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Three Great Facials to Try Right Now 

by Abbie Kozolchyk

May is such an exuberant month, noted the famed Lady Gregory, that “its face is beautiful.” Yours is no doubt looking pretty gorgeous, too: That natural springtime bloom in your cheek beats anything for sale at the makeup counter. Even so, a little extra skincare goes a long way right now, during the period Lady Gregory dubbed “a welcome before the brightness of summer.” With that in mind, we’ve rounded up three nourishing and newsworthy facials to consider before the full glare of sun season is upon us. 

The Sonäge EWG Verified Facial

At CleanCon this past fall — between presentations on climate-friendly foods and detoxed wellness routines — attendees flocked to the Sonäge booth to check out the company’s new launch: the first ever EWG verified facial (i.e., a treatment that meets the Environmental Working Group’s strictest standards). Since then, the protocol has rolled out from the Sonage Studio in Santa Monica to skincare outposts across the US, such as Iridescence Salon & Spa in York, PA. 

Regardless of where you experience the facial, the essential elements are the same. First comes the Hydrating Cleanser, which blends various seed oils (sesame, jojoba and hazel) with botanicals such as peach extract and Valencia orange essential into a mix that’s equal parts purifying, soothing and aromatherapeutic. Next up is the Gommage, which forgoes microbeads and other abrasive particles in favor of a peel-off exfoliating gel spiked with locust bean husk, camphor bark oil and lime oil. The third step is the Saffron Energizing Vitamin Mask, whose titular spice pairs with ginseng, among others, to brighten and moisturize. Then you’re massaged with citrus- and turmeric root-spiked C Shield Smart Serum before you’re sent off with a generous application of niacinamide- and ceramide-infused Roux Tinted Day Crème with SPF 30. Note that if you can’t get to a participating spa anytime soon, you should check out the at-home version of the facial (and consider tacking on some Frioz Icy Globes Facial Massagers to make the experience even more pampering for yourself).

The Cheeks + Co Dermaplaning Facial  

The rules that govern dermaplaning vary by state, and California is relatively new to allowing the scalpel-dependent treatment in spas. At the beloved Cheeks + Co, a clean beauty purveyor that started in Pasadena and just opened a Mid-City spa in LA, the Dermaplaning service has quickly become the most requested facial, and serves as a great seasonal reset, according to the brand’s founder Christina Uzzardi. She also finds the service to be particularly good prep for anyone who’s about to put self-tanner into heavy rotation for summer (shaving off the top layers of skin gives you the ultimate fresh canvas).

The Cheeks + Co version stars with a cleanse that layers the brand’s own clay- and enzyme-based Surfacemoveswith Odacité Montana Harvest Omega Oil Cleanser for a five-minute purifying massage and hot towel removal. Then comes the skin analysis to double check for contraindications (looming breakouts, for example). If you’re deemed good to go — and most clients are — the main event is next. “We do wet dermaplaning with an oil so the surgical blade glides easily and creates less friction,” explains Uzzardi. That portion of the treatment generally lasts around 20 minutes and covers “every nook and cranny of your face and neck.” After that come extractions and a soothing mask application. Uzzardi is known in certain circles for her obsession with fan brushes, so a step that might otherwise be unremarkable — the brushing on of the mask — is a true standout here. “We train our Glow Givers [read: facialists] to not lift the brush off face that often and use long, fluid strokes so it’s a really relaxing experience that even goes with the music.”  While the mask is on, there’s a 10-minute neck and shoulder massage, followed by a hot towel and finishing series that depends on your skin, but would likely include a hydrating serummoisturizer and SPF

Blue Water Spa Environ Facial

Having expanded from Oyster Bay, NY to a just-opened location in Southampton, Blue Water Spa is known for a unique blend of restorative mind-body-spirit energy and high-performance medical esthetics. From the extensive facial menu, one of the most nourishing offerings is the vitamin-intensive Environ Facial. 

Though every facial is highly customized, the basic steps of this one are as follows: You’ll be pre-cleansed with an oil, sloughed with a clay exfoliant, cleansed with a gel and toned with an alpha hydroxy acid. Then your skin will get a megadose of vitamins A and C as well as hyaluronic acid: “We use sonophoresis and iontophoresis (ultrasound and negative ionization) to drive these actives into the skin,” says founder Rachel Lee Lozina. “Next we use a cooling rubber mask to further drive the ingredients into your skin.” Though your skin is already supremely hydrated by this point, you’re massaged with moisturizer for good measure, and of course, topped off with sunscreen. The afterglow is sufficiently surreal that you’ll find yourself checking your reflection throughout the day and wishing you had a red carpet appearance to make — but even if you just grab takeout, make sure to show your face somewhere. 

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