Nature Girl Meets Remora
by Amy Martin
Circ-Cell calls it a Transdermal Delivery System (TDS). Facial skin is drawn up into a hand-held wand where super-fine needles delicately incise micro-channels into the skin. I call it the Remora. While the suckerfish, er wand, nibbles away, other parts of drool on the skin with peptides, collagen factors and lighteners.
Could the Remora overcome five decades of Nature Girl adoration of the outdoor elements? My doughy Irish skin resists wrinkles, and my youthful pores were no longer big enough for a small child to fall into. But the pale pink flesh grows spots and splotches like a garden. More to the point, literally, could TDS undo the persistent red dot on the end of my nose that makes me look like a freaking clown?
Raised by Wolves
I was raised by wolves, upper middle class wolves. I got my hair cut with dad at the barbershop. Beauty and fashion has never been a big part of my life. But I draw the line at clown noses.
Basic White Girl, that’s me. Nothing but Northern European blood coursing in my veins, which are so visible through my exceedingly thin and sensitive skin that I could pass for one of the Blue Men’s sister.
I’d do the beauty product buy-and-try; then feel scammed. They were either wimpy and ineffective, or sent me running for a haz-mat suit. Too many of them failed the lick test: If one of my pets gags after licking my face, it’s a fail.
But once you crest 55, skin has away of getting even Nature Girl ’s attention. Through blind luck a Circ-Cell investor, Kirsten Palmer, moved in across the street and graced me with a small supply. When I forgot to use them, which was frequent, my skin complained. So I got religious about daily use and soon my face was looking less like an unevenly ripened tomato.
Skin Care as Gardening
So I entered Renew Beauty Salon & Med Spa in Dallas with insane hopes. Could the spots, splotches and other indignities be banished outright? Neither the lovely owner, Louise Toulx, nor the aesthetician Nicole Terraza, said a thing about my honker’s little red honker
Taken down a gleaming white and silver hall, past the lively hair salon and serene massage rooms, I was shown to the waiting area where I watched a video on the Circ-Cell facial and sipped tea.
I dig the holistic Circ-Cell philosophy. The founder, the erudite and academic Christopher Hausman, favors building skin up so it regenerates itself, rather than tearing it down with scrubs, peels and petrochemical potions.
Nature Girl says yes to that! If skin is a garden, too many beauty products mimic old-school agri-biz. The Earth’s dirt epidermis is pushed to perform while nutrients and life are sucked out at an unsustainable rate. Ultimately what remains is too stripped to hold moisture and must be artificially propped up
Nicole patiently listened to my Nature Girl ravings while giving me a cleansing facial and shoulder massage using (appropriately enough) Circ-Cell’s Geothermal Clay Cleanser, turning me a lovely sage green. Her gentle pressing motions, she pointed out, were a lymph massage to encourage the body’s network of lymph conduits and glands express their congested toxins.
Into the Den of the Remora
Then on to the main event using the Transdermal Delivery System (TDS), aka being nibbled and drooled on by the Remora. The wand seemed friendly enough, not much bigger than a marker and trailing a few thin tubes. But a closer inspection revealed an oval mouth sheltering a metal wheel with hundreds of micro-needles. It looked hungry.
Nicole deftly swept the Remora in thin swaths across my face. I could feel it draw my skin up to the mouth in what Circ-Cell calls “vacuum occlusion technology.” Drawing skin up to meet the points is a far gentler action than pressing down.
While I felt the vacuum, I never detected the needles, calibrated to penetrate down to the dermal-epidermal junction above capillaries and nerves. Genesis Biosystems, maker of the Remora, must have some ninja-level wizardry to pull this off.
The resulting micro-channels in the epidermis, according to Circ-Cell, “trigger the body’s own healing and cellular repair mechanisms, and increases in collagen and fibroblast activity.” Go fibroblasts go!
“It’s like chiseling,” I said. “Smart cattle guys will drag a harrow with regularly spaced thin steel blade through pasture soil. It’s like what the buffalo did with their sharp hooves centuries ago. It lets rain and oxygen penetrate the soil.” Nicole, to her credit, never skipped a beat when I compared her luxury services to growing hay.
Sweep, suck, roll, repeat — oddly soothing, like a mammal being groomed. If Nicole and I were in the same flock, we’d be best buds by now. Fortunately, togetherness only goes so far: the needle wheel is changed after each use.
While the Remora is doing its vacuum and nibble thing, the wand is simultaneously infusing the micro-channels with five key peptides to plump out wrinkles and fine lines while helping build healthy collagen.
But it was that unevenly ripening tomato-face I was most concerned about. My skin had been subjected to oodles of sunlight as Nature Girl, and the hormonal rollercoaster of menopause had left its splotchy calling cards. And let’s not forget my mini Rudolph nose.
With all these micro-channels, only a minimal amount of kojic acid is needed to brighten. This cool powdery stuff is a by-product of sake fermentation — Nature Girl recycling score! Kojic acid tells the melanin-producing melanocyte cells to chill on the skin darkening.
“Look, you’re glowing,” Louise and Nicole chimed in afterward. Indeed, my round Irish face was so flush with collagen that I looked like a Full Moon. I was shiny and super hydrated, with nary a wrinkle in sight, but not red. Though a little towel patting would have reduced the shine and made me suitable for workplace, I wanted all that good juju to soak in a while longer.
Nicole mentioned that the best results emerged after a night of sleep. Sure enough, in the morning the UV spots and hormonal patches were reduced and continued to lighten throughout the week. For a while, the Rudolph spot dimmed to pink.
The biggest surprise was how greatly it increased my skin health. Woke that puppy up. The improved blood flow and skin-cell turnover was easy to see. The face didn’t just look brighter; it felt brighter. A lovely glow that emanated from within. It may be love. Oh Remora, we’ll always have Renew Spa.