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Face-Off: B-Spa Bar's Old-Meets-New Approach to Skin Care

The current flows at B-Spa Bar's Lower East Side premises.
The current flows at B-Spa Bar's Lower East Side premises.
(courtesy B-Spa Bar)

Facial treatments are as old as time, but that doesn’t mean your complexion care can’t be au courant. Case in point: a state-of-the-art service, the Custom Collagen Stem Cell facial, from B-Spa Bar, a Westchester County-based spa that has a branch in the recently redubbed Sixty hotel (190 Allen St., 212.542.8690) on the Lower East Side. It’s a subterranean space with a pleasantly spare, vaguely Asian feel, with a polished black stone floor covered with bamboo mats, and wood furnishings. A tape of soothing woodwind sounds plays in the dimly lit treatment rooms.

The 75-minute facial (at $475, the most deluxe of the variety of skin services B-Spa offers), is “ideal for mature, aging skin types,” the spa’s literature notes. It begins as most facials do, with some deep cleansing and exfoliation (one of the solutions feels a bit tingling on the face), followed by a gentle massaging of the cheeks, forehead, chin and neck. Then comes the heart of the treatment: a serum of cow placenta stem cells (closer to human than the more usual sheep’s, apparently), rubbed into the skin via a Italian Dermoelectroporation (DEP) device. It resembles an electric shaver, and sounds a bit like one too.

The magnetic pulse of the low-voltage current helps open the molecules of the epidermis, purportedly helping to zap the collagen-containing stuff right in there—as deeply as an injection, but without breaking the skin. As the technician gradually increases the current, the device does feel slightly prickly, like a lick from a cat’s tongue. The facial also involves the application of lotions rich in chocolate and coffee berry extracts (big antioxidants, both).

Then, this high-tech treatment finishes on an interestingly old-fashioned note: a spritz from one of three herb-, flower- and spice-scented mists (I opted for “Worry Free,” perfumed with jasmine, clary sage, lemon, rose and patchouli; others include “Soothing Vata” and “Immunity”). You can get these to go, too, in packages that include packets of tea.

An au courant current, plus ancient, ayurvedic-inspired aromatherapy—it’s not often that past meets the future, especially in skin care.