What It's Like to Get a High-Tech Facial
A trip across the pond will show you that Elemis is a mainstay on British beauty shelves. Renowned for its signature Pro-Collagen line, naturally-sourced ingredients, and science-led approach, the London-based luxury skincare brand has spas across the US — but it wasn't until this summer that it landed in Los Angeles. I spent an afternoon at The Spa at Beverly Wilshire, home to one of the most luxurious spa menus, where Elemis debuted its first LA flagship. This is a spa that once offered a $800 face ritual that used diamond-cut quartz, so it's no wonder that Elemis' signature Biotec facial found a home at this R&R sanctuary.
Elemis' Biotec treatment is a futuristic facial that uses five different technologies — like microcurrent, light therapy, and oxygen infusion — to address everything from blackheads and environmental damage to inflammation and fine lines. It's also worth noting that the treatment will cost you $495.
After getting settled in, the aesthetician asked about my specific skin concerns. As a born-and-raised Angeleno, I've definitely had my share of al fresco time (often without the SPF to match), so sun damage repair was definitely on the to-do list. And while I'm all for embracing aging, I wouldn't mind reducing the appearance of those small smile lines.
Each facial is personalized according to the client's skin type and concerns. In my case, the aesthetician selected products suitable for my combination skin, which has occasional dryness in some areas (like my nose) but for the most part has returned to its pre-pregnancy state.
Now, onto the fun stuff. The facial began with the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, an anti-aging and hydrating cleanser that left my skin super soft and had a light pretty scent. Then, she swiped on the Ginseng Toner before she did some much-needed extractions, followed by a quick exfoliation with the Papaya Enzyme Peel. Finally, it was time to get hi-tech.
The high-tech part began with an Ultrasonic Peel, which uses a current (27,000 vibrations per second) to draw out impurities like a magnet. It also stimulates collagen production to minimize the appearance of fine lines and promotes blood and lymphatic circulation. As a sufferer of allergies, I was stoked that the thousands of tiny vibrations actually soothed my sinuses.
Next was the Microcurrent Lift, which uses tiny pulses of electrical currents to firm and tone the skin. Why is zapping your skin this way good for you? For starters, microcurrent "mirrors the body's own natural current, stimulating the skin's biological energy to re-educate and strengthen muscle memory."
After that, the aesthetician cleansed my skin again, and then it was time for some LED light therapy. She used a combination of blue light (to clear away any skin bacteria and reduce inflammation) and red light (to plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines).
The treatment continued with O2 Infusion, which blasted compressed air and "selected high-potency actives" onto my face. The result: plumper, firmer skin.
Finally, the aesthetician applied more toner and a final layer of anti-aging Pro-Collagen Marine Cream. Then it was off to the the spa's wind-down tea room.
Immediately after my pampering, I confidently stepped out sans-makeup onto the streets of Beverly Hills. I even took our post-glow face grocery shopping — quite the liberating experience for someone whose current morning makeup routine always involves foundation and under-eye concealer to hide that sleep-deprived-new-mom look.
A week later, I noticed that my visage still looked just as radiant — if not more vibrant — as when I left the spa. I could definitely get used to this.
Afterwards I spoke with British-bred, NY-based Elemis consulting aesthetician Georgia Louise Vassanelli to find out her top tips for fall weather skincare. This is a woman who counts Mad Men star Christina Hendricks and model Jourdan Dunn as clients, so you know she has some great tips.
What are some common skin issues that you see when we transition from summer to fall?
Clogged, congested, sun damaged skin. It's a combination of sun, sweat, and sunscreen and not taking good care of the skin during the summer months and exposing skin to too much sun. I spent a lot of the fall repairing my clients skin with peels, deep cleansing and vitamin infusing using the Elemis Biotec Machine.
What are your daily skincare tips for different skin types?
For congested and blocked pores, double cleanse and switch to an oil cleanser, like Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, to loosen blackheads and trapped congestion then apply a cleansing wash with AHAs or BHAs like the Georgia Louise cleanser.
If your skin is sun damaged, it's time to use a nightly gentle vitamin A and Retinol-based serum such as Georgia Louise Vitamin A Serum and a daily vitamin C serum such as the Elemis White Brightening Even Tone Serum.
As far as weekly treatments, what do you recommend? First, begin with a course of ten microcurrent sessions to lift and tighten the skin, then a course every six weeks to freshen and lighten after the summer months. I also recommend gentle lactic acid peels weekly.
Wanna try the Biotec treatment for yourself? Find an Elemis spa near you.