PEOPLE editor Diane J. Cho tries a contactless facial to see if this new beauty treatment is a solution to safe self-care during a pandemic

By Diane J. Cho
October 23, 2020 03:53 PM
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Credit: Marcus Bowers

Throughout the pandemic, my skin has dealt with an influx of issues. I had been feeling really stressed out and not sleeping well for months, wishing there was a way I could relax and possibly calm my maskne breakouts. I had tried different at-home remedies but nothing was giving me the results I wanted. Then earlier this month, I saw that Skin Supply was promoting their new contactless facial and I immediately perked up.

I had only gotten one other facial in my life and from what I remember, the esthetician had applied a lot of different serums and creams on my face by hand, so I was curious as to how the process could actually be fully contactless. I'm also shy to admit that I haven't gotten more facials in the past because the whole process really intimidates me, and it's a lot of money. I was also scared it would hurt... I'm always scouring Instagram to see what facials look like at other places and when I see zapping lasers or harsh tools sucking things from people's faces, I think, Yeah, I'm good on that.

However, I was already a big fan of Skin Supply's Cloud Cream moisturizer and grew to love the brand even more when they announced that they used a portion of their sales to donate masks and hand sanitizer to healthcare professionals, so I decided to give it a try.

Once I got to the studio, which is located in my hometown of Fort Lee, New Jersey, I was honestly blown away. I walked in and thought, I could totally live here. Everything was so beautifully designed and well thought out. It was like physically walking through the most elegant and perfectly curated Instagram account. I was even more impressed to learn that everything was designed with skin in mind.

Credit: Marcus Bowers

The five arches you see when you walk in (reflect the five layers of our epidermis), the porous texture on all of their counter tops and tables (resemble the pores on our face), their circular lights (mimic the tiny bumps on our skin), the vines draped around the space (symbolize healthy blood circulation) and my favorite, the art which shows a wide range of shades to reflect their inclusivity efforts (their facials are meant for everyone and all different skin colors and types).

Credit: Marcus Bowers

The front door handle and the iPads used to check people in are also covered in a special copper film that was intentionally added once the National Health Institute released a study that said coronavirus can live on certain surfaces for days, but only a few hours on copper, which is significantly less. Co-founder Walter Hong explained that while everything is sanitized after every single use, he wanted to add additional safety measures and plans to continue to do so as more information about the virus is released. Part of those safety measures includes a temperature check upon arrival.

Credit: Marcus Bowers
Credit: Marcus Bowers

I was placed with Danielle Diener, who's been an esthetician for 10 years and has been with Skin Supply since it opened back in March. Danielle, who was outfitted in a mask, face shield and gloves, explained that their normal facial is pretty contactless to begin with.

The only real difference is that she could help guide me through the beginning steps (double cleansing, toner, etc.) and ending steps (applying moisturizer, SPF, etc.) so I could do it myself as she educated me on the proper way to prep and finish off my facial. For everything else, she had on gloves and used tools, like sponges and large cotton swabs, to apply products onto my skin, which definitely made me feel more comfortable.

Credit: Marcus Bowers

Doing anything during this pandemic has given me a heightened sense of anxiety, but Danielle was really helpful and broke everything down so I felt fully in control and safe throughout my experience. She also said that at any time during the process, if I felt uncomfortable doing something myself, she could step in and would do it herself, while wearing gloves so we never needed skin-to-skin contact. There's also their regular option for those who feel comfortable with their normal facial, but I stuck with the contactless one.

Credit: Marcus Bowers

Although I was a little worried that doing some of the small steps myself would take away from my experience, I actually got a lot out of Danielle talking me through the proper way of double cleansing, applying toners and serums because turns out, I had been doing it wrong this whole time. I realized I have been super rough with my skin and use way too much product, so having that one-on-one time with her also gave me the knowledge I needed to treat my skin better at home.

After examining my skin, Danielle talked about my problem areas and how she would be targeting them throughout the main part of the facial. The entire process is also non-invasive, which meant I didn't need to stress out about harsh tools sucking gunk from my face and or anything feeling painful.

Skin Supply uses their own Targeted Dermal Application (TDA) system, which is basically administered through this tool that flushes out a stream of purified oxygen that's packed with a custom mix of minerals, humectants, antioxidants and amino acids that were tailored to my skin's needs. It felt like a cool stream of air slowly making its way across the entire surface of my face. This was definitely my favorite part. I could've fallen asleep because it was really relaxing, and smelled good too.

Credit: Marcus Bowers

Next was LED light therapy, which Danielle explained is used to treat and heal skin, kill bacteria from my maskne and help the absorption of all of the products we had used so far. The red LED light has been said to help boost your mood too, so I was more than ready to bathe my face in that red light.

Credit: Marcus Bowers

Once everything was done and I had applied SPF, I took a moment to bask in how relaxed I felt. It's been so long since I felt this calm and taken care of since the world decided to go up in flames, and I wanted to soak up every second.

Then Danielle handed me a hand mirror for the final reveal and I actually gasped because (this being my second facial in life), I never knew my skin could look so good! It was so bright, hydrated and healthy looking, and I could already see my blemishes were mostly gone. I was genuinely shocked and starred at my face for another five minutes until it was time to wrap things up. I was given a brand new mask to wear before I left the room and a bottle of Voss water (you know, the fancy water bottle that just feels so luxurious to drink) before I said my goodbyes.

Overall, I would give this contactless facial 10, 10, 10's across the board. The amount of care that goes into how Skin Supply operates — with their meticulous safety measures, willingness to be flexible with clients' needs and the education you can receive through expert estheticians, like Danielle — is truly commendable, especially during this time when everyone needs to prioritize self-care and safety. I am 100 percent on Team Contactless Facial, and I plan on returning soon.