No matter how plush the robes are or how refreshing the cucumber water is, I find it really hard to relax in a spa setting. My need for perfection and efficiency only heightens my anxiety, which is why I've become really good at doing mani-pedis and body scrubs right at home. (Bikini waxing... I'd rather leave that to the pros.)
But at the end of Fashion Month, I don't have enough energy for DIY beauty treatments. So I decided to give up my lunch break to get a 30-minute rose power peel I've heard other beauty editors chatting about.
Skincare creator and aesthetician Cecilia Wong employs a combination of Bulgarian and French rose oils, lemon and papaya extracts, LED light therapy and oxygen for a facial treatment that reduces hyperpigmentation (my biggest skincare woe), soothes sun damage and plumps up the skin. She assured me that I'd get off the table with a camera-ready complexion, and that's all she really had to say for me to lie down.
Wong started the process by cleansing and then smoothing on a rose petal yogurt peel packed with antioxidants and vitamins A, C, D and E. The scent was heavenly, yet not heady as if I was stuck in a field of flowers.
Next, she did a jade roller massage using her Reviving Black Currant Serum. Blended with black currant, blueberry and carrot seed oils, as well as argan oil, she explained that the black currant is actually one of the most potent sources of vitamin C. "It has 5 times more vitamin C than an orange! It brightens and is a great exfoliation to slough off dry skin," said Wong. The roller helped the serum to penetrate deeper into my pores and open up the point meridians to achieve softer skin.
The LED light therapy, which stimulates collagen production, was surprisingly painless (keeping my eyes closed to avoid the blinding light was tricky, so protective sunglasses would have helped), and I even dozed off during the process.
Wong completed the treatment with a blast of oxygen (the cool tingling sensation could be compared to one of those air in a can dusters) infused with aloe gel, hyaluronic acid and her secret rose serum. Once I was able to snap back into reality, I woke up to see that my face was much brighter and fuller. Plus, there was no redness or irritation.
BEFORE AND AFTER:
The Rose Power Peel Facial, $175, is available at the Cecilia Wong Skincare Salon in New York City, ceciliawongskincare.com
To test the results of the rose power peel, I gave up using my Clarisonic cleansing brush and used a basic peppermint face wash for two weeks. As you can tell from the before and after photos above, my complexion is more even and I've got a natural glow going on. I'm not wearing a single drop of liquid foundation.
Rating: 5 out of 5. A short and sweet facial that produces incomparable results. Who's up for a lunch date at the spa?
If unconventional skincare treatments are more your thing:
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