Whole Body

The BLT Facial

East Side Skin Spa has a new perspective on skin treatments


Before we go any further, let me just say: this facial is not what you think it is. In a perfect world, yes, you would get served a sandwich at the end of a spa treatment. But in this case, BLT means “brighten, lighten, and tighten,” according to East Side Skin Spa owner Dena Lynn Pilla. It’s her nickname for the Vitamin C Rejuvenating Facial, a treatment that uses cutting-edge skin technology for a major anti-aging boost.

I feel a little bit queasy when talking about my skin these days, because I have to say those dreaded words: anti-aging. But you know what? There’s no shame in that game. In the hour I spent with Dena, she managed to make marked improvements to all the problems I pointed out (and the ones she saw without me pointing them out, too). “Oh wow,” she said as she took off my final mask and applied moisturizer to my skin. “Your skin looks amazing.”

She was right. In addition to the little whisper lines that are reason #1 I should no longer look in magnified mirrors, there were two other major issues – some hyperpigmentation spots from old breakouts, and significant end-of-winter dryness.

Dena started my Vitamin C Facial with some intentional breathing. “Take a deep, nourishing breath,” she began, “and exhale, releasing everything down through your fingertips.” I appreciated that. It’s not often I remember how much a couple of deep, grounding breaths can do. She then did a lymphatic drainage pressure point massage on my face and neck, which helps to eliminate toxins, followed by an enzyme treatment and a 15 percent Vitamin C Mask, full of hyaluronic acid, which strengthens skin cells for a brighter appearance, and antioxidants, which work to photorepair dark spots. During the mask, Dena did a hot stone massage on my arms and legs, which felt like heaven on that cold day. After that, it was time for a dose of LED Light Therapy, which used blue light as an anti-aging boost. “It’s the most collagen-stimulating thing you can do for your skin,” Dena said. It’s also a mood booster, like a dose of sunshine.

When I looked in the mirror afterwards, I was awed. It looked like those dark spots had healed by a week, and my skin glowed for days afterward. That whole afternoon, I was in a great mood, not just because I looked great, but because I really think there was something to that blue light, especially on a gray winter day.

If you’re going for a brightening, tightening, and lightening treatment, here’s what to know: Go with a clean face, wearing something you’ll be comfortable in while lying in a spa bed. You’ll be good to go back to work or to evening plans – this isn’t a service you’ll feel goopy after – and your skin will look so great that you won’t even need makeup.

East Side Skin Spa


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