Melissa Juried Kriebel
To the unaware, it may come as a surprise that Sophia Michelle Andreola hails from a medical background, but her patients know the beauty guru’s knowledge runs deep.
“The problem we have in the U.S. is putting out fires instead of growing and building,” said the woman behind Preston Center’s Sophia Michelle Aesthetics. “A huge part of my practice is teaching a perspective of how to make choices within a day that do affect the aging process.”
Aside from research and teaching, the former vascular physician’s assistant was inspired by her patients.
“I received letters from patients on the impact the procedures made,” she recalled, finding their gratitude life-changing. “Insecurities had transcended into their entire lives.”
About a decade ago, Andreola started a medical practice consulting business.
“At that time, the aesthetic industry in Texas was changing because the laws were changing,” she said. “A physician or PA now had to clear patients before they received treatment. I eventually fell in love with aesthetics, seeing the impact of how a little change could alter a person’s entire life.”
Teaching sclera therapy, filler, and Botox, Andreola drew clients worldwide to spend a day or two with her. But the single mom with three children found the increasing work and travel overwhelming, so she stopped teaching and opened her aesthetic clinical practice.
“The benefit I get from spending an extensive amount of time with someone, getting to know them, then being able to guide them with evidence-based procedures has been extraordinarily powerful,” she said. “Beauty very much starts on the inside.”
Andreola eschews a cookie-cutter approach in favor of a personal one. “A lot of people walk into a business and are handed a list of things to do and their prices. That’s just not the way to go.”
Roughly a third of her patients come to her for hair loss; the other two-thirds seek anti-aging treatment. “A lot of my patients are very educated — lawyers, doctors, medical professionals.”
Andreola wants her patients to understand their treatments.
“Unfortunately, every day, thousands of new products, procedures, and techniques hit the market, and there is much less research behind them,” she said. “The most important thing to me is for my patients to have knowledge.
“My patients walk out of my office looking refreshed — like their best selves — and still looking like themselves,” Andreola added.
With Sophia Michelle Aesthetics going strong after seven years, Andreola looks forward to finishing her first book, for which she has already found a publisher.
The Little Black Book of Beauty will include sections on the aesthetic industry, a history of beauty, cosmetic surgery, hair, and how to strategize beauty within a budget.
“It would be amazing to turn the book into an online platform,” Andreola said, pondering the future before getting philosophical. “My purpose in life is to help the world be a better place, and that can just be one person at a time.”