I've had a lot of time to parse through the real reasons I'm so captivated by skincare, why keeping my skin healthy is important to me and researching a new facial treatment is entirely thrilling. The short answer is it's my hobby. The long answer, of course, probably has more to do with consistency—how keeping my skin clear and bright allows me to rely on it in a way I can't for other things in life. There's a clear cause and effect I can control; when I wash my face twice a day, use my favorite skincare products, and attend regular facials, my skin will look good. If I don't, it'll vacillate.
Why am I taking you through this therapy session? Well, it helps explain why I was so enraptured with this particular facial. Offered at Take Care, a small spa on New York's Perry Street with just one treatment room, each facial is customized for your specific needs. Founder Sadie Adams studied anatomy, Ayurveda, and yoga therapy, which led her focus on regenerative therapies and healing. That being said, the spa doesn't just offer essential oils and holistic remedies like Ayurveda and Taoist Immortal practices, but rather incorporates scientifically proven, clinical treatments into its list of offerings like LED lights, microdermabrasion, and microcurrent facials.
The Ayurvedic facial began with a brief conversation and consultation with Adams that informs the course of treatment she provides. Once the intention for the session is clear, she cleaned my skin using Sonage Hydrating Cleanser (she may also use Soothing Cleansing Cream, $28, if your skin needs it) and a gentle oxygenated steam, followed by a hydrating mist.
The marma points:
"This facial includes the application marma therapy," Adams notes. "I work with great sensitivity at points that are relevant to the needs of each client, to bring clarity and balance to emotional and physiological conditions. These vital junctures, where two or more tissues interface, are also the keys to pathways of subtle subcirculatory systems and can immediately influence the body as a whole. The marma points can be used to detoxify tissue and as a diagnostic tool, giving me insights about your constitution and imbalance. They are also adaptogenic, stimulating the body's biochemistry to produce exactly what one needs to strengthen (or pacify) and to heal—aligning body, mind, and consciousness. I use educated discernment to choose marma points that are a priority for you, informed by information gleaned from our conversation and my own observation. I work with a steady pressure or a press and release method, a linear motion or circular motion (and clockwise or counter clockwise) depending on the expression of balance and imbalance at a given convergence."
"Microcurrent is then applied to the face to further galvanize the marmas, nadis (subcirculatory channels) and the meridians, activating your skin and integrating the various layers of tissues as well as the peripheral and central nervous system," explains Adams. "Microcurrent brings forth fluid membrane balance and increases the energy for sub-cellular structures."
It's a fine electrical current, strategically applied, to foster a healing environment and safely brings tissues to a younger, healthier function. This one works in just one session (with added results after a few more) and left my face jarringly sculpted, toned, and glowy.
After stimulating my face with the microcurrent, Adams soothed my skin with a therapeutically aromatic mask made with Triphala and turmeric. The Sonage Tulsi Soothing Mask supports cellular immune function, reduces inflammation, and regulates oil production. This mask works to extract toxins and impurities from your skin while delivering minerals and nutrients, making my skin bright and smooth (I did a quick mirror check and couldn't believe how radiant my skin looked).
"The Tulsi Soothing Tri Clay Mask answers the call for both acute and chronic pitta accumulation, with clarifying and soothing herbs that are wholesome and natural," notes Adams. "Each ingredient collaborates in the formula to adapt and bring harmony to various aspects of pitta imbalance." (According to The Chopra Center, "pitta" controls digestion, metabolism, and energy production and balancing your pitta will create and maintain your health.)
Adds Anisha Khanna, CEO of Sonäge, "In Ayurveda, the doshas (functional energies) play a dynamic role, constantly changing in response to the weather, environment, and stress. Getting to know your doshas and creating manifestations with intention will make it easier to balance them. Summertime has a tendency to cause a pitta dosha imbalance, and you are more likely to experience flare-ups, inflammation, sunburn, breakouts. The Tulsi Soothing Clay Mask has pitta calming ingredients that cool and calm excess pitta adding quality to your life during warmer months."
The ingredients include three French clays made from supercharged and decomposed plant minerals. Tulsi, commonly known as holy basil, functions as an adaptogen, enhancing your body's natural response to physical and emotional stress. Extensively used in Ayurveda, Tulsi is considered a sacred herb that helps the body purify and function optimally during times of stress. Then, that's blended with Triphala, a source of vitamin C; turmeric for inflammation; quinoa protein to enhance your skin's elasticity; and neem leaf for toning. It felt, in a word, amazing.
Looking for more skin treatments? Read about the time I got the same facial as Rihanna.