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I Tried a "Digital Detox" Spa Treatment and Here's What I Thought

The most soothing 60 minutes you'll experience
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December was quite a doozy for me... I don't think I've ever been quite as stressed as I was that month. Let me break it down for you: a) I started a new job, b) my roommate of three years suddenly decided to move out, prompting me to move in with my boyfriend, c) I had a vacation planned far, far ahead of all this madness... right after the stress of the holidays, and d) did I mention that my boyfriend had secretly been planning to propose all along and thus, is now my fiancé?

Yes, it was mostly good things, but being the slightly resistant-to-change person that I am, it was a lot to handle all at once. So I focused all my efforts on getting it all done (and as quickly as humanly possible), so I could move on to the next task. Things started stacking up and sleep started falling to the wayside, leaving me irritable, anxious and seriously in need of some stress-relieving "me time."

It was around that time I heard about Dermalogica's brand-new Digital Detox Treatment, targeted at disconnecting from life's stressors and promoting much-needed relaxation... and I knew I needed to try it ASAP.

Image via LaylaBird/Getty

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What is a Digital Detox?
Technology, love it or hate it, runs many of our lives. Sure, our smart phones, computers and other tech devices make our lives simpler, but they can also wreak havoc on stress levels, sleep patterns and our skin. Being constantly connected means we are often overstimulated, over-stressed and constantly being exposed to blue light.

Digital Detox is designed to be a 60 minute break from technology; quieting and focusing the mind, to allow for more creativity, mindfulness, better sleep and in turn, better skin. When we are in a relaxed state, our bodies secrete less of the stress hormones that destroy our complexions. By taking the occasional downtime to detox from technology, we give our skin a chance to rebuild and repair itself from the occasional stress, pollution and free-radical damage we subject it to daily. This is why this new treatment utilizes products to pump your skin full of antioxidants to speed up the healing process and leave you with the ultimate glow.

Image courtesy Dermalogica

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But wait, there's more de-stressing in store
Digital Detox is currently offered at two locations: one in Santa Monica, California, the other in New York City. Since I'm in LA, I went to the Santa Monica location. From the second you walk in, you are met with an incredibly relaxing atmosphere. The dimly lit, modern décor primes you for what's to come next. After completing a skin and health self-assessment, I was led to a private room lit with pretty, violet-hued light. After getting into my spa wrap, and comfortably tucked under the sheet of the treatment table, my esthetician placed a weighted blanket over my body. If you've never experienced a weighted blanket, it's like being embraced in the most terrific bear hug that melts away all tension, anxiety and negative thoughts.

Soothing music plays in the background as my treatment begins. My esthetician begins cleansing my face (I happened to mention I loved lavender, so she used some lavender-scented products throughout the treatment.) Touch therapy is also utilized in the form of a facial massage to promote lymphatic drainage and better circulation.

Image courtesy Hannah Savin

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The Proskin 60 Treatment
Once your face fully cleansed (and feeling like putty), your esthetician does a face mapping skin analysis, in which they examine your skin under a lighted, magnifying lens. From there, she decided my course of treatment — each service is completely tailored to your skin. She also answered a ton of my questions (including the cause of a three week deep cystic breakout on my neck — surprise, surprise, it was stress!)

The next steps were a combination of steam, oxygen therapy and the most indulgent head, face neck and shoulder massage. With my mind and body relaxed, my skin clean and pores open, I was ready for the next step. The ultimate in detoxing from technology and stress...

Image courtesy Dermalogica

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The Contour Mask
Dermalogica takes it to the next level in helping you tune out everything and really becoming present and in the moment. Comfily situated under the weighted blanket, awash in a sea of dim, purple light and surrounded by the scent of lavender, the esthetician places headphones over my ears playing soothing, ambient noise. She then starts placing strips of gauze over my face to protect my eyebrows and make for easy removal of the mask that she's about to apply. She then spreads a thick creamy white goo over everything but my nostrils and mouth until the light slowly fades away.

When I initially heard about this step, my first thought was "hello claustrophobia!" I couldn't have been more wrong. Something about being wrapped up in the weighted blanket and listening to the white noise play makes the blackout mask even more inviting. For once, I wasn't attempting to relax while my mind raced a mile a minute, instead it was calm, focused and truly relaxed. This is where the timing gets a little fuzzy (I think I may have nodded off for a few minutes.) But once it hardens, approximately 15 minutes later, it's time to remove.

The mask is removed in one fell swoop. (I'm happy to report that no eyebrows were harmed in the removal of the mask). Next, my esthetician gives my skin a cocktail of vitamins A, C and E, int the form of serums, moisturizer, eye cream and a lip treatment. It's finally time to get up and go home, but I just want another few minutes under that weighted blanket...

Image courtesy Hannah Savin

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