Welcome to the podcast! Today’s guest is registered nurse and BScN, Rachel Varga! As an Advanced Aesthetic Nurse, she has worked with thousands of clients and performed over 17,000 rejuvenation procedures since 2011. By blending both the inner and outer aspects of the SCIENCE of BEAUTY, she believes you can become your most beautiful and vibrant self. She also loves teaching advanced medical rejuvenation techniques to other Physicians, Nurses, and Surgeons. Enjoy!
Video Version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-TdIWnuMF4
Guest’s Website: https://rachelvarga.ca
Chantel Ray: Hey, guys. Welcome to this week’s episode, and I’m so excited for our next guest. She holds a bachelor’s of science in nursing. She’s a registered nurse and an advanced aesthetic nurse. She focuses on performing and teaching advanced medical rejuvenation techniques, and she hosts her own podcast. Her skin, if you’re listening to this podcast, you have to go and watch the podcast because her skin is flawless, so you definitely want skin that looks exactly like her. Welcome, Rachel Varga.
Rachel Varga: Welcome, and thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to hang out with you and your wonderful listeners on how to optimize your inner and outer beauty and radiance together.
Chantel Ray: Awesome. So let’s just talk a little bit about aesthetic nursing. What was your inspiration for focusing on that area and the science of beauty?
Rachel Varga: I love answering this question. When I finished nursing school, I realized I wasn’t quite done with schooling and education, so I actually investigated becoming a naturopathic physician, and I further investigated becoming a medical doctor myself. So I went on to take all my med school prerequisites. I took the MCAT, and during this time I was a pediatric ICU nurse, so I was looking after little ones. And during that time I’d actually had a injectable treatment myself, and realized the impact, and thought, “You know what? I feel like I have a pretty good eye of what looks healthy, what looks beautiful and natural.”
And I felt like the care that I had leading up to the education as well as the pre, post treatment tips could have been enhanced. And I thought, “You know, I’d love to kind of fill this need,” and so I found a surgeon to work with, an oculoplastic surgeon, during the process of doing my med school coursework and applying to med school, and started becoming an aesthetic nurse during that point as well, managing skincare, lasers, injectables in the clinic since 2011, and I promised him a year and then I’d be off to med school, and I’ve just really found my passion, and it’s quite rewarding helping women look as good as they feel. Because when you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good you look good.
Chantel Ray: Yeah. And I love your website. It’s absolutely beautiful, by the way. But I was looking at your website, and I saw you had a post about celebrity plastic surgery, and you were talking about Nicole Kidman, and I saw a picture of her before and then I saw her after, after she had, I guess, just too many facial fillers and plastic surgery and Restylane, and just botched plastic surgery, and she really, really looked terrible. And so talk about, what are the things that you kind of recommend that you make sure that this doesn’t happen to you, like you don’t look like Nicole Kidman in this … Is that what she looks like now, or did she get it fixed or-
Rachel Varga: Well, I have some insight into those photos that you can find of Nicole Kidman when she looks quite overdone, and she could have just had an injectable procedure. She could have had a little bit of swelling at that time. So when I walk people through the process, first with a consultation with me, either in the clinic or online, I encourage people to make sure they have their procedures about a month before a big social engagement to allow for any edema or bruising to have a chance to settle. I think that’s really important. And what else is really important is going to a provider that understands the ideal facial ratios. So I’m not just doing what they think looks good, but what is established should be beautiful. If we’ve ever seen those facial maps that were developed by Leonardo DaVinci, he took the time to really measure facial characteristics that the eye determines to be beautiful. So when we look at Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, they’re so gorgeous to us because their features are actually in this particular alignment.
So the trick is, when you’re having rejuvenation procedures, whether they’re surgical or nonsurgical, is to always take a good look at who’s potentially doing your treatment. And I actually just got back from San Diego, we actually met in San Diego three weeks ago, and I was just there recently again, and I presented a article I just wrote to my fellow nurse injectors from all over North America. These are the top nurse injectors from all over Canada and US, and I was teaching them on how to improve the eyes in a really nice, natural way, and obviously with optimal patient outcomes and safety in mind. So it’s an art form, it’s ongoing training to be very, very skillful at this.
Chantel Ray: Now, for people who have some acne scarring, what would you suggest is the best way to take care of acne scarring? I have a little bit, my mom definitely has a little bit. What would you say, “These are my top go-tos for that”?
Rachel Varga: That’s a perfect question, Chantel, and I’m about to give you a little bit of personal one on one consultation for anti-aging care, so that’s great, but this is a question I get asked all the time, and first of all, you really want to focus on your skin health. What are you applying to your skin all the time on an ongoing basis? So what I like to recommend is that you actually switch over to medical grade skin care. So this is what’s backed by research, science. These companies put a lot of emphasis on really formulating their products, and hiring really a chemist, and making sure things like vitamin C, E, hyaluronic acid, retinol are all stabilized so that when it’s put on the skin, it’s actually performing cell signaling to promote collagen. So cleansing the skin morning and night, moisturizing morning and night, mineral based sunscreen application every day and some gentle exfoliation is your home care, and then you can start to get the rejuvenation procedures.
So actually right now, love erbium resurfacing, which is basically vaporizing the top layer of the skin off. The device is actually selected to the water chromophore in the skin and it vaporizes it and it heats it up. It’s like a controlled injury, and that’s wonderful at stimulating collagen. But just a word of warning here. You want to avoid things like the plasma pen. We’ve all seen those dots on people’s eyelids and jawline, and over the lips, and you really just want to go with technologies that are offered in clinics where there’s physicians and nurses involved.
Chantel Ray: So I know that you do virtual one-on-one anti-aging consultations, but how does that work? My mom is a perfect example. She’ll kill me if I tell her age, but I’ll just do it anyway. I’ll just say that she’s over 70, and everyone who sees a picture of her is like, “Wow, she looks amazing,” but she’s always looking for the latest and greatest techniques. So let me ask you, because let’s … And you live where, again?
Rachel Varga: I live on Vancouver Island, which is just a short trip from Vancouver.
Chantel Ray: Okay, gotcha. So how does that work? So when you get on the phone with someone, you can just look at their skin on like a Skype, and you would say, “Okay, let me look at your skin,” ask them some questions, and then you would refer them to get those treatments done somewhere locally? Is that right?
Rachel Varga: Yes. It’s actually quite interesting how I developed the process, because when clients were coming to see me, I just intuitively knew that I wanted to spend at least an hour with my clients in the clinic to really go over what their goals are, provide an assessment for them of their skin quality, their personal aging, so what their facial muscles are doing, what’s happening with their fat loss and their bone loss to fix things like saggy skin and loose skin, and talk about procedures that could be helpful for them.
And what I started to notice with my clients that were seeing me one on one in the clinic, and just locally here, but I do have clients flying to see me from all over, France, Germany, Dubai, Switzerland, Israel, New York, Palm Springs, and I didn’t quite think it was fair to just offer this high degree of education to people in the clinic, because what I was hearing from clients that had, say, been to another clinic before, like a med spa, plastic surgery, dermatology office, is that the person that they met with was a consultant, not necessarily the person doing the treatment, and they were only spending about 15 minutes with them, and they feel like they’re being sold laser packages, injectable packages, skincare packages, and that just didn’t quite fly with me. And why should my clients that come to see me in the clinic only have access to that, when we’re in the age of information? So it’s quite easy for people to book consultations with me from anywhere in the world-
Chantel Ray: Wow.
Rachel Varga: … and I can spend an hour with them online, and I can see you right now. I can see exactly what is beautiful about your facial features and ways to enhance that. And then of course I help you find people in your area, help you get it sorted with a great medical grade skincare routine and all that. I’m pretty sure I’m one of the only people in the world actually practicing this. This is a very new way of offering anti-aging sort of therapy virtually. It’s very cool.
Chantel Ray: Awesome. Well, in my newest edition of my book, Waste Away, I talk about how people don’t have to deprive themselves when it comes to food, but everyone needs to decide for themselves, what are their red light foods, yellow light foods, green light foods? What are the foods that you just say, “Look, these are off limits for me. They’re red light. I don’t feel good. My skin looks terrible”? And what would you say are foods that you see in general that cause people acne breakouts or whatever, that you see this is a common issue that these particular things don’t do well for the face.
Rachel Varga: Basically anything that’s causing inflammation in the skin. So the concept of leaky gut, which is huge in functional medicine right now, limiting foods that are causing inflammation in your body, such as grains, dairy, and it’s really important actually for people to meet with a nutritionist or a health and weight loss coach like yourself to help you isolate which foods are trigger foods which are causing inflammation, because all of us actually have a bit of a unique genetic profile. I personally do really well with a modified paleo diet, and I only discovered this when I started working with a nutritionist in my area. She put me through this very extensive 200 point questionnaire, and that was really helpful for me.
My husband is a pro athlete, so health and wellness is really important in our life, and I thought I had things pretty well dialed in, but what’s important to know is that every five, 10 years, our body is going through shifts. So it’s critical to actually be able to adapt. You need to adapt your lifestyle, your food, your stress level, all of that to what your body is intuitively telling you that it wants. And I’ll be the first to tell you that when you’re healthy on the inside, that’s when you are going to have the most vibrant and radiant skin, and that inner beauty and that inner lightness and shine, it does make you more beautiful. I see it all the time in my clients.
So your mother, who is 70 plus, I will share that my most beautiful, vibrant clients are often women in their 60s and 70s, because they really started to investigate and take the time in developing powerful self-care practices.
Chantel Ray: Awesome. Well, so now the question I ask all my guests, walk me through a day in the life of Rachel. What did you eat yesterday? When did you eat it? And talk a little bit more about what you do for your paleo modified diet.
Rachel Varga: Well, I’ll be very honest with you that I was traveling yesterday, and I started the morning at the hotel with some cantaloupes and watermelon, some pineapple. I had some fresh squeezed orange juice, but what’s really interesting is within about 15 minutes of having that orange juice, I actually sneezed. And I know that when I eat something that my body doesn’t necessarily like, I sneeze, because that’s actually a histamine response. So clue into how you feel when you eat things.
So when you’re traveling, you’re in a completely different environment, right? So I’m from the west coast of Canada, and I was in San Diego. Again, it’s just beautiful there. That’s where we had the chance to meet, and I typically go for black coffee. I’m a huge fan of organic coffee. I do love my bulletproof coffee. It has a really great flavor. It has a soft aftertaste. So just really clue into what you enjoy, what you get joy from eating and drinking.
And then I was at a beautiful beach, so I had a sandwich from one of the hotels, and I actually did pretty good with that. It was gluten free bread and there was avocado in it. There was some deli meat to it. It didn’t have a lot of mayonnaise. It’s a bit tricky when you’re traveling to really make those great choices, but there’s a quinoa salad or a sandwich, and I chose the sandwich actually over the quinoa, because I know that grains such as quinoa can make me not feel so great, actually.
And then I was in a hotel, or sorry, an airport lounge, and a lot of times when you go into these different airport lounges, you can be really selective of the type of food that you can have. So there’s usually veggies and dip, there’s usually some fruit, and sometimes some prepared hot dishes, or kind of do it yourself salads. But I’ll have to say, in the San Diego Airport, it was one of the really nice lounges, and it had the worst food. I was so disappointed. So I ordered a chicken club wrap, and it said on the menu that it had lettuce, it had avocado, and diced chicken and all this stuff. And honestly, when you’re traveling, you really actually want to stay away from meat, because it’s just awful for you. But I was so hungry and I’d already paid for this airport lounge, and I was hungry, right? I needed to eat something.
Chantel Ray: I know exactly which airport lounge you’re talking about. I went there before. I didn’t eat a thing, because it was disgusting. I know which one you’re talking about.
Rachel Varga: So I ordered the wrap, and it was awful. It was a white wrap with minced chicken and mayonnaise, and then kettle crisps, like chips on the side.
Chantel Ray: Wow.
Rachel Varga: I was like, “Oh, I can’t eat this. This is horrible.” but some people that don’t understand or have standards for their body and what they eat, they’ll just eat that food without sticking up for themselves. So I was able to actually find a Larabar, and I really like these Larabars. I actually had one right before hopping on the podcast with you. But you just have to find the foods that work for your body. But when you travel, it can be really difficult, so I typically do well with kind of do it yourself salads, and avoid things like heavy cream dressings. I don’t put quinoa on the salad. I do like to limit things like potatoes and heavy starches, so what’s often used in keto, just to keep that glycemic index down. So I’ll go for like a roasted cauliflower instead, as an alternative.
Chantel Ray: Sounds good. Oh, were you done?
Rachel Varga: But that’s when I’m traveling. Yeah. So when when I’m at home, I’ll usually start off the day with a black coffee and maybe a banana, and then I’ll have a nice lunch. So that’s typically like a salad I might have prepared the night before with some roasted veggies on top. And then I really like to have a somewhat big dinner so that I’m satisfied, and I don’t like eating after 7:00. And when I eat in that way, I tend to be my slimmer version of myself. I tend to be clearer headed, drinking lots of fluids. That’s typically what a day will look like with me.
Chantel Ray: Awesome. Well let’s jump right into the listener questions, and this first one is from Dana in Shreveport. “I’m a 36 year old mother of two. I feel pretty good in general, but the wrinkles on my forehead are really starting to bother me. I want to try Botox, but I’m worried about injecting poison into my face. What are the side effects and risks of Botox?”
Rachel Varga: That’s a great question, and actually in the clinic I practice out of, I don’t use Botox anymore.
Chantel Ray: Really? What do you use?
Rachel Varga: I use an alternative to Botox called Xeomin, and I’ll kind of go through the history of how these injectables came to be, because hands down, a neuromodulator is the best way to get rid of forehead wrinkles. Just to distinguish the different forehead wrinkles that there are, we have the horizontal forehead wrinkles, which are above the forehead here, that’s from the frontalis muscle. So when we raise our eyebrows up, we get horizontal lines here. The lines between the brows, which are commonly referred to frown lines or 11s, are caused by the glabella complex, which is a series of three muscles, and they can be accentuated if you’re side sleeping. So if you’re sleeping on your side, you’re kind of causing the formation of vertical lines on the face.
So the active component in Botox is called botulinum, and this was discovered a long time ago. When people ate bad meat, this would actually make people sick. And what the body does in the stomach is, with the botulinum, there’s proteins that are formed around it. So basically Botox was designed to be injected in small amounts to different facial muscles. But what we’re now finding, the latest research with Botox is that the complexing proteins that encapsulate the active component, it’s like if you had a tennis ball and you had a little kind of jelly bean in the middle of it, the jelly bean inside the tennis ball is the active component, and Botox is all the stuff around it that doesn’t need to be there.
Now, I’m going to dig into the science here a little bit. Botox weighs 900 kilodaltons. The active component in the Botox molecule is actually only about 175 kilodaltons. So there’s all that extra stuff that doesn’t need to be there, and what the latest science is telling us is that those proteins are actually causing higher rates of non-response in people. So the proteins are actually getting in the way of the treatment from actually working. So we have Botox and Dysport that are quite similar. Dysport has a little bit less protein complex to it, and then Xeomin is the one that I like to use right now. Naturopaths are loving this all over the world as well, because it’s a cleaner version of it. We hear Botox as like the Kleenex version, but sometimes the gold standards, just they aren’t the best anymore. You have to always go with the science and the research.
So Xeomin lacks complexing proteins. It’s just the active component, and I’ve been treating thousands of clients since 2011. I’ve performed about 17,000 rejuvenation procedures, and I haven’t had any issues with side effects. Sometimes people can get a low grade headache. You really just have to stay upright for four hours, but the trick is to find someone that knows what they’re doing. So the purpose of me being in San Diego was actually teach some of the other top injectors from all over North America how to provide an optimal brow lift, how to provide an optimal eye lift, because it’s a blend of half art, half science.
Chantel Ray: Awesome. And Xeomin, for those of you who are trying to look it up, it’s X-E-O-M-I-N, but there was something that you said. It was that, what you said in the very beginning, you said the best thing for wrinkles on your forehead is Xeomin. You broke out just a little when you first started answering, is that what you said? Okay. I wanted to make sure.
Rachel Varga: The best way to soften lines that are dynamics, so between the brows, it’s your forehead, dimpled chin, crow’s feet, is actually using neuromodulators, and I share this because a lot of people will try anti-wrinkle skincare, creams or laser treatments that will try and improve that, but really it’s the neuromodulators that are hands down the best thing. And I have a seven year rule. If it’s been used worldwide for at least seven or eight years, then I’ll use it on my clients, and this active component has been used since the 80s, so we’ve had a whole generation of men and women using the neuromodulators with great outcome. There’s always going to be people that could potentially have an allergic reaction, so always check with your doctor if it’s right for you.
Chantel Ray: Okay. Brittany in Dayton. “Do I really need to be using an eye cream with retinol? My sister says now that I’m 35 I need to be using one every night. It’s a little offensive, but is she right?” Brittany in Dayton.
Rachel Varga: That’s a great question, Brittany. Actually, if you were to use a retinol or vitamin A on your skin every single night, if it’s strong enough, if it’s basically a medical grade retinol, it’s actually going to be too much. That’s kind of overkill, because the retinoid reaction phase, when you start using the retinol, is redness, it’s flakiness. It’s your skin basically getting used to the active component of vitamin A. So what I like to recommend is actually just have like a standard retinol vitamin A that you get from your doctor or your nurse, and kind of apply that on the skin only at night time. Never, ever, ever during the day, because it causes photosensitivity, and you just actually start maybe one to two times a week, and then you can apply really nice recovery moisturizer over top that’s right for your skin type.
I like to keep things simple for my clients, so you don’t actually necessarily even need an eye cream. You can use your moisturizer on your face, your eyes, your neck and your chest together. You don’t need an eye cream. Sometimes with the change of seasons, I will reach for my eye cream if my skin is a bit dry and my facial moisturizer isn’t working. And sometimes if people use moisturizers that are too heavy around their eyes, they’ll get the white bumps. But when you’re using a retinol, basically you sort of want to just kind of gently tap it around your eye bone, so if you were to feel the bone around your eyes, you can feel where that is, and it will kind of migrate a little bit once you put it on, so you shouldn’t be putting your vitamin a all the way to your lash line, but you should be putting your moisturizer and your mineral based sunscreen all the way to your lash line. So you can layer them, do your cleansing, a little bit of your vitamin A and then your moisturizer over top.
Chantel Ray: Awesome. Well we’re out of time, but hopefully we can have you back on for another show, because I could listen to you talk about this all day long. But where can our listeners go to follow you and your work?
Rachel Varga: Great. So I’m on the Rachel Varga Podcast. I have a YouTube channel. So you spoke about celebrity classic surgery, I have different celebs that I’ll review to help you kind of look as good as they look or avoid the pitfalls of looking overdone. You can reach out to me at rachelvarga.ca. You book your one on one consultation with me there, no matter where you are. Instagram at RachelVargaOfficial, and right now I actually have my Unlocking Your Vitality anti-aging course, which is the first course that I’ve ever found to this level online, and there’s a copy of my ebook. So for you guys listening, you can use the promo code ChantelRay15 for 15% off.
Chantel Ray: Awesome! And if you have a question that you want answered, go to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll see you next time. Bye bye.
***As always, this podcast is not designed to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any condition and is for information purposes only. Please consult with your healthcare professional before making any changes to your current lifestyle.***