The provider-patient relationship is built on trust & understanding, but for some providers cutting corners with counterfeit products ends up costing THEIR PATIENTS.



"I GET MY BOTOX DONE FROM AN AT-HOME FRIEND WHO CHARGES LESS" much do you value your health and safety?  Uhhh....or your FACE?

If a deal seems too good to be true, make sure you're armed with knowledge.  It can cost you far more than dollars in the long run.  It's your mug after all, & your HEALTH!

* Fact: Not all doctors purchase their injectables from official sources, putting their patients at risk as a result.

* Fact: The FDA recently took action again against illegal drug importation by issuing an alert about fraudulent BOTOX®/BOTOX® Cosmetic/DYSPORT® purchased from an unlicensed supplier that is not authorized to ship or distribute drugs within the United States.

* Fact: The only way to purchase authentic Allergan or Galderma products is through an Allergan or Galderma representative or one of their authorized distributors like Alchemy Marin.

* Fact: Black market pharmaceuticals have questionable efficacy, may contain harmful ingredients that aren’t meant for human consumption or for intravenous use, and are often mishandled and improperly stored with potentially tragic results.

* Fact: Allergan & Galderma does not guarantee the authenticity of any product not purchased directly from one of their reps, regardless as to whether that product appears to be a branded Allergan or Galderma product.

* Fact: Patients who pay for discounted counterfeit products often end up unhappy and seek our expertise in correcting the issues. All. The. Time. ya, really.

* Fact: What you don’t know CAN hurt you.  If it’s cheap, there is a reason. Anyone with a reputable thriving practice has no need to treat outside of it.  


we correct serious mistakes made elsewhere WEEKLY.

When these unscrupulous physicians choose to save money by purchasing from unverified third-party vendors, they’re also making vicarious decisions for every single patient that may someday walk in their clinic door. They are not only risking their license, they’re simultaneously putting their patients’ health and even life in the balance. Knockoff drugs may seem like a bargain, but the ultimate cost could be devastatingly expensive.


As if purchasing and administrating questionable products wasn’t egregious enough, physicians who decline to purchase directly from Allergan or Galderma also lose out on the intensive and detailed training the company offers. Alchemy Marin is also an official Allergan & Galderma practice. 

We have been chosen across many of our labels as a top tier location because of our proper methods and techniques for administering neurotoxins and fillers.  Our Nursing Director has been injecting longer than anyone else in the Bay Area.  She has worked in aesthetic nursing since the 80's where she worked on facial wasting in AIDS patients.  


We value our patients and thrive on providing them with incredible experiences and procedural outcomes based on honesty, EXTENSIVE training, and mutual respect. We welcome the opportunity to educate the consumer on everything from our relationship with purveyors like Allergan & Galderma to the recommended dosages for the products those patients elect to use.

The best way you can protect yourself as you pursue aesthetic enhancements is to have thorough consultations prior to having any services rendered and ask extensively about the products offered and the injectors available. First time consultations are always complimentary at Alchemy Marin, as it is our pleasure to educate and serve our community.





Taking time to truly relax seems like a rare experience these days, yet it is so important. Since my move to California, I have tried to set a new intention for work-life balance, which includes time to read and just chill, sans screens. In an age where we are uber connected and constantly updated, I find myself yearning for some restorative offline time. The Universe must have heard my pledge, because a home and beauty brand just up the the coast from me in Malibu recently reached out to collaborate. I instantly said yes and began to craft my at home spa day with their intoxicating signature gardenia scent... Kai. 

As a Malibu-based company, Kai is very connected to the beauty of the world around them. All of their products are paraben, sulfate, phthalate and phosphate-free. They are also a cruelty-free brand that is made in the USA. All of these things attracted me to Kai, along with the quality of their products. 

At Home Spa Day Essentials

  • Relaxing music. I like to play the Spotify playlists under 'Chill' where you will find a classic Spa Treatment list and something a bit more hip with theMellow Beats Playlist.
  • A Kai Candle and Kai Reed Diffuser to set the stage with a fresh gardenia scent.
  • Hot water + fresh lemon. Simple and satisfying.
  • Good reads. I recently read Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All by Russell Simmons and really enjoyed the connection of spiritual mindfulness with the work you do. A great reminder to give freely to the world the gift you have to give and it will all work out beautifully.
  • Healthy snacks. Fresh fruit and snap peas are my go-to snacks these days and are perfect for keeping digestion light.

The Perfect Bath

I love to unwind with a bath, and over the years I have learned a few things that make baths not only enjoyable but beneficial. 

  • Run a bath at a temperature that feels warm (but doesn't scald) when you hold your elbow under the stream of water. This usually ensures a perfect temperature.
  • Add Kai Bathing Bubbles or Body Wash for a delicious smell and some fun bubbles.
  • Add one half cup to one cup of epsom salts to help pull toxins out and ease sore muscles.
  • Drop five to ten drops of argan oil for an extra level of hydration that soaks into your skin.
  • Use the Kai Body Buffer to gently scrub away dead skin cells and increase circulation for a healthy glow.
  • Add rose petals for a special touch.
  • When you get out of the bath try to air dry and let the oils soak in. Follow up by misting Kai Body Glowon arms and legs and rub in for added moisture that is lighter than lotion, yet still hydrating. Perfect for summer.  All essential KAI products can be found @ Alchemy Marin with 20% off this week when you mention this post! 

"The Face Oil To End All Face Oils"

I wouldn’t characterize myself as a great sharer. I’ve been known to protectively label my favorite foods “DO NOT TOUCH” in my fridge at home (I have four brothers who are essentially human garbage disposals). And when friends ask to borrow clothes, I often out-and-out lie to them, claiming that the dress in question is at the dry cleaner's or otherwise out of commission. But as far as beauty products are concerned, I’ve actually always been a giver. Until I found Vintner’s Daughter.

The first time I used Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum was on a random Tuesday night. I washed my face and then, following the directions on the bottle, massaged the oil into my skin for about 30 seconds. It quickly soaked in, at which point I hopped into bed and thought nothing of it. Until I woke up to look in the mirror and found a perfectly smooth and unblemished face staring back. I didn’t even recognize my own skin. Needless to say, I have been using the serum every day and night since. I squeeze out the requisite one-third of a dropper into my palm like it’s liquid gold and then hide the bottle behind my hordes of other products, lest anyone steal a single drop from my precious cache. Full disclosure: It could be the $185 price tag on this little bottle that has me treasuring every drop, but if the number of people who have complimented me on my glowing skin recently are any indication, it’s worth every penny.

Curious as to what exactly went into making this apparent miracle worker, I subjected Vintner’s Daughter founder April Gargiulo to a full court press. Gargiulo’s family has been in the wine business for years, so she grew up in and around Napa. Before starting Vintner’s Daughter, she was running her family’s vineyard for about ten years. After getting pregnant with her first child, she started looking into what products were and weren’t safe to use, and she learned that pretty much everything she was using fell on the decidedly unsafe side of the spectrum. “I have struggled with my skin for my whole life, so I had a lot of intense products,” she described. “I really had my head in the sand. Everything I ate was organic, and I only cleaned my house with chemical-free cleaners, but my bathroom drawers were filled with every kind of toxin imaginable.”

It's a familiar premise, to be sure. The rest of the story goes like this: She dumped everything on the spot and started looking for all-natural alternatives that actually worked. She came up with…absolutely nothing. Some products said toxin-free and actually were, but they didn’t work for her. Others said toxin-free but when she looked closely at the labels, they had preservatives or other things that she just wasn’t on board with. Instead, she gathered a team of natural beauty veterans and started formulating her own product.

“I wanted to address all of the issues I had with my own skin,” she said, “including hormonal breakouts, discoloration, restoring elasticity and radiance, and just bringing back a general youthfulness to my face.” Her team started with a base of grapeseed oil. “It’s incredibly powerful and good for your skin, but it also has a very small particle size which makes it a great carrier for other oils and means it can really penetrate deep into your skin,” she said. Plus, with her connections in Napa, she was certain that she could get the best-quality stuff.

After that, each additional ingredient really informed the next, Gargiulo explains. “There are a lot of synergies within the formulation,” she said. For example, cypress and frankincense. On its own, cypress is amazing because it can activate cells underneath the skin and help them to heal. From there, she found frankincense, which creates a super powerful microcirculatory effect and brings fresh, oxygenated blood to the skin’s surface. Together, the pair work to restore and renew skin cells (and are especially good at clearing up skin prone to cystic acne). “You really couldn’t have one without the other,” she said. In the end, the serum they created has 22 of the world’s most active botanicals from hazelnut to carrot to evening primrose—and at some of the highest allowable percentages too. “Nothing on the ingredient list is there for show,” she explained. “Everything in our product is there in an amount that is effective.”

As for Gargiulo, she doesn’t get a single breakout anymore. “My husband thinks it’s hilarious because everywhere we go, people stop me to compliment my skin,” she said. “It really sells itself.”

Its founder will be the first to tell you that Vintner’s Daughter is for the woman who has tried all the trends and is ready to settle down with one product that really works. “At 19, I could improve my skin with a good night’s sleep. Now it needs a little more help!” she said with a laugh. Up next, she hopes to develop a serum for the body that is as active and effective as her version for the face. “I only have time for three or four products max,” she confided. “So they have to be the very best.”

Of course, as far as clear skin is concerned, it doesn’t hurt that she follows a dairy-free, gluten-free, all-organic diet and lives a pretty idyllic Napa lifestyle too. “I’m very healthy,” Gargiulo admitted. “But wine is still allowed! It’s all about the balance, right?” Spoken like a true vintner’s daughter.

—Victoria Lewis

Kate Winslet's Secret Weapon...We have it, you want it.

“but WHERE can i FIND a place that does a Hydrafacial?” 

<< here! @ Alchemy Marin! We have the only Hyrdafacial MD in MARIN! >>

Not only do spring and summer welcome bursts of much-needed sunshine, mid-afternoon ice cream runs, and beach trips, but also promise enviably dewy skin. But after a long winter of relying on a trusty humidifier and stash of face creams, getting that glow requires some work. Enter HydraFacial MD, a treatment that guarantees a lustrous complexion, and is praised by April cover star Kate Winslet and Amy Poehler.

Although it calls for exfoliating, extracting, moisturizing, and the application of a newly introduced serum to address dark spots, the treatment itself lasts up to one hour, with results (reduced fine lines, smaller pores, and a brighter complexion) showing immediately following the regimen. "We have actresses and actors who come in for treatments before they are due on set," says Dr. Arash Akhavan, MD, co-owner of The Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Group. "They're confident that they will see immediate benefits without fear of irritation or peeling that you can have from many other procedures." Cool, right? I'm no thespian, but curiosity got the best of me. I had to try it out.

Fortunately, in my experience, the service's claims were pretty on the mark. The treatment was not only quick (it was just under the promised 1 hour), but also unlike other facials I've gotten in the past. The difference? Despite its use of glycolic and salicylic acids, the HydraFacial MD was gentle. There was none of that uncomfortable burning sensation after a chemical peel. The real kicker though was the fancy vortex tool, which literally suctions out impurities painlessly. "It's like a steam carpet cleaner for your face!" the aesthetician proclaimed with a smile.

Although, I noticed my cheeks were slightly red after the treatment, my normal hue restored after 10 minutes or so. Currently, on my first day post-facial, I can confidently say that my pores do appear smaller, and an impressive number of the blackheads that took up residence on the bridge of my nose have already vacated. I look plump, and if there was a red carpet, i feel ready. I'm looking forward to seeing the full results after a few more days. But I do have one last question---am I Kate Winslet yet?


book in today or give us shout : 415.295.7953

Why Microneedling is the Next Big Thing in Skin Care


More often than not, the next hot thing in professional skin care tends to be just that: hot. From fractional lasers to radio frequency devices and nearly every gadget in between, the reigning smoothing-and-tightening workhorses in our practice rely on intensely high temperatures to jump-start wound healing and, thus, collagen production in the skin. 

But, for the great many of you who don't choose the heat—as it flares up conditions like melasma and rosacea and can traumatize skin of color, causing it to darken unevenly (or you're pregnant or breastfeeding)—skin specialists are turning to mirconeedling. Not only do we offer microneedling here @ ALCHEMY MARIN, but we offer microneedling with PRP! (As opposed to a glycolic or serum, which is also available) "But what IS PRP??" You may be thinking?...  Basically, your own LIQUID-GOLD; produced by...none other than, YOU. Plasma Rich Platelet. PRP >>  If you choose to go the way of PRP with your treatment ; your blood is drawn (with the gentle touch of our amazing + experienced nurses) & it is then spun down in our medical grade centrifuge, and voila!!  The platelet rich plasma from your OWN body is separated, & then smoothed over your face, & used to boost that collagen production (while you listen to your favorite tunes of choice;)  Simply nothing better.

Further advantages, lie in a simple puncture vs. burn; resulting in a shorter recovery time, and less of that horrible road rash resulting from a profractional! yikes.  According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the numbers for chemical peels are climbing—hello, peel bars—surpassing even those recorded at the peak of their popularity in the ’90s. But it’s a less ubiquitous old-school resurfacing method that’s gaining increasing buzz for those seeking smooth, radiant results without the stinging or flaking: microneedling—a technique that uses a needle-studded wand (our specific pen is the best on the market) to drive tiny holes into the skin (down to the dermis) spurring collagen growth.  How else can you do that? You can't.  Skin must be injured in order to regenerate collagen production after the age 27.  Sad, but absolutely true.

The procedure has been quietly advancing with the times, despite its crude beginnings. “When I first started needling in the ’80s, I was gripping a single 30-gauge needle with a hemostat [clamp] and poking the skin repeatedly to get at fine lines and acne scars—painstaking, but it worked,” says Cheryl Burgess, M.D., a dermatologist in Washington, D.C. The new stamping pens derms wield today—the Cosmo MicroPen a favorite among them (what we have)—make for far faster work, of course, and are considerably cheaper than the higher-tech alternative of fractional lasers, which create similar pinpoint channels in the skin. (And not by coincidence: The technology was actually “patterned after the concept of needling,” says Burgess.)

Piercing the skin by any means can open one up to infection, so trust only a reputable derm if you’re not coming to see us (and, it goes without saying, sterile tools).  Why come see us over a derm? Like all the work we do, our staff is focused solely on our treatments, and have been trained extensively on them.  Would you rather be microneedled by someone who does it thousands of times in a year...or someone who just came from freezing off a wart?   

While some doctors do microneedling in lieu of laser work—especially for the heat-sensitive set—others perform the two in tandem. Denver dermatologist Joel Cohen, M.D., often uses microneedling as a low-downtime maintenance fix for Fraxel regulars who “want to help their skin stay smooth and taut in between laser sessions,” he says.

Further fueling the resurgent obsession with needling, Cohen notes, is the way it enhances the penetration of whichever hydrating, brightening, or rejuvenating actives are applied post-perforation. Microneedling enthusiast Mashell Tabe, an Albuquerque, New Mexico–based medical aesthetician who tends to Naomi Watts, believes so strongly in the treatment’s power to bolster product absorption, she sends clients home from needling visits with an Environ roller to use nightly along with supercharged serums preapproved by Tabe herself. The roller doesn’t pierce the skin as deeply as pro tools, but rather preserves those microchannels to keep the skin open and receptive to anti-aging nutrients.

“I want to scream it from the rooftops,” she says. “Done regularly, microneedling will make your skin act LIKE IT DID IN YOUR 20s—it’ll be thicker, it’ll glow, it’ll have the most beautiful tone and texture.” And, really, what could be cooler than that? 

mention this post & receive 10% off your first microneedling facial with us, or 400 off when you purchase a package of 4 #thealchemistsloveyou #vogueskin2016 

Did we mention, great for mom’s who are breastfeeding? 

Yup!  A great sub for your laser regime during this time!

Treats : 

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Acne Scars
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Stretch marks
  • Sagging skin

Especially great because...

  • It's minimally invasive + quick (half the down time of a profractional).
  • It's performed in-office w/ little downtime (you're busy).
  • It can be used on ALL skin types.
  • It can be used on all parts of the body : our most common - face / neck / decolletage / arms / hands + back.

BOOK IN TODAY! : (415) 295-7953

Get Stung by the Alchemy B

That fatigue you’re feeling may not just be caused by a few sleepless nights and your muscle weakness might not be from overdoing it at the gym. When our bodies are deficient in essential vitamins, they can act out in unexpected ways. Given our access to processed foods, it’s very easy to become deficient in key elements that our bodies need. 

You know what’s better than pills? 

INJECTIONS >>>> 50 x over.  Here’s why -

Via Opt Health Wellness

Benefits of Vitamin B12 Injections

The purpose of the Vitamin B12 injections is to improve energy levels, boost metabolism and help burn fat, some of the key benefits are:

  • Boosts Overall Metabolic Rate - B12 helps in metabolizing fats and protein which in turns helps you to lose weight.
  • Helps to regulate sleep, mood, appetite, and energy.
  • Detoxification/ Liver Health - All fat soluble toxic chemicals require B12 to be cleaned from the body. Your liver is your bodies detoxifying organ and uses B12 to process fatty and amino acids used in the elimination of toxins.
  • Increases Red Blood Cell Production - Aids in the production of red cells, when deficient in B12, it can cause anemia.
  • Keeps nerves healthy - Helps to produce the fatty tissue around your nerves called myelin, which protects your nerves from damage.
  • Works to help produce Serotonin - This is one of the chemicals produced in your brain that helps you stay positive and is often referred to as a “feel good” chemical.

Why is it better to receive a shot vs. taking an oral supplement?

The stomach acids that aid in the natural digestion of food will break down the oral supplement in your stomach, and only allow the body to absorb a small amount of the actual B12. As you get older your body’s ability to absorb B12 through digestion continually decreases. The enzymes used to break down and metabolize vitamins decrease as you age. Vitamin injections and IV’s provide a direct method of supplying the body with nutrients.  As the B12 enters the blood stream, it is more readily available for the body to use as needed.

Length of time Vitamin B12 lasts in the body

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it easily dissolves in water and is not stored by the body. It is eliminated through the urine, typically between 24 and 72 hours depending on how active a person is and the amount of fluids they take in. Due to the rapid rate with which the body processes Vitamin B12 frequent supplementation is needed to address deficiencies and gain maximum benefits. We recommend an injection once per week, but it can be done daily if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions for Vitamin Injections

How often can I get injections?
Most patients typically get either the B12 or Lipotropic injections once per week. If you are feeling tired or under stressed you will benefit from getting more than one injection per week.  Not only will it help you with your energy, B12 and Lipotropic shots boost your immunity, increase metabolism, and improve your overall health.

Does it hurt?
B12 are relatively painless.  Most patients do not feel the needle at all, where some feel a little pinch. 

Age Range
B12 injections are safe for all ages.

Is it safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
Yes.  B12 is a water soluble vitamin that is deficient in most individuals.  Getting a weekly will give you enough nutrients for both you and your baby. Any excess vitamin B12 will be excreted.

Where is the shot administered?
The most common locations can be administered on your upper arm and buttock.  

**And secondly HERE!! @ Alchemy Marin :)

There are no contraindications for this injection, unless you have a rare B12 allergy. 

Benefits of the injections
Vitamin B12 injections help speed up metabolism, kick-start weight loss, help with stress, help with your nervous system, and balance your body overall.

How many pounds can I lose with the B12 or Lipotropic Injections? 
Everyone's weight loss is subjective.  Some patients have reported to have lost 10 pounds in one month with regular weekly injections.  Others a few pounds. Loss of weight varies per individual.

Desk. Dreams. Achieved.

Just ask my man’s hands, they’ll tell you it’s the best desk ever made.

#biggiantcheck….well almost.  Two more custom copper pendants & a smidge more styling between me & the finish line.  

Love our modern eclectic digs? us too! 

Want to know what inspires Alchemy design? 

Well this is a great start;

I am an avid blog reader; these blogs are great motivators; an inspiring way to get creative juices flowing to achieve your own design vibes-