STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — As an advanced practice nurse with more than 20 years of experience in all areas of medicine — from pediatrics to geriatrics — Dr. Chikodiri Gibson said she firmly believes in the connection between beauty and wellness. So after two decades of practicing a very holistic approach to medicine and building a solid foundation of aesthetic expertise, she decided to delve specifically into cosmetic treatment, recently opening her own medical spa and wellness center in West Brighton.
“Beauty and wellness are my passion — I’ve been wanting to open up an office like this for years,” noted Gibson, detailing the services at Chi Aesthetics, which which recently opened at 720 Forest Ave. “But it was so hard for me to leave my day-to-day job. When I lost my younger brother to COVID last year, I decided that life is too short to constantly be dreaming. So I quit my job, completely exhausted my savings and built this business from the ground up.”
An experienced aesthetics provider with unique expertise and understanding of non-surgical cosmetic enhancement of the face and body, Gibson, who holds a doctorate in nurse practice degree, has performed tens of thousands of cosmetic treatments for her patients, including injections of Botox, Dysport, Xeomin and Jeaveau, as well as collagen stimulators Sculptra and Radiesse and soft tissue fillers such as Juvéderm, Restylane and Bellafill.
Certified in Mesotherapy and Kybella treatment and a member of The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Gibson filled her spa with the latest technologies, investing more than $300,000 in a state-of-the-art FOTONA 4-D laser machine.
“There are very few of these laser machines in New York City, so I felt it was important to bring one here to Staten Island,” she said. “You can perform skin tightening with it, as well as body sculpting and laser hair removal — and it is compatible with all skin tones, which was extremely important to me.”
Specializing in multi-cultural skin care, Gibson spoke of the variety of ways she cares for men and women with dark skin. She proudly said her spa is the first Black-owned business of its kind in the borough.
“My goal was to open up a place where every skin tone was represented,” she said. “You need the right equipment and expertise to care for Black and brown skin, and that’s exactly what we have here. This is a one-stop-shop for everyone, no matter the color of the skin.”
Offering many advanced modalities, Chi Aesthetics has a diversified menu of services. Protein Rich Plasma (PRP) is used as bio-filler and for skin rejuvenation and hair regrowth. And PDO thread lift procedures — a less invasive version of the traditional face lift — use dissolvable sutures to tighten and lift your skin.
“We perform skin resurfacing, treatments for snoring, plus body sculpting with laser or Cool-Sculpting and Emsculpt, dermal fillers and more,” Gibson said. “I designed the office space so that it is as cozy as a home. I want my patients to feel comfortable, so we made the atmosphere as inviting as possible.”
And while the prospect of opening a business during the coronavirus pandemic has been challenging, Gibson said the support she’s received from her family, friends and the Staten Island business community has been overwhelming.
“This has been a tremendous effort,” she concluded, crediting the Staten Island Business Outreach Center, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, Forest Avenue Business Improvement District and the Minority Women Business Association for all of their assistance. “But the support I’ve received throughout the entire process has made this business launch possible.”