As a child I yearned for beautiful skin. I wanted skin that was creamy smooth, dewy and flawless like so many of my classmates. I dreamed of skin that looked good when I woke up without makeup and looked good when I was exercising. I didn’t think there was much I could do with my God-given face equipped with an oily surface, big pores, and blotchiness that was prone to break-outs.
Then I discovered facials. My girlfriends and I tried all sorts of homemade concoctions–facials made with milk, some with yogurt, and others with honey or cucumbers. I even had one mud-based mask made by Native Americans that when I applied it I felt my face get tighter and tighter until I could hardly breathe. Facials were fun to do, they felt good on my skin, but did they actually improve its condition?
Christina Hoang, owner of Skin Obsessions Studio on Capitol Hill believes they did. She feels so strongly about the importance of skin care that she opened her own studio last spring at 660 Pennsylvania Ave. SE specializing in skin revitalization.
Skin Obsessions Studio offers customers nine different types of facials each of which addresses different skin types and focuses on different personal needs. “We strive to give back confidence and radiance without the need for makeup, surgery or downtime,” she said. “I want to enhance your natural beauty.”
Skin care is often the forgotten stepchild of self-care. Facials are thought of as luxuries that we take advantage of during a spa day a few times a year. Yet our face is the first part of us that we present to the world. It is the part that is exposed daily to the elements. It reveals our emotions, our stress levels and our hydration and nutrition. Our faces can prematurely age us or let us appear younger than our years.
Facial skin care not only feels good but can help address a multitude of issues. A study published in the journal “Biomedical Research” suggests that facial massage can rejuvenate your skin and ease psychological stress. Treatments can improve blood circulation, increase collagen production, detoxify, treat acne, reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation, clean pores, add essential nutrients, and add radiance. The benefit I and many are most interested in is how facials can slow the aging process.
People come to Skin Obession with a range of concerns including puffiness, wrinkles, dullness, acne, redness, skin irritation, signs of aging, oily skin, dry skin and enlarged pores. She said she works with all skin tones, with people who have sensitive skin, teen or adult acne. Her treatments are oncology safe and can be enjoyed by pregnant woman or lactating women. “I don’t want to induce inflammation so I get a medical history to be able to customize treatment.”
Hoang also can add natural curl to lashes and darken their color. For brows she can darken, shape and laminate. If fine facial hair and dull skin is a concern you may experience dermaplaning, that “gives you a healthy glow that lasts for weeks,” she said.
No matter what custom facial or treatment a new client may choose, Hoang, a master esthetician with more than 15 years’ experience, said she always performs an evaluation. “I want to know how you are treating your skin at home, what your concerns are, how much water you regularly drink, what your stress level is, and what kinds of products you are using,” she said. “I also evaluate returning clients regularly. Skin is forever changing and it’s important not to introduce products and services to impair the overall health of the skin.”
For those who are hesitant to have injections or surgery, Hoang, offers a chemical peel, an intense treatment that can promote hydration, help to firm skin and lessen fine lines and wrinkles. “Throughout any treatment I explain what I am doing so clients can understand how it can benefit them in the long run, especially with their skin care regimen at home.”
Hoang can accommo-date busy folks by conducting skin care consultations on Zoom. “If people aren’t sure where to start with a skin care regimen I can help them create a carefully curated process they can follow at home with a review of their current products.”
She said she has been passionate about improving her skin since she was a teen when she experienced acne, scarring, oily skin and dark circles. “I had four older sisters and watched how they treated their skin. It always fascinated me.” Hoang’s dedication to finding ways to achieve optimal skin led her to train with medical professionals. Because she said surgeries can be costly and require long recovery time, Hoang turned her attention to seeking alternatives.
After moving to DC following her undergraduate studies Hoang was drawn to open her business on the Hill because she said she felt a sense of community. “I just love the people here. This is where I wanted to be.”
Whatever treatment you choose at Skin Obsession, Hoang said what matters most is prolonging the effects by taking care of your skin at home. “It’s a transformative treatment. Both of us are working together. The results are cumulative over time.”
To make an appointment: www.skinobsessionstudio.com.
Pattie Cinelli is a health and fitness professional and journalist who has been writing her column for more than 25 years. She focuses on holistic and non-mainstream ways to stay healthy, get well and connect with your true self. Please email her with questions, comments or column suggestions at: firstname.lastname@example.org.