I Got a CBD Facial and I Am Changed

Photo by Unsplash

Blame it on germs or the lack of personal space in New York City, either way, I am just not into people touching my face. It’s not because I’m against facials or any kind of face-related work. (In fact, at this point I’m starting to think I would really benefit from it.) It’s because of a handsy phobia of mine. That is, until I got a CBD facial from Ildi Pekar, the NYC-based esthetician and owner of the Ildi Pekar Skin Spa. It turned out to be exactly what my skin and nerves needed.

The first-of-its-kind CBD facial takes an hour and costs a mere $400. But it does a world of good for your skin, without any kind of extractions or squeezing—both of which are things I don’t really want done to my skin ever.

Pekar, who treats celebrities like the impossibly beautiful Miranda Kerr, worked swiftly in her airy Midtown spa, quickly cleansing my combination complexion while assessing for any major irritations, conditions, and the like. (At the time, it was one post-PMS pimple that was still a little bit angry on the underside of my chin.)

Pekar, who is known not only for her innovative formulations but also for her newfangled technology, then used a electrostatic polarization device, to gently send vibrations through all the skin’s layers and into the muscles underneath. “The vibrations also release buildup of metabolic waste, improving cell conditions,” said Pekar. “When pressure is applied with two hands in the direction of lymphatic flow, an electrostatic field pulls at the tissue.”

The result is smoother skin, a far lessy puffy complexion, and more relaxation than I’d normally expect with an aesthetician that close to my face.

It’s at this point that she breaks out the hero product of the treatment and my personal favorite of 2018, the CBD Sleeping Oil Cream—a cannabis topical chock full of good-for-your-skin ingredients like antioxidant rich gotu kola, soothing oat extract, and CBD oil, of course. Pekar, who also has an eponymous Tissue Repair Serum, swears by CBD for its incredible anti-inflammatory benefits. “CBD oil stimulates, hydrates, and repairs the skin cells, helping to correct cell damage and ward off future threats,” she says.

Through her signature detoxifying facial massage technique—which incorporates the art of facial tapping for ultimate detoxification and relaxation—the CBD treatment is infused into the skin, further aided by a full-spectrum LED light that has blue rays for acne, red for anti-aging, and every color in between.

I snuck in a "special" snack before the facial, which was set to take place in pretty much the least relaxing environment you could possibly imagine: a mid-afternoon Monday in Midtown Manhattan. Despite it, Pekar uses her magic fingers, to not only soothe my newly angry-because-summer-is-here skin but also infuse CBD’s relaxing benefits into my being as well.

The coup de gras, though, was the final step: 30 minutes in an oxygen chamber. (Not a full-body one, though Pekar does offer those for her various body treatments.) “Oxygenating negative ion therapy helps to balance the skin’s pH, increase hydration, and boost collagen production,” she said.

Then she put on my veritable oxygen helmet and let the air do its work.

Although her spa is positively transcendental thanks to its ethereal decor and vibe, Pekar managed to create a facial that not only didn’t freak me out, but actually made me far more relaxed. Yes, that probably had something to do with my snoozing in the pure oxygen for thirty minutes too. But seeing how instantly radiant I looked after my midday nap, makes it official that every cannabis lover needs to try a CBD facial. Especially, since CBD is the absolute best thing for summer skin.

And if shelling out $400 isn't what you're after, Ildi's bottled her magic with much more palatable price tags too.

Rachel is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. She writes about beauty + wellness for The Wall Street Journal, The Business of Fashion, Racked, Well+Good, SELF, Allure, Shape, Glamour, and Teen Vogue. And swears by a good sativa to plow through her assignments.