When Shay Sim and Nadya Kozlova took their first jobs in a medical spa in 2001 and 2003, respectively, it was right at the time Botox was hitting the market as an FDA- approved cosmetic treatment for frown and forehead lines. Until then, clients visited medical spas for intensive facials, peels and laser treatments to combat fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of facial volume. These treatments and non-invasive medical procedures were far less effective, much harsher, required more recovery time and, believe it or not, cost more than they do today. Enter Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox, and the industry changed practically overnight. It was during this renaissance that Shay and Nadya cut their teeth as medical aesthetic professionals.
For nearly a decade, the pair proved to be ambitious leaders and savvy business developers, opening and training medical spas around the country. They developed an industry standard for hiring, on-boarding, and managing licensed aesthetic injectors, developing growth strategies and partnerships, and analyzing the financial health of the operation. Between 2002 and 2010, the industry exploded to accommodate the boom in consumer demand due to the introduction of Botox, followed by Restylane, a hyaluronic acid filler manufactured by Allergan’s biggest competitor, Galderma. Other competing products quickly followed, promising the near-immediate disappearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Unlike other non-invasive treatments and topical products, these miracles-in-a-vial seemed to deliver on their promise, but with one downside: downtime.
All neurotoxins, like Botox, and dermal fillers, like Restylane, are administered using tiny needles, and depending on the treatment and area of focus, one session could easily require dozens of pricks. Today, some of the products contain lidocaine to deliver a numbing effect with each poke, but in the early days, clients had to tough it out. The immediate side effects where, and still are, injection site bumps and lumps, redness, sensitivity and bruising. Ice packs help, but complete recovery takes time. While the industry experienced a surge in innovative injectable products to compete with frontrunners Botox and Restylane, there was little to no innovation in post-treatment skincare.
It was 2010, and Nadya and Shay broke out on their own to open Kucumber Skin Lounge, a premier medical spa in the Pacific Northwest. Offering a range of services, from laser treatments and body sculpting to chemical peels and facials, Kucumber became known for their expertise in all things injectables. The duo quickly scaled and opened two more locations throughout Washington, hired best-in-class injectors and established the medical spa as a leader in aesthetic medicine. While business and the high quality of the guest experience was consistent, one aspect remained frustratingly inconsistent: post-treatment care. And this wasn’t unique to their spa. Across the industry, they witnessed a lack of consistency in pre and post procedure protocol. Among injectors, pre and post-treatment care was widely ignored, and when solutions were offered, the standard of care varied widely. As consumer demand increased and more practitioners entered the industry, this gap in standardized pre and post care only widened. As astute managers and business developers, Nadya and Shay recognized this problem as a huge opportunity.
In 2016, the concept for a pre and post injection care line was born. But unlike treatment products that some practitioners recommended, often containing ingredients that are known to be toxic for human health and the planet, Nadya and Shay wanted to elevate the experience from conventional clinical treatment products to clean luxury skincare with deep treatment benefits. They already knew of, and often recommended, active botanical-based ingredients that were widely known to aid in healing and recovery, such as arnica and bromelain. The untapped opportunity was to incorporate these therapeutic oils into consciously-formulated, sensorial skincare products that felt as good as, if not better than, the serums and masks that their clientele used on a daily basis. They knew that if they could create a range of luxury skincare products that helped aid in post-injection skin renewal, they could support millions of patients, plus quell the concerns that many others have about trying injections in the first place.
After 6 years of R+D, developed with a world renowned cosmetic chemist, Viktor Michael is the first consciously clean, clinical-strength Recovery Care Collection that effectively supports all post-injection procedures. With a proprietary pre and post Injection Care Complex® at the heart of every formula, the targeted treatments are proven to rapidly reduce the appearance of side effects from injections, cutting downtime by up to 50% in consumer perception studies.
Featuring a complimentary blend of vitamins, antioxidants and skin-strengthening nutrients, the sensorial skincare formulas support optimal skin health and radiance in between treatments, making them the perfect addition to a daily skincare routine.
Dermatologist-tested and proven to safely and effectively hasten post-injection restoration, Viktor Michael sets a new standard in Recovery Care.