By Your Fren Nancy

Meet Isabel Molina, RN

How long have you been a provider?

I have been an RN specializing in Skincare for 16 years. I launched my own skincare line in the Philippines in 2015. I moved to America to study Integrative Nutrition/Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine in 2017.


What made you want to specialize in aesthetics?

Isabel: I was exposed to health and beauty at an early age. My mother's younger sisters greatly influenced me; one had a salon, and the other was a fitness trainer. Growing up, I played around with makeup and facial structures, specifically the brows, to improve facial symmetry - I knew early on that beauty was the field I wanted to be in.


When someone is new to injectables, how should they choose a provider?

Isabel: Training, experience, and passion are really important. I invested so much in my training and really strived hard to become a Master Injector. Some injectors were trained mostly by trainers from suppliers who teach only the basic techniques. I, however, have trained with different injectors who have developed their own techniques based on their years of experience. 

Although fillers can easily be reversed, your injector should know what they are doing. I personally really educated and exposed myself to different doctors/injectors, gathered and combined their diverse techniques, and created my own.


If you HAD to choose - toxin or filler? 

Isabel: You can not directly compare and contrast fillers versus toxins because they have different indications and modes of action. Toxins are used to relax muscles, while fillers are used to replace the "scaffolding"/structural framework of the face, which is naturally lost thru the process of aging: bone resorption along with collagen and deep fat compartment depletion. 


Do you have a favorite part of the face and tweakment that you love to do?

Isabel: 1. The Undereye and cheeks: the undereye is one of the most difficult areas of the face to correct, but it can remove years from one's face if done right. The mid cheeks is very essential as well because we can not fully correct the undereye without first making sure that the mid-cheek area has sufficient volume and making the undereye correction look more natural.

2. Creating contour by injecting fillers on specific areas of the face to "camouflage"/create an optical illusion to make it look more angular and achieve the most coveted facial shape we call the "top model look." 

3. I love lip fillers too, especially if the patient just wants the natural plump look. Youthful lips can also make the entire face look younger. 

So, to answer your question, I do not have a favorite area, but I do have priority areas if the patient is tight on the budget but would still want to get the most of their money's worth. First will be the undereye and mid-cheeks. Second, my priority will be the lips because our minds were programmed to view plump lips as a sign of youth and fertility. The third would be to create contour by enhancing temples, cheekbones, chin, and jawline. Although these areas contribute greatly to lifting sagging skin which creates laugh lines and prejowling, but these areas can wait as long as we focus on the center of the face from the eyes, mid-cheeks, and lips.


What do you encourage people to do in preparation for their appointment?

Isabel: Hydration, proper diet with supplementation(Vit C-or any multivitamins), and good sleep are key to improving our body's natural reparative mechanism.  I encourage patients to refrain from taking painkillers and from drinking alcohol 24-48 hours before treatment. Taking arnica pills 5-7 days before their appointment can improve healing and prevent bruising. Drinking pineapple juice can help as well for healing. For those who have a history of cold sores, I encourage them to bump up their vit C and zinc 7 days before their appointment. Zicam chewable once daily will suffice.


What kind of tweakments are requested from you the most lately?

Isabel: I do a lot of lips, under-eye, and smile lines.


What trends do you see coming up in this industry?

Isabel: More non-surgical/power-based anti-aging treatments. Ultherapy, for instance, is a very effective but painful and uncomfortable treatment--I have tried it, and although it was painful, the after-effect was so amazing that I am willing to go through the pain all over again, of course, not every patient can tolerate pain. Hence, most manufacturers are looking into creating treatments with good results that are comfortable and have short downtime. 


What are some of the stigmas you’d like to debunk about tweakments and this industry as a whole?

Isabel: Men doing Botox and fillers. Antiaging is not just for women. Men, especially those who work out and adhere to low-fat diets age faster, hence fillers and botox can help address that. I have been working with many male patients concerned with their "sunken look," mainly correction is needed on the mid-cheeks and under-eye areas.


How often should clients come back for each treatment?

Isabel: It really depends. For botox: 3-4 months. For filler: 6-18 months. Every person is unique, along with how their bodies metabolize Botox and fillers. Other treatments, such as lasers and other energy-based antiaging treatments, have specific requirements for how many sessions are needed and the regimen for maintenance. I always tell my patients; if you do not intend to maintain it, just do not start at all as it is very pricey, and you will just be wasting your time and money.


What are the common misconceptions you hear new clients are nervous about?

Isabel: Their lips will look too big with 1 syringe, and their face/cheeks will look puffy with fillers. Although, if done incorrectly, cheek fillers can really make you look swollen and bloated. This is when choosing the right injector makes the biggest difference because injecting fillers is a form of art where you learn how to create an optical illusion of a smaller/slimmer face by adding volume to certain areas of the face.

Another misconception is that "getting Botox will make you age faster when you stop", this is false. However, you will see signs of aging once it wears off.


Like everything else in life, there are risks. What are some of the risks involved when we come in for a tweakment and what precautions do you take?

Isabel: The most serious and dangerous is vasoocclusion, where fillers can cause problems with blood circulation, leading to tissue death, hideous scars, and even blindness. Hyaluronidase can address vascular occlusions and, of course, proper and safe injection technique is key.

Another adverse reaction is an allergic reaction. Even if a patient claims he/she has no allergies, there's what we call "late phase allergic reaction", where you become more sensitive to certain things later in life as you age. Allergic reactions can be prevented by adhering to a proper diet, a good amount of rest and sleep, proper daily supplementation of vitamins such as Vit C and zinc, and so on, 7-15 days before your appointment. 


Do your clients have realistic expectations when coming in to see you?

Isabel: Some of them do, and I tell them the limitations of non-surgical procedures versus surgical procedures. I also encourage them to show me photos of what they want to achieve and I set the record straight if it is doable or not--it is better to under-sell and over-deliver; this has been my practice for a long time.


Do you have a dream client who you would love to work on? 

Isabel: Sidney Le was a dream come true, and I am very excited to share her antiaging journey soon. Apart from her, I love working with mature women in their 60's and above-making them see that it is never too late to start, although starting early has the greatest advantage. I just get the most satisfaction doing corrective treatments because most of us have that one area that bothers us so much, and we get very self-conscious about it. Corrective treatments do not just enhance your physical features, but it will improve your mental disposition as well, giving you more confidence to show up in public, and inner joy whenever you see yourself in the mirror.


What are some of the things you do to help ease new nervous clients?

Isabel: I encourage them to ask questions. If they need to take anxiolytics, they can do so if they have someone to drive them. I also like doing holotropic breathing. 5 cycles of it really calms the nerves.


If there was one thing you can fix/solve in this industry, what would it be? 

Isabel: I wish aesthetic treatments are more affordable and sustainable, as it has many benefits beyond what the eyes can see. Hence, I have included mental health in my practice because feeling and looking good really enhances your mental state. I wish more and more people could afford aesthetic treatments and experience that joy and satisfaction within themselves. 

The reality is: We feel good whenever we know we look good and are taking the necessary steps to take care of ourselves, allowing us to show up in the world with that positive and nourishing energy. We need to be happy within us first, and humans are visual creatures programmed to identify health versus infirmities based on one's physical features. Therefore, aesthetics is a top priority synonymous with primary care medicine and should also be covered by our health insurance. Botox, for instance, has been proven to help with depression and anxiety.


Thank you so much for sharing all of this valuable information, Isabel! Where can we find you if we wanna see you for a consultation?

Isabel: I am currently working at Rejuvenate Skin and Laser Center by The Plastic Surgery Center. We have two locations, in Granite bay and in Arden, Sacramento