For several months I have been looking forward to my annual California vacation as a respite from the unending snow and bone chilling cold of winter. Ah, grass, trees, flowers, warm sun! Maybe I’ll just stay til all the slush and crud are history.
Knowing I was coming, my pal Stacey, intrepid global currency queen by day and esthetician in her off hours, set me up with her biz partner in Tustin, CA for a facial treatment. Is that a friend, or what? Stacey knows I have a devil- may- care, I’ll- try- anything attitude toward skin care because she has done a number of different peels on me and found me a willing guinea pig. So today I am going to experience the FDA approved iDerm facial. According to the literature, “To truly affect the lower layers of the skin, vitamin rich solutions are drawn into the dermal tissue by means of electricity. The galvanic current helps to tighten and firm the skin tissue, regenerate and stimulate the skin cells, tighten the pores, increase circulation to the face, stabilize the ph of the skin and soothe the nerve endings.” It is also recommended for pre and post laser treatments to spark healing and for those with rosacea.
When I arrived at JPS Skincare, Pam gave me a thorough evaluation. Then she cleansed me twice, once with a milky cleanser, then a gel wash. First, she gave me a peel containing lactic acid, arbutin and kojic acid, great for hydrating and brightening the skin, so the treatment would more effectively penetrate. Then she draped me in muslin strips soaked in yucca and covered me with a heat dome (in lieu of steaming) to further cleanse the walls of the pores before extractions. It felt like being at the bottom of a well.
After 10 minutes I was unwrapped but then re-mummified with layers of muslin and cotton bats soaked in Vitamin C and zinc. According to Pam, “this solution (combined with the galvanic current), contracts and stimulates muscle fibers and pores, aids in the synthesis of collagen, strengthens capillaries, reduces redness and since it is germicidal, helps fight bacteria.”
There are two types of galvanic treatment: positive causes an acidic reaction and is used to firm skin and promote new cell growth; negative creates an alkaline reaction and is used for acneic skin. I had the former. FYI, FDA approval, to this or any device or treatment, means it is intended to affect the structures and/or function of the body.
Once I was covered (except for my eyes, lips and nostrils) she put a
grounding pad behind my back and encased me in a Hannibal Lector worthy device with electrodes. When she threw the switch, I confess, I felt like Frankenstein’s monster! But it was not uncomfortable, just a mild tingling sensation. She warned that I might experience a metallic taste in my mouth, which I did. But it was alleviated by keeping my tongue firmly on the roof of my mouth. This portion of the treatment lasted about 20 minutes.
When I was unveiled, she applied moisturizer and sunscreen. To my delight, my skin was radiant, smooth and firm. I loved the glow and will definitely give it another go on my next trip West. Ideally one should have a treatment per month for a cumulative affect.*
Stacey and Pam are certified oncology estheticians and provide complimentary facials for oncology patients, a truly wonderful and compassionate practice. Call it Beauty Giving Back.
*Cost of the treatment is $120. The peel was a $15 add on.
My latest find is Maybelline’s answer to the NARS multiple, the Master Glaze Blush Stick. This portable little tube rings up at $8.99-$10 depending on the store and delivers a sheer, creamy, shimmery pigment that powders down after application. I bought Warm Nude and found, in a pinch, I could use it as blush, lip color and on my eyelids. How good is that! It comes in six shades. Perfect for a quick,natural, better than bare look.
Original artwork by Johanna Bohoy