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Dawn Patrice Skincare

Urban Oasis for Your Skin

On a busy block of Market Street, in San Francisco’s historic Flood Building, you might be surprised to discover a tiny Zen-like haven above all the hubbub. Dawn Patrice Skincare is a place where you can expect results-oriented treatments combined with relaxing massage and an emphasis on both rejuvenation and education.

Just make yourself comfortable on the spa table and prepare to forget all your troubles — a facial here is the perfect pick-me-up (or lay-me-down) after a frenzied sojourn at the office.

Aesthetician Dawn Patrice, whose coterie of diehard clients dote on her because of her inimitable skincare acumen and her ability to get them glowing and de-stressed, has fashioned an environment that is serene and cozy — but not at the expense of quality service.

“A lot of people are tired of going to a big spa and feeling like they are paying for the fluff,” she says. “My business is about developing relationships with my clients and offering very personalized service, in a private and convenient location, with flexible hours. I want to make it easy for my clients to make taking care of themselves a priority.”

Dawn’s practice was spurred by her own experiences with adult acne, which affected the kinds of treatments she currently offers. After beginning her career as a massage therapist almost nine years ago after a trip to Thailand, where she studied Thai massage, she enrolled in massage school in Austin, Texas, where she was living at the time.

After working alongside aestheticians at a variety of day spas, she began to develop an interest in skincare.

“I had always battled with acne from the age of 15, but nothing really seemed to help,” she says. Despite seeing a battalion of dermatologists and acupuncturists, and trying every “miracle” skincare product on the market, no solutions were in sight.

“When I began working alongside other aestheticians, I was introduced to glycolic peels and realized there was something I hadn’t yet tried,” she says. After doing monthly peels at the spa where she worked, Dawn began to see drastic improvements in the quality of her skin. At this time, she also moved back to San Francisco and decided to get her skincare license.

One of Dawn’s instructors introduced her to the Jan Marini line of medical-grade skincare products, which she’s been using religiously in her own work for the last five years. In six weeks, after completing a series of glycolic treatments, Dawn finally achieved what she’d always wanted: clear, healthy skin with no breakouts or irritation.
“I like that the products work effectively without drying the skin or causing irritation,” she says. “The line is very versatile, and products can be layered to achieve individualized results.” The line is also gentle but contains active ingredients such as glycolic acid, vitamin C and other antioxidants: green tea, peptides, and retinol.
Dawn’s own favorites? “Definitely the Bioglycolic Cleanser, Bioclear Lotion, and Skinzyme Papaya Mask,” she says. “The Antioxidant SPF 30 is also a must-have.”
Much of Dawn’s work is about preventative skincare, which she says is becoming more and more common as people become educated to the benefits of regular peels and resurfacing treatments.

“Both women and men are starting to realize the benefits that regular professional treatments can have on their skin, from increased cell turnover to clearer, more even-looking skin with less wrinkles and increased hydration levels,” she says.

Some of the most common skincare problems that Dawn’s clientele report include adult acne, premature aging, and issues with uneven pigmentation. According to Dawn, most clients are dealing with multiple issues, so she works with them to customize a combination of professional treatments and homecare regimen. By asking a lot of initial questions to get a clear idea of what her clients’ expectations are, and what sort of lifestyles they lead, she is able to ascertain how to design a program that will work.

While most people can get overwhelmed by the sheer number of products on the market and simply don’t know what to use and how to use it, Dawn has found that a few simple adjustments and tips can make a marked difference.

“Ultimately, the way you treat your skin everyday is going to have the greatest impact on the way your skin looks 20, 30, 40 years from now,” she says. “If I can encourage people to take better care of themselves and guide them through the process, then I have done my job.”

Clients who want to add some pampering to a facial may want to opt for Dawn’s combination of Swedish and Thai massage therapy, as well as reflexology massage, which can be booked a la carte.

Given the persnickety, ever-changeable winter season in San Francisco, Dawn has noticed that clients have been complaining about dry skin, which leads her to recommend a gentle exfoliation using either a papaya enzyme or mild alpha hydroxy acid several times a week, to slough off dead skin cells. Additionally, moisturizer with hyaluronic acid will help plump the skin without weighing it down or making it overly greasy. It’s also the perfect time of year to get a glycolic treatment or a hydrating Oxygen Infusion.

Sometimes, it’s the simplest tips that help the most. For instance, according to Dawn, “One thing that really helped me since I had to follow a very consistent regimen with my problem skin was to wash my face and put my skincare products on as soon as I got home for the day.” Amen to practical measures.