Masking, when I give myself the time and mindfree-ness to do it right, is my second favorite form of self-care. Bathing will always be #1. Duh.
Do it right, you ask? Is there a way to do it wrong? Well, there’s a way that makes it instantly better, no matter what mask you’re using. Doesn’t matter if it’s Queen Helene or Sisley – and everything in between. And that is to use a fan brush to apply. I got mine last summer form Elevare spa, after my dermaplaning. My esthetician used one throughout my dermaplaning facial session to apply serums and treatments. I raved about it so much that she ended up giving me a brush and ever since, I’ve used it to apply masks. It has totally enhanced an already great experience. I end up using less product and it has a cooling effect. And, you don’t have to stick your fingers in a jar. Because even if you just washed your hands, they alter the product. The warmth of your fingers changes how it feels on your skin.
There is no need to overspend on a brush – save your pennies for the actual skincare. Amazon has a ton. I’m not sure which one I exactly have but this one looks close. Synthetic fibers work best since they aren’t as absorbent.
I realized how big a difference this makes recently. I’ve been on a once weekly regimen with the new(ish)Tata Harper Clarifying Mask and my brush was buried in a box. I made it a priority to find it soon after. I’ve also worked in the always-sold-out Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask to my routine. It does indeed have a jolly racher-esque quality to it but I’m on board with whatever the Glow Recipe ladies are doing. Jury is still out on if it is changing my skin but it’s certainly making me feel good.
“It’s really effective facial exfoliation,” I explain.
“Oh, cool. Like microdermabrasion,” people equate.
“Nope, more like a shave, but with a scalpel,” I assert.
“Whaaaaattttt,” everyone, eyes bugging.
I had done ample research on dermaplaning before I ventured into Elevare MD on Southport on a September Saturday afternoon. It’s not a new practice by any means but has risen in popularity in recent years. The Real Housewives effect? It’s basically scraping off the top layer of dead skin cells and the tiny baby hairs we all have on our face as well. With a scalpel, naturally. The aftermath is an almost immediate luminous glow and a hard-to-resist urge to touch your now smooth as a baby’s tush (truly) face. Your skincare will work that much harder because it will penetrate more deeply into the layers of your skin. Results last about 4-6 weeks, in line with the average turnover of skin cells and hair growth.
Are you still thinking about that scalpel? Don’t. Men get hot shaves all of the time and that razor is way scarier. Sweeney Todd, much? Dermaplaning is 100% painless and 100% satisfying – yes, I peeked at the gook my aesthetician was shaving off of my face and you would, too.
Are you also thinking about the hair regrowth? That you’re going to end up with a beard? I feel you. That was my first question before that blade touched my face. Yes, it will grow back. No, it won’t come back darker or thicker. Phew. They’re not targeting the hair follicle, just surface.
Any new treatment on your face is slightly scary even if the internet assures you otherwise. I visited the new Elevare MD in the Southport corridor (they also have an existing LaGrange location as well) and was instantly at ease in the space. It’s an oasis – each room even comes with a steam shower you can book for 30 minutes on the front or back end of your appointment. Elevare is a med-spa, so in addition to facials and cosmetic treatments they are equipped to do plastic and reconstructive surgery. The owners are a highly respected duo in that space and at the forefront of the latest technology. I had lots of questions about microneedling, lasers and other non-invasive treatments. There’s so much to know but above all is that technology is making it all so much easier and less intimidating. As I approach my mid-30s, my skin remains my top beauty investment.
I’ve had many facials and this was the most customized to my skin. It began with a cleanse, manual exfoliation, mask, extractions, massage — everything you’d come to expect but no products were pushed and the experience felt truly geared to my needs. I was a candidate for dermaplaning but if you have acne or breakouts, it wouldn’t be recommended. Along the way, my aesthetician was able to explain why I was breaking out on my forehead: dehydration, likely due to working in an office. Solution: mist throughout the day! Dermaplaning was offered as part of a facial, which begins at $130 for 60 minutes. Very reasonable given the level of care and skin benefit. Facials almost always give me sticker shock; this did not. There are other places that will give you dermaplaning in a “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” manner but that in and out fast likely means you’re not getting a comprehensive treatment.
Recovery is essentially non-existent; I was slightly red but that dissipated in just a few hours. The onus is on you afterward to SPF as your skin will naturally be more sun-sensitive.
If you are in Chicago and at all curious about Elevare, give them a call and talk with Danielle! She’s a rock star aesthetician that I trust with a scalpel on my face!
This service was provided to me complimentary. I loved it so much that I wanted to share my thoughts and I’ve already got my next appointment on the calendar (which I will be paying for!)