Growing up, I never had a solid skincare routine. Simplicity has always been my mantra and I can count on one hand the number of products I use on my face. Starting around the age of 25, however, I noticed a faint web of fine lines and wrinkles setting in around my eyes and across my forehead. Worse still are the creases on my neck. Time has been turning while quietly altering the roadmap of my face. Now, I often wonder what I can be doing that will help my skin stay youthful longer. Enter: META therapy. I have to confess when I first heard about it I cringed. Needles? No thanks. However, after a little research, I became intrigued.
Medical and Esthetical Tissue Activating therapy is the latest technology in anti-aging and skin rejuvenation, stimulating the skin from the inside out to naturally develop collagen while producing elastin. Here’s how it works. Prior to the treatment, the face and neck is cleaned and a concentrated serum called a subjectable is applied, much like a cream would be. Then, a licensed aesthetician uses a small, digitized hand piece outfitted with eighteen tiny polycarbonate plastic needles to make micro-perforations through the skin’s basal cell layer at high speed. Because the head is flexible, it expertly follows unique contours, making precise perforations at a max of .5 mm in depth.
In the process, two things are happening. First, the perforations activate cell activity in the upper dermis, a hard to access area beneath the skin. This is the skin kicking into its natural defense system, and it goes to work producing collagen and elastin to repair itself from the perforations — it’s a 100 percent natural method of skin repair. Second, the applied subjectable and the active ingredients within it go to work, seeping through the perforations to further regenerate the cells beneath the skin’s surface.
“The subjectables reach the living skin cells directly, enabling the active ingredients to stimulate cell regeneration,” says Linda Hardiman, a META therapy specialist at the Georgetown Salon & Spa. Hardiman has a master aesthetician license and is the only aesthetician in D.C. currently performing META therapy. She was born and raised in England, which is where META therapy got its start. In 1994 she moved to Washington and worked at the Watergate Salon, before coming to Georgetown Salon & Spa.
“I was looking for a treatment that I could add to the spa, saw an article about this in a trade magazine and went from there,” she said, adding, “I was drawn to it because it scientifically made sense and many doctors were already doing it.”
There are many roads that people walk to reclaim the fresh, taut appearance of youth, ranging from invasive treatments like needle rollers to non-invasive treatments like chemical peels, and even medical treatments like face lifts. META therapy’s innovative approach to anti-aging makes it beneficial to a wide age range. One of Hardiman’s oldest clients is in her 80s — though the ideal age starts around 30. “Collagen loss has already started by then so, although the visible results may be few at that age, it will have a preventative quality,” she said.
On the morning of my appointment, I was rattled by anxiety. My mind flashed to thoughts of distressed skin and adverse reactions — the worst-case scenario. However, from the moment I walked into the Georgetown Salon & Spa, Hardiman’s passion and expertise soothed my trepidation. She explained to me that the skin serves as our shield, keeping harmful substances from getting in. The problem is that many dead cells live on the skin’s surface, and finding a way to penetrate through to the living cells can be difficult. META therapy makes doing that safe, strategic, and efficient.
The precision hand device looked to me like a glorified electric toothbrush, and it created a vibrating, tingling sensation as it moved. The only area where it felt intense was the forehead, where the skin blankets thinly over the bone. Overall, however, the process was painless.
Following the treatment, a cool restoring mask was used on my face and neck. This contained active ingredients like Tetrapeptide and Hexapeptide, which work through the perforations, soothing the skin while eliminating any redness.
A few days later, nothing drastic had occurred, but I did notice a few subtle changes. There was a slight glow I’d never seen before. My skin felt hydrated and plump, reinvigorated. The results of META therapy include these and others, from faded lines to enhanced circulation and reclaimed elasticity.
Hardiman suggests starting with a course of four weekly treatments, then one every two weeks for a total series of eight. The first treatment is $175, four treatments are $700, and eight treatments are $1,225. The process takes roughly an hour, which includes the treatment, the cooling mask plus a massage. Best yet, no anesthesia is required so you can conveniently return to your daily routine as a fresh, younger you.
Georgetown Salon & Spa is located at 2715 M Street NW. 202-333-8099. georgetownsalonspa.com