Main and Mulberry: Grindstone – Robbie McDaniel, Eye Specialty Group

Robbie McDaniel of Collierville’s newly-opened Eye Specialty Group shares her experience treating patients’ skin. On this episode of The Grindstone, Robbie educates us on the technicalities of Chemical Peeling, Microneedling, and Skin Rejuvenation.


00:00 Keith: You’re listening to Main and Mulberry, the Grindstone. Main and Mulberry gives voice to local leaders in small towns telling big stories. This series, the Grindstone, focuses on a backbone of the US economy, the small businesses who are creating new jobs and driving innovation with hard work and determination. We’ll hear from business operators about everything from success stories, to what it really means to keep your nose to the grindstone. If you operate a business, or considering starting one, or just want to hear some amazing stories, you’re gonna love Main and Mulberry, the Grindstone.


00:35 Keith: Welcome to Main and Mulberry, the Grindstone. I’m Keith and I have been a small business operator for over 20 years, so I know what it’s like to be in the grind. And today, I have with me Robbie McDaniel, who is a registered nurse and medical aesthetician, if I’m saying that right? And she is with a relatively new business in the Memphis, Tennessee area that is called, Med-Spa Eye, Face and Body of Tennessee. And so, Robbie, how are you doing today?

01:04 Robbie McDaniel: I’m fine. Thank you, Keith.

01:06 Keith: Good. Well, I appreciate you being with us. I always like to just start off a little bit with telling our listeners right up front, what is Med-Spa? What do you guys do?

01:16 RM: Well, at our Med-Spa, we have all the different things to address the skin, such as skin care products, all the way through chemical peels, lasers. We even do laser hair removal. It’s all about skin rejuvenation and turning skin cells over to become younger and making the patient feel better about themselves and look better. I work with Dr. Cohen, who is the oculoplastic surgeon here at Eye Specialty Group. And so, we like to address the patient as a whole, not just correcting one specific area. So, we like to do… I love to do consultations with not just his patients, but we’re ramping up to address the public now, and addressing what their needs are, not so much of what we think, or what we want to sell to them. It’s more about what they’re wanting, what their needs are to make them feel better and to be a better person and their best self. That’s the way that I like to present myself as me helping them be the best you.

02:41 Keith: Gotcha, I like that. That’s a cool connotation. It’s kinda like the whole… It’s very popular to say, “Live your best life,” and you’re like, “Hey, be your best you.” I like that.

02:50 RM: Exactly. And everybody is different, everyone is unique, so nobody is put in a box, that’s why I pride myself on really getting to know the patient and/or the clients, and what their needs are, and what their expectations are, and making sure we’re on the same page. So, I think that works well.

03:15 Keith: So if I heard it correctly… And a lot of our listeners are interested in small business and how small businesses get started and so, if I heard it correctly, you guys kinda started off and you’re working with a certain doctor and you’re able to come up with this suite of services and present those to his existing patients if they’re right for those services. And you’ve been doing that to kinda get everything launched, and now you’re at the point where you wanna start bringing in potential clients that are coming in, just for your services maybe, or leading in with just for your services and that’s what you mean by, “Now we’re kinda ready to go out to the public.” But you kinda got your start working with some of these existing patients that may have been coming for another need, but recognize this new area of the business at Med-Spa, and recognizing a new area where they could improve. Is that right? Did I hear that right?

04:03 RM: Exactly, yes. Like I said before, it’s not just treating one area, it’s treating the whole body, the entire face. And when people feel like they look better and their skin is better and they feel younger, they’re gonna feel better about themselves. Excuse me. So they’re gonna be better in their jobs or at home with their families and their relationships. So that’s our goal, is to help people be the best by addressing everything as a whole and what their needs are. Correct.

04:41 Keith: Gotcha, and what is your… Robbie, what do you do for the business and what’s kind of your background? You’ve been doing this a while?

04:49 RM: Yes, I’ve been in aesthetic business for over 12 years. My role is to… I do assist Dr. Cohen in some of the surgeries, but also addressing and doing consultations with these people who want to make their face, their whole face, better. And so, I start out with consultations, finding out what their needs are, and then we have services that will address any type of skin need, any skin color. So we’re not limited on who we can treat or any age or what skin color or skin type. We can treat them all. We have something for everybody. If it’s a chemical peel, we have some of the best chemical peels. We do Morpheus8, which is a fractionated treatment that, it has 24 pins that penetrate the skin up to 4 millimeters below the dermis and delivers radio frequency, which heats up that dermis and causes the skin to… The fat to coagulate and the connective tissue to contract, which creates a resurfacing, but it also stimulates collagen growth and pulls the skin tighter. So it’s kinda like a little face lift if you’re a candidate, which most people are and you’re gonna see great results, if they’re wanting to buy time or they’re not wanting to do something so surgically invasive.

06:30 RM: And then, we also have the IPLs which help address reds and browns from sun damage or just aging skin. We have some of the best medical grade skin care products that they’re just… They’re phenomenal, and they all work together. So, I definitely like to put together a package plan and address all of those things because it’s not just one thing in particular that you need, and anybody that comes in and we talk about doing some of these procedures, the one thing that I go over is, what do you do at home? Because I always say, “It’s like going to the gym, and when you go home from the gym, what do you do from there? Do you stop by McDonald’s or are you gonna go eat healthy?” So skin care products are like skin food, so we wanna feed our skin with healthy products, and while we’re doing all these other procedures, and it’s just an ongoing process of keeping your healthy skin just like you would your healthy body.

07:41 Keith: Gotcha, okay, a couple of questions. You said a lot there, and I gotta dive in on something, ’cause I gotta admit I don’t understand some of it, but I want our listeners to, so there are a couple of things there, you talked about a chemical peel, and then you talked about something that involved needles, let’s go with the… Let’s start with what’s a chemical peel, tell me what that looks like?

08:00 RM: Okay, well, a chemical peel can be… Usually, it’s some type of acid be it glycolic, lactic or salicylic, and we just… I determine what kind of peel that client needs according to what their skin looks like, the problem areas that they have, whether it be an acneic or dry skin. So I pick the specific type of acid to use according to what their skin needs. So we do have one peel in particular that has trichloroacetic acid which is a very heavy, very… A peal that’s pretty aggressive. But we have a technique now where we can drive it past the epidermis into the dermis to where it does what it’s supposed to do, what trichloroacetic acid is supposed to do without any peeling. So, the acids are going to help stimulate collagen growth, it could help with acneic conditions, cell rejuvenation, skin rejuvenation. Does that make sense? [chuckle]

09:26 Keith: I think so. So you have… I think of it like you come in and you get something that it’s like paste that you put on the face and depending on the need, you’re choosing different types of chemicals, and then it is… Then it hardens and you peel it off and then that’s some, that helps with…

09:43 RM: Oh no, no it doesn’t harden. Okay, so you’re wanting to know what it does, the mechanic part of it?

09:49 Keith: Yeah, just a little bit of what could they expect if they…

09:50 RM: Okay, so when they come in, we talk about… After my consultation and find out what kind of skin problems they’re having, we cleanse the face and I will use whatever acid, but it’s just a very liquidy, it goes on very smooth, it sinks into the skin, so there’s no peeling or anything like that as far as having to peel it off, it’s just…

10:22 Keith: Okay, so it just happens to be the name of what they call it, a chemical peel, but it’s not a technical peeling like a face mask type thing.

10:28 RM: No, it’s not what a… It’s not a mask. I do other things that help condition the skin before they leave, like putting a mask on or some type of product to help neutralize it, but the process of peeling or what they do is they’re called peels and that it peels away all the dead skins and it goes layer by layer, down into and helps with skin, below the epidermis, helps the skin to rejuvenate and create new skin cells.

11:03 Keith: That’s cool. Okay…

11:05 RM: So in other words, the whole process behind doing chemical peels or microneedling or any of these things that you do for the skin, for skin rejuvenation, we are actually injuring the skin and the skin doesn’t realize we’re doing this on purpose. So anytime you have an injury to the skin, it automatically goes into repair mode like really fast. “Oh, my skin is… ” The skin is, “We’re injured cells, we need to rejuvenate and start producing healthy new skin cells.” So that’s the whole point behind doing chemical peels or whatever it is that we do, microneedling any type of fractional laser, that’s the idea is injuring that skin to where it goes into rapid repair mode.

11:56 Keith: Now that makes perfect sense to me, that… I have worked out all my life like lifting weights, and we talk about it a lot of times, you’ve gotta shock your muscles, you’ve gotta break your muscles down, then you’ve gotta feed ’em with protein, maybe feed ’em with creatine, because when they start to rebuild, that’s how they get stronger. So that, it’s a similar concept, you’ve gotta break down the skin…

12:14 RM: Yes.

12:14 Keith: And so then it starts to repair and rejuvenate, and so these are different methods in which to do that depending on what the desired result is and what the need is, right? So you’ll kinda choose based on what you’re seeing. Let me do ask you about the microneedling, does that hurt?

12:31 RM: We have excellent numbing cream. So when they come in, I cleanse the face, and I put this numbing cream and they’ll sit with their phone or a book or a computer or whatever they wanna do, and they sit for about 45 minutes to an hour with the numbing cream on. So, is it completely pain-free? There’s a million nerves in the face, so can it hit a nerve and it is kinda like a little pin-prick feeling? Yes, that can happen, but for the most part, it’s very easy to sit through. And you’re sticking pins into the face, so [chuckle] you can’t say it’s gonna be completely pain-free, but I can be pretty aggressive on patient’s skin to get the end result I’m looking for, and they’re able to tolerate it just fine.

13:24 Keith: Yeah, everything’s gonna have a little bit of discomfort, but that’s still a far cry from some sort of a plastic surgery or something like that. These are minimally invasive type things overall, right?

13:34 RM: Yeah, very minimally invasive, but can do… We’ve come so far with lasers and all these fractionated type treatments to get a really good result without having to do surgery. So, it cuts down on infection rates, downtime. Basically, no downtime at all. With the microneedling, you probably… With Morpheus8, it’s probably about three days of downtime but you can actually go out in public. You might have a couple of spots where it looks like little pin points where there might have been some bleeding, but it’s…

14:20 Keith: Just a little bit. And I’ve known someone that’s recently gone through some of that. It’s just like a little bit of a redness, maybe that’s like a light, but it’s not anything…

14:29 RM: Right, right and you don’t…

14:30 Keith: What this person experienced, it wasn’t anything that was…

14:32 RM: Correct. You can go in public and nobody really would ever know. We ask that for women, that they don’t wear make-up for three days just because we’ve put holes in the skin and we want them to close up. So before we start putting anything… And I give the products that they need to use, that will not hurt the skin while their skin is repairing itself.

14:56 Keith: Gotcha, okay. That makes sense. About how… What type of… How long until you actually see the rejuvenation begin? So if you’ve got a couple of days of downtime or something like that, but then how soon can you see the results of some of these things where you see the tightening of the skin or the place the collagen’s reproducing, things like that before you can see the positive result? Are we talking like days or months?

15:20 RM: Oh, actually, some people see it within a few days. They start seeing their skin, once it’s… The outside starts to repair and the holes close up, they start seeing it. But within three weeks, you’re really gonna see a difference, and then three months, and it’s just constantly building that collagen underneath. And we recommend, with the Morpheus8, we recommend about three treatments. But it’s still working, after the first treatment you’re still producing more collagen, and then the second treatment, it’s even more. And so, you’re gonna get a really good outcome for… It could last for years. Some people might wanna come back once a year and just get a touch-up, just depending on what they feel they need, and some people are pretty happy with what they have. It’s not plastic surgery, but it definitely will give a great result if you’re not wanting to do plastic surgery or you don’t want the downtime. Right.

16:31 Keith: So two quick questions on that. And one, I think first is, it seems to me that this would be that most of your clients are women? Does any of this apply to men too? Will men benefit from it?

16:45 RM: No, I have men clients for sure, yes. We have them and they come in and they do the Morpheus8. We do IPL where we’re trying to get rid of some of their sun damage, and we do Botox and some filler actually, dermal fillers to fill in and volumize where they’ve lost volume… Overtime, we lose the fat in our face and we… So we build it back up. We can build cheekbones, we can build chins back out, or somebody who…

17:19 Keith: Wow.

17:19 RM: Just has never had a chin. We can make those kinda things. So yes, we have plenty of men that are coming in and they’re very intuned to now of how their appearance makes them feel and how it relates to their relationships or their jobs and in the public.

17:39 Keith: Gotcha, okay. Yeah, that’s cool. So my next question is, this stuff sounds complicated, and that to me sounds like expensive. Do I need to get a second mortgage to be able to afford this stuff? What are you looking at?


17:55 RM: It’s really… When you compare it to surgery, it’s not near the cost. Anything worthwhile might cost a little bit of money, but it’s not gonna break the bank. And we do take CareCredit, things like that, as people need to… They can’t pay it off in one payment. But yeah, it’s doable, for sure. It’s just, you know, yeah.

18:27 Keith: Okay, and so tell our listeners where, how would they… If they wanted to visit you guys or to get more information, would they go to a website and what all service area are you in, where are you located? How do they reach out?

18:40 RM: Okay, we are located in Collierville. Eye Specialty Group has several locations, but the oculoplastics or the… Not the oculoplastics, just the Med-Spa is located in Collierville. In our location in Collierville, and I have a coordinator, her name is Pam Hathcock. So, that’s who they would speak to, who would put them on my schedule for an appointment or consultation.

19:15 Keith: Okay, is there a website or a phone number or something that you wanna put on, that people would call or…

19:20 RM: Yes. Yes. We are located at 148 West Poplar Avenue, and we’re in Suite 101, and that’s Collierville, Tennessee. And if they call it’s 901-767-1851 and Pam will schedule them for a consultation or appointment with me to get treated.

19:47 Keith: Okay, well, that sounds great. You’ve definitely been informative. I learned a lot about how these things work, today. Very, very technical process, and I think our listeners appreciate knowing what to expect, and while it kinda gets technical sometimes, and you talk about needles and maybe some of the things that sound negative, it’s really… Like you said, it’s not very invasive, it’s just that we’re trying to inform what to expect and that you do have to… You have to breakdown the skin. You have to injure the skin a little bit so that it is allowed to repair. That’s probably the… I’ve talked to a lot of different businesses that are in this area, around town and I’ve never heard it put that way, but that makes the most sense to me. I hear rejuvenation, but that sounds like a term to me, like a buzzword type thing. But when you say, and you’ve gotta breakdown the skin, rejuvenation, is it rebuilding itself to become stronger, that makes a lot of sense to me. So it really started to fall in place for me as you were talking and going through that, so I appreciate you being with us.

20:43 RM: Oh yeah, thank you so much, I appreciate you having me.

20:46 Keith: Absolutely. Well, guys, that wraps it up for this episode of Main and Mulberry, the Grindstone. You can see this episode and more at, and we’ll see you next time.


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