Spending some time at the spa can be incredibly relaxing—just what we all need going into the holidays! But the occasional facial also is beneficial to the skin’s health. We spoke with Lydia Sarfati, founder of Repêchage, to find out just how important holistic care can be. Her products and signature Four Layer Facial are available at FaceLuxe, which opened recently in the Central West End.

LN: How did you initially become interested in skincare?

LS: I’m an aesthetician, and I came to the U.S. from Poland in 1970. Back then, an aesthetician was not someone that many Americans had heard of, so when I used to say I’m an aesthetician, they thought I was saying ‘electrician.’ I worked in many places, and by 1977, I had my own skincare center in Manhattan. I decided that it was important to develop skincare products and treatments that have a holistic origin, and particularly valuable are the products of the sea. Since we couldn’t bring the ocean to everyone’s household, we use seaweed, which is the most concentrated form of vitamins and minerals.

LN: Why is seaweed so good for the skin?

LS: Seaweed is what they call perfect food. It suffers from no deficiency. It contains sugars that provide the best hydration for the skin, as well as amino acids that help with anti-aging. Also, seaweed stimulates collagen production. It delivers everything that the skin needs to maintain integrity and function well. Think of your skin as an apple. When the apple has skin, it stays nice and fresh and juicy. A lot of companies have focused on ‘removing the skin,’ and what happens when you remove the skin on an apple? It goes rotten. You can have gorgeous skin when you are 20, but when you are 60 or 70 years old, protection is very important to maintaining luminosity.

LN: Can you tell us about your Four Layer Facial?

LS: The Four Layer Facial truly set off my career in the U.S. I was doing my own little thing in Manhattan, and I realized that most of my clients were saying, We’re coming to you because you’re the only one we feel confident to do the facial because we went to XYZ and left with blotchy, painful, irritated skin. After hearing this for years, I thought if I’m the only one that can do a proper facial, I would have to become an octopus with eight arms! So I wanted to create a treatment that anyone with a license can do properly—where every single step is prepackaged and mixed at the time of treatment, so that there is no variation. It includes all the elements of a good facial: removal of dead skin cells, hydration, firming and purifying. The massage also implements improvement of circulation and also lymphatic drainage, so the skin is clearer right after the facial, as well.

LN: Any final thoughts?

LS: I think the important thing is that taking care of your skin on a daily basis is very important later on in life. If you think, I’m 20, I don’t need to take care of my skin, I’ll have a facelift and Botox when I’m 60, it will look like you’re having a facelift and Botox when you’re 60. Women 50 and older are beautiful when they take care of themselves and have that wonderful confidence from knowing they look good because they’re working out, eating right, doing all of the holistic care. It’s not one thing; it’s a combination of many. The work that aestheticians do is an important part of looking good, and taking care of yourself is a worthwhile investment.