By Lauren Flaum
The quest for beautiful skin continues to reach new heights thanks to the technological advances of our age. Beauty, it seems, is not only skin deep. The buzz around cosmeceuticals, medically advanced products that fuse cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, is growing strong thanks to the advent of the Medi-Spa. Ushering in this trend is the Skin TheraP, a new Upper East Side spa that’s dedicated to combining medical procedures with spa treatments, and offering prescription-strength products, all in one laid back environment, complete with a supervised, camera-equipped playroom. Skin TheraP has a full menu of services including microdermabrasion, Elos laser hair removal, VelaSmooth cellulite reduction, waxing, and an assortment of facial treatments; they also a few well-respected cosmeceutical lines including Obagi, Skin Medica, and La Roche-Posay. Since I’m somewhat technologically-challenged, I decided to try a more traditional treatment during my first visit to Skin TheraP. I opted for an Acne Purifying Facial. A deep cleansing facial that is designed to counteract the effects of, yes, you guessed it, acne. Formulated for sensitive skin, an oil dissolving cleanser purifies skin while oil-absorbing silica helps to balance skin. The end result, hopefully, is a fresh and radiant complexion, the holy grail of skin care enthusiasts. My treatment began with a free skin scan. This complexion analysis is complimentary for all first-time customers. It's a bit like giving your face an x-ray, except in this case ultra violet light is used to take a picture of your skin, showing underlying skin conditions not visible to the naked eye. The scan analyzes pore size, level of sun damage and wrinkles, evenness, and bacteria levels beneath skin. Once the scan is completed, clients receive a print out of this virtual skin report card and meet with Dr. William Greenberg to discuss the results. Dr. Greenberg is the founder and medical director of Skin TheraP. Unfortunately for me he was not at the spa that day. My esthetician did however review the analysis before beginning my treatment because the more the staff knows about your skin the better they can customize the experience to meet your needs. Now that I had been blinded by science, it was time for the good stuff to begin. Natalia, the esthetician, brought me into the small room where I would receive my facial and proceeded to make me comfortable. She asked several questions about my own skin care regimen and we spoke briefly about acne prone skin. She was knowledgeable and professional. After my hair and upper body were wrapped in terry cloth, I lay down on the table, tucked away beneath a blanket, and lost myself to Natalia's gentle touch as she expertly caressed my face. With soothing music and the flickering light of candles, I was able to forget the day, the city, and my life and do something that every woman deserves—give my skin some much-needed TheraP. After an hour and fifteen minutes of experiencing washes, masks, some poking and prodding, and gentle massage, I was ushered back to reality. Although my face was not magically transformed at first view, I realized that what occurred went much deeper. The Acne Purifying facial destroyed the bacteria underneath skin in the cell matrix below the surface. According to spa staff, it also helped to reduce pore size, correct pigment distribution, hydrate my skin and pull collagen and elastin to the surface. I left the spa with a feeling of well-being and a new perspective on skin care. We rely on medicine so much in our daily lives, in dealing with illness, allergies, psychological problems and more, and yet we don't usually associate medicine with skin unless we have a serious medical condition. Skin TheraP is striving to change all of that. Their goal is to correct, restore and maintain skin with products that have proven success rates shown in scientific data. They stress efficacy, safety, and real measurable results—it's the scientific method of skin care. To complete this process, the spa offers a free follow-up visit two to three weeks later. It is important for everyone to take care of their skin, but for women in NYC skin care should be a top priority. The amount of pollution and free radicals in a metropolitan area like New York are damaging enough, and combined with stress and the fast-paced environment your skin will feel the effects even more. Skin TheraP understands this lifestyle. For busy parents, they offer a "mommy-room" at no extra charge where children can stay and play during the pampering. They also offer a rewards program where every dollar spent earns customers rewards that can be used toward products and treatments. Perks like this will draw women from all around, maybe even downtown darlings. Skin TheraP is located at 301 East 81st St at Second Avenue. They are currently offering several specials. During the month of May, all facials are 20% off, and when you buy four facials, you get the fifth free. For more information or to book an appointment, call (212) 253-7138, www.SkinTheraP.com.