“A person who sees a problem is a human being; a person who finds a solution is visionary; the person who goes out and does something about it is an entrepreneur.”
This describes the woman behind the development of a cutting edge “wrinkle prevention device” which started from a problem she noticed on the faces of her patients (and herself) 20 years ago…. and grew into an idea she never gave up on.
OR Nurse Manager to Botox Consultant
After leaving hospital based critical care practice in 1999, Kim started an exciting career with Allergan Canada as a BOTOX® Medical Consultant in their Aesthetics Division and their Therapeutic Division. In the Therapeutic Division she was training and supporting Physicians in the treatment of a variety of neurological conditions. At that time she was at the forefront of BOTOX® being approved by Health Canada for use in the treatment of blepharospasm (uncontrolled blinking), strabismus (crossed eyes) and many additional therapeutic indications including VII facial nerve disorders, cervical dystonia (or the involuntary head rotation caused by muscle spasm), cerebral palsy, hyperhidrosis and focal spasticity. By 2001, Health Canada approved BOTOX Cosmetic®, for use in cosmetic enhancements such as the treatment of glabellar lines, the vertical “frown lines” between the eyebrows. Soon after, it received approval for the treatment of upper facial rhytides or “forehead wrinkles” and lateral canthus or “crow’s-feet”. Kim was again at the forefront in providing, as well as training, other medical professionals in the new and exciting techniques of BOTOX for cosmetic enhancements.
Learning the Gold Standard from the Carruthers
During her time at Allergan Canada, Kim was fortunate enough to learn first hand from the Canadian duo who discovered BOTOX’s effects on wrinkles. Ophthalmologist Dr. Jean Carruthers and her husband, Dr. Alastair Carruthers, a dermatologist, were the first to use Botulinum Toxin in medical applications and the true pioneers who accidentally discovered the cosmetic use of BOTOX in the early 80s. The Carruthers led frequent training sessions with Allergan demonstrating their gold standard in BOTOX application.
Botox Medical Consultant to Aesthetic Trainer
In 2003 she went on to open one of the first injection training companies in North America – KAPPS. One of the first of its kind training companies, KAPPS was using an intensive hands-on medical aesthetic training approach teaching physicians across North America in the Art and Science of Botox™ and Facial Fillers (Perlane™ Restylane™). With so few approved indications for Botox, the aesthetic market was craving expert training on off-labeled applications.
Over her 6 years with KAPPS she trained 100s of professionals on the use of Botox and Fillers.
“If you are a successful professional injector today, chances are you were either trained by Kim herself or someone she has trained.”
– Kathy Young RN
Kim noticed a new “wrinkle problem” that she wanted to fix
In her extensive experience treating thousands of patients, Kim noticed that that not all wrinkles were in fact the dynamic/ expression “wrinkles”. These wrinkles are caused by muscle movement and contraction when we express ourselves (smiling or frowning) and are easily treated by neuromodulators such as BOTOX. But what about the facial lines and creases that have nothing to do with expression but were caused by something else we were doing every night? Furthermore, treating the expression lines with BOTOX often accentuated the static lines caused by compression… and an unhappy patient.
After some research she became aware of what cosmetic dermatologists have long known…(but was not widely accepted) that sleeping on one’s side or stomach could be prematurely aging us! These sleep positions led to unwanted “compression” of our faces (under our 10 pound head) into our pillow, causing permanent lines/wrinkles on our faces.
During training sessions, Kim was educating on the effects our sleep habits have on the formation of sleep wrinkles which, to her surprise, was often received with scepticism. The proof was in the failed BOTOX treatments which had no effect on these sleep lines whatsoever. The only treatment for these non-dynamic lines is the use of Fillers which would certainly fill the creases in the skin but, unfortunately, when the patient returns to their usual habitual sleeping position, the filler product is soon displaced and money and time is wasted.
Slides taken from Kim's training presentation circa 2007
Not Just Wrinkles… Loss of Volume Too
Additionally, the habitual face-into-the pillow sleep position leads to a deflation of the side we favour. In her practice she found she was injecting significantly more product into one side of the face to make sure her handiwork was balanced. The cost of sleeping on one’s face was expensive!
“If sleeping with your face in a pillow is a nightly routine, then you can develop permanent sleep lines. And you don’t have to plunge head first to get these lines; even years spent sleeping on your side can cause wrinkles.”
~ American Academy of Dermatology
How We Sleep is Key
Kim went on to write several peer review articles including “Treating and Preventing Tissue Shift and Wrinkles Caused by Compression” in the Journal of Aesthetic Nursing and “Assessing lines on the Aging Face” in the Plastic Surgery Nursing Journal 2018 on sleep lines and wrinkles and their effects on aging. Additionally, Kim and business partner Kathy presented at the World Congress in Warsaw in 2014 “The Truth about Sleep Wrinkles“. It was clear that the way we sleep (stomach sleeping or side sleeping) was the culprit.
The Conclusion: The only way to stop this premature aging was “prevention”. Preventing the clients from sleeping on their faces. Unfortunately 75% of us are committed to side sleeping. The advice from the American Academy of Dermatology and other Aesthetic professionals is ‘sleep on your back’!
Although this is great advice, it can be a difficult struggle to change our sleep habits which are engrained from childhood. For those of us who can’t train ourselves to sleep on our backs there was a need for a better solution. Kim teamed up with a fellow nurse to try to “redesign” the traditional pillow. One that could gently promote back sleeping but also allow side sleeping without the facial compression and tissue shift… and also offer exceptional quality therapeutic sleep support.
The Solution: A Sleep Wrinkle Prevention Pillow
After 2.5 years of research and development, Kim with her business partner (a fellow nurse with background in plastic surgery, burns, cranial facial surgery and a personal history of spinal surgery) designed and patented the first Anti-Wrinkle Pillow of its kind. Patents are currently in Canada, USA and Europe .
The enVy Pillow is a chiropractic ergonomic pillow with a Class I Medical device designation by Health Canada and designed to keep you off your face when you sleep on your side… decreasing the amount of tissue compression and shifting we experience while sleeping (see photo below).
“Pressing your face into a pillow for eight hours every night can lead to lines, sagging and asymmetries caused by tissue shift and compression”
~ Kim Renton RN, Co-creator of the enVy pillow.
The pillow is designed to off-load unnecessary weight from your head pushing your delicate facial tissue into your pillow while you sleep. It can soften and prevent sleep wrinkles depending on the depth and severity of the wrinkles and complements any and all facial rejuvenation and enhancements. Additionally it has been well received in the health and wellness arena for relieving headaches, neck pain, TMJ pain etc.
The Nurses Enter the Dragons’ Den
The enVy™ pillow has been featured twice on Dragons Den, first in 2015 when the two nurses turned down 3 offers to partner because the other 2 Dragons said NOT TO! And then returned to the Den in 2018 when they were asked to come back as one of the unforgettable pitches on the show. The now infamous photos of the two nurses demonstrating what happens to our smushed faces when we sleep on them every night has been shared across social media platforms. Their appearance was a great way to showcase the pillow which continues to become the Anti-Aging Pillow of choice across Canada and the USA and offered by over 400 clinics as an amazing value added to any treatments and procedures.
Kim continues to educate and speak on the effects of sleep on our skin health and well being and, together with Kathy, are always finding new and innovative ideas to make their products even better. The enVy Pillow complements the handiwork offered by the many aesthetic and wellness professionals who carry this medical device in their practices.