By Jordan Houston
While it’s no secret that Arizona’s harsh climate isn’t exactly accommodating to aging skin, Vibrant Skin Bar Owner Kristina Cadwell says it’s never too late to turn back time and step into skincare.
Cadwell, a certified aesthetic medical practitioner with over 10 years of experience under her belt, opened the Phoenix-based full service medical spa in 2019 and it hasn’t slowed down since. Vibrant Skin Bar, located at 4325 E. Indian School Road, Suite 130, strives to enhance natural beauty from the inside out with a “holistic approach to skincare,” according to its website.
The luxury med spa offers services ranging from customized cosmetic treatments to wellness therapies to nonsurgical body contouring.
“We really focus on healthy skin created from within,” says Cadwell, who graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s in biology and A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine with a master’s in medical science. “What makes us unique is we look for answers internally. We try to look for answers that are going to create lifelong wellness instead of quick fixes.”
Cadwell says she frequently sees older patients looking to adopt skincare routine for the first time, emphasizing that VSB creates individualized regimens tailored to each client’s needs based on their circumstances and lifestyles.
Because signs of aging vary in levels of severity, commonly due to sun exposure, dehydration, excessive sugar intake and hormone imbalances, they can be treated in a plethora of ways.
Age spots, for example, can be treated with options like over-the-counter creams designed to brighten the skin, medication, cryotherapy, laser treatments, chemical peels or dermabrasion. Sagging skin and prominent marionette lines, on the other hand, require more invasive approaches, VSB’s website reads.
“We do see patients all the time that come in in their 50s and 60s and say they want to start taking care of their skin now,” she shares. “And it is challenging because they want to do something noninvasive and get a quick fix, but it’s going to be a year of commitment to regular treatments. But they will see incredible results.”
Cadwell typically recommends a combination of topical and injectable skincare treatments, like facials, dermaplaning, chemical peels, Botox and fillers, with wellness and detox services, including oral skin care, IV therapy, hormone replacement, B12 shots and more.
Vibrant Skin Bar prides itself in teaching clients “healthy habits” to create a “lifestyle of wellness,” whether it’s incorporating daily sunscreen use, increasing hydration, introducing nutraceuticals, integrating exercise or adopting intermittent fasting.
“These daily habits really matter,” Cadwell says. “A lot of our older patients are seeking answers. When it comes to looking at hormones, looking at daily habits – things they were able to get away with in their 20s and 30s no longer work in their 50s and 60s.”
Stress management is a major player in maintaining youthful looking skin, the practitioner expresses. High amounts of cortisol caused by chronic psychological duress can break down the skin’s collagen and elastin, forming wrinkles.
Since the beginning of COVID-19, Cadwell says she has seen an uptick in clients of all ages.
“I think we’re releasing a lot more cortisol throughout the day,” Cadwell discloses, citing ongoing hardships and anxieties surrounding the pandemic.
Scottsdale resident and VSB client Carine Werner echoes Cadwell’s sentiment.
Werner, who has been visiting the med spa for about two-and-a-half years, says she has noticed visible changes in her skin since 2020.
“I came out of that (2020) and I felt like I aged a lot,” she says, claiming VSB has been a game-changer in her overall appearance. “It was really refreshing to be able to go and turn back the clock a little bit by getting some fillers. I recommend it to everyone.”
Having only occasionally used Botox prior to becoming a client, Werner says she now incorporates fillers into her skincare routine.
Vibrant Skin Bar offers dermal fillers, designed to “lift, enlarge, plump or emphasize,” based on both hyaluronic acid and poly-L-lactic acid, according to its website.
“My skincare routine is pretty solid. It’s what I had done for a long time,” Werner explains. “But going to Vibrant Skin Bar gives me some of that volume back in my face and I feel more youthful. I feel like I don’t look as tired.”
“For those that don’t like how their face is changing, there is a solution. If you start early enough, it may put off having to do more drastic things,” she continues. “Their (VSB) level of care and trust is profound. Being able to go in there and come out just looking better than you did maybe 10 years ago is huge. It helps me feel better about myself.”
While avoiding stress altogether is wishful thinking, Cadwell suggests finding time daily to disconnect “from some of the stuff consuming (us) online” to “focus on the positive things.”
Taking a bath, exercising or writing in a gratitude journal are examples of healthy stress-relieving habits, the practitioner shares.
“When people look and feel their best, they pass it on to everyone around them,” Cadwell shares. “And I think that is so rewarding for me to see and to be helping with.”
Vibrant Skin Bar
4325 E. Indian School Road, Suite 130, Phoenix