Skin care goes long way
Tom Kernaghan - Apr 07, 2021 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Beauty is skin deep. For Odette Baumgartner, the owner of Odette’s Skincare & Medi Spa, the beauty we bring to the world goes deeper than we may think. It requires a holistic approach of ongoing care from the outside and sustained health on the inside. Baumgartner’s spas—one in Kelowna, the other in Lake Country—specialize in Endermologie and LumiLift, and provide a comprehensive array of non-invasive treatments for the many skin conditions that can arise due to dietary, hormonal and energy imbalances.

Baumgartner and her team of certified, talented and compassionate professionals provide everything from laser to lymphatic drainage, from micro-needling to microscopy, from Botox to blood analysis and so much more. With 27 years of experience, they know that the stress and strain of our lives can show on the surface in the form of rashes, blemishes, spots, sags and wrinkles. While Baumgartner takes your skin seriously, her website is sprinkled with a series of playfully encouraging quotations, like “Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art” and “As soon as you feel too old to do a thing, do it.” Both are fitting examples, as the philosophy underpinning her work is “pushing back on assumptions about beauty and aging.”

Another clear perspective of Baumgartner’s spas is that being oneself and living one’s best life is foundational to beauty and health.

What drew you to this work? What’s beneath your desire to help people look their best and live their best?

Actually, I cannot specifically say how or why it happened, as my business today is literally the past thirty years of my life and my passion to share knowledge so that as many people as possible can benefit from my learnings. I have such a vast colleague and client collection that there is no end to the shared, proven solutions and ideas.

This Ralph Waldo Emerson quote sums up my existence: “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

I remember learning that skin is our biggest organ. Yet so often we take it for granted. In your experience, what is one of the most overlooked aspects of this big protective organ of ours?

Well, we all know it’s water. If you are not a water drinker, this is the least appreciated and followed recommendation. Personally, as a water drinker, SPF (sunblock, not sunscreen) is probably the number one most important factor for facial preservation. Skin in general? Water and veggies. Sorry, can’t get away from the water. Good water. Kangen, or the like, comes to mind.

You and your team offer a wide variety of treatments and services, all wonderfully explained on your website. But how would you summarize Endermologie and the work you do?

Endermologie is absolutely in a category of its own. There is no one treatment in the world with as many health and beauty benefits. The beauty of this technology is that if you are coming in for cosmetic results, you still gain therapeutic results and health benefits. If you are using it for therapeutic benefits, you may get to enjoy the cosmetic aspects of it also. It simply makes your body work better at every level. With each treatment, your skin, facia, muscles, ligaments and tendons are all stimulated. Then we can boast the incredible three hundred percent increase in lymphatic drainage. Bringing this technology into our practice has certainly changed many lives.

As a clinic, the work we do has evolved over the years to have an open mind, use modalities new and centuries old. There is no one person who will respond to one treatment, one diet, one philosophy. Our recommendations respect each client’s beliefs and expectations. Our network of health, wellness and healing colleagues has given us an arsenal of successful solutions. In speaking to literally thousands of clients, we hear concerns of all kinds and severities. With one big sharing network, the answers find their way to those who ask for them.

A mechanic once told me that he can often tell what’s off in a car by the sound it makes, even before he lifts the hood. How often can you tell what’s ailing someone by looking at their skin? And how do these first impressions shape your initial consultation and next steps?

It’s actually an interesting question. It’s pretty easy. We can often even tell you what blood type you are by how you look, what you eat and what ailments you have. One’s eyes, body confirmation and skin are all indicators of a person’s health. Sometimes a client comes in for corrective skin care and ends up doing a bit of work on their health to ensure better cosmetic results. We make sure to do our footwork, as we are a results clinic and it’s just as important for us to see results as it is for the client. Sometimes the foundation of success has to happen from the inside; otherwise, outward results may be compromised. Taking into consideration people’s budgets is always high on our list, so making a plan for success is imperative.

I’m fascinated by the internal work you and your team do. Tell me about Certified Nutritional Microscopy and what you learn from this analysis.

Microscopy, or live blood analysis, is an internal selfie. It’s a direct, real-time snapshot indicating how your diet and lifestyle are affecting your health, good or bad. With over fifty factors that can show up in the blood, you can see for yourself if what you are eating is actually beneficial or harming your health. Your blood can’t lie. The terms are from medical text books, and what you see during a session may not be present in a traditional lab blood test. It is a great way to guarantee that you are giving your body what it needs as opposed to what you think it does!

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” The honesty and self-acceptance beneath this line is deeply moving. How important is authenticity in enjoying balance, well-being, life and healthy skin?

This question lends itself to who we are. Our business mission and philosophy is this: Be yourself, as naturally and healthily as possible. We understand that each individual has different ideas on how to be their best self. We respect and enjoy being diverse in our recommendations. A client’s motivation to seek out our services is important, as we are here to hep you love what you love about yourself and accept or improve what you don’t. Being realistic and gentle to oneself is always encouraged. Happy aging lines are always more attractive than the alternative. We try to inspire balance and self-fulfillment to everyone whose path we cross.

“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” This line seems more crucial now than ever. Have you seen more stress-related skin issues over the past year? And what might help people maintain their well-being inside and out?

Stress, diet and lifestyle have brought forward many more rashes, rosacea, fungal and other skin complaints than ever over the past few years. Delving into which of the body’s systems the condition is stemming from is the solution to success here. Many mainstream options are to suppress the condition. To us this is ignoring the body, which is trying to tell us something is not right on the inside. For the past twenty-five years, we have been testing remedies, and the solutions are pretty simple. There are specific immune and hormonal system products and a few topicals that have made the cut. Again, we love results as much as those seeking relief!

Tell us something about yourself that most wouldn’t know—a fun fact, an interesting perspective or an engaging story.

I grew up in a small town with no electricity, paved roads or telephone. My parents owned a hotel, where I worked in the kitchen and cleaned rooms from the time I was eight years old. I love people. If I were not in this industry, I would have been a geologist, biologist, camp cook or a logging truck driver. Or maybe something to do with horses. I’m taking a month off this summer to work at a fly-in-only retreat/lodge near the Yukon border.

If I had more time I would open a restaurant or operate a small boutique ecotourism resort in Mexico or Costa Rica.

I have had my stock broker’s licence. I hate economics!

Odette Baumgartner operates Odette’s Skincare & Medi Spa and is a certified holistic health counsellor and live blood analysis practitioner and licensed aesthetician

This column was submitted as part of BWB Wednesdays

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