[Images: Courtesy of Laura Waldon]

As you may remember from my various Raves & Faves over the years, I have incredibly sensitive skin. I’m lucky that, as a DAYSPA editor, I have an endless supply of gentle skincare products to try out, but the downside is that at times it can go very wrong. I was recovering from my most recent (and very intense) allergic reaction—courtesy of an “oil-free” moisturizer that in fact contained a botanical oil—when Face Haus in Studio City, California, invited me in to try its latest facial, World of Difference (55 min./$145); naturally, I jumped at the chance to give my skin some much needed TLC.

The new treatment combines the facial bar’s most popular skin boosters to target a range of concerns including fine lines, loss of elasticity, dullness, dark patches and dehydration. My main goal was to address the latter two, as inflammation from my flare-ups tends to darken and dry out—the rest would be a happy bonus.

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During the consultation, I told my esthetician Chris about my sensitive skin, and he dutifully tweaked the service to accommodate me—namely, avoiding oils of any kind—for which I will be eternally grateful. He started with a hydrating cleanser under steam, then applied a sweet-smelling papaya exfoliant, which was much easier on my face and neck than an AHA-based exfoliant. Next, he gently performed extractions, and I’m happy to report that my nose is still blackhead-free some 10 days later!

Chris custom-mixed a serum with concentrated, freeze-dried vitamin C to help brighten and fight free radicals, which was followed by 20 minutes under an LED lamp to help boost collagen production and further minimize inflammation. (Full disclosure: I was so relaxed at this point that I definitely dozed off!) After the light therapy session, Chris applied a super-hydrating hyaluronic acid solution and then a dry sheet mask made with 100 percent algae, which was activated by moistening to deliver its smoothing and brightening minerals to the skin.

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Ten minutes later, Chris removed the mask and spritzed on some oil-free flower water. Finally, he layered on a serum, nourishing moisturizer—complete with a relaxing face massage—and SPF, and I was good to go. He handed me a mirror, and I can honestly say that I was visibly glowing; one especially inflamed blemish in particular was noticeably flatter and less red.

I’m happy to report that in the days the followed, my recent skin reaction cleared up completely and is now an increasingly distant memory—World of Difference indeed!

—by Laura Waldon

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