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POLA Skincare Lands in Los Angeles

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When I was given the opportunity to review POLA Kirei, the new Japanese skin care salon in Beverly Hills with a facial, I jumped at the chance. Every year I promise myself that when my tax return arrives in the mail, I’m going to treat myself to a massage and facial, yet somehow that money disappears somewhere around the Beverly Center, The Grove and various happy hour deals.

My facial was scheduled for a Saturday afternoon and my friends who have had them before told me not to make plans Saturday night- according to them my face would be red, sore and splotchy. Fine by me, I had some serious US Weekly catching up to do.

In my mind I imagined I would walk into a crowded Beverly Hills salon type, with Beverly Hills moms waiting for their favorite esthetician to peel, tug, and tighten their skin for the sake of appearing years younger- I could not have been more wrong.

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Instead, what I walked into was an oasis in the intimidating rodeo shopping epicenter, without one soccer mom in sight. The pristine white walls and Japanese style fountains made me feel like I was miles away from Los Angeles- until I saw a laptop open on a table- wait, was this Starbucks or something?

My esthetician greeted me and immediately sat at the computer and for the next half hour she asked me questions about my skin, my skin regimen, and general health questions. After ranking my skincare priorities (smaller pores, no more acne, reverse sun damage) she took out a tool that took pictures of my skin and magnified it 30 times to show where I had the most damage. Scary to say the least. They took skin cell samples, showed me graphs and diagrams about my personal skincare needs and then walked me through all the steps they would take over the next two hours during the process. This was definitely not like any facial I’d ever heard of.

I had never heard of this kind of facial because I must admit I didn't do my homework ahead of time- it was ok though, I got schooled at the salon. POLA is one of the biggest leaders in skincare across Asia and Australia. The Tokyo based company has been around for over seventy-six years and is just now coming to the states with plans to open ten more stores by 2010. The half hour of questions and computer charts was just part of the ID-skin System Analysis each customer goes through. They even print it out and put it in a pretty folder with you to take home. But before that is the facial, and I must say it was the MOST relaxing hour and a half of my life. Of my life. I was in and out of sleep, soft music playing, my face being gently handled and steamed.

The truth is, I'm still not completely sure of what was done to my face in that room, but I know it didn't hurt or burn or peel. Pain doesn't always equal beauty, and when I awoke from my semi conscious state and looked at my face in the mirror I looked refreshed and glowing. Wait, I NEED to make plans tonight I look so good was my first thought.

POLA is a bit pricier than I can afford, and I've already used up all the samples they gave me (which I love), but maybe if I just drive by the Beverly Center instead of making that left turn into the parking garage I can save up some cash to always have this kind of glow. Now if only POLA can come up with a bikini wax procedure as pleasant....

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A full list of POLA services and prices can be found here.

Photo Courtesy of POLA Kirei