Skin Care

By Stephanie Ila Silver-Silberstein

I’ve always welcomed the winter months as an opportunity to hide my pale skin and excess weight under bulky wool sweaters and heavy coats. But upon the first sign of spring, it becomes a necessity to emerge from our overheated apartments as glowing, radiant, specimens of vitality and beauty. We must break out the white sundresses we were forced to hide in our closets after Labor Day, and all the spring brides are expected to look fantastic in their beautiful white wedding gowns. It is no wonder we all thank our lucky “stars” for the “sun”-less tan.

After years of research and experimentation, the beauty industry has made sunless tanning lotions relatively safe, odor-free, non-streaking and natural-looking. The formula used by the Lia Schorr Salon is no exception. Lia Schorr, the Spa, is a full-service day spa conveniently located near Bloomingdale’s! Lia Schorr, the woman, has been a leader in skin care for 35 years, and is an expert in concocting products that keep your skin clean, healthy and radiant. (Check out http://www.liaschorr.com for services, packages and products)

All of the technicians there are adept in administering all the latest skin care treatments, and I was grateful for this. As a sunless tan guinea pig, I was nervous, to say the least. Visions of Oompaloompas danced in my head as friends described their nightmarish allergic reactions to creams or their sagas of airbrush-tans-gone-awry. But Lia was adamant in assuring me that I had nothing to worry about and that there have never been any disaster stories at her spa.

I was asked to remove all of my clothes and lie on a massage table. Obviously, it’s best to leave any self-consciousness at the door for this kind of treatment. After Ida, a licensed massage therapist, exfoliated and cleaned my entire body, front and back, with a lovely-scented almond scrub, I was asked to stand up for the sunless tanning cream application.

Ida was thorough and applied the cream evenly to each part of my body – from right under my chin to in between each toe. My soft, smooth, exfoliated skin ensured that there would be no streaking, and Ida made sure that no area left was left untouched. The entire exfoliation and cream application process lasted about an hour, and you are instructed to reapply either yourself or at the spa every three days to sustain optimum color. It seemed odd that my face was left alone, but when I asked Ida, as well as the facialist about this, they informed me that people like to determine how tan their face becomes separately, with something applied at home (or during a facial at Lia Schorr) or with makeup. Dealing with the face separately insures that it will not appear darker than the rest of the body. Lia Schorr also makes sunless tan products especially for the face in order to avoid breakouts and irritation.

I spent a good 15 minutes standing completely naked waiting for the lotion to absorb into my skin, and thus avoiding that icky feeling of my winter clothes sticking to my body. Later that night, my friends sarcastically joked at dinner that they didn’t even recognize me. I informed them that I had Ida apply a light layer to my skin since this was after all, my first time doing this. It wasn’t until the next morning that I noticed a subtle but healthy tan – especially on my shoulders, arms and stomach. No one exclaimed anything like, “Did you just get back from Cancun or something?!” upon my arrival to work the next day. However, I did receive a few comments that I looked “radiant,” “healthy” and “a bit darker than usual.” I was tempted to go back to Lia Schorr and have Ida apply a thicker coat, but considering I have a naturally dark complexion, I opted to enjoy basking in the warmth of the compliments I was already receiving.

Let’s face it, white looks great with a tan and considering most brides wear white to their wedding, a sunless tan is definitely worth consideration. Personally, I’d be nervous soaking up actual sun and risking a nasty burn, uneven color or dry peeling skin if my wedding were approaching. Furthermore, I can’t seem to forget images of Ross in that infamous “Friends” episode about the spray-on tan. For those reasons, I’m going to put my sunless tanning exploits in the hands of the experts. Lia Schorr can certainly be trusted to give you a healthy, even, radiant tan whether you’re the bride or the bridesmaid. In any case, it’s definitely time to shed those wool sweaters and finally enjoy the warm weather in all its glory! After the winter we just endured, we definitely deserve to!

Lia Schorr
686 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 486-9670
Fax: (212) 486-9609
http://www.liaschorr.com

Originally published May 2004
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