Saving Face

CMM reviews the local facial experience

It’s only been in the past few decades that facials, massages and other wonderful spa treatments have become commonplace, providing an eager clientele with wonderful options for being pampered. With the choices rather abundant, it can be tricky to know the best treatments for you. The Columbia Metropolitan Magazine Editorial Team spread across the Midlands, scheduling facials with local spas that offer a range of facial services. 

Do you desire a change in your skin care regimen? Do you have sun damage you would like to see reversed? Or do you just want a moment in time when you can indulge in complete relaxation? The following reviews provide vital information to help you make an educated decision for your next facial. Thankfully, there are many excellent spas awaiting you!


Bella-Riley’s Fine Salon and Spa, Sally Rhodes

(803) 808-0420

711 East Main St. #9 

Lexington, SC 29072

Service: Signature Facial

Facial Price Range: $50 - $90

Bella Riley’s Salon and Spa is a rustic, chic spa located in the heart of Lexington. Their friendly staff strives to fulfill the highest expectations while maintaining the utmost level of comfort. Sally Rhodes has been working as an esthetician since 1999, and her experience enabled her to offer me the best tips and tricks for my skin. She also asked me thorough questions to provide the most effective, personalized service.

The Signature Facial addressed my skin’s specific needs, including improvement of tone, texture and overall appearance. Complete with steam, relaxing music and a scalp and neck massage, this service was calming while also awakening my complexion. 

Bella Riley uses Dermalogica products, which are free of common irritants and are also committed to redefining skin health. The detail-oriented, knowledgeable staff is fully prepared to answer any questions their clients may have. 


Ciao Bella Facial and Body Spa, Laura Dowey

(803) 834-3413

845-3 Polo Road 

Columbia, SC 29223

Service: Signature Facial, The Venetian 

Facial Price Range: $65 - $80

Ciao Bella Spa opened in September of 2014 and relocated a year later to Wildewood. My facial service began with a skin consultation to evaluate my skin’s needs, followed by cleansing and a facial massage, exfoliation, toning and masks. I was then treated to an arm, foot, neck and shoulder massage. The facial was completed with serums and moisturizers. Continuous, warm steam throughout the facial added to my relaxation while opening my pores for each step of the treatment.

Ciao Bella uses a product line called glo therapeutics, paraben-free formulas with concentrated active ingredients to transform the skin. This professional line incorporates daily regimes with targeted treatments. The spa also uses an essential oil line, doTerra, integrating pure, aromatic extracts into the facial experience. These naturally occurring, therapeutic oils uplift and invigorate to produce physiological, mental and emotional health benefits. 


Endless Vitality Aesthetic Center, 

Brooke Baken Manfredi

(803) 708-3901

4406-A Forest Drive, Suite 5 

Columbia, SC 29206

Service: Anti-aging Facial

Facial Price Range: $60 - $300

New on the Forest Acres scene is Endless Vitality Aesthetic Center, a full-service medical spa. I received the anti-aging facial, which targets fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s-feet and laxity. Brooke began my facial with a deep exfoliation and massage, incorporating medical grade anti-aging products from a line called Image. These included a cleanser, a brightening and exfoliating powder, a Vital C mask and the MAX stem cell serum. 

The lemon-lavender scent was soft, without being overpowering. The products need time to penetrate the skin and take effect, and this time allowed me to relax alone in the room while absorbing the peace and tranquility. After my facial, I was given NANA to drink. This “collagen shot” is new to the skincare market and is formulated to help rebuild and strengthen the skin. All of this was followed up with an Ormedic lip complex — heaven for my lips. My skin felt wonderful, toned and beautiful afterward.


Eva Skin Care, Inc., Eva Przyowski

(803) 787-5186

3924 Forest Drive, Columbia, SC 29204

Service: Eva’s Signature Anti-Aging Treatment

Facial Price Range: $50 - $150

Eva, born in Poland, brings a unique and exciting approach to providing facials. The treatment I received was a combination of layering three modalities: microdermabrasion, micro-current and LED light therapy. Eva started by removing the top layer of dead skin, followed by the microdermabrasion therapy that left a smoother texture and promotes new growth of healthy new skin cells. 

Eva also utilized a low level of an electrical micro-current, designed to improve my skin’s appearance from the inside out. This electrical current boosts the natural collagen production in skin through LED photo modulation, utilizing the photo activation of the collagen that will give me a supple firmer and more youthful appearance. While my skin received a boost of youth, I left feeling pampered and stress free. What a great combination! 


Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa, Grace Baker

(803) 470-0216

702 Cross Hill Rd 440-C

Columbia, SC 29205

Service: Classic Facial

Facial Price Range: $49.95 - $125

Hand & Stone offers a wonderful facial option for clients new to spa skincare as well as for the experienced facial enthusiast. Using high-quality Clarity RX products, Grace first cleansed and primed my skin to absorb the moisturizing creams she applied later. With each application, she rubbed my face in sweeping motions and massaged my temples, jaw and other areas of my face. 

During two different masks, one of which was a Pumpkin Enzymatic Mask — perfect for fall, she first gave me a neck and shoulder massage, and then, on the second, an arm and hand massage, using effluerage, tapotement, petrissage and kneading techniques. Grace applied lots of hot towels to my chest, neck, face and arms throughout the facial. I left with my skin feeling very hydrated. 


Healing Waters, Loria M. Rutland

(803) 907-7100

300 Palmetto Health Pkwy.

Columbia, SC 29212

Service: Power Facial 

Facial Price Range: $95 - $245 

Visiting Healing Waters for a facial is a true, full spa experience. Loria greeted me in the Relaxation Area with a warm foot bath before leading me back for my treatment. Following a deep scalp massage and an examination of my skin, she performed their Power Facial. To find balance with my dry skin, she customized a combination of Everyday Clean, a touch of Seriously Clean and Timeless Cleanthen and  applied a Clean Sweep Toner along with the Naked Hydration Moisturizer and a mask.

While applying products, Loria utilized a gentle touch along with a variety of facial massage modalities for relaxation as well as for energizing and toning my skin. Loria is also an experienced massage therapist, kneading my shoulders, neck and arms while she enhanced the hydration efforts of my face with scented, hot towels. Healing Waters specializes in this specific customized facial experience called “Power Facial.” This brings healing to the body with touch and the use of Pure MD products such as Cell-ebrity Renewal. The facial was not only great for my skin, but also wonderful for restoring a sense of peace in this hurried world.


Massage Envy, Meg Jacobs

(803) 227-4444

144A Harbison Blvd., Columbia, SC 29212

Service: Anti-Aging Facial – Age Reform 

Facial Price Range: $60 - $70

Massage Envy offers a soothing and comfortable atmosphere that fosters decompression. Meg administered my “Age Reform” anti-aging facial. Spa melodies and a professional facial massage coaxed me into peaceful relaxation. Meg first analyzed my skin and day-to-day skincare regimen with preliminary questions. She offered tips for improved skincare. After analyzing my skin, she chose which facial to administer. She selected the anti-aging facial, which uses high levels of hydration with effective moisturizers and hydrators. 

Meg worked on my dry and irritated skin bumps, then massaged my face with gentle strokes. She intermittently wrapped warm, moist towels around my face. In addition, she massaged my shoulders, neck, arms and hands. By using Massage Envy techniques and Murad Products, Meg hydrated and rejuvenated my tired skin. The Murad “recipe” includes hydrators, anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants. Meg’s professional attention to skincare created a pleasant and informative facial. Her assuaging strokes restored my skin to a hydrated glow! 


OCCO Luxury Spa, Chelsey Winford

(803) 787-7546

1218 Pulaski St., Columbia, SC 29201

Service: Express Facial with Extractions

Facial Price Range: $54 - $162

Walking into OCCO Luxury Spa, it’s difficult to not let out a large breath as you approach the counter through the sea of blue and cream hues. The waiting room is a lightly lit respite with plush chairs and peaceful music. Chelsey quietly led me to my beautiful treatment room filled with votive candles, exquisite linens and beautiful aromas.

Chelsey began my treatment with a skin analysis to customize my service. She explained  that skincare is never a “one size fits all.” For my facial, she used a deep cleanse, exfoliation, extractions, facial massage, mask and moisturizer — using all Eminence Organic Skin Care, a Hungarian line whose chemical and pesticide-free products are comprised of plants, herbs and fruits. Chelsey recommends this line because it’s completely natural, chemical-free and fragrance-free. Also, the natural aromas are absolutely wonderful. 

To add to the already delightful scent of the products, Chelsey used essential oils, like Bergamot, on the sheets to add to the all-encompassing peaceful environment. Even though the express facial is only 30 minutes in length, Chelsey made each minute count. OCCO makes each client feel welcome and pampered.


Original Skin, Lynn Davis

(803) 237-2385

6941 N. Trenholm Road

Columbia, SC 29206

Service: European Facial

Facial Price Range: $45 - $350

Visiting Original Skin was an exciting experience for me because this was my first time receiving a facial. Lynn did a great job educating me every step of the way about the products she was using, why she was using them and the techniques she chose to use for my skin in particular. The room was comfortable and perfectly decorated for a relaxing spa experience. Lynn started with a combination of Eminence Lemon Cleanser and Eucalyptus Cleanser/Extraction. These were followed by additional Eminence Organics products, including Thermal Spring Whip Moisturizer, Apricot Masque, Lemon cleanser, Eucalyptus cleanser and a Strawberry rhubarb dermafoliant.

Soft, relaxing music played throughout the entire facial. While I was unsure about what to expect going into this facial, Lynn’s ability to walk me through the process actually added to my relaxation. I left feeling refreshed and was able to enjoy my post-facial glow for the rest of the day.


Pura Medical Spa, Nicole Dozier

(803) 764-0925

807 Gervais St., Suite 101 

Columbia, SC 29201

Service: Stem Cell Facial Infusion

Facial Price Range: $80 - $250

In visiting Pura Medical Spa, a full-spectrum wellness and medical spa, I found a modern and tranquil atmosphere, with beautiful décor, a professional staff and a pampering nature. Nicole gave me the Stem Cell Infusion Facial, which combines facial cleansing, light massage and pore-opening steam towels wrapped up in a wonderful citrus aroma. By using plant-based stem cell technology, Nicole cleansed and exfoliated my skin. These products rejuvenate and infuse the skin with antioxidants to reveal the natural beauty of the skin 

The product line Nicole used on me was Image, a company specializing in highly innovative skincare technology. These products were used to help my skin with anti-aging, balancing, hydrating and illuminating. It felt good to be pampered, and I was so pleased to see my face glowing afterward.


Rejuvenations Medical Spa, Christie Tull

(803) 781-1201

1 Wellness Blvd., Suite 201, Irmo, SC 29063

Service: Oxygen Facial with Dermaplaning Add-on

Facial Price Range: $50 - $100

At Rejuvenations Medical Spa, Christie started my facial with a deep pore cleanse with steam and a hand massage, followed by Dermaplaning and an oxygen infusion. Dermaplaning — an addition to the Oxygen Facial — is a medical procedure that provides a deeper exfoliation of the skin and painlessly rids the face of  fine vellus hair. Using a scalpel, Christie delicately abraded the surface of the skin using small strokes. My facial continued with a facial massage, extractions, masking and oxygen infusion, and ended with a moisturizer and sunscreen. 

Christie used different skincare lines during the facial, including Oxygen Botanicals, iS Clinical, Revision Skin Care and Avène, and the aromatherapy included lavender and honey for soothing, calming and moisturizing of the skin. I left Rejuvenations feeling well informed with fresh, soft skin. 


Salon Bella, Deb Mayo 

(803) 790-7375

4711 Forest Drive # 17, Columbia, SC 29206

Service: Anti-Aging Facial

Facial Price Range: $65 - $125

Tucked in back of the hair salon, Salon Bella facials are a well-kept secret in Forest Acres. It is immediately obvious that Deb cares about truly getting to know her clients and creating a custom experience that will be best for each individual, and her high-end products leave the skin feeling refreshed and hydrated. She patiently answered all of my questions before and after the facial, and even customized the length of the facial to cater to my specific skincare needs.

The plant-based Eminence Organics products smelled delightful and included a Blueberry Cleanser, Pineapple Enzyme Treatment, Artic Berry Enzyme Exfoliant Treatment, a Lavender Soy Oil, Rosehip Triple C&E Firming Oil and others. She also used a Clarisonic brush in cleansing my skin as well as a high-frequency device that very effectively eliminated clogged pores deep below the surface of the skin and removed toxins and bacteria. Throughout the facial, she delivered soothing strokes to massage the face, and during the two masks massaged my neck, shoulders, arms and hands. 


Seven Doors Salon, Patti Durkin

(803) 254-1507

1419 Sumter St., Columbia, SC 29201

Service: Balancing Facial

Facial Price Range: $45 - $115

Patti began her skin care training in her early 20s and has been providing the Midlands with her wealth of skincare knowledge ever since. My facial was completely customized and tailored to my skin and lifestyle. She began my service by identifying my skin type, both by asking questions and examining my skin, then chose her products and techniques. 

Patti uses products by Eminence Organics, and in addition to the unique composition of the products, the delightful aroma during my facial made the whole experience even better. Patti combined cleansing, masks, extractions, moisturizing and, finally, a massage, to wake up my muscles and eliminate toxins. I left with a properly hydrated and glowing face and chest, along with a tension-relieved neck. 


Skin Care on Devine, Nina Davis

(803) 771-0012

2501 Devine St., Columbia, SC 29205

Service: Diamond Dermabrasion

Facial Price Range: $60 - $100

Skin Care on Devine is not your average skincare service. Nina specializes in clinical, one-on-one professional treatments designed for each individual skin type and concern to ensure you achieve the skin you desire. For my facial, she used a product line called Thermaderm that specializes in building the base of healthy, beautiful skin through high quality ingredients, aiding in skin’s natural ability to heal itself. 

I especially loved the Diamond Dermabrasion that cleansed my skin. Nina then treated it with a natural enzyme peel before the removal of all the superficial layers of skin to reveal underlying, radiant skin. To finish it off, Nina gave me a reparative gel, peptide cream and a cooling mask. Nina’s work revealed beautiful, natural skin and her expertise is illustrated in each specific step she takes. 


Skinology, Katie Cauthen

(803) 764-1170

2231 Devine St., Suite 304 

Columbia, SC 29205

Service: Microdermabrasion and Image Peel (Lightening Lift)

Facial Price Range: $65 - $125

After making me feel right at home, Katie began my session with an in-depth consultation and evaluation of my skin, discussing the history of my skin issues. She started the facial with a combination of ageless and clear cell cleansers and performed an enhanced exfoliation using DiamondTome diamond tip wands on my face and neck to improve skin texture. This mechanical resurfacing process painlessly removes the dead skin that blocks pores and causes dull-looking skin. 

Katie then applied the Image Peel, starting with a lightening lift followed by a hydrating mask, lightening serum, post-treatment recovery balm. She finished with an ultimate protection moisturizer and sunscreen. Katie used Image Skin products which offer a wide range of specialties. When I looked in the mirror, I was taken back by the progress my skin made in just one session. 


Spa 131, Marci Delaney


131 State St., West Columbia, SC 29169

Service: M. D. Signature Facial

Facial Price Range: $99 - $155

Marci Delaney first opened Spa 131 with the desire to offer Columbians the level of spa service she experienced for years traveling to different resorts. Before the facial, Marci sat down and had a comprehensive consultation with me. She asked what my goals were for my skin and what I wanted out of  the facial. She also answered many of my questions about my skin. 

Marci uses the plant-based skin care line Skin Scripts, which includes products such as a Raspberry Peach Enzyme, Goji Berry Moisturizing Masque and other delightful feeling and smelling natural products. Every product was applied with a soothing facial massage. While two different masks set on my face, Marci massaged my hands, arms, feet, calves, head, neck and shoulders. 


staceyO studiO, Stacey Overstreet

(803) 348-5040

2911 Devine St., Columbia SC, 29205

Service: Polynesian Noni Fruit Facial

Facial Price Range: $75 - $125

My facial began with a skin analysis followed by cleansing, toning, steaming, deep pore cleansing, exfoliation and a facial mask. Stacey, the owner, then topped my skin with a custom blend of serums and moisturizers, leaving me with glowing skin, a relaxed mind and a refreshed spirit. 

Stacey used Epicuren skin care products, a line that offers pure, innovative skincare using the most luxurious, natural ingredients available. I selected the Polynesian Noni Fruit Facial which, in addition to thoroughly cleaning and exfoliating my skin, also steamed my skin to open pores and increase penetration. As circulation increased, she gave me a light facial massage to complete the penetration of the products and a microdermabrasion that lifted the dead skin cells. A healing, hydrating mask enriched my skin with minerals, and Stacey completed the treatment with an application of products just for my skin type.


The Facial Aesthetic Center Medical Spa, Rachel Daetwyler 

(803) 254-5484

3020 Devine St., Columbia, SC 29205

Service: Hydrating Honey Ginger Facial

Facial Price Range: $80 - $125

The Facial Aesthetic Center Medical Spa specializes in combining the latest cosmetic treatments with a wellness-based approach. Their belief that skincare needs are as unique as each individual is evident based on the personalized level of attention Rachel gave me in preparing my facial. 

After determining that the Hydrating Honey Ginger Facial would best suit my skincare needs, Rachel applied a Warming Honey Cleanser followed by Ginger Massage Honey, Tri-active Exfoliant, a Cool Mint Rejuvenating Mask, Youth Eye Complex, Pro Heal Serum and other high-quality products for a comprehensive regimen. During the two masks, she first gave me an arm and hand massage, then a neck and shoulder massage. Rachel has very strong hands, and her massaging of the face throughout the facial was amazing — the strokes were so soothing, and my forehead, temples and jaw were massaged into utter relaxation. 


The Spa at Stronghold, Tracey Dier

(803) 667-9060

5910 Garners Gerry Road

Columbia, SC 29209

Service: Fountain of Youth Facial

Facial Price Range: $50 - $125

The Spa at Stronghold, formerly known as Tonic Day Spa, has a lovely, tranquil atmosphere. For facials, they offer the high-end Cyto-luxe anti-aging products of the glo therapeutics line to cleanse, exfoliate, calm and hydrate the largest organ of the body — the skin. 

Tracey is an experienced esthetician and asked me about my skincare and goals for the facial before we began. Piano instrumental classics such as Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major” and “Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera played in the background. Tracey massaged my face with each product application and also gave me a neck and shoulders massage during one of the masks. Each product glided on and left my skin feeling fresh and hydrated. 


Urban Nirvana, Virginia Hedgepeth

(803) 727-1010

4840 Forest Drive, 15D

Columbia, SC 29206 

(803) 356-0119

920 North Lake Drive, Lexington, SC 29072

Service: Classic Facial – 60 minutes with a NuFACE micro current facelift treatment

Facial Price Range: $56 - $140

Urban Nirvana offers a wonderful, relaxing atmosphere — from the quiet waiting area with snacks and cool drinks, to the cozy treatment rooms. Virginia used wonderful products for the hydrating facial including: Avène redness relief cleansing milk, Skinceuticals Micro Polish, Avène thermal spring water, Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic acid retinol brightening solution, Dr. Dennis Gross ferulic acid eye treatment and glo theraputics restorative mask. Cleansers and masks were all cream based solutions which provided extra hydration. 

This classic facial consisted of deep pore cleansing, exfoliation, and nourishing and replenishing of the skin. She specifically used brightening solutions to rejuvenate my skin and a restorative mask to firm and rebuild collagen. A relaxing, anti-aging massage was also used to firm and lift my skin while improving circulation. While my skin was being nourished, I felt such rejuvenation in the warm, tranquil atmosphere.