Taking time out of a busy beauty schedule to get a facial treatment means that it must be results-oriented.  If I can accomplish the same thing at home, it is not worth my while.  Let’s just say that slathering on a few masks and blasting humid air at my face is just not going to cut it.

That’s why I highly recommend a session with Cecilia Wong, a holistic aesthetician who rounds out her vast epidermal experience with a background in Chinese Medicine. To give you a flavor of what’s on the menu, here are some enticing selections that you can find at her location in NYC..

  • LED Light Therapy: These Light Emitting Diodes build the skin’s collagen and elastin through energy waves that stimulate the cells.  You’d have to sit for ages at home with a handheld model that would not be as effective.
  • Microcurrent Therapy: Microcurrents relieve pain and stimulate healing through low-voltage pulsating electrical currents.  Electrical stimulation technology increases protein and ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production which in turn helps eliminate wrinkles, dark patches, reduces symptoms of Bell’s Palsy, and more cool benefits.
  • Oxygen Treatment: Spray your skin with 98% pure hyperbaric oxygen that’s infused with a cocktail of essential nutrients and antioxidants to see some astonishing results.  Pollution, aging, and poor habits can lead to oxygen deficiency in cells.  This treatment supercharges oxygen levels in the skin resulting in better circulation and skin cell regeneration.
About the Treatment

I like that Cecilia worked on me from the moment I lay down on her table to the moment I left. She didn’t leave me stranded—blinded by an eye cloth and a rapidly stiffening mask with no way to communicate with anyone in case of emergency. (Ever need to go to the bathroom while you are lying supine, and the facialist is M.I.A.?  SO not fun!)

Each step incorporated an advanced method of rejuvenating and detoxifying the skin that I could not possibly replicate at home.  SCORE! Aside from a customized treatment that totally revived my dull skin, Cecilia is also a wealth of skincare knowledge.  She readily shared her inside-out philosophy for healthy skin that healed her own temperamental teenage skin and prompted a lifelong passion.

Here are the skin care tips she taught me in the first visit
  1. Wear your smoothie. Blend your fruit/veggie smoothie, enjoy its flavor, then smooth the rest on your face for an instant surge of fresh, live nutrients and antioxidants.  This is one way that Cecilia banished her teenage acne, and an easy tip she happily passes on to her clients.
  2. Introduce new products slowly. The skin takes time to adjust and respond to new products so don’t bombard it with too much change at once.  Give time for each product to deliver.  If it doesn’t, you’ll know it’s not the right product for you.  This also easily reveals the culprit in an allergic reaction.
  3. Don’t change products often. This is a hard one for a product junkie like me, but it makes sense.  Some products need time to work lasting results. Plus we don’t want to confuse the skin, do we?
  4. Be gentle with your skin.  Some home treatments today actually hurt the fragile outer layer of skin. Enthusiastic exfoliators, be warned!  Watch out for potential over-drying from peels, alpha-hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, Retin-A, alcohol, and other potentially harsh ingredients.  Pat, dab, massage, send loving thoughts, but don’t rub, scrub, pull, or tug.  (Think broken capillaries, red, irritated skin, and flaking).

Cecilia Wong Salon is nestled in a lovely and open Manhattan wellness center that provides other holistic services like lymphatic drainage massage (fabulous!), colon hydrotherapy, a naturopath, and now Ayurvedic treatments too.

Can’t get there?  Try her exquisitely formulated products online.


Initially, the Black Currant Serum began as a custom blend for her private clients only.  When they saw scars fading and lines vanishing, they begged her for more.  This launched her first serum and led to several other cult favs.

Her products are hand-crafted in small batches to guarantee freshness and efficacy.  I love that Cecilia Wong sources her ingredients with care from an organic farm in Colorado, then formulates each blend by drawing on research and experience.  Read more about this exclusive line on her website.

What really grabs me is Cecilia’s vast experience with skin.  She definitely knows her stuff.  ANYONE can formulate a skincare or makeup line today, slap on a “natural” or “organic” label, and then list the myriad benefits of using that product.

Most of those people don’t have first-hand experience treating skin at all, so it’s a bit of a roulette game whether or not those products contain ingredients that work in synergy with one another, as well as being the right pH for your skin.

After my facial, Cecilia did not push products on me.  In fact, I had to beg her to buy more!  Clearly, she follows her own advice to start a new skin care protocol slowly. Obviously, she doesn’t know this skin care junkie very well!

All she offered me was the Repairing Capillary Strengthening Serum (with healing chamomile, parsley leaf extract, carrot seed, and helichrysum in a base of grape seed, borage, and olive oils)—which incidentally I’m happily using nightly.  Broken capillaries beware!

So I urged her to give me a cleanser and moisturizer too which I absolutely LOVE.  Quickly a favorite of mine, the Vitamin C Cleanser washes off makeup thoroughly, yet is gentle enough to use around the eyes.  The low-lather formula contains tangerine, alfalfa, borage, parsley and aloe and has an uplifting citrus scent.

My one complaint?  She told me to come back in eight weeks!  What?  Maybe four weeks—but eight?

That’s a long time to wait for this skin treat.  Cecilia, I’m coming soon!

Do you get regular facials?  If so, can you recommend a great holistic facial to add to this list?