Great Facial for Sensitive Skin

Treatment we had: Organic facial, $110.

What we loved: I’ve never walked out of a facial feeling as if I could go anywhere but straight back to my apartment: My dry skin is so sensitive that I usually look blotchy and blemished for the rest of the day. But the organic facial here was different.

Although Lely Tenakhoune, my aesthetician, said that the organic fruit-and-herb-based products by Hungary’s Eminence line can be a little more potent than other skin-care products, she tailored the regimen to keep my skin calm. A rose-imbued cleanser felt immediately relaxing, and she applied a mask made from Tokay grapes—the kind used for ice wine—that she said was full of antioxidants. Extractions were quick—too bad they’re never painless—and Tenakhoune gave me a quick lesson in doing it myself at home. Save for a spiel on the benefits of Retinol, there was no product pushing. Most thoughtfully, when Lily felt knots of tension while giving me a hand-and-arm massage, she finished the facial with a mini-deep-tissue back massage. When the treatment ended, my skin felt dewy and supple.

What you should know: With its eggplant carpeting and brass chandeliers, this feels like someone’s home. The dressing rooms are small—though nicely appointed with Phyto hair products—and the waiting area has just two upholstered chaise longues. In other words, it’s not the best place for lingering.

Bottom line: Although my welcome felt rushed, I was well cared for in the treatment room.

Sugar House Day Spa & Salon, 111 N. Alfred St., Alexandria; 703-549-9940;

>> See all 2009 Great Day Spas

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.