Lyn Ross wrote the book on skincare. Or at least one or two of the books, cumulatively. She's authored numerous articles and textbook chapters on the topic, spreading the knowledge she's gained since opening her first natural skincare clinic in 1975, when most dermatologists still advised moisturizing with a rich crude-oil blend. In 1989, she established Institut’ DERMed—at once an Atlanta med-spa, a line of cosmeceutical products, and an aesthetician-training center.
Today, Ross and her staff make clients’ skin glow in a 3,000-square-foot facility filled with 11 private treatment rooms. At the College of Advanced Aesthetics, also headquartered in Atlanta, they train estheticians, cosmetologists, and doctors in product use and skin-treatment plans. Perhaps the element most central to Lyn's practice is her range of natural skin-care products crafted from concentrated but non-prescription active ingredients. The cleansers, serums, and exfoliants are formulated not just with carefully selected ingredients, but with carefully selected molecules—the company’s chemists reconfigure the very atoms of active substances so that the compounds will better penetrate the skin.
Shamara Long believes that her massages and organic facials are more than just temporary escapes from life’s daily stresses. A licensed therapist and the owner of Serenity Place Massage Solutions, Long views her spa’s treatments as catalysts for healthy lifestyles. She draws on her committed faith-based background to rejuvenate and replenish, in her own words, "the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies."
To best nurture these four aspects of being, Long relies on an extensive treatment menu that targets the skin as well as its underlying muscles. Her bodywork specialties include Swedish, prenatal, and Thai massages as well as a Serenity stretch treatment, whose stretching and compression exercises help athletes to run and cartwheel over goalposts more effectively. Organic massage lotions and oils aid in these treatments, just as professional Éminence Organic Skin Care products enhance the slate of facials and peels. Although Long’s spa blossoms with warm lighting and earthy tones conducive to spiritual healing, she can also haul her massage table to bridal parties and corporate gatherings.
Hamid Mohajir, a certified neuromuscular therapist, began his career at various large spas. As he worked, he continued to hear the dissatisfied rumblings of clients who wanted a therapist with an ongoing, personal familiarity with their particular health issues. With an eye toward providing that kind of dedication, Hamid left the realm of large spas and started Buckhead Healing Massage. He soothes bodies with a blend of multiple massage modalities, ranging from the gentle strokes of Swedish massage and the targeted pressure of deep-tissue massage to the rehabilitating effects of sports massage.
To ensure that minds remain calm as he works tension out of bodies, photos and paintings of flowers soothe the senses along the warm green walls, which whisper calming lullabies as patients drift into a state of relaxation. Ethereal natural light filters through the fluttering, transparent curtains that line the entirely glass front.
The demands of the modern world put strains on the skin and muscles not often experienced by humans in the past, so the aestheticians at Rejuvenate Spas tailor their services to treat these contemporary conditions. They offer power-napping rooms for quick afternoon breaks, as well as massages and chiropractic treatments designed to take on the ailments acquired from sitting too long at a computer or inside a giant robot. Yoga and meditation classes aid in reducing mental stress, whereas skin-cleansing facials remove airborne dirt and grime, diminish wrinkles, and banish other signs of aging.
Perhaps the most unusual tool in the spa’s arsenal, the Sanctorum Soundspa encloses patients in a shiatsu-massage recliner amid soothing natural aromas. Meanwhile, carefully selected soundscapes play over the speakers, massaging the brain through the eardrums while rollers inside the chair work on muscles.
Unlike many spas, Spa Medicine stocks its own signature soaps formulated to mitigate arthritis, balance dry or oily skin, or bolster the immune system. Their soaps aren’t the only way they strengthen clients’ immune systems: certified massage therapists ply their trade to abate maladies such as anxiety, muscle tension, and immune-system weakness. The staff’s arsenal includes such styles as Swedish, deep-tissue, reflexology, hot-stone, trigger-point, and prenatal massage, which they perform at their patients’ homes or in their industrial-style office. As sunlight pours through windows on two floors, they render sundry other specialties including facials, body wraps, and honey-sugar body scrubs, which brighten skin cells by exfoliating them and not by rubbing them with the well-polished large golden foot statuette that decorates the waiting area.
At Creative Skin Care, medical aestheticians recognize the fundamental link between health and beauty. Extensive backgrounds in both cosmetic and clinical care have trained them to seek the root of beauty issues in the deeper well-being of the body. Complimentary skin analyses allow skin-care experts to eschew "quick fixes" and "iron helmets" for in-depth beautification campaigns that might incorporate massage, salicylic-acid treatments, and oxygenation. Aestheticians are masters of lasers, whether they are directing the Palomar IPL laser at little melanin bull's-eyes within hair follicles or wielding the Alma Harmony XL laser to rout spider veins with little discomfort and no downtime.