“It’s the date night mask!” I can hear skin care therapist Maria Puentes announce gleefully from the other side of Skin On Market’s skin bar/business front.
And I say “hear” because I am reclined in the client’s chair near the space’s front window, eyes closed, as fellow therapist Albert Aldaco applies a skin refining masque to my face and neck.
I can’t help but break into a smile as a hear Maria’s words; I am at the tail-end of a delicious facial experience and am feeling so refreshed that I wouldn’t mind strutting my newly-treated skin out on a date myself!
But don’t get it twisted, Skin On Market isn’t your run-of-the-mill spa, not by a long shot. It combines Eastern beauty methods with modern-day products and a drive to educate the clientele in a very Castro-esque work space to give you a “skin bar” experience that will leave you feeling great in your skin.
“It’s really not about looking younger, even though I know that’s what we all say,” owner Deedee Crossett divulges in a sit-down before my treatment. “We want to look healthy.”
Crossett knows a thing or two about helping clientele look and feel healthy and beautiful. The owner of San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology has wanted to make the skin bar a concept for a long time now.
“I love the idea of figuring out how people take care of their skin,” Crossett laments. “The bar is set up to teach people how to watch your face.”
Anyone would want Crossett to teach them how to wash their face—she’s absolutely gorgeous, her own skin is flawless. And she’s bursting with energy as she tells me that Skin On Market is already garnering a following at the tender age of six months in the world. “The best part of having a any business in the Castro is that they’re very supportive.”
Not bad for the first business that Dermalogica has teamed up with outside of itself, huh?
The shiny white space at the pie-slice corner of Market and Noe is more inviting than any skin care establishment that I’ve ever seen. And having their skin bar and facialist’s chair posted up by the front window instead of hiding in a back room? It’s a concept that invites people in to try products and learn about their skin.
I can tell you from my own experience: The educational side of the facial treatment is no joke. Albert walked me through the skin mapping process—the Chinese concept of breaking the face into sections and associating facial imperfections with what’s going on with the rest of your body. (Like, a breakout by your temples can be a sign of dehydration, a breakout on your chin can be a sign of stress, etc.) We broke down what he saw on my skin, and what I wanted to get out of my treatment.
But the educational part of the my skin bar experience continued as I reclined in the window-side client’s chair. Albert told me everything he applied to my face, why it was good for my skin and how it would help me achieve my skin goals. It was a whirlwind of cleansers and foams that smelled fresh and delicious. (Don’t worry, I didn’t lick the lemon-y cleanser off my face despite how delicious it smelled.)
When the treatment was over, my cheeks were glowing. I didn’t know it was possible for your skin to feel happy, but mine truly did. Albert did a review of what products he had used on my face and neck and what recommendations he had for my face-washing regimen that would hold me until my next visit.
Yes, my next visit. Because I will most certainly be going to back to Skin On Market. And if you haven’t been yet, I recommend that you treat yourself and check it out too.