Light Show


I recently opened a gracious email from Maria Buckingham, spa manager at FX Studios, inviting me to see their new downtown facility at 10 Light Street. She shared information with me about four different types of LED light therapy, all to treat different skin concerns, and then asked which one interested me. I replied, “All of them!”

The spa: I quickly scheduled some time with Maria, which is no small feat, as she balances both FX’s popular Hunt Valley location and the new downtown destination. When I got there, I was guided through a beautifully redone Art Deco bank building, now home to the Under Armor Performance Center, and led down a small hallway with soothing spa music. The midday city hustle disappeared. Right away, I could see this was a well-thought-out spa. There’s a gorgeous blow-dry and makeup bar overlooking Light Street, as well as private manicure and hair-styling rooms with shampoo stations. Those seemed great for privacy or male clients who don’t choose to sit under the dryer.

The treatment: Maria tried several lights on my skin, a blue light for acne-related bacteria, red for wrinkles and a deeper amber-ish light for general inflammation. Light treatments can be done over makeup or even a beard, Maria explained, but said it would be best if started with a quick cleanse and the appropriate serum for my skin concerns. We chose Eminence products for that, an organic line that got me with its fragrance right off the bat. As she applied the warm and tingly but pleasant-feeling light wand to my face, she explained that having treatments one to two times a week for up to eight weeks would yield the best results, but that I would notice an immediate glow after this very first one.

The verdict: Maria was right — by the next day there was less redness in my cheeks and two small pimples from an ingrown hair in my beard had gone down. I’d say this was a success. Light therapy can be a $25 add-on to another facial service or $50 on its own —  a skin refresher that you can easily swing on your lunch break.

Final thoughts: With these quick results and the beautiful Light Street location, light therapy gives me reasons to sneak in and see Maria for more.

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