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Go for the Glow

Anh-Minh Le | June 8, 2017 | Story Beauty

As I lay under a cozy heated blanket in a treatment room at SkinSpirit, a clinical aesthetician peered at my pores. At the time, I had yet to be indoctrinated into the world of microdermabrasion, enzyme masks and exfoliation. A short while later, though, I walked out of my maiden facial—SkinSpirit’s Power Hour ($235)—finally understanding what it meant to have brighter, clearer skin. (And wondering why the heck I had never had a facial before.)

Earlier in the week, I had visited the same Palo Alto location to meet with the spa and clinic’s co-founder and CEO, Lynn Heublein, who invited me to return for my first-ever facial. (Rest assured, it won’t be my last.) While facials fill up many of the slots in SkinSpirit’s appointment book, additional services range from chemical peels and Botox to laser hair removal and Ultherapy. A newer offering is CoolSculpting, a nonsurgical technique that freezes and destroys fat cells without damaging the skin, according to Heublein. “We like to consider ourselves a curator of what actually delivers value—something that’s a meaningful benefit,” she says.

In 2003, the Stanford business school alum, Woodside resident and entrepreneur started SkinSpirit with Dr. Michael Dean Vistnes, a Stanford-trained plastic surgeon who believed “the future of aesthetics was noninvasive procedures,” Heublein recalls. The Palo Alto outpost was the first, and has been joined by locations in Los Gatos, Mill Valley, San Francisco (opened in December) and Walnut Creek, as well as the Seattle area. In part, the staff is made up of physicians, nurse practitioners, medical assistants and clinical aestheticians. Retail niches are stocked with products that Heublein and her team have tried and can enthusiastically vouch for, such as SkinBetter Science’s InvisiLift mask, which “creates temporary skin tightening,” she says. “It’s like Spanx for your face. I use it all the time when I go to events.”

Heublein emphasizes the importance of a regular skincare regimen that includes facials and the right products. “It’s better to do a little bit along the way and enjoy how your skin looks and makes you feel than not do anything,” she maintains. “It’s a lot easier to slow things down than turn things back.”

Originally published in the May/June issue of Silicon Valley

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