Crystals, Probiotics and Electrical Currents: What’s Trending in NYC Beauty
Crystals? Shock waves? Probiotics? The latest beauty treatments involve some surprising methods that promise to get you lifted, revitalized and glowing in no time flat. Best of all, these non-invasive (or minimally invasive) treatments are practically pain-free and require little to no downtime. Here, six procedures that need to be on any beauty-obsessed New Yorker’s radar.
Facial Gua Sha
We’ve got another use for all those healing crystals lying around: a facial. Gua sha is a Chinese medical technique that uses friction created by a smooth edged object like jade or rose quartz applied to the body to remove toxins. Gua means "to scrape" and sha refers to tight or compromised tissue, says Sandra Lanshin Chiu, acupuncturist and owner of Treatment by Lanshin in Williamsburg. The deeply relaxing Facial Gua Sha treatments ($200) offered at her studio immediately brighten your complexion, smooth skin, reduce puffiness and bloat and creates more sculpted features. Regular visits are required to maintain results, but you can also take monthly gua sha classes offered by Lanshin to perform it at home.
Yes, this is the “vampire facial” made famous by a certain Kim K, but it’s been steadily gaining traction in non-celeb circles, too. Microneedling uses a mechanized device called a Dermapen to make thousands of miniscule needle punctures in the outermost layers of the skin. (Don’t worry, a numbing cream is applied first.) The subsequent “wound healing” response generates collagen that can alleviate acne scars, hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. The woman behind Mrs. Kardashian West’s famous microneedling sesh in NYC is Dr. Lara Devgan, who layers PRP (plasma rich platelets) from your own blood to make you hyper glowy. While a professional in-office visit will set you back about $1,200 per session, you can try a mini version at home—though, proceed with caution—with a dermaroller (like this one from Stacked Skincare for just $30).
Probiotics aren’t just for your gut. Topical probiotic skin care is a natural and clinically effective way to calm and soothe aggravated or inflamed skin, strengthen its barrier function and defend against pollution and other external environmental factors. TULA founder Dr. Roshini Raj explains, “Due to probiotics' unique ability to calm and soothe, people with sensitive skin are finally able to use and tolerate ingredients they previously weren't, like acids and retinols.” TULA pairs its probiotic-rich creams, masks and face washes with vitamin C, rice-derived ceramides and oral supplements for superfood skin care. And spas are also jumping on board: Green Zen Organic Spa in Midtown offers a signature Vita Probiotic Detox Facial ($55) to help clear congested skin.
Looking to score killer brows without having to spend ten minutes penciling them in every morning? Microblading is a manual, semi-permanent brow service in which a specialist makes tiny cuts that are then filled with pigment to mimic individual hairs. The result is crisp, natural-looking brows that last for up to two years. Amy Kendall, a New York City-based microblade artist, explains: “Creating the hair pattern to match your natural brow and blending it seamlessly is key.” It’s nearly pain-free and a perfecting touch-up session is suggested four to six weeks after the initial service. The price of microblading varies widely depending on location and experience level. (Kendall is an experienced artist and charges $595 for the initial appointment.)
Zapping your way to tighter, firmer skin? Shocking. (Sorry, had to.) The latest technology uses a mild electrical current to stimulate facial skin and muscles. SB Skin founder Shamara Bondaroff (demonstrating here on herself) likens it to “a form of muscular re-education for the face,” which provides the skin and muscles the energy to stay in their lifted position. After just one treatment ($225 at SB Skin), expect to see more even-toned, smoother-textured, glowing and contoured skin with diminished puffiness and lines.
You might know acupuncture for its med-free relaxation, pain reduction and anxiety-blasting powers—but it’s also great for rejuvenating your face. The treatment consists of the application of needles on very precise points on your face, which helps stimulate collagen production and improve skin tone on the head, face and neck. According to Dr. Patricia Botet of City Acupuncture, it can help with a range of woes, including “sagging, dull, dry, oily, irritated and acne-prone skin or fine lines and wrinkles.” Patients often notice immediate results, but for a more lasting impact, the pros recommend consistent visits. Average acupuncture treatments range from $50 to $150 per session.