Sally Powell, Sienna Skin Care & Medi Spa owner and Aesthetician, gives Karen, her client of 16 1/2 years a creamy facial, rich in antioxidants with restorative properties. After the client has relaxed for awhile under warm blankets, while listening to soothing music, the facial sets. Warm towels and light pressure are applied to remove it completely, leaving a healthy glow on the skin.
The office of Sienna Skin Care is relaxed with a cozy, cedar-paneled waiting room that visually evokes the interior of a sauna. The air, however, is fresh, a quiet, ambient music plays and clients are offered hot tea while they wait.
For 16 years, owner Sally Powell and her staff have offered a variety of treatments among them massage, facials, Botox treatments and Micro-current Body Sculpting (a revolutionary body system utilizing state-of-the-art micro-current to lift, tone, tighten muscles and lose inches) in rooms tucked away above Mimosa Café.
To make their clients look and feel their best, Powell makes sure she keeps up with the times and her menu of services has continually expanded. Facials for women, men and teenagers employ a variety of techniques and organic ingredients to cleanse, tighten, refresh and restore skin tone.
Recent services added to the menu include eyelash extensions, Botox® injections, non-surgical fillers such as Juvederm®, varicose vein removal (schlerotherapy), laser hair reduction and skin resurfacing, and more.
Claudia Salapa, LMT and homeopath, one of three licensed massage therapists (LMT) who targets clients needs to reduce stress or work at a deeper muscular issue, came to work at Sienna Skin Care in July 2011. She has since moved to the Canyon.
I love this space, she says. Sally has created a great environment for people to receive self-care. Its a safe nest where you feel at ease.
Also joining the team last year is Dr. Alex Cadoux who says he had instant rapport with Powell when they met.
Its a natural fit, he adds. Everyone here is a consummate professional, and everyones happy, he says. We provide top-flight service in a relaxed setting.
After visiting Topanga for 30 years, Dr. Cadoux also decided to move here and is building a home in Tuna Canyon.
Powell says that these recent additions, especially the minimally invasive cosmetic procedures such as Botox® (injectable) and Juvéderm® (soft tissue filler), have increased her business by 10 percent over last year. By comparison, The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery.org) most recent data from 2010 shows that all minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, are up across the U.S. by five percent from 2009 and 77 percent from 2000.
Claudia Salapa works on Roya, a hair stylist and painter who holds tension in her neck and shoulders.
Salapa came to the United States from France 30 years ago and has practiced massage for 18 years. She received her training at California Healing Arts College and the Touch Therapy Institute. She also took classes in energy healing at the Lionheart Institute. She says that she does her best work with a client when she puts her ego and logic aside and becomes an empty vessel.
I do a lot of listening, she says. So, in spite of all of my knowledge from books, knowledge from my experience and all of this practical training, it goes out of my mind and I go to a place of not knowing. Im just listening and 90 percent of listening is through my hands.
Roya Adjory, a 13-year Topanga resident, painter and hair stylist, has chronic tension in her neck and shoulders and says she knows a good massage when she gets one. After hearing about Salapas gifts from another client, she says shell keep coming back: Salapas massages are not just good, theyre exceptionally intuitive and creative, not just A to Z, she says.
Dr. Cadoux is not a plastic surgeon, but his training in medicine and cosmetic procedures is extensive. He received his medical degree at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed his post-graduate residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Georgetown University Hospital and George Washington University Hospital. He practiced internal medicine, then emergency medicine and then critical care.
Dr. Alex Cadoux demonstrates how Juvaderm® would be injected into the lips to increase their size, or volume.
About 20 years ago, he began practicing cosmetic medicine but also maintains a small practice for internal medicine in Marina del Rey and Tucson, Arizona, where he treats patients with symptoms such as severe PMS, migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, all of which are difficult to diagnose and/or dont respond well to conventional therapies.
These diagnoses require cognitive medicine and thinking through problems, in contrast to cosmetic medicine, where results are achieved through performing exacting procedures.
Although he is not currently expanding his internal medicine practice, he savors the balance that comes with the science of cognitive and cosmetic medicine and the art of making someone feel their best.
Our Largest Organ: The Skin
Human skin works hard as the largest organ of the body; serves several functions beyond keeping bones, ligaments, muscles and organs in place; protects us from germs and infection; nerve endings warn us if something is too hot, cold or sharp; and regulates heat and evaporation. As a semi-permeable, waterproof layer, it also absorbs and diffuses oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide; plays a major role in facial expressions that communicate an infinite variety of cues; and presents us to the world.
Typical signs of aging include the horizontal dynamic lines in the forehead formed by muscles crushing the skin. As the skin becomes less elastic, the lines dont disappear. The vertical lines between the eyebrows (the Elevens) deepen, as do the curved lines around the mouth (the Parentheses). Varicose veins prevent some women from showing their legs and can present health risks from decreased blood flow and damaged skin.
How someone feels about his or her appearance is what motivates change, Dr. Cadoux observes. The vast majority of my patients have looked in the mirror and said, I dont feel that old. Its psychologically draining not to relate to who is in the mirror. They want their appearance to match their level of vigor.
Twenty years ago, Dr Cadoux was skeptical about Botox® as a cosmetic medicine. It was originally developed to treat muscle spasms and nervous tics. Then, two married physicians started to use it to heal lines that would not go away and it worked.
There was much fanfare, but people thought they were crazy, including me, he says. But its way safer than taking an aspirin. I had to eat humble pie. Its a wonderful procedure. He adds that Botox® is also extremely effective at treating migraine and tension headaches and hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating).
Dr. Cadoux uses a conservative approach. The cosmetic work that he practices was learned through apprenticeship, by watching and being trained by masters and doing tens of thousands of procedures. He says that a well-developed eye for placement is just as important as medical training.
He suggests that people think in terms of reasonable goals in terms of price, as well as how invasive a procedure is. For example, he explains, when you color your hair to remove the gray, you can choose a color close to your natural color using a non-permanent dye or rinse. Its not drastic or permanent. Its the same with injectables or fillers, which last anywhere from nine months to two years.
Beauty from the Inside Out
While looking good contributes to feeling good, Powell concedes that beauty also comes from the inside out.
Caring for your emotional, spiritual and physical health is easy to let slide when there are loved ones, homes and businesses to attend to, she says, but the benefits are long lasting, build strength, self-esteem and, ultimately, a sense of inner well-being.
Dr. Cadoux agrees that no amount of external work to the skin will compensate for low self-esteem. No matter what is done, it doesnt help the problem, he cautions.
At Sienna Skin Care, you wont be alone on your journey.
Sienna Skin Care is open by appointment Tuesday through Sunday. Consultations for all cosmetic medical procedures are offered at no charge. For special offers and more information: