CBD is known for its rejuvenating, anti-inflammatory properties that keep skin moisturized and youthful. I’ve written about CBD before, and I’m well-versed in the ingredient, but even I hadn’t yet heard of a CBD-infused facial in New York until I discovered Ildi Pekar. The Hungarian facialist offers many facial and body treatments that promote wellness and relaxation. Pekar also has a line of products she’s developed for her clients over the years, including a CBD-infused Tissue Repair Serum ($148).
I asked Pekar about the benefits of her CBD-infused facials and was intrigued to find that even though CBD is beneficial for the skin, the facial also promotes full body relaxation by massaging lymph nodes all over the body. The facial uses light therapy, CBD oil, electric stimulation, massage, and oxygen therapy to release stress and tension pent up in the lymph nodes. Ingesting CBD through tinctures and edibles can instantly relieve stress, depending on your tolerance, so I was interested to see how the facial affects the rest of the body as it softens and treats your skin.
Setting the mood
On the day I was scheduled to review Pekar’s facial, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I locked my keys out of my apartment. I got into an argument with a friend. I was hangry on the whole rainy walk from the train station to Pekar’s salon. Needless to say, I walked into Pekar’s pressed and stressed, okay?
Pekar explained what would happen at every stage of the facial while putting a few drops of CBD tincture underneath my tongue to help me relax. I appreciated how thorough she was in explaining the benefits of each step of the facial for full-body relaxation; she even gave me some advice on optimizing my moisturizing technique with more oils and creamy textures when she noticed sun damage on my skin. (I’m a classic Leo who gets a little too excited for the summertime, okay? Don’t judge.)
The facial massage that changed my life
First, Pekar started by giving me a thermal peel for exfoliation and moisturizing my face under LED lights—pretty standard facial protocol. What happened next was strange but exciting: Pekar handed me a metal bar attached both to a large machine and to her own body. She pulled on a pair of purple nitrile gloves while explaining that the electric massage “releases a buildup of metabolic waste and improves cell conditions.”
The electricity will help stretch and stimulate your facial muscles to help relieve tension. “When pressure is applied with two hands in the direction of lymphatic flow, an electrostatic field pulls at the tissue,” she added.
It’s easy to forget how much tension the face actually holds. We use our eyebrows and cheeks virtually every waking minute to convey emotions, and it all builds up and causes a lot of facial stress. Once Pekar put her gloved hands on mine and started massaging my face, so much tension was released that I was able to get into a meditative state. I tuned out all other noises in the room and felt perfectly still, which wasn’t quite the case: my face was receiving all kinds of electric stimulation. The massage released tension in my neck and shoulders, and I felt a wave of relief wash over me.
Adventures in the oxygen bubble
After the massage, Pekar brushed on a CBD cream to hydrate and reduce inflammation. The cream was a thinner consistency that felt really smooth and soothing, but my skin was so dry that Pekar had to apply another layer before moving on to the next part of the process. For at-home use, Pekar told me that oils do their best work when you’ve rubbed it for a few seconds in your hands so that the oil is at the right temperature to seep into the pores deeply. It was nice to get a cosign from a CBD skin care professional that I was on the right track, but just needed a little push in the right direction.
Once the mask was applied, Pekar strapped on this astronaut-esque oxygen bubble. I have to admit that this was the part of the process I wanted to try the most: I was already so relaxed by the time the massage was over, but Ildi told me that clients have fallen asleep in the oxygen bubble before. I wasn’t fully able to fall asleep because I had some tension in my shoulders that bothered me during the process. I have a pretty significant upper back pain situation, though, so I expected this to happen. If I really wanted to fall asleep during the oxygenation process, I could have planned ahead and brought some additional CBD to help ease my tension.
Pekar is such a pleasant and generous facialist that I would see her again for other services. She was excellent at walking me through every step and educating me on the good green. The facial itself is lovely, deeply relaxing, and I had a noticeable glow afterward. Inspired by this facial, I started to press my CBD oil into my skin by dipping my jade roller into hot water, wiping it dry, and massaging the oil deeper into my skin. The $400 price tag on the facial is a bit steep, but honestly, I’m willing to part with that money in exchange for an electrically-charged, CBD-infused facial massage. It’s totally reasonable for an after-payday treat.
To book an appointment for a CBD Vibe Facial with Ildi Pekar, visit her website.