A Skin Series: Why OneSixOne With Skin Specialist Monica Alvarez

Skin. It's the largest organ of our body and for some reason, it gets neglected due to a lack of

A Skin Series: Why OneSixOne With Skin Specialist Monica Alvarez

Skin. It's the largest organ of our body and for some reason, it gets neglected due to a lack of skincare knowledge or beliefs that we are stronger than the sun. Yes, the sun, that large ball of fire in the sky that requires us to wear sunblock which we often "forget" about. Does anyone else accidentally bring their tanning oil to the beach instead? Anyways, CELEB spoke with Monica Alvarez, MPAP, PA-C, and Founder of OneSixOne Medical Aesthetics about her practice, services provided, and the desire for youthful, glowing skin.

Alvarez has been in the industry for 12 years, ten of them spent working at other medical spas and medical aesthetic practices. She began OneSixOne two years ago when she found herself to be ready for the next phase in her career. CELEB asked about how the name was thought out, and Alvarez explained, "OneSixOne is actually derived from 1.61 which is the golden mean ratio. It's basically what everything in aesthetics is based upon." She continued, "It's this idea that beauty, and we see this in nature, in architecture, that there's a perfect ratio of 1.618." This ratio is found in all areas of the face including, the distance between the brows, the volume of lips, the distance between eyes, and so on. Alvarez shared, "when we see something that is 'attractive' to us it's pretty much because those ratios are all as close to being balanced as possible."

Before diving into medical aesthetics as her full-time career, Alvarez also worked in primary care. "I was always interested in skin and dermatology and aesthetics. And, so when I graduated from PA school, I took a job with some doctors that were national trainers. They were national trainers for a lot of the big aesthetic companies and they had a dual practice. So, while I was doing primary care and they were doing trainings in the office for all of these doctors, nurses, and PAs from across the country. And, I would actually go in and do the training with them. So I was actually lucky in that way that I could do all of this training." She explained that her passion for aesthetics became more prominent over the course of time leading her to make the full shift into medical aesthetics.

To Feel ‘Young’ Forever

Growing up is fun and exciting. However, we naturally associate aging with skin wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, and just an overall depletion of collagen along with the loss of glowing skin. And, even though a youthful look has always been desired by many, getting a procedure to achieve that appearance would be kept untold in the past. But why is it that we strive to feel and look young forever in the first place when aging is a natural thing for us as humans? Is it the growth of social media? Is it because of what we see in the magazines? Are celebrities our inspiration?

Alvarez explained, "We've always been interested in youthfulness and trying to maintain that youthfulness as we age. And we're always trying to turn the clock back a bit, so to speak. But I think social media has definitely made people more aware of it. And, it's a little bit more acceptable and talked about." The OneSixOne Founder told CELEB "before, people were still doing it but it just wasn't out there and it was a little bit of a secret that people were doing behind the scenes. But, now, with social media and the younger generation that's starting off earlier and doing these preventative types of treatments and really taking care of their skin starting at a much younger age, I think it's made it more out there and socially acceptable."

With people becoming more open to the idea of sharing their skincare procedures the industry has become saturated with spas and practices in more locations throughout the world. We agreed together that medical aesthetics has become part of people's regular maintenance budget nowadays with lasting youthful skin seeming more attainable than it once was.

What Service Is Best For You?

OneSixOne offers a multitude of services for preventive care and also to reverse some signs of aging. Options include neuromodulators, dermal fillers, and non-surgical facial and body rejuvenation. Alvarez broke down the difference between the three and how she goes about recommending a service to someone who is new to skin aesthetic procedures.

"Neuromodulators, things like botox, Dysport, and Xeomin, actually affect the muscle movement. So, they're preventing the muscles from contracting which, in turn, will prevent the wrinkles," explained Alvarez. She continued to share, "Dermal Fillers, Restylane, and Juvederm, they're filling an area where there's a lack of volume or there's a depression, or there's a wrinkling. That breakdown of the elasticity in the skin that's already occurred from years of sun damage or just the normal aging process, that's where the fillers come in. They don't affect the movement, they don't affect the muscle activity. So, you still have a full range of expression and movement and everything like that. It's just literally filling where there's lacking some volume or there's a void for whatever reason it is."

And, let's be real, some of us are total noobs when it comes to knowing anything about skincare. Us being one of those noobs, CELEB asked Alvarez how her practice goes about helping someone find out which service is best for them when they are new to the world of skin aesthetics.

"The best way is just do a consultation. For us to be able to see somebody and look at their face and see how their aging, or see how their movement is affecting their muscles and how they're wrinkling and anything like that. So, the best way is to do an in-office consultation, and then that way we can tell you what the best option would be," shared Alvarez.

She continued to explain, "Whether it's a combination of either an IPL for surface sun damage, you know like freckling, brown spots, and broken blood vessels from sun damage, things like that. Or, an older patient would need something more aggressive. Something like a more ablative laser treatment might come in or do a deeper micro-needling session to stimulate more collagen." We learned that in person consultations are important, period. Although we all age, that doesn't mean that we age the same way. Everyone is different, therefore, we will require different things, aesthetic procedures being one.

What procedure are you interested in trying?