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We had the opportunity to speak with MaryAnn Guerra, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Aesthetics Biomedical Inc., an innovative industry leader in breakthrough technologies and committed to the development and distribution of novel aesthetic devices, products, and services in the global market. Guerra looked more radiant than ever as she walked us through Aesthetics Biomedical’s most popular – and our favorite – skincare treatments to promote beautiful and healthy skin, Vivace RF Microneedling and SoME PRP Skincare.

Vivace is a revolutionary new treatment approach combines microneedling and radiofrequency energy used with a specialized treatment serum and cooling peptide mask to provide patients with a superior treatment experience and natural-looking results.

A loyal Vivace devotee herself, Guerra has had a career-long passion for bringing technology to market, accelerating innovation from the lab into commercial businesses and providing an incomparable client experience. As the Founder of Aesthetics Biomedical, she understands the importance of designing experiences that create results. As a client of her own company, she values the opportunity to feel her very best at any age using leading-edge, FDA-cleared technology, treatment serums, and recovery agents that truly make a difference. In an exclusive interview, Guerra shares that it has been her privilege to advance these innovations through a network of respected physicians, providers and medical spas to make an impact on healthy aging for men and women.

L.A. Weekly

MaryAnn, how are you doing?

MaryAnn Guerra

I’m great. And yourself?

L.A. Weekly

Doing well. You look so nice! Jumping right into it, can you tell us more about Aesthetics Biomedical?

MaryAnn Guerra

Thank you! Yes. I’d love to do that. Aesthetics Biomedical was created in 2016 and the whole idea was to create a beauty tech company that would look at consumer needs and actuallyaddress them. We want to help consumers gracefully age. And so, as we developed the company, we looked at what are products that will allow them to do just that. If they’re young, we focus on preventative rejuvenation. If they’re older, we work on correction and target the concerns they feel may have gotten a little awry with their aesthetics, their face and even their body. And so, we have two products that are our hero products.

One of those hero products is Vivace, which is radiofrequency microneedling. The reason I think this product is a consumer favorite is because it can be used at any age. Basically, it uses radiofrequency with microneedles to create purposeful injury that keeps the collagen and elastin in your body at peak performance. By doing this, you can either address and improve fine lines and wrinkles, or you can prevent fine lines and wrinkles. All without downtime and without sacrificing great outcomes. That’s what the consumer wants. And that’s what a provider who’s delivering the treatment wants. And that’s what we want.

Our second hero product is SoME Skincare. We’ve taken advantage of the information and the data that’s come out on Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) to create this incredible product.

Many people know about Platelet Rich Plasma. It started out being used in orthopedics where you’d be able to inject it and it would stimulate your collagen and elastin to correct problems and to repair. This is when the aesthetics industry realized that this process is exactly what we need to create collagen and elastin, and help with repair. So, aesthetic physicians started doing injections and that’s when we began hearing about the wonderful “vampire facelift” and “vampire facial.” Have you heard about them?

L.A. Weekly

Oh, yeah. This is L.A.

MaryAnn Guerra

Wonderful! So as you know, those procedures started trending. But the downside of Platelet Rich Plasma is that it only lasts for about four to six hours – I haven’t seen any clear data to support this however that was the consensus among the industry. The process is relatively simple, once a provider draws the blood, they will spin it down until the platelets start to degranulate. When they degranulate, you have all these biomolecules that are in the platelets which contain all their rich growth factors and exosomes – all these wonderful things that keep your skin nice and fresh, keeping your collagen elastic and stimulated. But the caveat is that the results are only good for a limited time.

So, we made our product to preserve those platelets in their natural state for up to one hundred and twenty (120) days. The benefit of that is you could go to your physician, have your blood drawn to formulate your personalized PRP skincare product; an at home PRP treatment that you can use daily for your skincare or post laser procedure to speed up the healing process. Aesthetics Biomedical is all about being natural. We use all natural ingredients. We like to think of ourselves as an organization that’s moving towards personalization and natural products.

L.A. Weekly

Would you say that’s your mission?

MaryAnn Guerra

Yes. I want to deal with anti-aging in a way that basically helps the body do what the body did better when you were thirty (30), but it’s still doing it now and we want to just pump it up a little bit.

L.A. Weekly

And would you say that it’s for adults of any age?

MaryAnn Guerra

Yes. For example, your collagen production starts to diminish around age twenty-five or thirty (25-30). So at that point in time, your skin is going to experience the impact of having less collagen and elastin. If you care about that when you’re thirty (30) years old, you’re going to want to start using these products, same with radiofrequency microneedling with Vivace, as they also stimulate collagen and elastin. So, it’s basically prevention and rejuvenation in the current trends versus at sixty-five (65).

And it’s men and women, all skin tones and types. We’ve had no complaints from consumers using SoME Skincare on these different skin types, which is really important when you live in a diverse community that has all different skin, ethnicities and nationalities. It’s a really good, solid product that’s meant to be for everyone.

L.A. Weekly

When did you bring Vivace to Los Angeles?

MaryAnn Guerra

The interesting thing is that one of the first practices to offer Vivace® was in Los Angeles. Dr. Greg Mueller, a world-renowned Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, purchased the first Vivace device back in 2016. So, it’s been in the L.A. area for quite a while.

L.A. Weekly

And how would you say the market has welcomed it?

MaryAnn Guerra

Oh, very well. I mean, you’ve got cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban, who has multiple locations, she uses the Vivace®. And then you’ve got Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM – the founder of Nazarian Plastic Surgery and Spa26 in Beverly Hills – using it. You have some of your key well-known physicians there. But we have a lot of other practices using it that are in the L.A .area and just outside of the L.A. area.

L.A. Weekly

Would you say those names you listed are your top providers in L.A.?

MaryAnn Guerra

Yes, they are. I know it’s not the L.A. area, but Dr. Ashley Magovern from Manhattan Dermatology is another big one. Also, Dr. Grant Stevens, Past President of The Aesthetic Society, who’s also in Manhattan Beach uses it. We love all of our practices and L.A. is no exception. They’re great advocates for Vivace and they deliver great results for their patients.

L.A. Weekly

Can you tell me more about what drove you to create this amazing company?

MaryAnn Guerra

Well, that’s a long story! It was an evolution of many things. The quick story is that I spent twenty (20) years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and that’s where I learned the importance of science-driven products.

Great science leads to solving difficult problems that face the public. So, I worked with allergy infectious diseases  – I was there when AIDS was just breaking out – and then ended up at the National Cancer Institute. I solidified my theory that if you don’t have great science, you aren’t going to have great products. But if you can’t commercialize that great science, you might as well not do the science.

L.A. Weekly

Right.

MaryAnn Guerra

So, you have to have – I used to say – science skills plus business skills, right? It’s what equals success. And so I’ve kind of evolved my career into really working with entrepreneurs to get them to find these great ideas, helping them vet which were the best ideas and then helping get them funded so that they can have a viable business. I actually worked with some of the folks at USC and a little bit in the L.A. area and even the county, as we were developing incubators in that area. We also created an incubator here in Arizona called BioAccel. I was lucky enough to work with entrepreneurs, lucky enough to work with investors. When this radio frequency technology started to become a thing, I got the opportunity to help take Vivace through the FDA and successfully receive the 510k clearance. Once it got cleared, I used my network of investors to raise the capital needed to launch the company. On January 16, 2016, we got the Vivace cleared in the United States. I raised capital and that kickstarted the company. Then, shortly thereafter, Dr. Greg Mueller adopted the technology and we were off to the races.

L.A. Weekly

That’s amazing. Other than yourself, who would be the team that makes up Aesthetics Biomedical® Inc.? Do you have a team of scientists, dermatologists?

MaryAnn Guerra

Yes, we have a rockstar group of industry leaders. Sheldon Larson, our Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), is simply amazing. The way in which you communicate with consumers is shifting so quickly therefore you have to be connected and up to date with the latest trends. Sheldon and his team are fantastic at building authentic relationships with consumers. It is equally important to build rapport with our network of providers. During the pandemic, the role of CMO took on a whole new meaning, to ensure we had the right kind of infrastructure to make those connections happen. So, Sheldon leads that charge for us.

We have Dr. Lawrence Rheins, our Chief Science Officer (CSO). He has a background in derivative products and also in terms of regenerative products. He worked at Proctor and Gamble for a long time in Ohio, working with large industries. And then he was with a couple of startup companies working on these regenerative products. So he came to us with this incredible knowledge of topical skincare and regenerative products that he played right into the SoME Skincare opportunity.

We have a fantastic regulatory team, led by Rachel Lord, to make sure that we are in compliance with everything that we need to be in order to deliver safe, effective products to the public.

Additionally, our Director of Innovation, who is a brilliant young man. His name is Shaun Wootten. Shaun actually has two patents issued on SoME Skincare, which, if you know anything about patents, they take a long time to procure and it is an incredible feat to do so multiple times at twenty-six (26) years old. He did that while working with us, and he’s got a couple other patents related to devices that he’s been working on. Just an amazing young talent.

Todd Rethemeier is our Chief Financial Officer (CFO). His background is out of Wall Street and has helped support the company and our growth with fundraising and capital raises for some of the projects we’re working on now.

That’s the main team.

We also work with a large network of aesthetic physicians and providers who are advisors outside of the company to ensure we get an outside perspective. And then, of course, there is our wonderful and responsive Service Department. We invest in our Training Department as well because we think training is absolutely critical to our products, it does not do an aesthetic provider nor the consumer any good if we sell a product and somebody doesn’t know how to use or operate the product in the right way to benefit the consumer. The last thing the consumer wants to do is invest in treatments or skincare products and either have a negative/adverse reaction or have no outcomes. We want to make sure that we know the device or product works, and we want to make sure our providers know how to use the device to get the outcomes that they need. Training has been a very important component of what we do.

Our Sales Department is led by John Godson, Vice President of Sales. And we’ve expanded that to include Practice Development, because, again, we really think it’s important that practices not only know how to use our technology, but know how to explain that use to the consumer. We do this in case a consumer goes to a practice and says “this is my problem, do you have anything that can help with it?” We make sure that the practice, providers, and their staff know our different technologies inside and out.

And then, of course, we have our Warranty Department. The good thing is our devices very rarely require service. But, when they do, you’ve got patients lined up, you’ve got revenue on the line. So we understand the need to be extremely responsive to our practices with a robust and responsive group that immediately answers the call to help.

I like to think that we are very well rooted with strengths in all the areas, with us being not only admin-focused, but consumer-and provider-focused as well.

L.A. Weekly

Would you say that high touch point with both clientele and partner providers is what sets you apart from others in the industry?

MaryAnn Guerra

I believe it does. I hear things and I personally respond to them on occasion and that I think is really important. There’s not a large bureaucracy. I mean, I have worked for the federal government. I know what bureaucracy is. So, I want to make sure that we communicate effectively so that we improve things for our customers.

L.A. Weekly

Right.

MaryAnn Guerra

Continual improvement. And it’s not just the term that’s used, but it’s actually an activity that’s embraced and executed. I believe we do it pretty well. I think if you talk to the practices that work with us, they would tell you the same thing.

L.A. Weekly

Would you describe Vivace as an invasive process, or no?

MaryAnn Guerra

Not invasive. Or, minimally invasive, I guess if I had to be very specific. A set of needles in your face, people always say, “oh my goodness, that’s awful.” But it’s really not. Not all microneedling treatments are the same. Some devices are designed differently and they’re a little bit more painful because of the design of the handpiece and how the needles penetrate the skin.We have people come to us and say, “I had a treatment with this other device, and I’ll never go back again.” With our device, I don’t think I’ve ever had anybody that I know of personally that has not come back for their second, third, even, four, fifth and sixth treatment.

L.A. Weekly

That’s a wonderful testimonial. Who would you recommend Vivace to?

MaryAnn Guerra

So again, everybody is different, and everybody has something that they might want to address. So if you look at the folks that are in their early 30s, if they’re really concerned about aging and want to prevent wrinkles and fine lines from setting in, then I would say you should use the Vivace for that prevention because it will naturally stimulate your body to do what it’s supposed to do better.

If you’re older, definitely utilize Vivace’s correction. We see amazing changes on the neck, tightening the fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and around the lips. If you’re in the category that wants this, you will want the Vivace to help you eliminate problem areas. If you look in the mirror and you say, “oh, I’ve got to do something about my skin. It’s loose. My pores are big. I want my face tightened.” There’s a lot you can do with Vivace to address those skin concerns.

L.A. Weekly

I got to say, there’s not many workplaces that leave you glowing and looking younger.

MaryAnn Guerra

We do it through the products that we have and also just because it’s also a wonderful environment to work in!

L.A. Weekly

Yes, absolutely. So outside of Los Angeles, where else could we find Vivace?

MaryAnn Guerra

Well, we have both VivaceExperience.com and SoMESkincare.com where you can use our Physician Locator, it will tell you where to find a provider in every state. We try to make it really easy for the consumer to find a practice that has a Vivace, and we have almost one thousand (1000) practices across the United States. So hopefully, there’s a practice near you, wherever you are. I think we even have them in Fargo, ND!

L.A. Weekly

I’m sold. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you.

MaryAnn Guerra

Well, it was a pleasure speaking with you, too!

LA Weekly