I Tried This "Needle-Free" Facial Instead of Botox—Here's What Happened

hallie gould


When an email came through my inbox with a subject line that read: "Nadia's Needle-Free Transformation," my ears perked up. It was three months after my first Botox experience and my once-taut, line-free face felt… droopy. If this would help keep those lovely Botox results longer (without having to stick more needles in my face), I was game.

I opened the email and read all about the facial treatment. Nadia Dekhkanova, the owner of Tribeca Beauty Spa in New York City and acclaimed aesthetician, dreamed up the invigorating treatment, specially developed to naturally exercise the muscles in your face, increase circulation, and leave your skin tighter and firmer.

Read on for more about my experience with a skin-tightening facial—and the benefits I saw.

What Is a Skin-Tightening Face Treatment?

The 90-minute skin-tightening face treatment (prices start at $350) includes a 30-minute face massage, incorporating three different massage techniques (!!!), including European, pressure point, and lymphatic drainage, and four different exfoliation steps (your skin will be baby-soft). Apparently, due to the delivery mechanism of the finishing serum, your skin is left glowing, breathing, and properly nourished, instead of red or peeling like many other anti-aging treatments.

Next up are a peel, extractions, and two separate masks. Treatments can include microdermabrasion, supersonic, ultrasonic, micro-current, or oxygen, depending on your needs. The best part is that Dekhkanova customizes the skin-tightening face treatment for every client based on their personal needs—mine were among the most common: dehydration in my forehead, congestion around my nose and chin, and bags under my eyes.

Potential Benefits of a Skin-Tightening Facial

  • Hydrating
  • Firms the skin
  • Reduces fine lines and trouble spots

According to Dekhkanova, every step of the procedure contains a specific benefit. "The facial as a whole helps with anti-aging, hydration, skin correction, and reduction of fine lines. The overall results leave skin plump and firm," she says.

But can't in-office medspa and dermatology procedures do the same thing? Well, yes—but they aren't necessarily the gold standard. In fact, Dekhkanova admits that fillers and Botox do temporarily make your skin look more youthful, but she says, "When it comes to exfoliated, hydrated, bright, and healthy-looking skin, nothing can replace facials and a good at-home regimen." She continues, "There is no shortcut. If you want glowing, youthful-looking skin, you have to take the time to care for your skin."

What To Expect from a Skin-Tightening Facial

Here's every single thing that happened while I was on Dekhkanova's table.

1. She cleansed my skin thoroughly with a cleanser followed by an enzyme exfoliant with an ultrasonic facial machine to get a deeper clean.

2. Once thoroughly cleansed, Dekhkanova undertook a detailed skin analysis to demonstrate which steps are needed next. "Everyone has unique needs, so the analysis is extremely important," Nadia says.

3. Dekhkanova then applied an antiaging peel. After the peel, she cleaned out my pores with extractions.

4. Dekhkanova applied an organic scrub. "This particular scrub has a small amount of lactic acid, which is beneficial after extractions because it is a strong antimicrobial agent," she explains.

5. She performed a customized massage to increase blood circulation and assist my body in removing waste like lymphatic drainage. It is meant to reduce inflammation and "bring vitality" back to the face.

6. The next step includes two masks, one to heal the skin with blue algae and another to form and plump with ceramides, peptides, and moisturizing agents like hyaluronic acid and essential oils.

7. For the final step, Nadia applies some finishing products, which act to moisturize and protect skin with a "supersonic adjustor" machine for deeper penetration, followed by an application of oxygen to further detox my skin and protect it once I'm off the table and back outside.

The Final Takeaway

Dekhkanova left me alone in the room when she was done so I could have a minute to relax and slowly come back to reality. I snuck a peek at my face in the dimly lit mirror. It looked snatched. My jawline was sharper, my cheekbones were more prominent, and my under-eye bags all but vanished. The texture of my skin, though, was the most exciting part. It was the softest it's ever been and completely even in tone. Do I think I'll never get Botox again? Not quite. Will I come back to Dekhkanova for this facial as much as she'll let me? Definite yes.

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