Skincare Trend: Techie Face Treatments
by marni Prichard manko
Rescue Rittenhouse Spa.
Forty is a big birthday (I know, I just celebrated mine). It’s a milestone when you look in the mirror and realize that your freewheeling ways of the past are slowly creeping their way into the present. Thanks to all those late nights out partying and careless burns at the beach, now you have fine lines and less-than-taut skin. You’re too old for a simple facial to be efficacious anymore, but too young for a surgical solution. Oh, the horror.
But there’s hope, starting with the new CACI Ultra-Facial available exclusively at the Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel (1 Logan Sq.,215-963-1500). The spa is the first in Philadelphia to offer this noninvasive treatment, and one of only three spas on the East Coast to have the system. This cutting-edge technology promises amazing results, according to Spa at the Four Seasons aesthetician Desiree McGrath, who says that women of all ages and races have been lining up for a turn.
“The beauty world is buzzing about this because of the instantaneous results—since it is noninvasive, there is no recovery time,” says McGrath. “No scarring, no redness, no bruising—you can go from the facial directly to work. Guests walk out of the treatment, and their skin is immediately firmer, more taut, and showing visible results.”
Originally developed for sports-related muscular injuries and to treat hospital burn patients, CACI technology uses a tiny microcurrent to tone, lift, and re-educate muscles while working in harmony with the body’s own bioelectrical field, effectively training muscles to return to a stronger, more youthful place, explains McGrath. With no downtime and at a fraction of the cost of a traditional face-lift, CACI’s benefits are undeniable. According to Dr. Timothy Greco, a Bala Cynwyd-based facial plastic and cosmetic surgeon (2 Bala Plaza, Bala Cynwyd, 610-664-8830), I am at an ideal age for reaping some real benefits from the technique.
“Noninvasive procedures are perfect for younger patients in their late 30s and 40s who have a good skin envelope,” says Greco. “If they have nice skin, it’s smooth, and they’ve done a good job of taking care of themselves. Those are perfect candidates.”
Dr. Evan Zelinger, medical director of Abington Aesthetic & Laser Medical Center (11 N. Second St., 215-366-1122), also noticed positive effects of noninvasive face-lifts. “Noninvasive treatments correct issues that the traditional surgical face-lift does not. A surgical face-lift does nothing to address the quality of the skin,” he says. “With the noninvasive procedures, you can tighten and thicken the skin, which will give the patient a more youthful, natural look that restores their glow.”
The Four Seasons’ CACI Ultra-Facial at first doesn’t differ entirely from a traditional facial. You still get the soothing spa music, the sublime face massage, and the extractions (ouch). But it’s the CACI machine that turns the treatment from merely enjoyable to truly skin-altering. First, microcurrents are applied to the skin, which activate and energize the facial muscles, effectively plumping up the face. Sounds a tad scary, but it doesn’t hurt a bit. After your skin is nice and firm, an ultrasonic exfoliation deep-cleans pores while moisturizer is pumped deep into your skin with an ultrasound infusion, plumping up fine lines. Red or blue LED light is next (depending on whether your particular skin issue is cell regeneration and redness or acne), followed by a deep hydrating mask that desensitizes the skin and reduces redness.
The entire treatment takes less than an hour and a half, and the difference is immediate: Skin looks tighter, fine lines are less evident, and dull skin is brightened. The results last about seven to 10 days, although McGrath assures that with multiple facials, the effects are far longer-lasting.
CACI may be a testament to the latest and greatest in high-tech beauty, but there are other noninvasive treatments across the city that deliver big results, like the combination Energy Lift and Bio-Lift facials offered at Rescue Rittenhouse Spa (255 S. 17th St., 215-772-2766).
Here, aesthetician Shannon Mansor offers the same type of outcomes through other leading technologies. The Energy Lift facial provides skin-tightening results by delivering heated infrared and bipolar radio frequencies deep into the skin. The body’s natural healing response generates new tissue, reducing skin laxity and causing the skin to tighten. The Bio-Lift Facial complements the Energy Lift, offering a synergistic combination of gentle electric currents (which feel like painless little zaps), sculpting massage applications, and highly active serums. By promoting hydration to the skin, the Bio-Lift helps improve texture and tone, and adds some real definition to the eye area.
When the dual treatments are complete, the skin is left glowing and decidedly more youthful. The results last up to a month, although Mansor says that four to six treatments spaced between two to four weeks apart can provide real long-term results.