Have you ever had one of those days where your skin needs some TLC but you don’t have time or interest in waiting three weeks and heading to crowded midtown for a facial? Well for this Examiner, who thinks heading above 14th street is daunting, last Wednesday was one of those days. That’s when I stumbled upon VMV Skin Specialist Boutique in Soho , a quiet oasis in the middle of the bustling shopping area.
There, I met with Holly Byerly, (my now go-to esthetician) for their “Youth, The Whole Youth and Nothing But the Youth” Facial. As with all of their treatments, it was slightly customized for my specific skin needs and after an hour of cleansing, masks, serums and massage, I emerged a more glowing and blissed out version of myself. Dying to know more, I spent a few minutes with Holly to get the insider’s scoop on VMV and facials in general.
Can you tell me about the treatment and products used?
The most important thing to know about our treatments and products is that they are validated hypoallergenic. Some spa treatments can be lovely and blissful but can also cause rashes, irritations or acne. We only use our allergen-free products — many of which also have published clinical studies. So we're able to provide both clinically-proven safety (the ultra-sensitive can now enjoy spas!) and clinically-published efficacy (what's a spa treatment unless it provides real benefits!).
Each Vx Facial is also designed to work with — and to bring out the very best of — your at-home regimen, creating a cycle of purify-clarify-vivify. Each facial will include a thorough cleansing, exfoliation, a deeply relaxing face and neck massage, pore-opening steaming, light comedone extraction (a more thorough extraction is available as an add-on), and some good quality time with our special, invigorating masks, each freshly made and mixed on site just for you. Our aestheticians do not leave the room once your treatment has started, so you can expect some extra attention on your hands, arms, feet or scalp while you are resting with your mask on.
Why are they effective?
They are clinical proof. We have over 75 published clinical studies — from case reviews to randomized, double-blind clinical trials — that attest to the efficacy of our products. Efficacy is also helped by safety. By having safer products, we're able to use less diluted, more powerful concentrations of active ingredients while minimizing the risk of inflammation or irritation.
If you think of your regular skin care regimen as a fundamental daily must, like brushing your teeth, a regular facial functions like a visit to your dentist's when you get a deeper, professional cleaning. Like sessions with a professional coach to your running routine. A monthly detox on top of your diet. We could keep going but you get the gist: the right facial done regularly (weekly, 2x-a-month, or monthly, depending on your skin goals) gives skin the crucial thorough cleaning, concentrated hydration and deeper upkeep that it needs while enhancing the performance of a healthy, daily regimen of skin care, therapy and prevention. Plus, we are able to fully customize each service to your skin's ever-changing needs.
How often do you recommend to clients they schedule facials?
I generally recommend every 4-6 weeks. Depending on the individual's skin goals though, I may recommend coming more often, especially if there is a wedding in the near future!
Is there anyone who should avoid these types of treatments?
Guests who are suffering from a sunburn, wounds, skin rashes, or any skin infections should avoid facial or spa services until their skin is healed. In addition, if you have had a strong chemical peel or laser treatment, you should consult with your dermatologist before doing a facial.
Can you recommend any products and at-home treatments to help extend the "life" of your facial?
After any facial at VMV, we will recommend the best regimen suited to your skin's needs and your skin goals. There's no real "one size fits all" regimen — everyone has distinct needs and goals, and this can even change with the seasons! At the very basic level, we would recommend a cleanser, toner, moisturizer and a daily sunscreen (a must!).
Any last tips?
A universal tip that goes for everyone - Always, always cleanse your skin before bed, no matter how tired you may be. You must take the day off of your face, even if you did not apply makeup, you wear the dust and dirt that floats in the air, and sleeping in it is not good for your skin. Need an extra boost for dull skin? Try VMV's Hydra Balance Smart Cleansing Scrub a couple of times a week to slough off dull skin and reveal a glowing smooth face.