After years of struggling with acne as a teen, Joyce Brown was unsure of how to properly care for her skin. One day, when she was in her early 20s, that all changed—the day she received a facial. This ignited a lifelong passion for skincare, and with the help of her mother, Joyce saved enough money to attend the Von Lee International School of Aesthetics and learned to nourish and nurture the delicate skin of the face. Joyce finished her skincare training with big dreams of starting her own business, but motherhood and a professional career—she has a master’s degree in social work—kept her goals at bay. After years of hard work and watching tear-jerking facial documentaries, Joyce finally took a leap of faith, resigning from her job and opening Elaina Joi Skincare, a studio in a quaint second-floor walkup.
Joyce translates the people skills she mastered during her former life in social work to establish a strong rapport with her clients and their specific skin concerns. With the aid of DermaQuest—a dermatologist-recommended skincare line created without animal testing—and Face Reality Skin Care–specially designed for clients with acne– Joyce attends to each client’s visage with a detailed, diligent approach. Sessions conclude when the specialist charts an at-home skincare regimen to ensure continued care and to keep pores out of the Pringles stash.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
At Nirvana Reflexology Spa, a team of certified reflexologists uses the ancient therapy to relieve ailments and reduce toxins. During reflexology treatments, pressure is applied to specific areas of the feet and hands that are believed to line up with many of the body's internal organs. The treatment, aside from inducing general feelings of relaxation and well-being, has been shown to positively impact everything from migraines and back pain to insomnia and anxiety. For additional soothing, the therapists also administer an herbal tea bath for the feet, since coffee can often leave toes jumpy, and they also work out tension in the neck and scalp, adjusting pressure to each client's comfort level.
At Jamachi Plastic Surgery & Medi-Spa, a diverse team of practitioners helps beautify clients from head to toenail. At the helm is plastic surgeon Dr. Emeka Onyewu, who has performed thousands of procedures—with a specialty in breast surgeries and liposuction—earning him a level of expertise that's been shared on news programs such as NBC 4. He's joined by Dr. Adaku Onukogu, a board-certified internist who administers flu shots and assists patients with managing their weight, overall health, and well-being.
Nail technicians, massage therapists, and aestheticians head up Jamachi's spa services, which are performed at mani-pedi stations or in treatment rooms. Aesthetician Trina McIntosh draws upon postgraduate training at the International Dermal Institute when revivifying faces with custom blends of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. April Parnell softens hands and feet with such specialty ingredients as champagne, olive oil, and happy unicorn tears during mani-pedis, and massage therapists Nmaku Onyewu and Joel Price lure stress out of bodies with customized techniques.
Under the skin-smoothing guidance of Dr. George K. Verghese, Mid-Atlantic Skin Surgery Institute's team of experienced specialists aims to banish unwanted hairs using High Speed LightSheer Duet technology. During each laser hair-reduction session, light beams more concentrated than frozen apple juice are absorbed by hair, diminishing their ability to regenerate. The treatment, which works only on medium to dark hair, provides minimal discomfort and doesn't require extensive preparation, a topical anesthetic, and an application of gooey gel or raspberry jam. Larger areas can be treated in 15–20 minutes, with small regions taking even less time.
Dr. Ashruf is a plastic surgeon, board certified by The American Board of Plastic surgery, who uses high definition brazilian surgical techniques to achieve beautiful cosmetic surgery results. Check out the before and afters at www.drashruf.com.