Silk Peel

It would be safe to say that most women share the desire to look good “for their age.” In this youth-oriented culture, it can sometimes be rough on even the most self-assured woman to witness the effects of time on her face and body. But current advances in technology provide us with numerous non-invasive options that allow us to age gracefully without changing our appearance.

I have always been a proponent of exfoliation as a key step in an efficient anti-aging regimen. Microdermabrasion is an even more intense way to thoroughly relieve your face of dead and dying skin cells, but I recently learned about a better method. SilkPeel is a machine that combines high-quality, diamond-assisted microdermabrasion with a unique system that delivers specialized serums deep into the dermis. Always eager to try a new great facial treatment, I made an appointment for a SilkPeel with Michelle at Spa Belle Meade in East Setauket.

“What is so special about the SilkPeel is that I can truly customize the treatment to my clients’ particular skin issues,” Michelle explained. “The system uses four specially-formulated SilkPeel serums that address different issues: Hyaluronic acid for hydration, vitamin C for hyperpigmentation, Lumixyl for brightening and salicylic acid for acne-prone skin.

Michelle began the session by asking what my goal was and, as always, anti-aging was my first response. She then examined my face closely and decided to use a combination of hyaluronic acid serum and vitamin C serum. The machine even enables her to treat people with combination skin.

The next step was to cleanse my face, and then we were ready for the SilkPeel. The tip is a tiny metal disc with a plastic sleeve around it. When pressed on the skin, the disc spins and abrades the skin. The serum shoots through the tube attached to the machine, through the plastic sleeve and into the skin while a vacuum pulls the dead skin off the face.

This was so much more enjoyable than a regular dermabrasion. The coolness of the serum offset any burning or irritation for me. The device is so gentle, in fact, she was able to go over my eye area, infusing it with hyaluronic acid. claims there is insufficient evidence that hyaluronic acid diminishing wrinkles, but I have personally found it to be quite effective.

Once the SilkPeel was finished, Michelle explained there can sometimes be a bit of a flushed look afterwards, so she likes to include a calming mask. She applied the cool mask and left me to relax on my own. After the mask, she massaged more of the two serums into my face, topping it off with a sunscreen for protection.

Depending upon the response of an individual’s skin, Michelle has her clients come in every three to four weeks for treatment until the desired results are achieved, and then every month or so for maintenance while practicing a prescribed home skincare regimen. When I was finished and finally had the chance to examine my face in a mirror, I was surprised to see a slight but definitive plumping in areas, and my skin really glowed.

Licensed aesthetician Annette Russo provides SilkPeel at the offices of dermatologist Dr. Mindy Berstein in Plainview, and she was also enthusiastic about this treatment. “SilkPeel is a highly effective non-chemical, non-surgical, non-invasive exfoliation procedure designed to improve the appearance of the skin for a youthful glow,” she said. “The face will have a fresh appearance and smooth soft texture with only mild and brief side effects, such as pinkish skin sensitivity and risk of sunburn.

“Ideal candidates are patients with minor skin problems, such as sun damage, and those with early signs of aging,” she added. “This population receives the most benefit out of this type of treatment. Patients with more serious skin conditions should avoid SilkPeel, because they would require a more invasive procedure in order to yield similar results.”

Annette said benefits can include, depending on the serums chosen, sloughing off dead skin, stimulating and increasing collagen production and rejuvenation, improving oily or dull skin, unclogging pores, reducing fine lines and mild acne scars, and decreasing uneven pigmentation and the appearance of rosacea.

As our bodies interact with oxygen, highly reactive molecules known as free radicals are produced. Antioxidants help counter the resulting damage. The makers of SilkPeel recommend cleansing first with their Active-Prep antioxidant cleanser, which, according to SilkPeel, “reduces oxidative stress in the skin to help prevent melanin stimulation.”

Annette’s maintenance recommendations were consistent with Michelle’s: Every seven to ten days until reaching the desired results, and then following up with maintenance on a monthly schedule. “Patients should leave with a home skin care regimen to maintain SilkPeel results. This home care kit includes facial cleansers, moisturizers and sunscreen.”

It’s important to remember the diligent use of sunscreen, especially right after a SilkPeel treatment; skin exposed to the elements at that time is new and more vulnerable.

What I liked best about the SilkPeel treatment was that, right at the moment that my skin was the cleanest and most open to receiving their benefits, rejuvenating serums were delivered. And after experiencing SilkPeel once, I saw enough of a difference to know this would be a treatment I would feel comfortable investing in for the long term.

toni munna

Toni Munna is a native Long Islander who is always on the lookout for products that fulfill their promise to firm, hydrate, slim, soothe, de-wrinkle, plump, relax, de-stress, and just generally make you look and feel better. She a firm believer that wellness enhances beauty and has been testing beauty products and reviewing spas for you since the fall of 2006. You can reach her with questions at