Look better, feel better.

That’s the message behind a boom in aesthetic medicine that has seen at least five new facilities open in LaGrange in the past three years. The new “med spas,” as they are known, include LivWell Health, Willow Medical Aesthetics, Renew Infusion and Wellness, LaGrange Body Lab and Beauty Bar, which opened as a salon in 2019 and added med spa and wellness services three years ago.

The local trend in medical aesthetics reflects a global phenomenon, providers say.

“Aesthetics has exploded. It’s a $100 billion industry,” said Rex Campbell, a nurse practitioner and chief health officer at Beauty Bar.

Several factors account for the rising popularity of aesthetic procedures, including advancements and innovations in medicines and technology, noninvasive techniques that increase results and reduce down time and increasing awareness and acceptance of aesthetic treatments.

Social media and the pandemic also played a role, local providers believe.

“We saw a lot of ourselves during the pandemic, and that led to a tick up in interest in aesthetic procedures,” said Dr. Holly Dawson of Willow Medical Aesthetics.

Simultaneously, a heightened focus on wellness has helped erase the stigma associated with procedures, like anti-aging injectibles such as Botox.

“People are a lot more accepting now,” Dr. Dawson said.

Providers emphasize that a “med spa” is about more than beauty. Several offer primary health care and/or wellness services, like infusion therapy. Better overall health is a goal.

Therapies like IV hydration, for example, improve appearance because “you look better when you are well hydrated,” said Dr. Joy Baker of Renew Infusion and Wellness, but also enhance health by delivering “bioavailable vitamins” and other health-promoting ingredients.

“You feel a difference,” Dr. Baker said, explaining that vitamins that go directly into the veins are absorbed at an 80 percent higher rate than oral vitamins.

Weight loss is another area in which aesthetic medicine can enhance health.

“Weight loss is a great trend in aesthetic medicine,” said Jordan Martinec of LivWell Health. ‘We have seen profound improvements in things like metabolism, energy levels and joint pain.”

Dr. Terry Alford of LaGrange Body Lab, which offers  treatments designed to reduce body size and tone muscles, says helping people look better can inspire them to make other needed changes.

“If I can use this as a megaphone to get people to change their eating and exercise habits, then it’s a good thing,” Alford said.”

Stories on the following pages offer a closer look at each of the five local med spas that are members of the LaGrange/Troup Chamber of Commerce.

(Note: some providers use the spelling aesthetics; others prefer esthetics. Either way, the focus is on looking and feeling better.)