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.
As a nearly 30-year veteran of the beauty industry, Deja Groove owner Donna Farmer knows talent when she sees it. During the twelve years that she's stood at the helm of Deja Groove, she's nurtured the careers of numerous professionals, amassing a team of talented practitioners capable of catering to virtually any aesthetic need. In the salon, stylists can be found doing everything from cutting hair to manipulating hair texture with waves and relaxers, pulling from an arsenal of products that includes brands like Redken and Pureology. Meanwhile, the spa team includes licensed massage therapists who combat tension with custom kneads and hot stones, as well as aestheticians who soften and smooth skin with microdermabrasion treatments, manicures and pedicures to improve the appearance of natural nails, facials, and waxing. What's more, the beauty team also offers unique services such as lash tinting and ear candling, which can help remove waxy build-up or surprise an otolaryngologist on his birthday.
Armed with pharmaceutical-grade products, Creek Stone Med Spa's professionals help clients combat the signs of aging and escape the stresses of everyday life. At the Burlington location physician-assisted specialists administer medical weightloss assistance and back treatments and use potent Botox, Radiesse, Latisse, and Juvéderm injections to diminish the appearance of wrinkles on clients' faces or Richard Nixon Halloween masks. At the Thomasville location, beauty specialists pamper clients literally from head to toe with spa treatments including hair straightening, skincare services with Hungarian ingredients, and pedicures with Éminence Organic scrubs. Physician-assisted weightloss programs and aesthetic medical treatments are also available here.
Virginia Lee Sprague of Intrinsic Touch Massage Therapy believes a truly therapeutic massage should mold to the client's particular desires and change to address specific concerns. This principle has guided her throughout a 23-year career, inspiring her to customize each session to weed out deep-rooted knots or de-stress bodies with long, fluid strokes. She relies on a vast repertoire, utilizing acupressure, reflexology, and trigger-point strokes and switching from one methodology to the next for an experience more indulgent than a dip in Donald Trump's coin-filled pool.
Toni Campbell Shaw banishes rampaging aches and pains throughout the body with firm yet gentle Swedish massage techniques. Over the course of one hour, the muscle maven kneads oil or lotion into sore spots, improving circulation and dislodging toxins whose heads are stuck in the soft tissue's banisters. The long, flowing techniques of Swedish massage relax muscle tension while taming the nervous system into a languorous state of bliss. After their massage, patients have reported benefits such as enhanced sleep quality, improved concentration, and greater energy. Set to a backdrop of soft music inside a warm, comforting suite, Toni's massages leave bodies as relaxed as a rubber band in a hot tub.
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.