My Late Summer Facial Boost

Late summer is my favorite time of the year, not least because my esthetician, Ildi Pekar, will have returned from her annual pilgrimage to Hungary with an armful of new products, at least one new therapeutic machine and a new idea for a facial. This year, it was an amazing treatment she is calling Boost, and I got to road test it a few days ago.

Boost features sodium hyaluronate, peptides and ultrasound. The effect is immediate and spectacular — a testament to the potency of the ingredients, technology and the method. When I looked in the mirror after the 50-minute treatment, I hardly recognized the plump cheeked and glowing woman staring back at me.

Ildi encountered the treatment in Hungary where it was invented by a doctor who worked on reducing sodium hyaluronate molecules so that they would penetrate and be retained by the skin. Sodium hyaluronate is the salt form of hyaluronic acid, a water-binding ingredient that has the ability to fill the spaces between the connective fibers known as collagen and elastin. It has the ability to adjust its moisture absorption based on the relative humidity in the air, as well as protect the skin by scavenging for reactive oxygen species created by UV rays, fighting sunspots and other age spots.

After a peel that exfoliates the skin and helps the treatment ingredients be absorbed, a vial of pure sodium hyaluronate is massaged into the skin. Ildi wore surgical gloves to do this so that all the product was absorbed by my face, neck and décolleté. This part of the treatment took about four minutes. Although, in my case my skin greedily drank this heavy duty hydrator in less time. I don’t have dry skin, but it was clearly dehydrated (read more on the difference between dry and dehydrated skin), and I resolved to drink more water. 

The next stage involved a peptide solution that was also massaged into my face, neck and décolleté for around four minutes. Peptides, or mini proteins if you want to think of them that way, are active molecules that send signals to your cells. When collagen breaks down, it forms specific peptides that signal to your skin that it was damaged and needs to make new collagen. So by applying peptides topically, we are trying to trick our skin into thinking that it has lost collagen recently and needs to make more.

The final stage is a session of ultrasound or radio frequency treatment. Since I am very familiar with ultrasound and use an at-home device regularly, I was pleased to give radio frequency a try for the first time. Unlike ultrasound, which does not have any sensation, RF is fairly tingly. Radio frequency treatments work by generating heat. The treatment produces localized heat injury of the dermis and subdermal layer as well as the collagen contraction leading to skin tightening. Ultrasonic works differently. As the ultrasound waves pass from the treatment head to the skin, they cause a vibration of the surrounding tissues, particularly those that contain collagen. The vibration massages the surrounding tissue, which then increases oxygen to the cells and aids in the removal of waste.

There are seven stages to the treatment with the final ones being the addition of serums that ensure that the sodium hyaluronate is retained by the skin.

After the Boost facial, Ildi told me not to wash my face for 12 hours and avoid working out as well as giving a few other do and don’ts. I was intrigued to see whether the glorious results would last. Well, they did. The extremely hydrated, plump and glowing version of Marta lasted a good 48 hours. I must say that during that time, my skin was a little extra sensitive, and I kept my beauty routine simple. Five days later, I can definitely see that the areas where Ildi particularly concentrated — the lines around my mouth and emerging “elevens” — are looking better.

I am definitely going to be going back for more, and I’ll be trying to replicate an at-home version with sodium hyaluronate and peptide serums and my ultrasound device.

Find out more Ildi Pekar's unique skin care treatments and therapies. Ildi is offering for a limited time a 15% discount on the Boost treatment for Truth In Aging community members.

Marta Wohrle is an anti-aging skin care and beauty expert and the founder/CEO of Truth In Aging. Marta is dedicated to uncovering the truth behind anti-aging product claims.