by Barbara Nevins Taylor
My face felt dry and my skin seemed to cry out for a remedy to moisturize and revitalize it. I have a regular routine and generally take pretty good care of my skin. But the extremely cold weather, the wind and my age combined to make me feel as though I really needed help.
My nightly regimen is drying. Three nights a week I use Tretinoin Cream .025 percent to reduce the appearance of fine lines. This is a RetinA type product by Rouses Point Pharmaceuticals that, like Renova, requires a prescription. I also use Hydroquinone 4 percent along with it to try to reduce blotchiness and dark marks.
To counterbalance the drying, I apply a thick day cream from Erno Lazlo in the morning. But this winter nothing helped. It was clearly time to get a facial, something I haven’t indulged in for quiet awhile.
I got my first facial in my late teens when I worked as an assistant beauty editor at the now-defunct McFadden-Bartell magazines. During a research trip, I discovered Georgette Klinger, her salons and products and I was hooked.
I loved these facials so much that my mom always gave me a gift certificate for my birthday and I treated myself, my sister, my aunt, my god-daughter and anyone I cared about who might benefit.
But after Mrs. Klinger died, her daughter sold the business and in 2008, it went under. The well-trained, talented facial specialists scattered. And I got out of the habit. I did have the occasional facial at a resort and locally. But nothing seemed as good as the Klinger facial by esthetician Camille Braun.
Camille was special by any measure. While she seemed to have a natural gift and hands perfectly suited for her profession, she took pride in her training. She learned the art of the European facial in Targues Mares, Romania, in 1954, after a nightmare life during the holocaust. I met her in 1979 when she went to work for Mrs. Klinger.
Not long ago, I ran into a makeup artist who worked at Klinger for years. He reminded me that Camille works several days a week at a place called Sothys on 57th Street in Manhattan.
Then, my husband and I walked past Sothys on our way to somewhere else. I stopped and said, “Nick, if you ever want to give me a real present, give me a facial. Camille is here.” He did.
I had a gift for my aging skin, and this was the time to use it. It was a thrill to see Camille, and even better to be back in her good hands.
As soon as she began to cleanse and massage my face, I felt relieved. After the massage, Camille steamed my skin and applied a mask. It was so relaxing, quiet and soothing in the white room that I fell asleep. Beyond the basic facial, she suggested a glycolic-salicylic acid peel, “I always say a peel makes the difference. It stimulates the skin and makes it much brighter,” she said
And she was right. My skin felt felt soft and supple and it glowed when I looked at my reflection in the dressing room mirror. Days later, it still feels healthier and looks much better.
This is another must-have maintenance tool. I vow to stay in the facial routine and recommend it as a gift for your skin, especially to those of us over 55.
I’m now on the quest for creams and serums that may be designed for Baby Boomers to help us protect and improve our skin as best we can.
Let me know if you have any favorites. Leave a comment.