EL Clinical Esthetics has been helping its customers do that for more than 20 years By Jennifer StanleyÂ
Entrants to EL Clinical Esthetic, located at 690 South Salem Road, Suite 307, in Conway receive an automated "wolf-whistle" as the door closes behind them and they advance across the room to the waiting area, letting them know instantaneously this isn't your typical cosmetic clinic. At any given time, patrons of all ages and walks of life peruse the makeup section or wait to receive one of the various treatments EL has to offer.
I am shown to a comfortable, overstuffed leather couch adorned with decorative pillows and throws and am offered a cup of tea or coffee by Sharon Gray, EL's Clinical Care Coordinator. Sharon states that EL has been a Conway staple for over 20 years. Susan Isom is EL's founder and the esthetician-on-duty. Susan is also known for her prowess with the tweezers and wax as "the go-to-girl in Conway for eyebrows," says Sharon. "Some days we have wall-to-wall brow waxing appointments." In addition, Susan performs light chemical peels, vibradermabrasion treatments, which are 85% more effective than microdermabrasion, lymphobiology treatments, and post-operative skin care for laser and plastic/reconstructive surgery.
Susan was employed as a teacher when she read about the esthetic field in Glamour magazine and deemed this a career change possibility. "I started researching and learned there were no instructors in the area, which was an issue," she says. "Then I found out, by chance, about a lady who was licensed to instruct estheticians who had taken a job at UCA. I contacted her, and she agreed to instruct me, so I began the licensure process."
From the time she was originally licensed in 1986, Susan was largely self-taught, enjoying blending custom make-up in addition to administering facials and peels. In fact, when Susan got her start, Carolyn Baker of Conway gave her a place to start her business "in exchange for making her pretty every day," Susan says. She recalled one lunch in particular when a travelling pharmaceutical sales representative requested a blend of custom powder. She mixed and blended and added, and ended up with what she calls, "a big-old pile of powder. I had blended so much foundation but hadn't had requests for powder, so it was a learning opportunity for me." Now her custom makeup blends keep customers coming back for more.
This early powder blending episode is a far cry from what defines EL today. Sharon explains that EL offers the gamut of cosmetic procedures including laser treatments, cosmetic injections, facials, and waxing. Their laser treatments include photorejuvenation, acne treatments, hair removal, and teeth whitening.
Laser hair removal typically requires from six to eight treatments and can be performed anywhere on the body with hair. The most commonly requested areas are the face and bikini line. Sharon adds that laser hair removal is reducing only, and not hair-eliminating, stating that changes in hormones or medical changes can cause re-growth. A laser EL purchased for the purpose of treating acne has also been an asset to the clinic from which they have seen amazing results, especially when used in combination with Obagi's acne fighting line, CLENZIdermÂ® M.D.
Other Obagi skin care options for those who desire to upgrade their skincare regime or to correct skin damage are available at EL. "We have the largest line available in Conway," states Sharon. In addition to CLENZIdermÂ® M.D., their inventory includes the Obagi NuDerm system, which utilizes hydroquinone and retin-a to treat aging or hyperpigmented skin. Also available is the Obagi CÂ® Rx system, which is formulated to correct early signs of damage using prescription-strength hydroquinone and vitamin C. Lastly, Obagi Rosaclear is a therapeutic system used for treating rosacea.
Susan says that her decision to become an esthetician was based in a desire to help people with skin care issues, which she had also battled at times. Sharon adds "When a patient comes in for a consultation, we really listen to what they want and need. We want to help them feel better about themselves and their appearance."
However, in addition to treatments for problematic skin, EL also offers an array of options for those wanting to be pampered or simply freshen their look, including cosmetic injections, such as Botox, Juvaderm, and Radiesse. The injections are performed by Cathy Rougeau, CRNA, M.S. and Clay Rougeau, CRNA, M.S., who are both certified in Botox and dermal filler injections with a special focus on facial volumnizing. Sharon explains that Botox is typically for the facial area from the nose upward and helps relax the muscles that contract and create lines caused by facial expressions. Juvaderm fills lines created from a loss of skin elasticity and can volumize lips. Radiesse is their signature injection procedure and can help revolumize the entire face. "This is an excellent option for anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight," adds Sharon.
The bottom line in dealing with EL is their drive to help patients find the best solutions for their skin care needs or issues in a comfortable environment. Their years of board certification and experience, the niche of providing custom makeup, and the fact they have a plastic surgeon on staff are vital; however, as Susan and Sharon say, "The patient becomes our day; they are not an interruption to it." In fact, EL offers free consultations and will "take time to get it right," assuring that each patient has a pleasant and stress free experience.