Time to take a look at what made our experience Pacific Touch NYC so effective and beneficial for our skin and overall well-being. We received two different services, a Holistic Facial and Lift & Glow Treatment- Both were incredible experiences with unexpected and lasting results. Let’s take a look!
The Main Event- Behind the Scenes
After checking in with the welcoming front desk staff at Omni Wellness, we received an extensive Pacific Touch questionnaire with questions ranging from sleep patterns to diet/lifestyle habits. We were introduced to the incredibly warm and gracious Nichola, and were guided back to her private room, instructed to change into Polynesian inspired robes. These robes are reminiscent of Nichola’s Polynesian culture, adding a beautiful personal touch to the experience.
Lauren received the Holistic Facial, a treatment completely customized to each client. Kim experienced the Lift and Glow treatment, a combination of Microcurrent therapy and LED Light therapy.
All treatments at Pacific Touch are truly customized and tailored to the individual client with the goal of identifying and treating surface skin issues from the inside out. In true Holistic Facials, the idea is to simplify, personalize, and create a follow-up plan to address your specific skincare needs.
Part 1) Understanding your Lifestyle
Nichola whisked away my makeup with the botanic based Image Skincare Ormedic Balancing Cleanser (filled with organic green tea and aloe) and began my treatment by walking through my comprehensive questionnaire. Her goal? To have a deep honest look into my overall state of wellness, connecting back to my skincare goals/concerns. From the start, Nichola shared her idea of being holistic, not holy, affirming that Pacific Touch is a judgment-free zone.
- Average hours slept per night: 6.5 (wishing and knowing I need more like 8)
- Food Allergies or Sensitivities: Gluten, and minimal dairy
- Skincare Concerns: sensitivity, dehydration, dullness, age prevention
- Most Important Thing to Accomplish in Treatment: Brighten, Hydrate, and Glow
- Health History: Migraines
- Workout History: 3-4x/week; SLT, Hot Yoga, SoulCycle, Boxing
- Do You Meditate: Yes (goal to do so more)
- Diet History: Lots of veggies, fruits, fish, healthy fats
- Glasses of Water/Day: 3-4 (though I aim for 6-8!)
- Caffeine Intake: Green tea, occasional coffee
- Gut Health/Digestive Issues: Inflammation, Sensitivity
- Autoimmune Disorders? No
- Frequent Blemishes? No
- Blemish Type: N/A (helps to diagnose/treat acne)
- Your Face Flushes Red When: Exercise (other choices were alcohol consumption, spicy foods, and stress)
- Topicals: Retin A; Glycolic Acid
- Current Skincare Regimen: Cleanser (Shangpree or Image), Toner (Biologique P50), Moisturizer (La Mer Soft Creme), Serum (Skinceuticals CE Ferulic; SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex + HA5), Exfoliant (Glycolic Pads), Mask (Summer Fridays Jetset Mask), Sunscreen (La Roche Anthelios SPF 50 Serum)
Part 2) Connecting Lifestyle to Your Skin
While steam covered my face, Nichola applied a Papaya Enzyme Exfoliating Mask by Rococo Botanicals, and performed minimal extractions. Nichola and I began talking about the deeper connection between our skin and what’s happening inside our bodies. Nichola really lets her clients dictate the amount of conversation. I, of course, was ALL IN and eager to keep chatting with Nichola. It’s not every day you have access to someone so knowledgeable about both what you are putting on your skin AND into your body.
“Holistic Health and Beauty can be a long, slow, journey that you must be fully committed to. From food journaling to tracking blood sugar, sleep, and stress, it’s important for a Holistic Esthetician to see the whole picture. Over at least a month’s time.”- Nichola Weir
Part 3) Our Obsession with the Lymphatic System + Inflammation
Next, Nichola used a cool stone Jade Roller for lymphatic drainage. After recent life events, I’ve become OBSESSED with the lymphatic system. A proper functioning lymphatic system is critical to detoxify, drain fluids, maintain a healthy immune system, regenerate tissues, and filter out foreign substances.
Think of your lymphs like drains in your home. When sluggish or clogged, they build up waste and cannot effectively remove toxins (and we’re exposed to MANY toxins today). Clogged lymphs can lead to skin, digestive, and overall health issues caused by inflammation. Thus, your goal is a properly functioning lymphatic system, which through detoxification, reduces inflammation. Gut health also impacts inflammation and can be the culprit for inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis, rosacea, and acne. LITERALLY, it is all connected and in the words of Nichola “You Get the Glow, From the (Lymphatic) Flow.” Check out the below ways to get your lymphatic system moving.
- Face + Body Lymphatic Massage- Using Nichola’s favorite tool the Jade Roller or Gua Sha, making sure to go light on the face. The lymph is located directly under the skin so only super light movements are needed.
- Dry Brushing– lymphatic drainage technique that helps with inflammation and improves circulation through increased movement in the lymph to remove toxins. Brush in gentle strokes toward the heart and focus on the head, neck/shoulders, chest, stomach, and feet where the majority of lymphs are concentrated.
- Drink More Water- As you can imagine, your body needs water to flush the lymphs. The fluid that flushes through your lymphs becomes thicker the more dehydrated you become. Dehydration happens super easily, and is, therefore, a common cause of a sluggish lymphatic system.
Part 4) Skin Food- Vitamins + LED
The next part of the treatment focused on an LED light treatment (see more on the benefits below), as our conversation turned to vitamins and supplements. We’re both big believers in supplements (probiotics for gut health, zinc for immunity, turmeric for inflammatory response, omega 3 for healthy fats, etc). I actually take 10-12 vitamins every morning, but will save that post for a different day!
In addition to supplements, we strongly encourage vitamin consumption through foods. This is the surest way to absorb the maximum nutritional value. Nichola suggests a Green Smoothie that will flood your system with alkalinity (typically found in dark leafy greens like spinach and kale and cooling vegetables like celery and cucumber). If you have issues with bloating or inflammation, be mindful of the sugar found in fruits before adding to your smoothie. We’ve heard this before, and Nichola reinforced, that if you drink this every day for 2-4 weeks it can fully transform and reset your digestive tract. Alkalinity puts out the fire of inflammation. We’re going to test it out and cannot report back. If you’ve tried this, let us know!
Lift and Glow (Microcurrent Therapy + LED Light Therapy)
This treatment included the same thorough and comprehensive lifestyle questionnaire as above, along with cleansing, exfoliation, LED Light Therapy, Microcurrent, facial massage, a hydrating masque, Jade Roller lymphatic drainage, finishing serum, and treatment cream.
After cleansing, Nichola applied a Hydrating Vitamin C Enzyme Mask by Image Skincare as a brightening exfoliant. This mask, in particular, had a slight tingling feeling from the enzymes, but smells delicious! Nichola loves an enzyme exfoliant over a scrub because it’s not as harsh on the skin (we agree!). Scrubs can create micro-tears, while enzymes simply dissolve dead skin cells. This allows for healthy cells to survive without causing friction damage to skin. While exfoliating once a week is good for most people, be careful not to over exfoliate, causing skin redness and irritation. Those with thick, oily, or congested skin should be fine exfoliating twice a week.
For discoloration, if you suffer from dark spots or sun spots, Vitamin C can help even out skin. Dark spots or pigmentation can be a result of sun exposure, hormonal imbalance, or triggered by heat. Any sort of scrub or device that creates manual friction (heat), can actually make pigmentation worse. So for our beauties who have melasma, stick to enzyme exfoliation vs. scrubs!
Now onto the two stars of the treatment. Microcurrent and LED Light Therapy are noninvasive skin rejuvenation modalities that produce beautiful results with no questionable side effects or downtime. Let’s dive in!
Part 1) LED Light Therapy
LED means light-emitting diode. LED Light Therapy devices send different wavelengths of light (in this case Red and Blue) to the skin to trigger an array of cellular responses. The light panel used in this treatment consisted of LED red light (reduces inflammation, accelerates healing and collagen production, and improves circulation) and flickers of blue light (kills acne bacteria).
After cleansing and exfoliating, Nichola applied an Oxygenating, water-based, cooling gel. An Oxygenating cooling gel has botanicals that calm and cools the skin, giving the skin benefits while actually doing the conduction.
Eye pads were placed on the eyes followed by a large light panel was placed across the face. The treatment was neither painful nor uncomfortable, more so just a light show for the eyes! After relaxing for about 10 minutes under the light we then moved on to the Microcurrent portion of the treatment.
The Benefits of LED Light Therapy:
- Kills acne bacteria
- Reduces inflammation
- Accelerates healing
- Repairs sun damage
- Helps fade brown spots
- Reduce the appearance of fine lines
- Tightens pores
- Improves elasticity
- Builds collagen
For optimum results and more severe conditions, it is recommended to do a 30-minute session 1-2 times a week over 6-8 weeks.
Part 2) Microcurrent Therapy
Microcurrent Therapy is a low level of electricity that aids in repairing and re-educating the muscles of the face. Think of Microcurrent Therapy as a “non- surgical facelift”- drastic results without the drastic measures. A literal workout for your face (Nichola referenced it as a Pilates workout for your face muscles!) this treatment is known to be one of the best non-invasive and painless anti-aging treatments to help tone the skin.
This revolutionary approach to skin rejuvenation is both PREVENTATIVE and CORRECTIVE.
Two rounds of electrical stimulation are given during this treatment. Section by section, two probes are used across the face. One probe is still while the other glides along the muscle distributing electricity. The first round uses a universal level of electricity to “prepare” or wake up the muscle for the actual toning. There was no pain at all, in fact, it was super relaxing like a gentle facial massage. In the second round, Nichola added a collagen serum, using the microcurrent to help infuse the serum deeper into the skin. Around the nose and cheeks, a faint tingling occurred, but was not painful or uncomfortable. Note, those with dry, or thin skin may feel more of a sensation.
While there is no downtime with this treatment, it was recommended to refrain from intense workouts/sweat for about 24 hours to really allow the serum to work its magic into the skin and for the microcurrent to kick in.
The Benefits of Microcurrent Therapy:
- Lifting jowls + eyebrows
- Reducing or eliminating fine lines + wrinkles
- More even skin tone
- Tightening + firming of the skin
- Helps to reduce or eliminate age spots
- Improves muscle tone
- Improves facial circulation
Part 3) Facial Massage
While the LED Light and Microcurrent Therapy are incredible treatments, we can’t go on without sharing the true magic of Nichola’s hands-on facial massage work. This was by far the BEST and most relaxing part of the treatment! Nichola believes that the electricity and “goodness” in the skin can be enhanced through facial massage. Influenced by her Polynesian roots, Nichola practices the ancestral healing massage of “Fofo”- a technique that believes in the healing powers of touch. She mentioned how she often notices that the hand motions she does while performing facial massage, closely resemble the Samoan hand motions of the hula dance. How beautiful is it that she is able to connect her heritage, culture, and art to aid in the healing of others?! Swoon!
The last step of the Lift and Glow treatment was a bit of Jade Rolling. Lymphatic coagulation can cause dark circles under the eyes. News to us, too! After applying a Turmeric (anti-inflammatory) + Vitamin C face mask (to help even out skin tone and encourages collagen production) she strategically massaged the Jade Roller, guiding each stroke toward the Lymphatic drainage points. This was so relaxing and soothing, that I actually dozed off. At the of the end session, I received a hot ginger tea which was a lovely touch to close out the relaxing and informative experience.
A Holistic Facial is ideal for anyone interested in learning more about their individual inner and outer beauty connection. The Lift and Glow treatment is great for younger clients as a preventative treatment. Nichola recommends this treatment once a month, for maintenance to encourage youthful cell regeneration and muscle toning. For someone who is older or has more muscle deterioration and is trying to firm up the face, Nichola recommends coming in quite often- around once a week, for about 6-12 treatments. By treatment 6, she usually starts to notice a change in the condition of the muscle.
Note: Though many views on this topic exist, Nichola encourages people who have botox, to also use microcurrent. “Because botox paralyzes the muscle, the muscle begins to atrophy. By adding in the microcurrent treatment, you’re helping to keep the muscle from withering away and helping it to stay healthy.”
The Fine Print:
The great thing about a Holistic Facial is that it is completely customized. Meaning, a significant amount of time is spent building the Estheticians understanding of your beauty + wellness history/goals so they can tailor the treatment specifically to you. Before LED Light Therapy, consult a doctor if you are pregnant, experience epilepsy, have a photoallergy, and/or use medications that cause light sensitivity.
Have any of you experienced a Holistic Facial or LED Light Therapy + Microcurrent Therapy? Where is your favorite place to go? How have the results been for you?!
All things beautiful,