BioTec USA founder and licensed aesthetician Tanya Gospodinova has been transforming complexions for three decades. After studying medicine and dermatology in Bulgaria, Gospodinova created a day spa that would evolve into a research-based health-care and beauty haven. She wanted to develop topical products that were not only capable of fighting everyday signs of aging but also potent enough to repair skin post surgery. Her Serum Collagen HP, for example, includes active ingredients such as niacinamide, which improves elasticity, green coffee extract, which nourishes skin with polyphenols, and glycoprotein from the Antarctic sea, which moisturizes and promotes collagen production.
Gospodinova and her team employ the powerful, nature-based formulas during results-oriented facials, peels, and microdermabrasion treatments. At each consultation, she uses video microscopy to magnify the skin 1,000 times—enough to spot the tiniest imperfections and determine for certain whether a freckle really looks like Elvis.
Massage for the masses. That's the mission for the team at M3 Massage, who perform massages that work for a variety of skeletomuscular issues. They use deep-tissue techniques for chronic tension, Swedish massage for general relaxation, and prenatal massage for pregnant clients in need of a soothing session. And their efforts have certainly paid off: in 2013, readers of Washington City Paper named M3 Massage Best Spa. In private treatment rooms, aestheticians can also wax clients from head to toe or administer medspa treatments such as Lipomassage, which targets fat deposits and promotes lymphatic circulation.
Even the decor puts visitors at ease. Stepping into the M3 Massage lobby is like entering the living room of a friend, the one who decided to install a reception desk. Comfy couches, a coffee table stacked with ample reading materials, and a few other well-placed decor items set an easy and casual tone.
On a quiet, brick-lined street on Capitol Hill, the main relaxation room at Creative Hands Massage is calm and quiet, as nimble fingers harmonize physical and emotional wellness within private chambers. Massage therapist Ailie Ham oversees skin and holistic wellness therapies, which begin with cups of hot tea to awaken the senses and give droopy pinkie fingers a lift. Aestheticians reach for the spa's signature skin tonics, and bodywork practitioners work in tandem with aromatic organic oils, warm and cool stones, or acupuncture needles to release tension and restore balance. Two blocks east in Union Station, emissaries of relaxation deliver pay-by-the-minute chair massages to prevent the stream of commuters and visitors from winding into a Gordian knot. Click here to see more of Creative Hands.
Dr. Wanda Minnis-Dyson opened her own practice in 1999 with a single specialty in internal medicine. Soon, however, she built on her expertise to include weight-loss medicine, which turned out to be a fateful choice for the focus of her practice. With that, plus the addition of mesotherapy and aesthetics in 2004, what was once a small medical practice morphed into Change for Life Wellness and Aesthetic Center. Today, she and her staff revamp bodies by shepherding clients through weight-loss programs, rejuvenating skin with dermal fillers, and brightening faces with a kissing booth run by two halogen bulbs. Dr. Dyson spends her time away from the office partaking in medical conferences, speaking on medical panels, and bettering the community at myriad outreach events.
Decked out with private treatment rooms, Qi Spa courts clients with lavender towels, earnest mixtapes, and complimentary beverages such as green tea. The spa's cosmopolitan staff speaks nine languages as they practice the facility's philosophy of helping clients achieve balanced chi?an ancient feng shui principle pertaining to one's inner life force and energy?in each of its treatments. Treatment rooms accommodate massage, waxing, and body treatments, or, for romantic activities, the corporeal sanctuary accommodates couples with chocolate massages, mani-pedis, or facials.
A hint of Mint is in the air at this spacious, limited membership gym and health club in downtown Washington DC. The light-filled facility offers up the whole nine yards of gym options, from free weights to Life Fitness cardio equipment to Cybex machines. Classes range from Pilates to yoga to spinning, but what sets Mint apart is its emphasis on overall wellness. The upscale workout spot offers nutrition counseling, and there’s an on-site spa featuring massage treatments. The spa is open to non-members, but if you want to be a short-term member, day and multi-day passes that don’t cost a mint are available.