasting results in a healthy, transparent, and holistic way.  

Learn to lift and firm your face while creating a new healthy habit with the practice of face yoga with a private face coaching session.  Empower yourself to naturally trigger and create your face into a collagen powerhouse on a daily basis with this affordable investment in your skin and overall health.  Face yoga provides an all natural solution to your concerns for aging, while also facilitating detoxification of the lymphatic system, and promoting overall feelings of wellness and relaxation.  Try a Virtual Face Yoga Session with me, a Licensed Esthetician of more than 15 years and Certified Face Yoga Coach click the link below, or visit the Face Yoga tab on Derm Planet. 

Question: What don't most medical professionals disclose to their patients when they are prescribing cosmetic injections and/or dermal fillers to patients seeking more voluminous lips, cheeks, and/or eliminating the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles?

Answer: Most people don't realize that if you are relying on repeat cosmetic injections over a period of time, you are essentially weakening the muscle and if you decide to stop the injections, the wrinkles will be much more apparent.  Once voluminous cheeks will become saggy.  The muscles will actually have atrophied due to lack of use, and you will have paid more money, and endured painful injections, only to end up with wrinkles at the end of the day! As a skin enthusiast and reputable skin care professional in the field, I value the results an alternative approach of consistency that is provided with a morning and evening skincare routine using professional quality skincare in combination with the regular practice of face yoga workouts, use of either holistic or modern modalities such as jade rollers, gua sha, LED treatment devices, and microcurrent devices such as Nu Face and/or a skin spatula, in tandem with visits for professional skincare monthly appointments with an Esthetician.  Just like maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine over time provides lasting results for the body, the same goes for your skin health and preservation of a youthful appearance!  An article written by Harvard Medical School about dermal fillers, formulations, and the potential risks or dangers involved does reference a few dermal filler formulations than have been proven to be safe over time consisting in mostly Poly-L-lactic Acid, which is a synthetic filler that helps to stimulate collagen production and natural body fat, shortly after this statement - there is a warning mid article about the dangers of having even one stroke throughout your life!* (Ref 1. Harvard University) 

     The truth is, the side effects of cosmetic injections and fillers are risky and ghastly.  According to the Mayo Clinic* (Ref 2. The Mayo Clinic ), an injection such as Botox stops fine lines and wrinkles immediately by blocking certain chemicals from the nerves that cause the muscles to contract.  Risks involved may include a crooked smile or drooling, droopy eyelids, or crooked eyebrows, and potential infection at the injection site.  Commercials for Juvaderm mention risks such as a rupture at the injection site, or stroke further down the line.  Strokes may cause permanent drooping muscles, and lack of ability to move your face.  Why would someone risk all of this (and pay the price for overpriced, uninsured medical procedures) for the sake of temporary beauty, when they can integrate an affordable, healthy skincare routine into their lifestyle that will provide visible and lasting results?! 

Question: What is the importance of practicing a consistent quality skincare routine combined with the incorporation of facials and/or face yoga into my anti-aging skincare regimen when Botox and facial injections provide instant results in just a quick visit to the medi-spa? 

Answer: When discussing the importance of using evening skincare serums, practicing a 10 minute face yoga workout, and seeing a professional Esthetician for routine skincare appointments as an affordable, reliable, fun, and healthy approach to aging gracefully.  Retinol and other actives with AHAs are going to provide results by actually stimulating the cellular turnover of your facial skin, which in turn creates more collagen and builds new fresh baby skin while you sleep! More of this is to come in a future Derm Planet blog all about creating the ideal PM skincare routine for age defiance coming soon.

     While working with skincare patients/clients at the Starshine Spa in Brentwood Village and/or providing Professional IS Virtual Clinical Fire & Ice Facial Consultations as the Derm Planet House Esthetician, I ask the patients during the consultation if they have recently gotten injections such as Botox or Juvaderm fillers.  This is for reasons including that the fillers can move during facial massage and create a lump of filler in a certain area, with a lack of filler in the other! Many of these patients have already been lured into injection culture with the alluring pressure created by social media, and the medical providers themselves pushing this as if it is the primary solution to remedy the signs of aging or enhance certain facial features.  As the saying goes, “Slow and steady wins the race.”   It became clear that most of those succumbing to the expensive and painful injections, Vampire Facials, and laser therapies had not yet met a skincare professional offering honest advice that didn't equal meeting their monthly pharmaceutical injection revenue quota.  

     Many patients that come to me for a facial are still seeking the results outside of the cosmetic injections they were prescribed, yet have not yet attempted a consistent quality age defying skincare regimen.  An effective anti-aging skincare regime includes actives and ingredients proven to slow and even potentially reverse the signs of aging such as Vitamin A and/or retinol, L-ascorbic acid (the most bioavailable form of vitamin-c), peptides, and resurfacing acids like salicylic acid, mandelic acid, glycolic acid, kojic acid, to name a few in combination with the routine practice of face yoga, using a jade roller, gua sha, and other modalities to stimulate collagen production such as red LED therapy and a microcurrent device.

Question: What are alternative solutions to preventing aging and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, outside of cosmetic injections and fillers that will actually provide noticeable results? 

Answer: For a fraction of the cost of a single cosmetic injection session, you can build a skincare routine with skincare products that have a clinical track record and are backed by science to provide results and defy fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.  The IS Clinical Polyvitamin Serum is formulated with a botanical form of retinol that gently resurfaces the skin and enhances collagen production on a daily basis, along with providing a dose of B vitamins and niacinamide to boost your rosy glow, and hyaluronic acid to supply skin balancing hydration reducing the irritation that is commonly associated with retinol.  A one ounce bottle of IS Clinical Polyvitamin Serum will last approximately a year, and is available at the link below for just $115 USD. 

Question: What does wearing sunscreen (or not) have to do with aging? 

Answer: Did you know that the leading cause of premature aging is photo damage, also known as "sun damaged skin?"  Always remember to apply sunscreen to your face in the morning.  This is mandatory if you are using a serum with actives such as the IS Clinical Polyvitamin Serum that is formulated with retinol.  The IS Clinical Extreme Protect SPF 40 is available in clear and two tinted shades and is the perfect addition to any anti-aging skincare routine.  It is a go to for a 4 in 1 in your morning skincare regimen by providing moisturization, UVA/UVB protection, delivering nutrients to the skin, and the self adjusting tinted shades provide light cosmetic coverage replacing the need for wearing foundation or tinted moisturizers.  The bottle I have has lasted me well over a year, even though sometimes I apply the sunscreen multiple times a day and is affordably priced at just $85 USD at Derm Planet, which means the average cost of using this sunscreen daily is less than $0.23 cents per day.  Derm Planet also offers free shipping on all orders over $100 USD! It is formulated with proprietary enzymes from IS Clinical called "extremozymes."  Extremozymes are enzymes that are botanically derived from plants that thrive in harsh environments aid skin in protection from environmental factors such as exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays and additional protection from pollutants.  Try yours today and see why as the Derm Planet House Esthetician this is the TOP skincare product I suggest to add to any skincare regimen for aging prevention. 

Thank you for reading this blog post.  I hope you found the honest insights and transparency shared in this blog based on my real life and career experience to be helpful. Read my upcoming blog that will be published soon on Derm Planet that will provide a short list of anti-aging serums and moisturizers that are my favorites for age defiance, along with how to properly integrate them into your skincare regimen.  Be sure to subscribe to our emails to be updated when blogs are published on Derm Planet. 

Disclaimer the information shared in this blog is not medical advice.  The staff at Derm Planet does not claim to have medical licensing, nor is attempting to provide medical advice in the statements written in this blog.  If you are experiencing any skin or medical conditions that may need the care of a physician, please seek care from your nearest medical professional.  In the event you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room. 


  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/dermal-fillers-the-good-the-bad-and-the-dangerous-201907152561
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/botox/about/pac-20384658#:~:text=Botox%20shots%20block%20certain%20chemical,symptoms%20of%20some%20health%20conditions.

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