Theresa Aqui, owner of VaniTEE. Courtesy photo

Theresa Aqui knows firsthand the challenges that come from low-self esteem. She said she grew up with acne stars and wore makeup every day to cover them.

“I felt self-conscious about my appearance and worried about how others perceived me,” said Aqui, a mom of three. “It led to social anxiety, avoidance of looking someone in the eye and poor presentation of myself because I always looked down. At that time, I was spending more money trying to get rid of my acne scars and it impacted my financial situation. It motivated me to pursue and learn about different modalities to improve my acne scars.”

Today, Aqui is the founder and owner of VaniTEE, the first and only certified provider of cellular medicine in the South Bay. She wants to help people so they don’t experience the same self-esteem or financial hurdles that she once did.

The studio provides treatment modality for skin rejuvenation including Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy for the face and body. VaniTEE also specializes in neurotoxins, HA fillers, and IV therapy. Aqui is the only nurse practitioner in the South Bay that offers nonsurgical thread lifts.

“Self-confidence is not solely dependent on physical appearance but healthier, clearer skin can certainly contribute to feeling more confident and comfortable in your own skin,” Aqui said. “It is liberating to feel good about your bare skin without the use of cosmetics. You feel more at ease and confident not only at social events, but in your day-to-day life.”

VaniTEE in Chula Vista. Courtesy photo

Although she does offer skin treatments, Aqui said it’s important for clients to learn how to build their own self-confidence as well.

“I want moms to come to VaniTEE and feel it is a safe space,” Aqui said. “I have mothers who take their children to me that unfortunately got bullied at school and sought help due to her skin condition. In this instance, I did not treat the child but rather sat with her and spoke to her about feeling confident without letting anyone take her shine away from her. I don’t proceed with treatment when I can see it’s not necessary nor beneficial for the client.  

The new 1,000 square foot studio is nestled inside San Miguel Shops in Chula Vista and features three treatment rooms, an IV lounge and main lobby. But, VaniTEE is not all about skincare and aesthetics. 

“When you walk out of VaniTEE, you will feel empowered, motivated and beautiful – inside and out.I spend my time with my clients and get to know them,” Aqui said. “It is a wholesome experience where we talk about ambitions, family and career.  Most of the time, it feels like a therapy session but in the most positive way.”

VaniTEE is located at 2326 Proctor Valley Rd, Suite 106, Chula Vista, CA 91914. For more information, go to


San Diego Moms is published on Saturdays. Have a story idea? Email and follow her on Instagram at @hoawritessd.