2017 Extraordinary Woman

Each year, Clara MediSpa honors a woman who has made significant contributions to her family and to her community. Over the past years, we have been fortunate to spend time with some amazing women in our community:

2013 – Dawn Ignatius

2014 – Lupita Hastings

2015 – Anita Sepp

2016 – Amy Boles


We are so pleased to introduce this year’s Extraordinary Woman – Jane Hegstrom. Jane is a wife, mother, and dedicates herself to helping children in our community. We look forward to pampering her with a spa day and making a donation to her charity of choice, The Hanger. The best way to describe this amazing woman is to share her nomination from Kristen Nunez:

Quiet but mighty, Jane Hegstrom has dedicated the past 16 years to advocacy work on behalf of at-risk youth throughout the Pikes Peak Region. A resident of Colorado Springs married to Dr. John Hegstrom and mother to Adam and Luke, Jane made a decision to volunteer as a CASA advocate through a friend of hers who was fostering a young boy. This boy had a CASA advocate assigned to his case and Jane was deeply moved by the work she did on behalf of the boy. At a point in life where she could make a significant time commitment, Jane took the advocacy class and was assigned her first case. Since then, Jane has continuously had a case as an advocate and up to three cases at one time.

Jane continues to make a life-changing impact on countless children but, when asked which case she feels made the biggest difference, she told of a young woman, now an adult, who was removed from her home at age 5. Her first case as a CASA volunteer, Jane quickly discovered the extent of abuse and neglect this young girl faced at the hands of her mother. The girl was a severe Type-1, insulin-dependent, diabetic who was punished by her mother for having the disease and was made to stand in cold showers, fully clothed, for hours at a time. Her mother also made her pack a garbage bag with her belongings and sit outside on the curb for hours, and, in one instance, overnight - alone, at age 5. Jane was instrumental in helping this girl receive the resources and treatment necessary to obtain safety and permanency. The girl’s foster care placement led to adoption and, today, at age 21, she is in college, working full time, and maintains close family ties to her adoptive family. Through care and persistence, Jane changed the course of this young woman’s life which was on the path towards tragedy and despair.

While Jane still actively serves as a CASA advocate, she is the founder and volunteer manager of The Hanger (a project of CASA’s Milton Foster Children’s Fund) - a store where fos-ter youth may shop for free donated clothing and accessories and gain work experience by assisting with store operations. This project began when Jane encountered a young woman who was placed in foster care with minimal clothing and personal belongings and moved from a very small rural school to Coronado High School in Colorado Springs. The young woman was skipping school daily and when asked why she wasn't going, the girl replied she was too embarrassed to wear the same clothes to school every day. Jane immediately saw the need to provide clothing for foster youth not provided by any other agency and started formulating a plan to start The Hanger so these youth could have a sense of normalcy among their peers. Today, The Hanger is open almost every Saturday throughout the year and receives upwards of 60 fos-ter youth visits weekly. Foster youth may take up to five items of clothing on each visit along with other personal items.

There are a number of volunteers who support The Hanger, but Jane is always working to ensure its continued operations. From picking up and sorting through the thousands of dona-tions received each year, to changing out the inventory each season and working on any given Saturday when the store is open, Jane is the ‘face’ and constant presence for this important community resource, unduplicated in this area. Through her work there, she provides a warm, safe, and non-judgmental presence to the many foster youth she interacts with on a regular basis.

As someone who personally knows and has volunteered with Jane, I cannot think of an-other Extraordinary Woman who better exemplifies giving generously and sacrificially to others and who makes a meaningful difference in her family and community. I am inspired by her passion, commitment, and selfless dedication to the youth in this area who need a lift up and possibly a chance to change the course of their future.

Here are quotes from Jane’s sons when asked about the impact she has made in the community:

"Our mom Jane Hegstrom taught us from an early age the virtues of generosity, kindness, and serving others; not only through what she thinks and says, but also through her sacrificial and creative actions both within our family and throughout the community. We are extremely excited for the legacy of love that she is helping to build through CASA and The Hanger."  - Adam

"Jane Hegstrom is truly an extraordinary woman! Not only is she the most incredible, loving and inspiring mother to my brother Adam and I, she has dedicated the last 15+ years of her life to helping kids less fortunate in the foster care system in the Pike Peak Region. So many of us would love to make a difference in our community but just don’t know where to start sometimes. This is not a problem for Jane! One of her strengths is being able to recognize a need in the community, especially in the lives of foster kids, and step forward to formulate a plan to fulfill those needs. She has continually demonstrated this through her extensive volunteer work as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), committee member on the Milton Foster Children’s Fund and working at the store she helped start The Hanger which fulfills the needs for clothing and personal items for local teens in the foster care system. Through Jane’s efforts, she is making a positive impact in the lives of foster kids in our community."   - Luke

Stay Dry this Summer
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that causes excessive sweating. While sweating is necessary, hyperhidrosis can interfere with every day activities. Sweat from underarms may often soak through clothing, hands may be constantly damp, and the excess sweat can contribute to skin infections. This condition can cause embarrassment, affecting daily social interactions.

If you answer yes to any of the following, you may have hyperhidrosis:
  • Do you sweat visibly, even when you are sitting or in a location that is not warm?
  • Does your sweat drip heavily, soaking your clothing or your papers?
  • Do you have to wear layers of clothes or change throughout the day to hide the sweating?
  • Does sweating interfere with daily activities such as typing or turning a doorknob?
  • Do you get frequent skin infections in areas that sweat heavily?

For many people, hyperhidrosis begins during childhood or teenage years. But it can begin at any age, affecting both genders and people of all races. Hyperhidrosis can be the primary condition, or it may be a condition that is secondary to another medical issue. Because hyperhidrosis can indicate a more serious, underlying medical issue, it’s important to see your dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis.

Many people do not realize that hyperhidrosis can be treated. At Clara MediSpa, we treat hyperhidrosis with botulinum toxin injections in the underarm area. For patient safety, we use only botulinum toxin provided by Allergan known as BOTOX® and sourced in the U.S. The FDA has approved these injections for the underarm area, and studies show high effectiveness. The injections temporarily block a chemical in the body that stimulates sweat glands. Results are usually visible within a week and will last 4 to 6 months. Once excessive sweating returns, the treatment needs to be repeated.

Our patient tell us that the treatment is “life changing”. Our hope is that you step out this summer with confidence.

Time to Give Thanks!

Vanguard Skin Specialists and Clara MediSpa have partnered for a “Give Thanks” campaign to recognize local charitable organizations who make a significant impact on our communities and world at large. It’s our way of thanking charities for the incredible work they do. We are excited to announce the five finalists:

Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado


At Care and Share Food Bank, we believe that no one should go hungry. Our vision is an end to hunger in the 31 Southern Colorado counties that we serve. Last year, Care and Share distributed 23.7 million pounds of food, the equivalent of more than 19 million meals, to 134,000 of our Southern Colorado neighbors facing hunger.

CASA of the Pikes Peak Region


Milton Foster Children's Fund (MFCF) provides foster children in El Paso and Teller counties with opportunities not funded through existing agencies or programs, allowing them to be nurtured, educated and enriched just like other children, and grow into healthy, contributing adults. Last year, we served more than 920 children through the program.

Feed My Starving Children


Feed My Starving Children is called to feed God’s starving children hungry in body and spirit. Mobilepack weekends started in 2008 and to date have packed over 3 million nutritious meals, and raised over $700,000 at our Colorado Springs annual event. Hundreds of local community groups, and thousands of local volunteers have been a part of helping us fight world poverty.

Help the Needy


Over the past 35 years our all-volunteer organization has given 100,000+ hours and assisted over 5,000+ families with shelter, transportation, education, medical, dental and counseling. We advocate for the poor and at-risk. In essence, we offer a helping hand to keep families from losing what they have. We collaborate with other organizations to ensure clients’ needs are met.

Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains


Lutheran Family Services was founded in 1948 to provide adoptive placement for babies. LFS has since added services for birth parents, foster care, older adult services, refugee resettlement, immigration legal services, prevention services, parenting support for at-risk or struggling families, and case management for survivors of disasters.

The charities will be awarded grants between $250 to $5,000, and you can help choose the winners. Go online to vote for your favorite between now and November 22nd. Winner will be announced Thanksgiving Day.

Where to vote:

Give Thanks Campaign

Give Thanks Vanguard Skin Specialists and Clara MediSpa are partnering on a “Give Thanks” campaign to recognize local charitable organizations who make a significant impact on our communities and world at large. It’s our way of thanking you for the incredible work you do.

Vanguard and Clara will feature selected charities through social media including Facebook, website, and newsletters. The public will have an opportunity to “vote” on their charity of choice, and we will award top charities. It’s an opportunity to showcase your work and receive funding.

Eligibility Requirements

We will feature up to five charities this year. To be eligible, your organization must have headquarters or a location in El Paso or Teller County.

We know that there are lots of great causes out there. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we will select charities which focus on helping children and/or families in need. Your beneficiaries can be local, national, or overseas.

We also want to see a proven track record for achieving your mission and demonstrating financial responsibility.

The Campaign

The campaign will take place during the month of November. All charities will be showcased on Vanguard and Clara’s social media platforms and through displays in the offices.

Voting will take place through Facebook:

The Facebook pages will include a description of each charity. The description will include a link to the charity website and a short description of the charity. From November 1-22, the public can “vote” for their favorite charity through Facebook.

Winners will be announced Thanksgiving Day.

Give Thanks Awards

Vanguard Skin Specialists and Clara MediSpa will make the following awards to the most recognized charities:

First place:                                    $5,000

Second place:                               $1,000

All participating charities:           $   250

To Apply

We know you’re busy changing the world. So we made the application process simple. Submit the following information via email to Megan Wilkerson, mwilkerson@vanguardskin.com.

-        Your information

  • Name of organization
  • Name of contact person
  • Email & phone number
  • Website

-        A link or attachment with your annual report (or 2 year’s financials)

-        One simple page that tells us the following 3 things:

  • The mission of your organization
  • The impact you make
  • How you will help promote your organization to maximize the number of “votes” that your organization receives

Final application deadline is October 12, 2016, but we will accept charities on a rolling basis until then. So apply early.

Charities will be selected at the sole discretion of Vanguard Skin Specialists and Clara MediSpa. We will select and notify finalists by October 20. We’ll work with you to design a great campaign to feature the work you do.

Skincare for Your Wedding

First off, CONGRATULATIONS! You get to marry the love of your life.

But then the stress sets in…

So many things to plan, so many little details to think about, and of course that crazy uncle or aunt that can’t sit by most of the family.

Well, let us help you with one thing from your long list of stressors, your skin. Every bride wants to be glowing and gorgeous on her big day, but most people don’t know what they can do to help their skin get there.

First step is sunscreen. This will prevent you from getting sunburned, weird tan lines, and it will also help to prevent new sun spots or freckles from coming to the surface on your skin. Try to find one that says “non-comedogenic”, is a broad spectrum coverage, is 30 SPF or greater, and make sure to reapply. We recommend sunscreen with either zinc, or titanium oxide which sit on top of your skin and reflect the sun rays off of your skin.

Second, start a regimen of tretinoin. This is one of the most effective anti-aging ingredients, and for highest efficacy, you want the prescription tretinoin instead of over-the-counter retinol. Warning: It will cause peeling initially so if it is within 3 months of your wedding, this might not be a great option for you to start now.

Tretinoin is a topical medication that will help to exfoliate the skin and promote cell turnover to reveal more youthful skin. Using this daily (depending on the peeling) is ideal and will lead to healthier skin that will look gorgeous for all the pictures you’ll be taking on the big day.

Third addition is the use of an antioxidant. Most people have heard of the benefits of eating antioxidants, but not many know about the benefits of using them topically on your skin. They have a similar effect to what they do in body by binding to free radicals and in turn decreasing the chances of developing skin cancer. An antioxidant in combination with sunscreen optimizes protection. Although most skin cancers are not life threatening they definitely don’t look beautiful in wedding pictures, so why not take this step to make sure you are beautiful when you walk down the aisle.

Finally, your insurance for the big day is Laser Genesis. This is a laser treatment that is non-invasive and acts as an “air-brush” of your skin before the big day. It will help even your complexion, decrease the appearance of minor imperfections, scars and lines, and make those pores look smaller. This will just aid your makeup stylists in making sure that you look flawless! The most important thing to know about this treatment is that it has no down time and usually the best results are seen if you do it about 2-3 days before your wedding day.

Once again congratulations on your big day and we hope that these steps help you to reach your skin care goals. Remember to stay hydrated and try not to stress (too much). No matter which crazy uncle shows up you still get to marry the man of your dreams!

Anneliese Hale is a Physician Assistant student, who completed her dermatology rotation at Vanguard Skin Specialists and Clara MediSpa. She is also a former Medical Assistant and former member of the pre-health program at Vanguard Skin Specialists. She appears here, picture perfect on her wedding day. (Photo credit: Dynamic Range Photography)

2016 Extraordinary Woman

Each year, Clara MediSpa honors a woman who has made significant contributions to her family and to her community. Over the past years, we have been fortunate to spend time with some amazing women in our community:

2013 – Dawn Ignatius

2014 – Lupita Hastings

2015 – Anita Sepp


We are so pleased to introduce this year’s Extraordinary Woman – Amy Boles. Amy has devoted her life to those around her, so we look forward to pampering her with a spa day. She is a woman of grace and humility, and the best way to describe her is to share her husband’s nomination:

Grace, beauty, sacrifice, service. These are a few of the attributes that surface when I consider the extraordinary woman I’m lucky to call my wife.

Amy rises early to get her mind on the things that are important to her and her family before she launches into her day. Often in the mornings I’m amazed to walk into our kitchen and stare bleary-eyed at a meal that’s fit for kings—or for two hungry kids and a grateful husband. There will be three plates at the table, already filled with nutritious fuel. She insists we get enough food before she takes any.

After filling the air with a million questions that only mothers think of—Do you have your cleats? Plenty of gas in your car? Did you brush your teeth? —she’s off to work before 7:00. Guiding and equipping high school students to be engaged in our community is her job and passion.

Her occupation fits perfectly with who she has always been. When I first fell in love with Amy 20 years ago, she was living in the African bush, hiking miles each day between villages, assisting church leaders. The locals gave her the Swati name “Nothando,” which, appropriately, means “Love.”

Amy has exercised her love of service throughout our marriage. From coordinating mission trips, to helping me run a youth camp, to her current work, she chooses to blend her passions and her professions, but never at the expense of her most cherished callings—wife and mother.

Our teenage son loves to play baseball, and he’s the first one to say he owes his athletic success to his mom, who wouldn’t let him quit after he stormed off the field during his very first practice. Today her voice is the loudest one in the bleachers.

Amy says our daughter was born in her heart. It was at my wife’s urging that we attended a meeting 13 years ago to look into Chinese adoption. “Do you know how many kids are waiting for homes?” she asked me. No, I didn’t; but after catching up to her research and being infected by her compassion, I also wanted to adopt. From there Amy was the driver on a journey that lasted 13 months before we were matched with a little girl from China’s poorest province. After loving our baby daughter through the primal wounds that many of these kids endure, today we have a happy, bright, caring, beautiful young lady—a reflection of her mother.

I’ve moved my family more than I’d like, but Amy has always been supportive. Along the way she has had to leave friends and family, but she remains confidants with each person she has called “friend.” Like me, her friends know she’s a rare blend of someone who speaks the truth in love, utterly void of judgment.

What’s more, they know she’d do anything for them. On a mission trip to Mexico, she took a pair of two-week-old, one-hundred-dollar Nikes off her own feet and gave them to another mother who was without shoes. There was a chance to love on kids in Haiti, and she didn’t hesitate. A friend needed a refrigerator, and we had an extra one. An African family needed money to build a house, and we could help. An exchange student needed a family to stay with, and we had room. I could write this entire piece on what I’ve seen her give without expectation.

Between work, managing our home, shuttling kids, church activities, and being there for friends, she believes a 10-minute bath is too luxurious. New makeup? Our son needs new shoes. A fresh hairstyle? Our daughter wants to go to camp. Believe me, I try to get her to take more time for herself, but even light pampering hasn’t been a priority for her.

My redheaded angel turns red-skinned when she’s embarrassed, and she’d blush brilliantly if she knew she was nominated for doing the things that she cannot help but do. But I cannot think of a more deserving woman. One definition of extraordinary is this: Going beyond what is usual or customary; exceptional in character. If Amy isn’t an extraordinary woman, my dictionary is extraordinarily wrong.

Ideas for Mother's Day

Mother's Day is approaching, and we have some ideas for you including specials on facials, gift cards, and skincare.


We'll beautifully wrap your gift card and help your mother feel extra special. Plus, for every $100 gift card, we'll give you $20 off your next aesthetician service.


One hour of pure bliss for your mom and her skin. All mothers will receive a complimentary facial upgrade.


It's a full skincare regimen at a discounted price and in a cute makeup bag.

(4) jane iredale GIFT WITH PURCHASE

We'll help your mother find the perfect colors, and we'll also include a complimentary lip drink and lash conditioner with every $50 purchase.


A signed hard cover copy of Dr. Chung's book with a $25 donation to World Vision through his link. Support a great charity and read an amazing story.

All offers are valid through the end of May 2016.

Why see an aesthetician?

“An Esta-what? Oh, an aesthetician… So, what do you do?” This is a question I am very often asked when people inquire as to what my profession is, and I answer them that I am an Aesthetician. To be fair, the title doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, and is even harder to spell. But once you’ve got the spelling down, it’s quite easy to understand.

So, what is an aesthetician, anyway?

Aestheticians, also known as “Skin Therapists” are state licensed professionals certified to practice cosmetic treatments that treat the skin. Though we are not certified to medically diagnose conditions, the list of what an aesthetician can perform includes a myriad of treatments such as: microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, chemical peels, micro-needling, facials, hair removal, and makeup artistry. The list grows more every year. You will find us in medical spas, day spas, some salons, dermatology practices and cosmetic surgeon’s offices.

Now that we’ve covered the basic logistics of aesthetics, let’s take a deeper look. As a skin therapist, it is my job to partner with people to personalize at-home skin care routines, as well as in-office treatments to help clients achieve healthy, glowing skin.

I would like to emphasize the words partner and personalize.

My career is more than my job. It is my passion. My calling. I view myself as a skin advocate. A protector. A healing hand. Every client I have the pleasure of working with is incredibly unique. Their circumstances: complex. Their life stories: amazing. I view them not only as clients, but as a partner I have the honor of embarking on a journey with — a journey to skin health. When a client experiences a positive change in their skin, it is far more than skin deep. Seeing a client whose acne as regressed regain confidence or a client with melasma smile as they look in the mirror whereas before they averted their gaze or a client simply feel refreshed and renewed from a facial after a long week, my heart is truly warmed. It is personal. This is the case with most aestheticians. We exist to make you feel as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside, and when we have the opportunity to do that, we find it richly rewarding.

Whether you have a challenging skin condition or are simply looking to take preventative measures, aestheticians are your skin’s best friend.

Here at Clara MediSpa, aesthetic consultations are complimentary.  We are passionate about skin health. It is our mission to protect and enhance each individual’s skin. In addition to the many esthetic services we offer, we are able to appropriately direct any medical concerns. We would love the opportunity to meet you, so that that you, too, can put your best face forward!

Written by: Lisa Stewart, Aesthetician