It's harder than it seems!
Who Tried It: Lauren Lieberman, Senior Photo Editor
Why She Tried It: I have been putting off getting a facial for months because I always leave red and splotchy and I usually look like I have chicken pox for a week after. But after a summer of sun and lots of sunscreen, my pores were in serious need of some de-clogging. So began my search for a reputable place that wouldn’t be too expensive, but a few steps above the corner nail salon. After about an hour of googling and reading spa reviews, I came across the medical spa section of Sadick Dermatology.
I was surprised at the array of options on their menu of services (the phrase “medical cleanse” sounded promising), and the prices weren’t too bad either. After further research, I discovered that their very own aesthetician, Luzinete Ripardo, works on models right before they hit the runway. This shocked me! Like I said, my face is usually a disaster for days after a facial let alone a few hours. Being a Photo Editor for the Style section of People.com, I have been looking at up-close photos of models on the runway for the last few weeks now- could it be possible that they actually get facials right before runway shows? They have picture-perfect, blemish-free, porcelain skin! Plus the idea of going to the doctors office instead of a spa intrigued me, as I am wary of letting aestheticians who don’t have the proper training near my sensitive skin. So I decided to see if this miracle worker really exists, and called to book myself a facial.
After being thoroughly reassured by the receptionist that Luzinete does indeed work on models right before shows and photo shoots, I decided on the hour-long “Solution” facial, that promised to extract impurities from my acne-prone skin for $175. What I was especially excited about: the “hour-long” aspect. Cutting out all the frills of traditional facials that take up hours of your day was right up my alley – I’m always anxious to get the show on the road after just a few minutes.
Level Of Difficulty: 2/10. Upon meeting Luzinete I was immediately put at ease. She is an adorable Brazilian woman with a warm smile and amazing skin so I figured I had to be in good hands. She inspected my skin, agreed I had lots of clogged pores and milia (small skin-colored bumps that develop when skin flakes become trapped under the surface of the skin, that I cannot get rid of no matter what I do) and promised to take good care of me. When I told her my concerns and previous facial horror stories she was appalled and assured me that nobody has ever left her with scabs or bruises.
She first took my makeup off using a mild cleanser, then she turned on the steamer and let me relax for about 10 minutes to loosen up my pores. Next came the dreaded “medical extraction,” which was the part I was super nervous about, considering many aestheticians use lancets (small, sharp surgical needles) to open the pore, which can cause scarring if not done correctly. But Luzinete assured me she uses a very tiny, medical-grade surgical needle that can barely be felt. I wouldn’t go that far, but it was much better than I was expecting. Then she used a gentle scrub to slough away dead skin cells. This was followed by a high-frequency light machine that is meant to close pores, minimize redness, and kill bacteria to control future breakouts. Last was a purifying and cooling mask to calm and hydrate the skin, and before I knew it the hour was up!
The verdict: Even though Luzinete kept assuring me that I was not red every time I asked her (which was about every 10 minutes throughout the whole hour), I still could not believe my eyes when I looked in the mirror. I didn’t see the usual red welts that pop up on my skin after poking at it myself, or the red scabby chicken pox-looking marks that I usually leave a facial with. I had an amazing glow and super smooth looking skin. Usually I have to hide my face and run right home after a facial, but not after this! I went to the grocery store and stopped to chat with my doorman for a bit without feeling self conscious at all.
Okay, I thought – this is all great now, but the true test is how badly I break out in the next couple days. I woke up the next few days increasingly amazed at how I still did not see any redness or bumps at all! My skin was still glowing and so smooth, I barely needed any makeup at all.
Overall, I could not have been happier with the whole experience. From the friendliness and professionalism of Luz, the quick yet thorough service (also the fact that she did not try to sell me a million products!) and of course the amazing results- I will definitely be returning. If you are like me and have sensitive skin but in serious need of a facial, I highly recommend letting Luzinete work her magic on you!