As self-indulgent and relaxing as a facial can be, the possibility of leaving the spa with irritated, post-extraction skin lingers over most aestheticians’ tables. But upon walking into the L. Raphael Salon at New York City’s Four Seasons Hotel, I was immediately reassured by the romantic lighting and soothing ambiance that followed me from the elevator to the changing room. Everything in the facility is designed to relax and soothe, from refreshing cucumber water and Nespresso to the bathrooms stocked with plush, white robes. But the most nourishing component on the spa’s menu is one you won’t see with the naked eye: oxygen.
With a focus on medical-grade technology, the world-class luxury Swiss skincare brand L. Raphael introduced their futuristic oxygen machines to the U.S. in 2013. With revolutionary technology in oxygen and ultra-sound treatments at their fingertips, all of the aestheticians at the spa at the Four Seasons Hotel are trained in the state-of-the-art treatments pioneered by L. Raphael’s Ronit Raphael—from anti-aging and anti-pigmentation to slimming and firming face and body treatments.
At $1,100, the 50-minute Oxy Star Anti Pigmentation with White Truffle Extract treatment is the most expensive on the salon’s menu. Beforehand, I informed my aesthetician that my skincare needs were minimal: normal dryness from the cold weather and under-the-eye puffiness. I reminded my aesthetician that I would have to return to my office afterwards and she assured me that with no extractions and no exfoliation, I would return to my office with nothing but a healthy glow.
With a flip of a switch though, the oxygen treatment began. I was warned by my aesthetician that the temperature would be cold and there would be pressure. She was correct. The freezing cold oxygen is infused with serums, vitamins and omega-proteins to help transform the skin and leave you with a radiant look. While the sensation of the machine’s short incremental bursts can be slightly jarring, the warm towel wrap that follows quickly assuages any discomfort.
The results were undeniable. I left the salon with red-carpet ready skin and I felt my glow linger for the next two weeks. And if you’re ready to splurge on L. Raphael’s top-shelf formulas but aren’t near one of their über-relaxing treatment centers, the Royal C treatment collection—which retails for almost $2,000—will bring the full-service spa to you.