After graduating from the Duke University School of Medicine in 2004, Dr. Ana Benitez-Graham stayed inside the Triangle, completing her dermatology residency at the University of North Carolina. She is now a member of the North Carolina Medical Society and the American Society for Dermatological Surgery and a fellow with the American Academy of Dermatology. Dr. Benitez-Graham leads the staff at Central Carolina Skin & Dermatology on missions to streamline skin surfaces with laser services and conventional dermatology. Depending on symptoms and triggers, they can customize treatment plans to eradicate maladies such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis and to treat certain forms of skin cancer. Dr. Benitez-Graham also performs cosmetic procedures ranging from facial peels and spider-vein treatments to microdermabrasion, cosmetic injectables, and laser hair removal. The center stocks only professional products from brands such as Jane Iredale, Clarisonic, and SkinCeuticals, which are more effective than covering up skin problems with sale-price costume masks.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray-tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
At Aria Skin and Laser Spa in Chapel Hill and Somalase in Sanford, Medical Director Dr. Ajay Ajmani oversees a team of tech-savvy aestheticians who beautify and protect the epidermis with facials, laser treatments, and massages. During microdermabrasions, a skilled technician employs a diamond tip to control the seven seas and exfoliate the upper strata of damaged skin, revealing a youthful acreage of epidermis. Laser treatments for pigmentation correction, hair removal, and skin tightening enlist powerful YAG lasers to beautify the epidermis. Facials reinvigorate visages with an eye treatment, custom mask, neck-and-hand massage, moisturizer, and a restraining order against the sun.
The adroit and attentive aestheticians at The Little Wax Shop eradicate downy patches from pelvic planes with the antibacterial, botanically derived Nufree formula. Clients can consult with staff to personalize their service before practiced hands take 30 minutes or less to strip away swimwear-area fuzz. The full bikini wax extends past the bikini line for comprehensive coverage, leaving smooth skin betwixt hips for future beach errands or breakdance battles that escalate into synchronized swim-offs. After the treatment, finipil lotion banishes any remaining germs and dissuades new hair from returning too quickly.
The personnel at Style Brows threading studio often found themselves disappointed with hair-removal methods such as waxing and tweezing, which can be ineffective and painful. They decided to focus their efforts on a lesser-known but more effective technique: threading. Using 100% cotton threads, they remove entire rows of hair, creating a more precise shape for eyebrows, sideburns, and milk mustaches, which are notoriously hard to trim. Working out of a minimalist kiosk inside University Mall, Style Brows’ threading specialists make it easy for shoppers to enhance their expressions on the go and often receive praise for both their threading skills and their amicable personalities.
Since 1988, clients have visited Flawless Day Spa for custom skincare treatments that utilize a Hungarian product line made with organic fruits, herbs, and spices. Inside recently renovated treatment rooms, highly trained aestheticians rejuvenate faces with services ranging from facials to chemical peels to lash- and brow-tinting. Guests also relax atop cloth-garbed treatment tables during massages, which can run up to 120 minutes and incorporate techniques from modalities including aromatherapy, Thai yoga stretching, and acupressure.