When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early March, in-person beauty treatments were put on pause. While states like Georgia gave spas and salons the green light to open in April, New York has approached reopening at a slower pace. In recent weeks, New Yorkers could begin to visit their favorite nail and hair salons again. But, facials remained off the table. Now, after nearly six months of closures, estheticians in New York can finally resume business.
On September 3, the New York State Department of Health issued new guidelines regarding “Under The Mask” treatments. The new regulations stated that services including face massage, facials, face waxing around lip or nose areas, face tattoos, facial makeup, cosmetic lip tattooing, lip or nose piercings, beard trimming or shaves cannot be performed “unless the employee is wearing a face shield or similar barrier in addition to their face covering.” Additionally, the employee must test negative for COVID-19 prior to performing any service.
Before the new guidelines went into effect, estheticians banded together to call for the reopening of skincare studios. Georgia Louise, a facialist with studios in Los Angeles and New York launched a petition in June calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to reconsider his decision to prohibit facials. Studios like GlowBar and Joanna Vargas Skin Care followed suit, using the hashtag #ReopenFacials to garner support and encourage customers to send emails to Governor Cuomo’s office asking for a reopening plan.
Posts under the #ReopenFacials hashtag pointed out several reasons that skincare studios should be able to resume business. According to the posts, estheticians spend 600 hours training and learning sanitation protocol. They also noted that salons and spas inherently prioritize health and safety with the usage of masks, face shields, gloves, alcohol, plus frequent cleaning.
Modern luxury medspa, Vanessa Marc, on the city's Westside—notorious for treating VIP clientele like Zendaya, Vanessa Hudgens, Princess Nokia and more—takes pride in its increased safety and hygiene protocols. The acclaimed esthetician and co-founder, Vanessa, details the extra-lengths the spa will go to make sure visitors feel safe.
She informs, "In order for our clients to feel safe to come in, we have taken the extra steps in precautionary measures. I've instructed my team to not overbook, so there are no more than 2 people waiting for their treatments. Appointments are booked farther apart, this way we have more time to sterilize our rotation of treatment rooms."
"Guests, as well as staff members, wear masks at all times, up until the guest's treatment begins. I maintain a high standard for both my clients and guests during this time, as we want to make every one of our clients to feel safe coming in. We also take every client's temperature prior to their treatment starting. We recently updated our blog as well for our clients to read up on how we are keeping the spa safe," Vanessa adds.
Vanessa Marc isn't the only spa going above and beyond to make sure clients with COVID-19 specific safety measures. "We have had a lot of our customers who have been frustrated because they purchased facial treatment packages that we needed to put on hold to be compliant with COVID guidelines," says Board Certified Plastic Surgeon at BeautyFix MedSpa in NYC, Dr. Steve Fallek.
The premier spa with two locations in the city are ready to safely welcome patients back. "Our facialists will wear face shields and masks to keep them as protected as possible," Fallek says. "We also had custom face shields for patients fabricated (pictured above). BeautyFix will continue to do everything possible to continue to keep its clients safe," explains Dr. Fallek.
Now that facialists can return to work, we expect to see skincare studios across New York share their reopening plans soon. For more information regarding New York’s reopening guidelines, visit forward.ny.gov.