Without notice another year passes by; we are another year older, and another wrinkle wealthier. When our good genes fail us we must turn to our good sense of direction to point us towards those skilled at softening the blows of Father Time and Mother Nature. For me the compass pointed due north and brought me to the Gold Coast location of Whole Beauty® Institute.
The Gold Coast is Chicago’s Mecca of haute couture, trend and beauty. Perched seven floors above Neiman Marcus, and overlooking the historical Water Tower Place, rests a peaceful sanctuary of beauty that mirrors the prestige and reputation of the area. Whole Beauty® Institute was founded by Dr. John Q. Cook, a renowned aesthetic plastic surgeon. Whole Beauty® Institute, in both the Gold Coast and Winnetka locations, have the unique ability to assess a client’s needs on both a therapeutic and surgical level.
Beyond a glass entry in a seventh floor suite rests a reception desk and waiting area that sports modern lines and furnishings, hugged by citrus tones. The atmosphere–enhanced by soothing classical tunes, a plentiful beverage selection and flat screen television–is relaxing, clean and refreshing. The beauty of the décor lies in its elegant simplicity, but this Gold Coast Medical Spa holds its glitz and glamour in the smiles of its employees and the high levels of service.
The expertly qualified and esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr. Cook, makes his attention to fine detail evident not only through the aesthetically pleasing and comfortable environment of his office space, but also through the careful appointment of a very knowledgeable and dedicated staff. Patients are well served not only by Dr. Cook, but by a Physician’s Assistant, two registered nurses (including one Certified Plastic Surgery Nurse) and two estheticians. Whole Beauty® Institute strives to be destinations of choice in the Medical Spa world for IPL services such as photo facials and hair removal, injectables including Botox® and Restylane™, Skin Resurfacing, Microdermabrasion and highly customized facial peels.
Some light research prior to my visit to made me privy to Dr. Cook’s impressive background. Cook was named Top Doctor in the Castle Connelly Guide and Top Surgeon by the Consumer’s Research Council of America. He is a staff member at Rush Presbyterian – St. Luke’s Medical Center. Skilled in facial rejuvenation surgery, Dr. Cook’s professional accomplishments are stacked with a myriad of outstanding academic achievements. I thought sitting across from a man with such outstanding credentials and holding such a wealth of medical knowledge would leave me intimidated, yet Dr. Cook exudes a very comforting and friendly nature.
As we chatted briefly in his office, Dr. Cook expressed how important it is for him to be an advocate for his patients. Because we live in a world of fear-based marketing, he feels strongly about “doing his homework” –offering his patients an innovative approach to personal care. Dr. Cook, strives to deliver the best results to each patient with the lowest potential for harm. In his own words, he hopes to be a “tool box full of solutions for patients.” Armed with the knowledge of innovation in the world of plastic surgery and extensive research in the realm of therapeutic skin treatment and enhancement, Dr. Cook can assess and deliver the most efficacious treatment for his patients to enhance their own personal beauty and form.
Dr. Cook and I proceeded to an examination room where he asked me if there were any particular concerns that I had with regard to my appearance. I responded that since my last birthday I witnessed the emergence of indentations around my mouth (nasolabial folds) and a well-defined crease in my chin. Taking a closer look under additional light, Dr. Cook weighed in on his recommendations for the best treatments for my skin and overall facial aesthetics. First, we discussed the benefits of the addition of Environ products to my skin care regimen.
Environ, a daily use clinical skin care line carried by Whole Beauty® Institute, is rich in vitamins A, C and E and antioxidants. Use of Environ products would help to maintain my skin’s appearance and moisture balance, and aid in protection against harmful environmental factors as well. Next, Dr. Cook noted that use of Restylane® injected at sites around the mouth and in the chin would appropriately add volume where lost and unwelcome lines and divots had emerged.
Restylane® is an injectable dermal filler made of hylauronic acid which is found naturally in the body. Fullness and volume is added to the areas showing a deficit in these qualities and the effects last several months until the body safely breaks down and absorbs the product. I left the office that day with samples of Environ and made an appointment to return two days later to experience for the first time the benefits of an injectable filler.
I was warmly welcomed back as I returned to Whole Beauty® Institute. I revisited the impeccably clean treatment room where Dr. Cook had given me my initial assessment. One of the nurses supplemented my knowledge of Restylane and thoroughly explained the imminent procedure. By suggestion of the doctor, I opted to have a dental block in lieu of solely a topical anesthetic to enhance my comfort level during treatment. As explained prior by the nurse, my entire mouth region was anesthetized via four mildly uncomfortable injections into my upper and lower gums. The numbing effect of the medication began quickly, and was supplemented by a topical anesthetic where injections would be made. The doctor entered post haste, impressing me with the efficiency and attentiveness of the office.
Though I was verbally alerted prior to each injection with the ultra fine needle, I was hardly bothered by the small pinch that I felt on some of the injections. I was pleasantly surprised by the speed and precision of the process. Dr. Cook held a mirror in front of me upon completion of the Restylane® injections to show the immediate results of the dermal filler, which would surely improve over the next several days after the mild swelling subsided. I felt fully educated about the importance of icing post treatment to reduce swelling and about possible temporary side effects to look for including mild bruising. I departed from Whole Beauty™ Institute feeling very confident about my premiere experience with Restylane® and with Dr. Cook and his dexterous staff.
By the time I stepped onto my driveway less than one hour later, the anesthesia had worn off but I knew that I would continue to enjoy looking in the mirror at my improved appearance. Whole Beauty® Institute embodies the principles of safety, results and service delivered in a comfortable environment. I felt individually important from the moment I stepped into the office until I waved goodbye. I will not hesitate to return for expert help in the future on living well and aging gracefully.
Stepping into renowned aesthetic plastic surgeon Dr. Cook’s Whole Beauty® Institute feels akin to stepping into a picturesque Winnetka residence. It’s no wonder that this distinguished North Shore practice prides itself on treating their patients like extended family.
Located on tree-lined Green Bay Road, the free-standing brick building fits seamlessly into the neighborhood. Convenient curbside parking, flowers and verdant green grass welcome patients at the entrance. Upon entering Whole Beauty Institute, guests discover an atmosphere of warmth and relaxation. With moss green upholstered walls, rich mahogany wood, a muted gold sofa, and red arm chairs, the reception area reflects the sophistication of doctor and his expert staff.
Dr. Cook’s credentials are nothing short of impressive and include degrees from both Yale and Northwestern, as well as eight years of surgical training at St. Luke’s Medical Center and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. I expected to be intimidated by this esteemed plastic surgeon but upon meeting Dr. Cook, I was impressed by his affable and comforting demeanor. This was a man I could entrust with my face (and body)!
The Doctor and his physician’s assistant welcomed me into his office and began my consultation with a series of questions to assess my skin care priorities, habits, and goals. Dr. Cook expressed his mantra of educating his patients about comprehensive skin care while helping them enhance natural beauty.
We proceeded to the clean and modern examination room, where the Doctor took a closer look at my areas of concern and overall skin condition. Dr. Cook used a bright light to zone in on my mild acne scars and present acne, assuring me that, overall, my skin was in very good condition. So we agreed upon a series of treatments for minor correction of my problem areas paired with overall skin maintenance.
The physician’s assistant, who happens to specialize in Dermatology, handed me a number of samples from the Environ Skin Care Line, a medical grade range of products focusing on Vitamin A and rich antioxidants. Dr. Cook then suggested Microdermabrasion to aid in the correction of my mild acne scarring.
I returned to the examination room, where the esthetician provided a wealth of knowledge about basic skin care that expanded upon Dr. Cook’s consultation. She explained that skin care is simple, and there are four steps that make up an ideal regime. First, antioxidants, followed by sunscreen, retinol, and peels like Microdermabrasion. She begins every new patient’s treatment with the same information, showing me how the staff is dedicated to educating their patients on healthy skin care, yet still completely fine-tuned to each individual’s needs.
My treatment began with a cleansing with a Clarisonic brush, a gentle brush with an oscillating head that allows for more thorough cleansing. She then showed me the diamond-tip head on the Microdermabrasion rod, which was about the size of a dime. As she began the treatment, she made sure that I was comfortable, opting for a lower intensity setting on the Microdermabrasion wand, allowing for more passes over the skin. Before I knew it, the treatment was complete and moisturizer and sunscreen were applied. I received instructions on post-Microdermabrasion care, and got a look at my fresh new face before heading back to the city, all aglow from my North Shore sojourn.
At Whole Beauty® Institute, those looking for expert aesthetic care and cosmetic surgery options find unparalleled results thanks to Dr. Cook and his staff of highly skilled Physician Assistants, Nurses, and Estheticians. And while you may feel like you’re part of the family at this North Shore beauty destination, top-notch services at the hands of a team of aesthetic experts are sure to leave you looking more glamour girl than girl next door. And that is something to write home about.
I tried this place on a whim from the Pretty in Pink promotion in October. I have always wanted to try microdermabrasion and since I’m getting a bit older, I feel like I have to be a bit more aggressive in skin maintenance.
Scheduling was easy. The office is not difficult to find unless you’re directionally challenged in the suburbs like me. The staff is welcoming and professional. The office also offers many other cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery.
I had Molly as my aesthetician and she was efficient and helpful. She answered a lot of my questions frankly and gave good recommendations. The entire session consisted of a thorough cleaning and the microdermabrasion, which I didn’t know started until 20 seconds into it, putting my qualms regarding pain level to rest. The entire procedure was 25-30 minutes tops and I left with no irritation or redness and my skin felt like a polished stone. Molly even showed me all the dead skin that came off and OHHHH EWWWWWW! I could not stop raving about it to all my friends and for a month afterward, my moisturizer still went on smoother and my results have been better than any cleansing facial I have ever had. Thanks to Molly, I plan to integrate more microdermabrasion sessions into my skin care.
Theoretically, to get the best effects, you are supposed to have one session per week for the first few weeks and then a maintenance microdermabrasion session every month. Each session costs $100, but there is a package deal of six for $510. While I definitely don’t have enough discipline to go every month, I will most likely be purchasing this package and be making more of an effort to keep this additively smooth feeling and better skin!
This place has been the best find from the Pretty in Pink promotion and I definitely plan to be back.