The Skin You’re In


Bluffton AestheticsThe arrival of summer either evokes joy or dread. Joy for the start of beach days and endless afternoons spent on the golf course or working on your backswing. Joy for the chance to reclaim the outdoors and explore Hilton Head Island’s many wonders by boat, kayak or bike. Joy for another season enjoying this beautiful paradise we call home.

But then there’s the dread: Dread at the summer sun’s damaging rays, aging our skin and turning laugh lines into crow’s feet. Dread at the inevitability of swimsuit season, laying bare the spiderweb of veins that had been neatly concealed during the winter months.

Bluffton Aesthetics3But for those who are less than enthusiastic about the arrival of warmer weather, there is hope. It lies in Bluffton Aesthetics, where Ingrid Nivens has turned her passion into a calling as the only NLI-certified laser technician in the Lowcountry and an expert in turning back the hands of time.

“What we set out to provide was a comfortable, professional environment where people could learn about skin care and take advantage of the many options available to them outside the real of plastic surgery,” she said.

To that end, Nivens opened Bluffton Aesthetics in October in the Spine Medicine offices of her husband, Dr. Charles J. Nivens. The Nivens have worked side by side for 17 years; today, Charles serves as medical director for Bluffton Aesthetics as well as running his own practice.

“With the changing medical arena, we were looking for something we could bring in as an adjunct to his business,” said Ingrid, who has a degree in physical therapy. “With my clinical background and the population here, we quickly realized there’s a need and a desire for all of these services we offer.”

Those services run the gamut of age-defying techniques, from oxygen facials that exfoliate and beautify to chemical peels that rejuvenate the skin. But the true magic lies in Bluffton Aesthetics’ laser treatments, utilizing state-of-the-art technology skillfully applied thanks to Ingrid’s thorough expertise.

“I went through the National Laser Institute’s very intense course, which blended instructional and real hands-on applications,” she said. “I really was able to learn how the process works and how to make it work safely. For my comfort level and the safety of my customers, I wanted to have that training in hand.”

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That training informs a suite of services utilizing cutting-edge Lumenis equipment, from laser-hair removal to photorejuvenation, ResurFX and tattoo removal. The results are astonishing, with years of age wiped away almost instantly. That becomes doubly important as summer once again finds us enjoying the outdoors, with the harsh sun damaging our skin.

“With summer you start seeing those sun spots or age spots. Our photo-facial treatments are able to target those pigment changes to reduce them,” Ingrid said. “And with those deeper wrinkles, we’re able to use a laser to target the water base to boost collagen. … With summer, we see a lot of interest in reducing spider veins. We have several different systems to treat those.”

The result is skin that regains its youthful plushness and softness, and legs that are ready for swimsuit season. But perhaps more importantly, the true result lies in a season filled with the youthful joy of summer and free of the dread of blemishes, wrinkles and spider veins.