The Kentlands neighborhood is built to be cozy, pleasant, and convenient. The same could be said for Clin-Spa, started in 2003 in Lori Kushner’s home and moved here a year later.
Clin-Spa concentrates on the face—facials, peels, and makeup—plus waxing; a massage therapist offers Swedish, deep tissue, reflexology, and reiki. I went in for an hourlong facial that promised to make my skin “soft and radiant” with a treatment that included natural-acid exfoliation and a hydrating mask. Facials are $90 and $120; peels range from $150 to $300.
Kushner met me in her small, olive-green-and-gold foyer to explain her techniques, ask about my skincare routine, and assess my skin. In the treatment room, medical-looking machinery didn’t seem scary in low light beside a cushy chaise longue. Kushner started with a double cleansing, the second a mud-based mask that felt smooth, not grainy or abrasive. What came next, a peel, might burn slightly, she said, and gave me a tiny electric fan to point at my face. It wasn’t needed; there was a burning sensation, but it was brief and not uncomfortable.
After a minute or two, she added a neutralizer to bring the pH back to normal. She warned that my nose and chin might peel in the next few days but that my face would feel soft for about three weeks.
Then followed a few extractions—with fingers and tissue, not instruments—and a quick lotion massage of arms, hands, shoulders, and face. A three-layer mask—first vitamins and protein, then moisturizer, then white clay and green tea—brought more soothing massage. Kushner finished the treatment with a coconut-scented sunblock. “I’m obligated,” she said, because even winter sun can hurt the skin.
Before the treatment, Kushner mentioned that six to ten such treatments can make a huge difference, but she recognized that not everyone can afford the time and expense. My skin did flake a bit at the spots she mentioned, and it stayed soft for two or three days, not three weeks. My hairline was sticky the rest of the day. No other complaints, though: This pampering was time well spent, and although Kushner mentioned several times the pressures of running a small business, I left happy with two samples of a vitamin-A moisturizer to use after my usual drying cleanser.