Written by RJ Walters
Photos by Javi Reyes

Many service industries experienced a significant downturn or even came to a complete halt during the pandemic, but the self-care industry experienced a resounding boom as people spent more time finding ways to de-stress and build healthier, more sustainable rhythms.

Meet Melissa Kinsey,
Aesthetician at TruMed Spa

TrueMedSpa in South Lakeland has established itself as a local leader with its scientifically proven, customizable treatment plans that cut through the noise made by social media posts of celebrities getting “Dracula facials” and a crowded marketplace of untested at-home products.

As TrueMedSpa Aesthetician Melissa Kinsey puts it, the spa opened by Lakelanders Lisa Birket and Dr. Adam Parker in 2007 “is all about getting results for its clients.”

“Typically when you are going to a day spa you are looking for relaxation, pampering…and everything smells good,” she says. “At a medical spa, we are using things that may sting, may burn a little bit, things that don’t always smell the greatest…but you get great results, and that is what keeps people coming back.”

TrueMedSpa provides services and products to treat fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, sun damage, acne, rosacea, dry skin and more.

The spa sells and recommends the highly-rated SkinCeuticals line of products, especially the Vitamin C serum to offset the impact of UVA and UVB rays in Central Florida. Kinsey, who has been a skin care professional for nearly 20 years, says the price point might cause some customers to raise their eyebrows at first, but she believes the long-term benefits make the products worth the investment.

Kinsey believes one thing that sets TrueMedSpa apart is the loyalty they reciprocate with their clients and the long-term bonds they share. She has some clients she has served for more than 15 years, and recently a client who Kinsey gave her first facial at age 13 opened her own skin care business after years of being mentored by the aesthetician.

“My business is a lot about relationships…people don’t just want skincare advice, they want to see me”

“In the big cities I feel like it’s just seeing one person after another and it’s not so much about relationships,” she says. “I have such good support from my clients that when my son was born I don’t think I had to buy diapers or any necessities for almost three months!”

Where to Start Your Skin Care Journey

    • A free private consultation at a business like TrueMedSpa
    • Reflect on your daily skin care routine and the products you use to prepare for conversing with a professional
    • Determine the budget, time and goals you have for self-care

Kinsey says to start with a facial for your first treatment: “We can see how people’s skin responds to products and ingredients. If I’m steaming someone and their face gets super red I know they are a little more sensitive and I have got to back off. It also helps me recommend the right products to them.  

TikTok is Not a Doctor

Kinsey said an alarming trend in self-care is the rise in harmful self-care products and devices that are not FDA approved that many teens and adults are using because of the convenience and affordability. 

A few things that Kinsey strongly advises against are:

  • Devices such as at-home microdermabrasion and at-home dermarolling that have become trendy on social media
  • “Cool technology” that supposedly can suck blackheads off your face, but can actually break capillaries and permanently damage pores
  • Chemical peels that should only be performed by professionals that are now being sold by large online retailers
  • “Young girls are burning their faces, and having to go to the hospital with like 3rd-degree burns because of the acid and chemicals they are putting on their faces,” Kinsey says.