Hello BlueBootsGo fam!
I’ve been writing/presenting/traveling for work the last couple of months and it has been a w h i r l w i n d. Before this busy period, The Newbury Street League invited me to try Skin Spa New York Back Bay for some pampering and to get summer-ready. Bright, glowing, cleansed skin (and for me, polished nails and great hair) are essential to feeling put-together before a busy time of presentations and meetings. Skin Spa New York Back Bay offered a great experience – I was particularly impressed with the staff’s attention to clients’ needs and their overall vision for wellness and care. More on this, and a roundup of my whole experience is below.
*This post was sponsored by Skin Spa New York Back Bay and The Newbury Street League. Thank you very much for supporting the businesses that I share, and as always, all opinions and thoughts here are all my own.*
I haven’t had much of a chance to write about all of what’s been going on lately, or take you along on as many daily adventures here on the blog (but, if you’ve been hanging out with me on Instagram @bluebootsgo, you are probably a little more caught up!). If you’re not, click on the link and follow along!
As the name suggests, Skin Spa New York originated in New York with 7 locations in Manhattan. The Back Bay location is conveniently located on Gloucester and Newbury Street right in the heart of Boston (easily accessible by T at the Green Line T at Hynes Convention Center or Copley stops). Skin Spa New York was established in 2005 in New York City by owner, Tom, and is now expanding – they have plans to expand to a North Station location in Boston soon.
At Skin Spa New York, you can get your skin on a fitness program
Like a gym where you see results with dedicated time for a training program, Skin Spa New York believes that body maintenance requires some investment to see results. Taking from the same model as a gym, they offer a membership program of $60/month to allow you to have access to their most popular services (for less than you would usually pay for a single service). Services are also available a la carte.
Here’s an example of services they offer:
- facials: microdermabrasion, microcurrent, blemish blaster, oxygen, vitamin C
- limelight/photolight: recapture brightness and wipe away environmental damage
- laser genesis: diminish fine lines and wrinkles, stimulate collagen production
- Forma (skin tightening)
- Fractora (skin surfacing)
- M A S S A G E
- mud wraps
- organic sunless tanning
- hair removal: waxing or laser
Upon arrival, I was warmly greeted by Nicole at the front desk. She checked me in and gave me a brief health history form to fill out. I hung out in this waiting room with a very Bostonian aesthetic – note the exposed brick wall! Tea, coffee, and magazines are available to refresh you while you wait, although, we were right on schedule and I didn’t need to wait at all.
I got two services done in the same morning. First up: some pampering with the Skin Fit Facial with my aesthetician, Danielle. Then, I tried LHR (laser hair removal) for the first time! I share some of what I learned as well as what the experience was like.
A soothing facial
I really enjoyed chatting with Danielle. She gave me a tour of all the treatment rooms and told me about the many services offered: everything from facials, waxing and laser removal, to more specialized treatments and technologies for wrinkles, spots, and fine lines. note to self: there are 3 massage rooms!
Danielle used to work in the mental health field, and we chatted about what that was like for her, along with what piques my interest in that research and practice space now. It is nice to have a good conversation!
The facial steam was lovely and just having carved out dedicated time to be away from the busyness of work was a treat.
The Skin Fit microcurrent facial uses waves that heat the skin. The heat helps contour the skin, and shows lift results with no down time.
I then proceeded to have more stressful weeks and my inside-out wellness wasn’t in the best shape – as my skin depicts. So, I’m about due for another facial ASAP!
All about LHR:
Next, I decided to try something totally new to me: laser hair removal. On to another new type of BlueBoots Adventure!
I got all my questions answered over the phone before I scheduled the service because I had a ton of questions. The Skin Spa New York Back Bay staff took the time to answer all of my questions and I really appreciated that. Things I wondered: Does it hurt? Are there common side effects? What do I do if it hurts? Just how badly does it hurt?… Can you tell I don’t like the idea of pain? You probably don’t either.
What LHR was like:
Melody, my laser aesthetician, was super nice and patient and put me at ease. Surprisingly, the whole process took probably under 10 min. She slathered my underarm area with loads of ultrasound jelly – it was cold but not uncomfortable. The jelly serves as a barrier to keep skin safe while the laser passed through to the hair follicle in the skin to stop hair growth. Most people say that it feels like a rubber band snap – tolerable discomfort – with each zap. For me, knowing when the little zap was coming and knowing that the process would be really quick made it an experience that I would be willing to do again. Melody put a little antibiotic ointment on just as a precaution and I was all done! She said to avoid getting hot or sweaty – so no exercising right after. I ended up having to be outside and warm…but I didn’t have any adverse effects – no redness or irritation.
How many LHR treatments do you need?
Speaking of doing LHR again, I learned that melanin in the skin (the pigment that gives skin its color) plays a role in how effective and how sensitive people can be to laser hair removal treatments. It may take more treatments and a higher power for the laser to recognize hair follicles compared to skin if hair and skin are similar in color, which could translate to more discomfort. I did notice thinning out of hair (that’s good!) after the first treatment, and I was told that usually 6-9 treatments are needed to completely remove hair. They offer packages of six for services that require more treatments (such as LHR). I’m eyeing their massage packages…
If you’re looking to try LHR, they can do a patch test if you’re not sure how you’ll react, and underarms are a good place to start because they’re not as sensitive as other areas. FYI, they stop doing large surfaces like legs or arms during warmer months because the sun exposure isn’t good for skin that has been exposed to lasers. While LHR is not cheap ($80+ depending on the area), if you regularly shave or wax, try thinking of how much it costs and how often you spend on it and then think about if LHR is a good fit for you based on what you might save (money, but also time and worry) with a permanent solution.
Speaking of looking and feeling your best…
Take care of yourself
The last thing I want to say in this post is take care of yourself. If that means extra YOU time, or extra US time (spending time with loved ones) remember it is OK to take a step back and see what is actually important in the moment. I’m both terribly sad after the losses of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, but also encouraged by how these terrible losses have resulted in an outpouring of care and attention around mental health and wellness. De-stigmatizing struggles, such as in this Forbes article “What if Physical Illness were treated like Mental Illness”, put mental health into perspective. This cartoon shows how while we’d likely not tell someone who was physically bleeding to just “change their frame of mind”, for example, and keep on going, it is not uncommon to offer such suggestions to someone who isn’t feeling mentally well. In fact, below are all examples of words that likely won’t help someone who is struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.
I hope that we all know it is possible to receive the love and care that we need, know where to look, and when to offer help as well. There are so many competing priorities. It is OK to take care of yourself. I speak this to myself too!
Bottom line: if self care looks like a spa day, it can also look like just what you need to feel whole, loved, special, valued, and important. Of course, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.