After spending several decades with my face, I've learned the hard way that there are no magic creams, oils, scrubs or masks that can save my complexion when stress and anxiety start to show their effects by manifesting in puffy eyes and painful cystic acne. In fact, I had kind of just resigned myself to the fact that, barring some life-changing event that allowed me to move to Bali and meditate for eight hours a day, I was going to have to live with imperfect skin thanks to my anxiety-prone disposition. That is, until I discovered a game-changing new beauty trend: energy healing facials.
Now, I'm not new to the realm of energy work in general. I'm the friend who will casually throw out recommendations for a hypnotist, reiki practitioner, and crystal healer—this stuff is definitely in my wheelhouse. But the first time I realized I could combine a skin-reviving facial and work on healing the underlying causes of my self-defined "anxiety acne" was the day I met Mashell Tabe.
"When I bring in spirituality, that allows me to heal on so many other levels." — Mashell Tabe
Tabe is a facialist and healer who splits her time between Albuquerque, New Mexico and New York City, and works with Gwyneth Paltrow and Naomi Watts. Her luxe facials incorporate micro-needling, red-light therapy, and ultrasound, with the goal of completely refining and rejuvenating skin. And though she's seriously skilled as an esthetician, what takes her treatments to the next level is her intuitive ability to connect with and guide her clients to a more chilled-out, self-caring state.
"Everything I do is energetic," says Tabe. "Of course, my technique is based on helping clients' skin on a physical level, but when I bring in spirituality, that allows me to heal on so many other levels." Tabe's energy work can involve anything from taking clients through her signature guided "beauty meditation" to imparting messages from their spirit guides. But if the spiritual element doesn't resonate with you, Tabe doles out some pretty practical life wisdom, too. She's given me insight into everything from how to improve my career to ways to better support my relationships, all of which has been uncannily spot on.
"At first, a lot of people questioned whether I could do facials and be a healer or whether it was a gimmick," says Tabe. "But I believe that self-care leads to self-love. My physical facials are how I help women reconnect with their feminine energy and power." And after a few sessions with Tabe, I can attest that you'll feel renewed, reenergized, and empowered. And, of course, your skin will be absolutely glowing, too.
"Channeling energy to you gives you deeper, longer-lasting benefits." — Julia March
Tabe isn't the only one bringing deeper healing work to the skincare world. Julia March, a cult favorite among supermodels and natural beauty enthusiasts, has been offering her Alpha State Facial for years. "The alpha state is that meditative state where we get out of our heads and are able to let our bodies heal," explains March. But you can only get to that state through learning to relax and quiet the mind—no easy feat in a place like New York City—so March employs a variety of relaxing healing modalities, from massage to crystals, to get you in the right mindset.
"I'm trained in reiki, pranic healing [breath work], and vortex healing," she says. "I've always felt that quick, surface treatments aren't that fulfilling. But getting into the alpha state and allowing me to channel energy to you gives you deeper, longer-lasting benefits." In addition to that, she uses an arsenal of traditional facial tools like micro-currents, enzymes, ultrasound exfoliation, and phototherapy.
Another holistic skin therapist whose energy healing facials are gaining a devoted following is Stephanie Brown, who blends traditional Ayurvedic teachings with massage techniques and energy work to create a deeply calming, restorative treatment. "On a physical level, I work along the channels of the body to stimulate or calm certain points that correlate to the nervous, lymphatic, circulatory, and endocrine systems," she says. "And on a subtle, energetic level, I recite mantras internally and direct a higher level of consciousness toward the individual and work to empty their negative energy out through my body and back into the earth."
"Whether they're aware of it or not, every facialist, massage therapist, and nail technician who touches you is providing energy work," says Brown. "It's a matter of whether they're giving you a good feeling or a bad one." Her goal, of course, is good vibes all around. "If I can appeal to people's vanity by labeling myself a facialist and make someone look beautiful as a side effect while providing them with a deeply healing experience, then I feel like I'm contributing something much greater than myself," says Brown.
And to be frank, Brown is spot-on. I'm now a few months into my treatments with Mashell Tabe, and I've seen the benefits of energy healing facials both inside and out. I'm not going to tell you that I'm stress-free (I'm still living in New York, after all), but I can say that I've gained a whole new perspective and a handful of tools for dealing with all those inevitable daily stressors. As for my "anxiety acne"? That's a thing of the past—I haven't seen a breakout in three months.