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Review of $59 Photo Facial at Serena Spa

So how good could a facial that usually costs upwards of $150 or more be at $59?? In a word…Good.

First let’s explain a little bit about a Photo Facial or IPL for the uninitiated.? It is a laser treatment that can remove sunspots, sun damage, age spots, redness.? It can even out skin tone and is said to improve wrinkles.? IPL stands for Intense Pulse Light.

I went for sunspots(because I hate to call them age spots) and to even out my skin tone.? Normally it takes about 5 treatments spaced 3-4 weeks apart to see results.? It can cost from $150 -$300 per treatment.? It is done in doctor’s offices also, however it is legal for an aesthetician to perform the procedure.

I’ve been looking at the website for this particular spa for a while.? Now that I live in NYC it was very convenient for me to try them out.? I looked online for reviews and found 2, one very negative & the other positive.? I thought I would see for myself.

Location: Centrally located at 127o Bdwy at 32nd St, in the heart of Herald Square and at the tip of Koreatown.? As such this is an Asian spa.? It is on the 5th floor of a large office bldg.

Layout and ambience:? At $59 you know this is a no frills type of place, however it was freshly painted, nicely decorated and very clean.? It’s small, with a reception area and treatment room with 2 tables separated by a curtain.? There was no other clients there when I was there.? It there were it might have been a bit tight.? There was no “receptionist” per se; the woman who checked me in also performed the facial.? I’ve found this sort of arrangement at many a small spa, some that charge double or triple the price.? It doesn’t bother me at all.? The woman who worked on me was very sweet, polite and accomodating.

Treatment:? Many places that do an IPL do not do a complete facial treatment with it.? They just use the laser and then you are done.? Not so here.? You?get a complete facial with deep cleansing, extractions and mask after the laser plus a little massage on hands and arms.? It was a decent facial with a medium amount of time spent doing the IPL treatment.? I have had other IPLs, some a bit longer some about the same.? Whether this was a sufficient amount of time with become evident after my 5th treatment when I will see whether the spots are gone or not.? The only thing I did not like about the treatment is that after the IPL, they did not remove the heavy gel substance with damp towel.? It was only wiped off with a dry cotton pad.? As that gel, necessary for the laser to work, is very thick, I did not like the feeling of only wiping it off.? Right after that a peeling mask was applied.? It was a cooling mask which was refreshing after the laser, but I still would have preferred some water being used to clean my face before it.? I told the aesthetician that and she said she would do that for me next time. The whole procedure took and hour.

Does IPL hurt?:? A little bit.? It’s kind of like a rubber band snapping on your skin.

Results:? I will not know for sure if the sunspots will be gone until about 3 1/2 months from now, however I do know that IPL is very effective in treating this, so I am confident they will be.? As for how my skin looked immediately?afterwards…Reports are good.? I asked a couple of people who had seen me the day before if my skin looked different.? Both said yes, it looked better and more refreshed and wanted to know what I did.? I thought it looked better too.

Would I recommend this spa?? Yes.?? I will definately go back there for more IPL.? Would I go there for just a regular facial.? Probobly not.? I like a little more of a calming ambience for that.? I would also go there for the microdermabrasion and laser hair removal, as they are both also $59.? Plus, if you buy a package of 5 treatments at once the price is $50 each.? You CANNOT beat that with a stick!

Serena Spa
127o Bdway, bet 32nd & 33rd Sts