A Purified Complexion: A Visit to Diana Ralys Skin Health

The new Diana Ralys Skin Health day spa boasts a prominent storefront on Santa Monica’s bustling 4th Street—just feet from Wilshire Boulevard, a few hundred yards from the famous Third Street Promenade and equally close to the Santa Monica Pier. But once clients step foot into Diana’s spa haven, the chaos of Los Angeles’s renowned beach town melts away almost instantly.

I was lucky enough to experience said escape last week—a welcome reprieve from holiday season chaos. For several years, Diana and her daughter Kristina were operating a skincare practice out of a significantly smaller, appointment-only space a few miles inland, but decided to search for a new locale in early 2015. In September, while looking for a different rental opportunity, a “For Sale” sign called out to them. Three months later, the duo signed the lease, and three months after that, Diana Ralys Skin Health was open for business.

First Impressions: The quaint yet beautifully decorated space includes three infrared saunas and five treatment rooms—each painted a bright color and named to match the hue and a prominent skincare ingredient—plus a restroom and a generously sized lounge area where guests can relax before and after treatments.

Diana Ralys Skin HealthThe Lemongrass Treatment Room at Diana Ralys Skin Health in Santa Monica, California.

The Service: After a chat with Diana about all of my skin concerns, she plumped for her Micro-Oxygen Infusion Facial (60 min./$145). I slipped into the green Lemongrass room and donned my spa robe. Almost immediately, I melted into the luxurious, microfiber sheets (Diana buys them from a smaller distributor and pays a premium because of their lush look and feel).

First came Diana’s unique pore opening process: a series of hot compresses, each soaked in an enhanced blend of essential oils and minerals then placed on the face. Steam, says Diana, can dry out the complexion and doesn’t always open the pores as well as one might think.

Diana uses only her own skincare products, which she has spent years developing and perfecting. I was excited to experience these customized formulations, and they didn’t disappoint. First up, and to my excitement, were a Charcoal Cleanser and Charcoal MicroFoliant—I’d just written a column about the incredible detoxifying properties of charcoal and had been dying to use the ingredient on my face. Diana’s extractions were as thorough as I’d ever experienced; though a few were painful, I was thrilled that she was really taking the time (that my complexion desperately needed!) to ensure my pores were gunk-free.

Next I experienced the micro-oxygen—a bit of a squirm-inducing, tingling sensation, but I soon got used it and, upon relaxing, could really feel the oxygen penetrating my skin. After another cleansing, I spent a few minutes under a 2 Panel LightStim LED lamp, a bonus for my acneic skin.

After a Volcanic Lava Clay Mask and a lovely neck and shoulder massage that left me completely zen-ed out, I was treated to a Vitamin C Serum with Turmeric (great for helping to brighten my last stubborn hyperpigmentation marks) and a Peptide Eye Cream.

Reluctantly, I slipped into my clothes and made my way back to Kristina at the front desk. My face felt cleaner and more refreshed than it had in… longer than I can remember. I might have been in desperate need of a facial, but I can honestly say it’s been a long time since I’ve had such an effective—and relaxing—facial service.

Noteworthy: In addition to developing a unique line of natural products, Diana teamed with a manufacturer to specially develop a facial technology machine, which enables her to perform microdermabrasion, oxygen-infusion and microcurrent. The skincare veteran is also a Certified Level 2 Reiki Practitioner, and employs other Reiki certified pros, plus massage therapists, at her spa.—Rachel Kossman




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