The Real Skin-ny on Facials

The Truth About Facials
Face it. Save for the genetically blessed, most of us need extra help in caring for our complexion. This goes double for anybody with sun damaged or maturing skin. While following a skin care regimen at home is a good start, cleansing and moisturizing alone won’t do the trick. Keeping your complexion in tiptop shape requires professional care.

I know, I've been getting regular facials since I was 22, partly for my job as a beauty writer, and mostly because I knew the benefits. I was lucky to have a gorgeous aunt who was a model whose advice on diet/exercise/and skin care stuck with me from the time I was a little girl painting her nails for her.

“The perfect facial begins with a complete skin analysis to determine the proper applications for each individual, and unfolds like a beautiful orchestration which focuses on every detail,” according to Ole Henriksen, internationally renowned face-saver of the stars whose client list at his Los Angeles, California day spas reads like a lineup of Oscar presenters at the Academy Awards. We’re talking famous figures like Kirk Douglas, regular since 1975, Lauren Bacall for about as many years, and fresher faces such as Rene Zellweger, Mark Wahlberg, Naomi Campbell, Charlise Theron, Jessica Alda, Sly Stallone, Maria Carey, and Hillary Swank. “A true complexion treatment thoroughly eliminates impurities in the skin, tightens the pores, tones the muscles and texturizes the skin through the use of gentle peeling agents and special massage techniques like lymphatic drainage and acupressure.” “But we must never forget the importance of continued pampering throughout the treatment, “ emphasizes the soft-spoken Danish-born dynamo. “I don’t believe in gimmicky fluff and fold facials that don’t deliver what the customer deserves,” he warns.

Contrary to popular belief, facials are not exclusive to women. More men than ever are getting facials, according to Henriksen, who claims 25% his clientele are male.” Men also want to look good in today’s youth-driven society. And since men are more prone than women to neglect their skin, many seek the services of a professional to get them on the right track. So you guys out there reading this shouldn’t slough it off. And gals it wouldn’t hurt to give may want to give your boyfriend or husband a nudge. I convinced my mate to get facials about 10 years ago. He kicked and screamed at first. “Facials are for women,” he moaned, but quickly changed his tune after his first experience. “Wow, that was great,” he cooed, “I actually fell asleep.”

I began my frequent facial regimen nearly 20 years ago (I started young). For me, it’s an indispensable indulgence. Especially now that facial treatments have evolved from what were once perfunctory, cookie cutter procedures into more individualized treatments. Estheticians are better trained and have more advanced tools to perform their skills like highly developed power products that peel, oxygenate, restore, exfoliate and rejuvenate, and specialized machines such as microdermabrasion and Lasers that dig deeper into the dermis to generate more definitive results.

According to the experts, everybody beginning from about age 16 and on, should have a professional facial at least once a month to help slow down the signs of aging. Of course we can’t stop the aging process, but regular facials will help reduce deep lines and wrinkles. Think of it like brushing your teeth, we need to after meals, we go to the dentist to have them professionally cleaned so use the same rule to maintain your complexion.

Louise Bianco, a veteran esthetician known as the “miracle maker of the stars” for her unique facial contouring treatments, credited with keeping some of Hollywood’s most famous faces looking good, is a firm believer in facials as both a preventative measure and educational tool. She insists her clients follow a professionally designed regimen at home in-between appointments. “Because everybody’s skin is different, it’s important to consult an authority to prescribe products most suitable for your skin,” Bianco advises. “It’s essential to cleanse and moisturize your skin twice a day, but some skin types require more intense serums and applications,” she continued. Bianco contends that regular facials by a skin care practitioner provide relief from stress; helps firm facial muscles, holds the pull of gravity at bay and even delays or averts the need for cosmetic procedures. “However,” she adds, “healthy, vital skin also requires regular exercise, drinking lots of water, eating right and getting your beauty sleep,”—a mantra she repeats regularly to her clients.
Better Late Than Never

If you’ve never had a facial, it’s not too late to start. And if you happen to be reading this while sailing on one of the Yachts of Seabourn, it’s as easy as visiting the onboard Spa. The inviting sanctuary is the perfect place to begin taking care of your skin. You can select from an extensive menu that includes luxurious offerings as: La Therapie HydraLift Facial, a 50 minute session that helps reduce lines and wrinkles; Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Facial, which offers a similar boost by the use of a specialized lifting massage and Japanese silk mask saturated in collagen booster serum; Elemis Aromapure Time for Men Facial, a 50 stress-reducing minutes of unadulterated luxury that cleanses and rejuvenates. It also includes a heavenly scalp massage.

Contact the gurus:
OleHenriksen face and body products and treatments can be found at more than 350 spas throughout the world. His flagship day spa provides a little oasis nestled in an upscale mini mall at 8622A Sunset Boulevard, 310/854.7700 and at the deluxe Shutters Hotel at 1 Pico Boulevard, 310/458.0030. OleHenriksen international locations include: the Hotel Side—a favorite stop-over for rock stars and musicians on tour-- at Drehbahn 49, 20354 Hamburg Germany, 49-(40) 30-99-9562; The Bluebird in London, 350 Kings Road, 020 7351 3873, situated in a hip and trendy mall; OleHenriksen Face/Body Bangkok in the GMM Grammy Building 50 by the Four Seasons Hotel, 66-26 65 99 45; and the Cromwell Hotel on Copenhagen’s charming waterfront. For additional information call: 800/327.0331 or on the web: www.

Louise Bianco, after nearly 30 years in her Beverly Hills days spas, Bianco moved shop into his charming San Fernando Valley home where she continues her miracle making on the faces celebrities, writers, producers, moguls and ordinary folk such as yours truly.
818/786.2700, 800/782.3067,


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