I keep thinking of Jill Bucy Skincare owner Svetlana Ponomareva when I'm in the shower.
"Madame Allouche doesn't like hot water for the face," she told me, referring to the co-founder of Paris's Biologique Recherche skincare line. Unfortunately, thus far, I only remember this advice after I turn to get pelted by shower head streams that are, I'm sure, not at a temperature Madame would approve of.
Ponomareva, who left Ummelina and took a leap last February and buy Bucy out of her intimate namesake Lower Queen Anne spa, believes firmly in Biologique Recherche. She believes in it—the products and the philosophies, like that one about hot water—in an almost spiritual way. If you go for a personalized facial, Ponomareva will use the product line, and possibly one of the company's exclusive Remodeling Face Machines—to, and she was clear on these steps and their order, "balance, stabilize, and improve" your skin.
The trend in facials is toward massaging, sculpting, and smoothing the skin and muscles that support a youthful visage. Call it a natural or non-surgical face lift. What you "save" on medical invasion, you "spend" on time. Some spas rely almost exclusively on wands and microcurrents; when I was in Ponomareva's care, she used the French-formulated product and her hands: gently but purposefully pushing up, over, and somehow vaguely in the direction of a better and if not younger than not-older me.
Where a nip-and-tuck might be a one-shot deal (with plenty of risks and some pretty crazy side effects and extreme before/after stuff), the slower, more subtle and stable approach is about finding a practitioner and a philosophy that resonates with you, and committing to the process. Once a month (at about $150 to $200 a pop) if you can; once a season if that works better.
Summer's an especially good time to think about earmarking some dollars for your face. Especially a hot summer like this one, when Ponomareva says heat causes oil glands to work harder, sometimes causing breakouts and blemishes.
It seems to me now, when I eventually remember to snap out of the hot water each morning, that hands-on "face lifts" are right in line with canning your own tomatoes, car-sharing, and roof-top solar panels. In other worlds, if you're commited to non-toxic, low-impact living and you're interested in slowing the march of time, you might consider spending 90 minutes or so at Jill Bucy to see if this small-batch approach to skin care is right for you.