Beautiful skin: Part II

by Tracy James

As I mentioned in a previous post, come Fall, I tend to focus on my skin more than I do in other months. So by Winter I've kicked that focus into full gear. Perhaps it's because the changing weather makes my eczema flare up a bit, requiring a little extra care… Perhaps it is that I am without a tan (faux or otherwise) to camouflage imperfections…. Or perhaps it's because with the layered clothing of cooler weather, my face feels on display. So I find these months an ideal time to indulge in skin care treatments, which I am realizing should be a year-round practice AND are surprisingly affordable enough to do so.  


My most recent experience was at The Esthetic Loft in Homewood. As the name suggests, the space is a cozy walk-up off the main street in Homewood that houses the studio of Licensed Esthetician Dana Benson. With over 16 years esthetics experience (including working for top dermatologists and plastic surgeons in Birmingham, Kansas City and Atlanta), Dana holds a CIDESCO Diploma, one of the highest ranking certifications in the field of esthetics. Dana also happens to be beautiful. Call me superficial but I always find it reassuring when my facialist has gorgeous skin! Dana wisely said to me something I have discovered over time: "Skin care is like dieting. You have to invest time and effort; there is no miracle cure." Therefore her boutique-style services help one do just that, with the assistance of an expert.

The facial I received was customized to my skin. After looking at my skin under the lighted magnifier (always a slightly nerve-wracking experience...what's she thinking? am I beyond help??), Dana determined that my skin was dehydrated but not dry, with some patches of unevenness. Therefore she tailored my treatment accordingly, treating my skin to deep cleansing, massage, a light glycolic peel, and warming mask, using a variety of different products, which was nice, unlike places who are required to use only one product line. That said, I did leave with a bottle of their Glycolic Mud Cleanser, which I am loving! It is a gentle pH balanced facial cleanser recommended for non-sensitive, normal to dry and dry skin, containing the exfoliative properties of glycolic acid, volcanic mud, and the blend of natural active botanical extracts. 

Dana also utilized LED light therapy on my skin, for which I got to don a slightly scary looking mask. But hey, I will don just about anything for more beautiful skin! And the benefits of LED light therapy are impressive, including energizing the cells and stimulating collagen production. The result of my experience was skin that looked clear and fresh and felt tight yet soft and smooth.

In addition to skin care treatments, The Esthetic Loft also offers lash and brow services, which I plan to check out sooner than later. Lash services include a variety of extension options, for both extended and event wear. Seeing as how I covet Cara Delevingne brows, I am especially intrigued by the service called micro-embroidery (also referred to as "microblading"), during which Individual ‘hair strokes’ are carefully drawn on with vegan pigments using a feathering technique. This one-by-one stroke simulates the look of real eyebrows and is semi-permanent, lasting anywhere from 1-3 years. Yes, please!  

To recap, if you are looking for an esthetician who caters to your specific skin needs and combines old-school, tried and true techniques (extractions, facial massage, peels, etc) with the latest technology (microdermabrasion, LED light therapy), Dana Benson at The Esthetic Loft is an excellent choice. To make your decision to try even easier, they are now offering membership specials to make taking care of your skin affordable.