At Tan Factory, patrons slip from standup Saturn tanning beds or lie-down units, their skin warm and bronzed. The UVA-based high-pressure beds leave bodies with golden hues, and red-light-therapy beds hum as they generously spread a glow to stimulate collagen-producing fibroblasts during 15-minute sessions. As the light penetrates epidermal layers, it activates the body?s natural processes to reduce the appearance of fine lines, blemishes, and scars, restoring youthful sleekness and an ability to make convincing shadow puppets of dolphins. Those seeking to augment skin with sunless color step into a Mystic Tan or VersaSpa Spray booth and emerge 60 seconds later with fully toasted coats that last up to eight days.
Owner and proprietor Christina founded Designer Shades in 2009 as a response to the overpriced, unnatural-looking spray tans she was used to getting from competitors. To improve on these lesser-quality tans, she partnered with Norvell and South Seas Skincare, whose shades regularly coat the distinguished pelts of Kim Kardashian, Carrie Underwood, and many Dancing with the Stars celebrities. Christina and her team treat each client who wanders in front of their running spray nozzles like a celebrity. They gift all hue-changing patrons with a free pH balancer and tan-extender application, which not only protects skin from drying and aging, but also works to firm skin for days at the beach or months spent in dunk tanks.
At Salon Milano and Spa, plant-based Aveda products lend customized aromatherapy and natural nutrients to salon and spa services. The products' holistic focus matches the manner in which the staff conducts spa services: in addition to explaining the purpose of each step in the facial or massage, therapists also guide clients through stress-relieving visualization exercises to calm the mind. All treatments are customized, from the aromatherapy of a massage to the angle of the cut performed by senior or new-talent stylists in the salon. Tuscan Sanctuary is open late on weekdays to accommodate busy schedules and UV rays that, like Napoleon and his chef after saying they preferred English bread to baguettes, are exiled.
"You Look Gorgeous" is the phrase aesthetician Nikki Nixon emblazons across the walls of her private treatment room to remind clients that her work only serves to polish and maintain their own natural beauty. Inside the tranquil space?stocked with Image, Rep?chage, and Dermalogica skincare products?Nixon works gently to wipe away imperfections including hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and acne. The chemical peels and microdermabrasion treatments Nixon performs baby the skin while delivering powerful smoothing benefits. A specialized PCA oxygen-trio facial brightens skin as powerful antioxidants purge toxins and stimulate circulation by hooking up miniature oxygen masks to each pore.
Just as nothing fits quite like a well-tailored suit, a fully customized facial trumps most treatments when it comes to making skin glow. During personalized pampering facials, the staff at Radiant Skin lavishes faces in specially designed formulas that focus on hydration, fighting acne, and reducing the appearance of rosacea. For customers on the go, the express facial treatment quickly livens up skin without having to spend a full hour at the studio or rubbing it in a freshly sprouted rainbow.
Beyond its soft, creamy outer layer, skin acts as a living barrier between us and the harsh world outside. Check out Groupon?s guide to the body's pliable armor.
If you were to take all your skin and spread it out, it would, on average, cover a twin bed. And though that might be a blessing when you've run out of clean sheets, it would leave you defenseless against hazards such as bacteria, chemicals, sunlight, and even water. A complex system of more than 300 million constantly regenerating cells, nerves, and glands, the skin is not only the body's largest organ, but also its first line of defense against the environment, a flexible, waterproof sheath for all the muscles, bones, and sensitive electronics inside.
In most cases, we can only see the skin's outer layer, or epidermis, but two more layers lie just below the surface?the dermis, full of flexible collagen and elastin, and a subcutaneous layer of fat meant to cushion and insulate our insides. Of the three layers, the dermis is the workhorse, bracing the capillaries that regulate our body temperature and hosting millions of follicles that knit new hair and expel softening oils. But despite its importance, nobody will ever tell you how nice your dermis looks. Beauty, after all, is only epidermis deep, and it's there where we see the most change. New skin cells are constantly replacing the old, pushing off roughly 1.5 pounds of dead cells every year, and over time the epidermis slowly loses its ability to retain moisture or spring back into place, resulting in wrinkles, dryness, and other signs of wisdom gained.
One of skin?s most useful attributes is its regenerative ability. When the skin breaks or needs repair, the blood vessels amp into overdrive, carrying much-needed nutrients straight to the site on pallets of platelets. This is why a cut forms a scab and, oddly enough, why our face turns red when we're sunburned; the color isn't actually a burn?it's blood rushing to the face to repair the cellular damage caused by UV rays.