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Raleigh Medical Spa Serving Chapel Hill, Cary, Durham, and Surrounding Areas


Facials 101

Organization It’s actually quite amazing how little I knew about facials until yesterday. Amazing because for the degree to which I love these indulgences, the frequency with which I bust the budget for them, and the amount of time I waste fantasizing about them, one would think I were an expert. But truth be told, I just knew that movie stars got them and that I always feel more like said celeb after having one myself.

This all changed yesterday, when I had a t?te ? t?te with my facialist Lisa Chrysanthou, Director of Aesthetic Training for Blue Water Spa in Raleigh, NC. This time, instead of just allowing her to take me to Neverneverland with her magical massages and luxurious potions, I learned exactly what she was doing and why, and most importantly ‘how it was making me more beautiful’.

The “Basic” Facial: When we think of a facial, we typically think of some steam, some extractions, a masque and maybe a massage with some super-hydrating serum. And in essence, that’s true. Depending on skin type, the key elements will be a deep cleansing and a rich hydration of the skin. Beyond that, treatments will vary and the spa will cater the ‘basic facial’ to your skin type — hence the umpteen names for facials on your service menu. For example, a rigorous massage may aggravate acne so that client may have more time devoted to cleansing than massaging. Similarly, a person with oily skin would have a different hydration procedure from one with dry. So lesson number one, don’t choose your facial, let your aesthetician choose it for you.

As a recovering sun-worshipper in the prime of her twirties, I asked a lot of questions about Anti-Aging facials. According to Lisa, facials using medical strength anti-oxidant products are key to fighting signs of aging skin. She says, “When you hear anti-oxidant, think anti-aging.” Easy enough. Additionally, a facial massage increases circulation which leaves your skin looking younger and refreshed. Q: How often should we get facials? A: Every month to six weeks.

Microdermabrasion Most people get these treatments in a series, though I could see a difference after one. Essentially, the treatment propels a jet of fine crystals across the surface of the skin while a light vaccuum suctions up the dead skin cells. The process helps even discoloration, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, clear acne and tighten and firm the skin by stimulating collagen production. It’s a great choice for both active acne and acne scars and is very effective in minimizing sun damage and decreasing hyperpigmentation and discoloration. Q: Is there anything a girl should look for when determining who to go to for microdermabrasion? A: For a treatment with real noticeable results, look for a spa or skin care center associated with a plastic surgeon that performs medical grade microdermabrasion.

Facial Lymphatic Lift/Drainage This sounds like a face lift, but it’s not. It’s more like a skin lift. The treatment also uses a tiny vaccuum/electronic suction cup. By running this contraption over the face, the equipment eliminates all the icky bits in our pores – excess fluids and toxins and the like. And the end result is a tighter, firmer feel to the face and an all-over glow. (This treatment does the most to make me feel celeb-ish afterward, and I recommend pairing this with your anti-aging facial.)

Q: Is there a ‘secret’ service or treatment that you feel is a ‘best unknown secret’/ something that more women should try and don’t? A: A DMAE, Vitamin C and Green Tea Peel will take years off your face. DMAE tightens the skin more effectively than any other ingredient. In a professional-strength peel, the results are incredible. Just make sure you WATCH your esthetician compound the Vitamin C and green tea in front of you to make sure it is fresh and stable!

While the above is just a speck on the list of things with which to indulge yourself, they are least a beginning. Your aesthetician will, of course, be able to go into more detail on these and many other services and can guide you on the services best for your skin. So with that, I’ll leave you to your appointment-setting. Have fun you beautiful girls… Feel free to contact Lisa with your facial questions. And to find spas in your area, visit

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