Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Spa Speak on Skincare 101: Local Spas Share Cutting-Edge Treatments

Spa de Larissa's rosacea treatment –before (top) and after images.

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, enticed readers of all ages into learning new vocabulary words that increased their appreciation for stories populated with magical creatures such as boggarts and hippogriffs. In today’s magical world of wrinkle-reducing wands, rejuvenating skin treatments and anti-aging cosmetics, users also have to learn a new lexicon in order to keep up with these cutting-edge spa technologies.

While new beauty industry lingo for repair, rejuvenation and prevention appears in spa treatment descriptions, the facial continues to remain a staple. Even with skin enhancing technology such as microcurrent, LED light therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) facials, neglecting home and professional care for the delicate skin of our face can result in long-term consequences such as early lines and wrinkles.

To offer readers a better understanding of skincare for the face as well as the differences between day spa and med spa facials and treatments, Natural Awakenings turned to local Southwest Florida spa owners and aestheticians in Naples, Bonita Springs and Fort Myers.

To make sure that spa-goers get the best facial, Jennifer Alvarez Linguidi, founder and owner of Purely You Spa, a certified organic spa in Naples, recommends frequenting only result-oriented spa with experienced aestheticians that use a variety of methods to analyze the skin. “A great aesthetician analyzes the skin with a magnifying lamp and asks questions intended to reveal information about the client’s lifestyle. Understanding your skin type, concerns goals and personal goals allows a skincare specialist to make recommendations for the types of facials, treatments and products that are best for your skin," says Alvarez Linguidi.

Jayne Koedding, owner of Organic Skincare & Bodyworx, in Naples, a certified organic spa, advises that skin cells turn over every four weeks. “An accumulation of dead skin cells takes away your skin’s healthy appearance. This is why an aesthetician recommends a monthly facial, as well as regular exfoliation with products that are organic. Organic skincare products are very effective and produce definitive results without chemicals. Our aestheticians have five lines of organic skincare products to choose from when performing customized facials that include masks with enhancing serums and exfoliation or peels for removing dead skin cells,” says Koedding.

Certain skin conditions of the face, such as rosacea, an autoimmune disorder that responds well to an anti-inflammatory diet, can pose a challenge. After many years in the beauty industry, Larissa Smolen, aesthetician and owner of Spa de Larissa, in Naples, created private-label professional products as a solution. “Two topical products and one beetroot-based supplement with powerful antioxidants are very effective. A natural detoxifier that purifies the blood and makes the skin glow, beetroot juice reduces internal inflammation, calms the skin and is beneficial for fighting boils and pimples. It also works on eczema,” says Smolen, whose spa has been open in Naples for 16 years.

Aesthetician Alana Weaver, at Trim & Tone Med Spa, in Naples, explains what can a facial can reveal about an individual. “It tells me if you get enough sleep, are under stress, consume too much alcohol, exfoliate at least three times a week, drink enough water and eat well. The skin grows from the inside out, and needs each of these things to keep it healthy and glowing. Gorgeous skin requires a mixture of science, a healthy and balanced lifestyle and listening to your esthetician’s advice, as well as simple home regiment of exfoliating, cleansing, moisturizing and toning,” she says.

Aesthetician Giovanna Silva, at Shangri-La Springs in Bonita Springs, is in alignment with Weaver, adding that a plant-based diet offers the most significant benefits for healthy skin. Eating leafy greens and healthy fats such as found in avocados and almonds, offers numerous benefits, while processed, salty, sugary and fatty foods, as well as dairy and sugary drinks, cause inflammation and damage cells. The results show up on the skin. While water is necessary for hydration, green teas are also beneficial.

Day spas provide facials, sell salon products and offer a variety of beautifying and rejuvenating treatments, which can be combined sequentially during one visit. Providing many of the same beauty and wellness services as destination spas and resorts, they can often be less pricey.

Med spas are a combination of a customary salon and medical clinic. “Med spa services such a skin tightening, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved laser treatments, medical-grade chemical peels, microdermabrasion, Botox injections and aesthetic fillers are more advance and complex, require the supervision of a medical professional and must be performed by a trained health provider such as a trained physician, dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

A med spa that also offers physician consultations must be located in an area that is zoned for medical use, carry insurance specifically for medical spas and provide medical-grade products and services,” says Tehjan Prendiville, co-owner of Assuage Centers, in Naples and Fort Myers.

Shelle Misiorowski, co-owner of Trim & Tone Spa, recently upgraded her day spa to a med spa. “I wanted to grow professionally and help clients realize better results with medical-grade salon products and treatments. Med spas are a growing industry because people no longer want to undergo surgical procedures to enhance appearance, says Misiorowski, who operates the Exilis Elite, recognized by New Beauty magazine as the best skin-tightening device on the market.

Professional-grade salon products sold by day spas and med spas for home use between professional facials are superior to over-the-counter (OTC) skincare products that contain ingredients in weaker concentrations, inactive compounds, fragrances and preservatives. These “cosmeceutical” creams and lotions used and sold by med spas contain beneficial active ingredients such as vitamin C, a known antioxidant, and botanical and marine extracts, as well as vitamins and peptides. In many cases, products have undergone controlled laboratory testing to support claims such as reducing wrinkles and fine lines. Cosmeceutical is a marketing term, not recognized as a separate class of beauty products by the FDA.

Pharmaceutical-grade skincare products must contain 99.9 percent pure active ingredients for instant penetration upon contact with the skin. Only available through a licensed professional, they are regulated by the FDA, must be backed up by scientific studies and demonstrate beneficial effects upon a function or structure of the skin. “Unlike OTC products, where a consumer can self-diagnose when choosing a skin care product, pharmaceutical skin care products must be selected for you and likely give the best results,” says Weaver.

Painless LED light therapy, which sends stimulating light into deeper layers of the skin, can reduce the visible signs of aging and damaged skin. “Red light LED stimulates fibroblasts that boost collagen production, plumping up aging skin and minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Blue light LED kills the bacteria deep in the skin that is responsible for acne. LED light therapy can be a standalone or part of a facial,” says Samantha Pasquino, an aesthetician at Andrea’s Organic Studio & Day Spa, in Naples.

Radio frequency energy, used by Pasquino, also tightens skin by penetrating the dermis and subcutaneous layers, improving the underlying tissue structure. It can lift eyebrows and tighten forehead skin, thicken skin under the eyes, tighten and lift the upper skin of the cheeks, diminish enlarged pores, a sagging jaw line and wrinkling of the neck skin.

Individuals that Google rejuvenating skincare services rarely look to a licensed acupuncturist or a wellness center. However, searching online beyond the typical spa categories can reap rewards such as the acupuncture facelifts offered in Naples by Tae Healthy Aging Center, as well as the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy facials offered by Yollo Wellness and Root Causes Holistic Health & Medicine, in Fort Myers.

“Facial rejuvenation acupuncture (FRA) is a valuable ally for the face,” says Terri Evans, an acupuncturist, aesthetician, Doctor of Oriental medicine and owner of TAE Healthy Aging Center, in Naples. FRA provides benefits that go beyond skin deep. It is a specific system for the face that turns back the clock and takes years off our appearance. “By systemically treating the whole body and the energetic channels of the face, its muscular structure also benefits. FRA can reshape patterns of aging, reduce lines and wrinkles, improve complexion and provide a natural acupuncture facelift,” says Evans.

“Platelet-rich plasma has a long history in orthopedic medicine, dentistry and reconstructive surgery. Its benefits are now being applied to wound healing and cosmetic facial rejuvenation. Scientific studies indicate that PRP grows new collagen when injected into the skin and can soften sun damage and aging skin issues,” advises Dr. Caroline Young Ortiz, owner of Orchidia Med Spa in Fort Myers. Ortiz also offers fillers, chemical peels, micro-needling, Botox and mesotherapy, as well as a non-surgical option for improving the appearance of severe fat/folds below the chin.

“PRP stimulates the production of collagen for total facial rejuvenation, rather than individual wrinkle improvement. It adds volume to faces, plumps out cheek indentations, softens under-eye hollows, improves skin tone, tightness and texture and fills in areas where hyaluronic acid fillers cannot reach or are not safe to use,” says Wendy Law, co-owner of Yollo Wellness, in Fort Myers.

Doreen DeStefano, RN-BSN, an aesthetician and owner of Integrated Skincare & Root Causes Holistic Health & Medicine, explains the PRP process. “I draw blood, spin it in a centrifuge to isolate stem cells, and then combine it with peptides and vitamins. This is injected into the face. To see the greatest benefit of PRP, three treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart, are necessary. There is no downtime and results become apparent three to four weeks after the treatment session and continue to improve with time. A really good anti-inflammatory diet high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, coupled with hyperbaric treatments before and after increases the production of stem cells.”

With the mainstreaming of massage and skincare routines for men and women, daily tête-à-têtes should include language such as aesthetician, massage therapist, facial, and anti-aging treatments. “That is particularly so if you want everybody to consider you as fashionably up-to-date with what’s going on in the world of beauty and non-invasive cosmetic procedures. The key is to start before the wrinkles and lines become deep-set and harder to diminish with professional treatments,” says Misiorowski.

Andrea’s Organic Studio & Day Spa, 6714 Lone Oak Blvd., Naples. 239-514-4707.

Assuage Spa Luxury, 9407 Cypress Lake Dr., Ste. C, Ft. Myers. 239-333-1450. 1201 Piper Blvd., Ste. 1, Naples. 239-333-1450.

Integrated Skin Care and Root Causes Holistic Health & Medicine, 12734 Kenwood Ln., Ste. 84, Fort Myers. 239-425-2900.

Orchidia Med Spa, 4966 Royal Gulf Circle, Ft. Myers. 239-333-8809.

Purely You Spa, 3066 Tamiami Tr. N., Ste. 302, Naples. 239-331-8266.

Spa de Larissa, Airport Professional Center, 3811 Airport Rd. N., Ste. 201-B, Naples. 239-571-9900.

Tae Healthy Aging Center, 11983 Tamiami Tr. N., Ste. 100A, Naples. 239-430-6800.

Trim & Tone Med Spa, 13020 Livingston Rd., Ste. 16. Naples. 239-596-5522.

Yollo Wellness, 3033 Winkler Ave., Ste. b170, Ft. Myers. 239-275-0039.