Skin Care

By Amy Sciaretto

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Some of you may raise your eyebrows at the idea of a “back facial.” Sure, facials for the face are common and necessary for the skin conscious woman (and helloooo…they are called ‘facials’ for a reason!) but a back facial? What’s the point, right? Well, between the approaching warm weather months and the latest back-bearing fashions, you’ll want to make sure your skin is in great shape.

Your back is the hardest part of your body to reach and to keep clean and moisturized. Who hasn’t asked the person lying next to you while sunbathing to “get your back” with a layer of sunblock? And you don’t need a long-handled scrub brush to reach other parts of your body, do you? Exactly. These are the reasons that back facials are just as important as, ummm, facial facials. If you’ve got dry skin or the dreaded bacne, if you plan to get a spray tan, or if you anticipate wearing sexy tops or revealing dresses, a back facial will give you a clean and beautiful back.

I received a back facial at Aqua Vitae Medical Spa on the Upper East Side. Isabel Sutherland, who has been celebrated in many major beauty magazines for her sugar waxing technique, performed the procedure. I’m certain she’ll soon be as well known for her back facials as her sugar waxes.

Aqua Vitae has all the normal trimmings of a spa – relaxing lavender candles, world music, soothing fountains, and crisp, mint green walls. But it sets itself apart with this basic, yet luxurious back facial. The procedure is similar to a regular facial, and consists of cleansing, scrubbing, extractions, moisturization, and the house Aqua Vitae Spa mask. Each product Sutherland used was all natural, and best of all, it felt like a massage the entire time, as she worked the products over my knotted, tense back.

Sutherland started out using the Babor cleanser, which is a deep cleanser. She then used a Babor scrub exfoliator to rid my back of any dry winter skin and dead cells. These two processes took about 15 to 20 very relaxing minutes. My back was then steamed for 10 minutes, and she returned to inspect for blackheads. Luckily, the coast was clear – I didn’t need any extractions. Sutherland then applied an ultra rich cream moisturizer by Thalasso and steamed my back again. Then she applied the special house mask with a brush and let it sit for 10 minutes. As Sutherland removed the mask with a wet cloth, she promised that my back would be silky soft. She wasn’t kidding. I ran my hand across my back and it felt smoother than a baby’s booty. Despite my love of winter, I was dreaming of summer and the kind of the weather that begs for sundresses and halters.

A week later, my back was still silky smooth to the touch. Sutherland contends that many women get back facials for their weddings, and are so happy with the results, they return for the service on a monthly basis.

Acqua Vitae Medical Spa is located at 1045 Lexington, between 74th and 75th Streets 212.570.2511 www.aquavitaespa.com

The Back Facial costs $110, but Beauty News has secured a few deals for their beloved readers. The spa is willing to offer first time clients 20 percent off the back facial. Want more? Well, we’ve got more. Their praised Sugar Hair Removal procedure normally costs $75, but first time clients can try it for just $50.

For more special deals and coupons, check out our Members Only section. This free service is available to you, our loyal readers, and all you have to do is enter your email and subscribe to the mailer. We promise not to clog your inbox with hefty Flash mailers, just informative, punchy newsletters from our irreverent staff writer you love so much.

Originally published March 2006
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