B+B Skin Lab
Sixty LES Spa
190 Allen Street
New York, NY, 10002
I’m visiting B+B Skin Lab in the spa of the Sixty Lower East Side Hotel. I exit the elevator onto a sea of shining black stones and am greeted by Diana Seo, master aesthetician and founder of B+B. She moves with the grace of someone performing water ballet, and her flawless skin shines like moonlight.
Today, I will be receiving Seo’s signature B+B Collagen Facial. It is based on a technologically advanced process called dermoelectroporation, which uses an electric current to infuse stem cells into the skin. The treatment was originally developed as a way to deliver medication to people without injections. Turns out, it also delivers an awesome, extraction-free facial.
Seo introduces me to the current-delivery machine with a tech geek’s pride. Though she uses it on a setting of zero to two for most clients (depending on their pain threshold), she mentions that one client — who’s had a lot of laser treatments on her face — regularly asks her to crank it to four. I suggest we stay in the one and two range for my sensitive dermis.
After some light prep, Seo spreads the collagen and begins to massage the wand of the machine around my face. The sensation feels like someone is lightly dusting me with sandpaper — though now and then she’ll hit a spot (often along my hairline) where I feel an almost ticklish sense of vibration. Once this phase is done, it’s time for a cocoa moisturizer (which smells delicious) and Seo’s “organic mummy mask” — strips of material soaked with essential ingredients meant to cool and re-moisturize the skin. As she layers them on my face, I can imagine how I might look like an extremely moist mummy.
Seo leaves me to enjoy the soothing arpeggios of spa music as my skin soaks up the contents of the mask. When she returns a few minutes later, she begins to gently massage my face, explaining that much of her interest in skin comes from her own struggles with recurring breakouts. It was only once she overcame her Korean cultural tendency to scrub first and ask questions later that she finally found balance and beauty. It’s no coincidence that these words are what the B’s in B+B Skin Lab stand for.
As I leave the hotel, I catch my reflection in a window. My skin looks fresh and dewy, and there’s not a trace of irritation. It’s no wonder Diana sometimes refers to this as a “red carpet” facial. After only a few minutes of recovery time, I feel like I could easily face a phalanx of photographers with a confident smile — well, at least from the neck up.
By Paul Hagen
Last modified: June 22, 2017