Angelina Umansky, founder of beauty institution Spa Radiance, has dominated the Bay Area’s beauty scene—her clients range from top tech executives to Michelle Pfeiffer and the Gettys. So what makes her treatments so special? Is it the product shelves stocked with cult-favorites like Skin Medica and Vintner’s Daughter? Is it the old-world methods she incorporates into her treatments? Umansky’s says it’s both: “My philosophy is balance.”
A fourth-generation aesthetician, Umansky achieves red carpet results thanks to a blend of high-powered chemical treatments and homeopathic mask recipes, a trick that’s been passed down from her Russian grandmother. “In Russia, you couldn’t get anything,” she says. “There wasn’t a choice, you had to do it yourself.” Homemade treatments were the only option. And the result? All-natural, DIY masks that promise and achieve visibly rested skin.
“When I started practicing, in ‘84, I left it behind,” Umansky said. “I was so excited by all of the glycolic acids. Then, I noticed that the skin from all the peels, all the retinoids, was getting exhausted.” In need of a break, she returned to the gentle ways of her past. Her favorite ingredients now include oatmeal, chamomile flowers (easily substituted with chamomile tea), and perhaps a sprig of Rosemary (if you’re oily). “It’s like when you party too much and you go and you meditate: this really old-world grounding [technique]. I feel like it’s grounding for the skin,” she says.
This unique approach to skincare—jumping between redness-inducing clinical treatments to a face full of chamomile petals—defines Umansky’s practice.
“I’m never excited by somebody’s skin when they use all natural, or all chemical. It’s a dance between products, I think,” she says. All-natural brands like True Botanicals find their place in Spa Radiance just as easily as skin-peeling heavyweights like Biologique Recherche. “I don’t use just one line. There are so many perks to that, to being a spokesperson, but I think it’s important to cherry pick products from lines and use different lines. They all have a lot of different things to offer.”
Below, Umansky shares one of her go-to masks for chapped, winter skin and “Hangover Face.”
– Make two cups of chamomile tea. Steep tea for a minimum of 10 minutes or leave overnight to steep. (You can also open the tea bags into the tea.)
– If your skin is oily or combination, add two sprigs of rosemary for detoxification.
– Finely grind ½ cup of old-fashioned oats.
– Add tea to oat grounds and mix until thick and paste-like.
– Mix in a tablespoon of honey for extra detoxification and nourishment.
– Apply mask and relax for at least 20 minutes, rinse, and follow-up with a super-hydrating and replenishing moisturizer.
– Apply this mask at least once a week or more as needed during the winter season.
Main Image: Spa Radiance