Beauty Is A Family Affair

Beauty Is A Family Affair
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Time can be unforgiving. Compounded with adverse internal and external factors – stress, pollution, sun exposure – the combination of wearing effects creates a whole gamut of skin and body concerns: fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, scars, stretchmarks, cellulite, the list is endless. While a healthy lifestyle, positive attitude, and a slew of topical potions are crucial components to managing the inevitable process of aging, when such efforts are futile, it’s time to call for backup. Drs. Lisa and David Kang, owners of Serenity Medspa, are experts in reclaiming that youthful glow.

From left to right: Dr. David Kang, Sophie Azouaou, and Dr. Lisa Kang.

From left to right: Dr. David Kang, Sophie Azouaou, and Dr. Lisa Kang.

Courtesy of Serenity MedSpa

For Dr. Lisa Kang, co-founder of Serenity Medspa, her desire to become a surgeon was hereditary. Following the example of her neurosurgeon father and general surgeon brother, Dr. David Kang, Lisa set out to medical school to become a pediatrician. However, drawn to the adroit demands and expeditious nature of the surgical field, she changed course to become a general surgeon, and for years after, ran a successful private practice in San Francisco with her brother David.

Having started her career as a general surgeon, she went on to develop a penchant for the aesthetic field and discovered a growing demand for advanced solutions emphasizing natural beauty. In 2006, the Korean sister-brother duo gradually transitioned out of their general surgical practice to launch Serenity Medspa – San Francisco’s leading medical spa, which specializes in rejuvenation treatments ranging from comprehensive anti-aging procedures to advanced cellulite and weight-loss solutions.

Located within a stone’s throw of Union Square, the two-floor, 18-room oasis has garnered a diverse, loyal clientele, establishing itself as a popular destination for Bay Area folk to nourish and renew. On the second floor, Lisa focuses on facial treatments, such as skin tightening and resurfacing, thread lifts, and medical-grade facials. On the sixth floor, her brother David administers body treatments, including noninvasive body contouring, liposuction (Dr. David Kang is one of the most highly regarded laser liposuction surgeons in the nation), and feminine rejuvenation. Together, they help young professionals and baby boomers alike achieve natural-looking results. No cringe-worthy plastic visages here. And though the facility offers physician-strength results, the atmosphere feels like a cozy and luxurious retreat with natural daylight and elegant spaces to help relieve predisposed anxieties.

Interior lounge of Serenity MedSpa

Interior lounge of Serenity MedSpa

Courtesy of Serenity MedSpa

For many, seeing is believing. And if the enviable complexions of the Serenity Medspa crew are testaments to the efficacy of the facility’s treatments, it’s safe to say a personalized and proactive approach to radiance and health is worthwhile. Here, Dr. Lisa Kang shares how Serenity Medspa helps men and women defy time.

How would you describe San Francisco’s approach to beauty and aging?

Lisa Kang: There’s an emphasis on being natural. There are the young professionals who are getting smarter and starting preventative treatments sooner rather than later. There are also a lot of middle aged clients who don’t have a lot of time to spare, yet still want to look their best. And there are a lot of baby boomers that are still vibrant and want to look as young as they feel, but are not interested in drastic results and do not want to go under the knife.

As I get older, I understand what it feels like to be in front of a mirror and seeing my youthful face and body diminish. It’s tough, especially when I still feel so young inside – I still feel like I am in my 30’s!

With a new wave of advanced procedures, how was the connotation of rejuvenation changed? Have you seen a shift in clients in the past decade?

LK: There has been a significant increase in the number of men doing aesthetic treatments. In the past five years, it has increased over 40-percent! As noninvasive technologies are on the rise, noninvasive as well as minimally invasive procedures are becoming popular. They are attractive alternatives compared to more expensive and riskier alternatives, such as plastic surgery.

The trend across the board is achieving solid results that look natural. Instead of undergoing a drastic change like a surgical facelift, people are combining various noninvasive treatments over time to achieve an organic look. Even younger demographics are increasingly turning to cosmetic procedures. They are keen on starting early for preventative measures, and the noninvasive treatments are gaining public acceptance.

For first-timers, some procedures can be intimidating. Are there any misconceptions you’d like to clear up?

LK: A lot of first time clients that come in are concerned with looking plastic-y. They don’t want others to know that they are having “work done.” Plus, there’s the pain factor. Unlike surgical options, noninvasive/minimally invasive treatments are effective over time. It’s gradual and the treatments are well-tolerated.

What makes Serenity Medspa stand out from other medical spas?

LK: We are constantly seeking out and offering the latest and most technologically advanced treatments available on the market. Since David and I work at the medspa full-time, this is our passion and focus. We have also welcomed aboard a new highly-skilled nurse practitioner, nurses, and talented cosmetologists who enable us to expand our services to include advanced facials, permanent makeup, lash extensions and special occasion makeup and hair styling. Our comprehensive menu of services makes it convenient for clients to meet all their aesthetic needs in one location.

How we look often affects how we feel. How does Serenity Medspa pamper to its clients’ overall well-being?

LK: Everyone is different when it comes to how they view themselves and what makes them feel good. So it’s never a cookie-cutter treatment plan to making someone look and feel better. We strive to tailor our treatments to meet each client’s needs and concerns. All consultations are done personally by me or Dr. David Kang – we never delegate this role.

Waiting lobby at Serenity MedSpa

Waiting lobby at Serenity MedSpa

Courtesy of Serenity MedSpa

Driven by a green conscience, Serenity Medspa is keen on being sustainable and eco-friendly. In 2015, interior design guru Sophie Azouaou, owner of SophiSticate Interiors, rejuvenated the space into Lisa’s “dream spa” using only recycled materials. The renovation – which included expanding to the sixth floor – features energy efficient lighting, artwork by local painters and photographers, and a soothing color palette characterized by Azouaou’s signature hue, Sophie’s Green. Most importantly, patrons are taking kindly to the fresh look and relaxing ambiance. With its light and clean, open spaces, the atmosphere beckons a calming tone that offers comfort and relief for those entering with first-time jitters.

Serenity Medspa has a philanthropic side, too. Fostering strong ties to the community, Lisa and her business have been involved in a variety of local profits, including the Richmond Ermet Aid Foundation (REAF), Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo, Raphael House, amongst others.

The crew at Serenity MedSpa

The crew at Serenity MedSpa

Courtesy of Serenity MedSpa

What’s your most popular treatment?

LK: When we first started our practice ten years ago, Botox and Dysport were viewed as luxuries and they weren’t that popular. Today, it’s one of the our most popular treatments. It’s become more affordable over the years, and the quick and effective results in frown lines and crow’s feet can’t be beat. Even men are seeking injections now, and younger people, too. They want to prevent wrinkles from the get-go.

Do you have a favorite treatment?

LK: I love treatments that instantly make someone look naturally youthful. My two favorite treatments are fillers that restore the lost volume in the face and the new Silhouette Instalift that immediately lifts loose skin and continues to improve the skin by gradually building collagen.

Since every face is different, knowing how to individualize a treatment to bring out the most beautiful shape in each person is what separates the good injectors from the exceptional ones. I love getting the “wow!” from a client when I show them their results – it’s very gratifying.

With the inundation of anti-aging potion and beauty gimmicks in the market, is there an “It” ingredient that actually delivers what it promises? What’s the key to achieving radiant skin?

LK: Now with the emergence of great stem cell products, we can regenerate the skin, not just repair damage. These products deliver solid results, and it’s continuously improving.

The key to achieving radiant skin is taking care of your skin on a regular basis and starting treatments early on because it is much harder to reverse damaged skin than to prevent the damage from the start. And, of course, use sunscreen every day!

What is the best part of your job?

LK: I asked my son when he was three-years old what his mommy did, and his answer was perfect: ‘you make people feel better!’ I think it’s ultimately about that – making people feel better, happy, and confident about themselves, adding value into people’s lives and making a difference. There is nothing more satisfying.

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