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Felicia Gelardi Skin Care & TimeDans Ageless Beauty

Helping You Stay Beautiful

Despite my never-ending quest to find the perfect aesthetician, I’ve gradually come to realize that the methods whereby specialists attempt to make their clients beautiful are too numerous to settle on just one path to glowing skin. Take the approaches of aestheticians Felicia Gelardi and Vilma Ang, two of the most sought-after skincare specialists.

While Felicia’s antioxidant approach to skincare promotes the “keep it simple” motto, Vilma’s popular “electronic facial” blends essential oils with massage to keep your visage firm and youthful. Thankfully, both aestheticians have an all-natural line of attack when it comes to treating the skin, so you can’t go wrong with either one.

Felicia Gelardi Skin Care

Felicia Gelardi’s obsession with perfect skin began way back in grade school, when she’d “try to give my friends ‘facials’ with whatever I had around the house.” Given her track record for overseeing flawless Brazilians and particularly thorough deep pore facials, the amateur interest would eventually burgeon into a full-on career for Felicia, whose Chestnut Street mainstay has become the perfect place for no-nonsense, highly personalized skincare.

Felicia, who worked for minor skincare celebs like Marilyn Jaeger and Janis Chakler before taking over Chakler’s business in 2004, offers an assortment of skincare and waxing treatments with high quality lines like Pevonia Botanica, SkinCeuticals, and True Cosmetics. Felicia has also made a name for herself with her practically painless waxing, thanks to a liquid wax for sensitive skin that contains avocado and azulene oils, which work specifically to prevent skin damage.

True Cosmetics, a local company based in San Francisco, is her first choice when it comes to working with clients, because, as she puts it, “It was created by aestheticians who felt that the industry was lacking results-driven products that really deliver while taking into consideration the whole mind and body.”

True Cosmetics products, which include yummy essential oils and antioxidants like Vitamin E, Japanese green tea, and white tea, give clients the chance to receive a relaxing treatment but are still rigorous enough to handle all skincare concerns. The products contain idebenone, which is one of the most effective antioxidants and skin brighteners around -- perfect for anti-aging and all-around beautiful skin. When Felicia use the products on my skin, I’m wowed by the anti-inflammatory qualities, aside from a fine facial administered by gentle, efficient hands, I walk away from Felicia’s cozy quarters with none of the redness I’m so accustomed to.

Felicia’s general advice for beautiful skin? “Keep it simple. Don’t use a million different things, and do give products a chance to work. Everyone needs a good cleanser that does not strip the skin; toner; an antioxidant such as vitamin C or idebenone to protect against free radical damage; sun protection; and hydration.”

According to Felicia, sunscreen should contain avobenzone (Parsol 1789), titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide as the active ingredient. And she’s adamant about the fact that you should wear it every day, even if it’s cloudy.

“Skin care is a commitment,” says Felicia. “There is no magic potion that works for every person. Sometimes you have to try a few different things before you get the result you are looking for. And you have to give your aesthetician a chance to get to know your skin and your products a chance to work.”

TimeDans Ageless Beauty

When I initially discovered Vilma Ang, I was intrigued by the name of her business: TimeDans, Anti-Aging Esthetics. According to Vilma, “From the day we are born, we are doing a ‘dance with time.’” It’s an inviting metaphor for the process of aging, which is what Vilma’s entire skincare philosophy is built on.

Like Felicia Gelardi Skincare, TimeDans is a cozy nook that exudes personalized attention. Rather than a full-on skincare spa, it’s more of a commodious studio -- an inviting room outfitted with warm shades and flowy drapes that immediately make visitors feel at home. As Vilma sits down with me over tea and cookies for a one on one skincare consultation, I feel more like I’m meeting with an old friend than with someone who’ll be peering at all my facial imperfections in just moments.

Vilma’s background in aromatherapy and massage are part and parcel of her interest in natural healing. Her atypical spa aesthetic has earned her a passel of die-hard clients, many of whom swear by her “electronic facial” and some of TimeDans’ deep pore treatments.

Aside from customized skincare for her clients, personalized products that issue from Vilma’s background as an aromatherapist, and the guaranteed gift of youthfulness, Vilma’s most popular offering is her “electronic facial,” also known as “Tingle and Tighten”. The treatment is non-invasive and results in improved skin tone and texture. A toning machine that sends low-level electrical impulses to the skin is smoothed over weakened facial muscles, boosting circulation and stimulating collagen. Now a particularly popular treatment among Hollywood starlets, the electronic facial aids in the natural repair of acne-damaged skin and also helps reverse the damage caused by overexposure to the environment.

While the treatment is a little bit tingly, true to its name, it’s more like a gentle facial massage than anything else. Vilma gives me a mirror to examine my face after she cleanses my face and goes over the faint lines on my forehead with her machine. While it can take months to see results depending on skin condition, age, and various other factors, I immediately notice a difference in my skin, which is smooth, supple, and undeniably glowing.

“Usually, I’ll tell my clients to come twice a week at the beginning, once a week after a few treatments, and then once a month for maintenance,” says Vilma.

Aside from her facials, Vilma has her own line of anti-aging products, which are all natural, essential oil-based, and contain no abrasive, unnecessary chemicals or preservatives. These include an anti-wrinkle serum made from rose and orange blossom, a firming cream made of mandarin essential oil, and a cellulite cream with grapefruit, a stimulating ingredient that reduces the appearance of fatty deposits.

“The products are perfect for home maintenance,” says Vilma. “They’re light, so you can put makeup on top of them, and the essential oil smell doesn’t linger, so it’s not too overpowering.”

Vilma’s tips to keeping skin beautiful run the gamut but according to her, “People generally use too much hot water on their skin when they don’t have to,” she says. “It is extremely drying, even for skin that isn’t particularly sensitive.”

Also, Vilma advises clients interested in more extreme methods of anti-aging that “plastic surgery isn’t permanent. You can tighten slackened skin and boost collagen production through things like regular massage. You can do this all in a natural way, without any of the adverse effects that might come from things like facelifts or Botox injections.”

Given how many of both Felicia and Vilma’s tips have already come in handy over the past few months, it looks like my own little dance with time is bound to be pretty nimble.