Nicole Mandallaz of Meta Skin Studio in Palm Springs is always studying. “I study every day in between clients,” she says. “I study [skin] down to the cellular level: what cells do, how the skin functions, how pores function.”
Originally from San Diego, Mandallaz has been an esthetician for 12 years, previously practicing in Los Angeles before her move to the Coachella Valley three years ago. While she built her business on anti-aging therapies, she is also an acne specialist. “Studying the complexities of acne has made me a better esthetician,” she says. “I had to understand cellular function including cellular aging and [the] natural skin barrier and how that functions.”
With all those book smarts, along with networking with other skin care professionals and nutritionists, Mandallaz began developing her own treatments using cutting-edge technology and products from Korea. As she explains it, Korea is at the forefront of skin care and uses innovative ingredients, often combining them in unique ways. “Koreans don’t view skin the same way as the U.S. does,” she says. “Korea is into infusing and penetrating deeper into the skin. The U.S. believes in exfoliating the skin and is hell bent on chemical peels and microdermabrasion. I understand from studying skin that it’s a living organism and you can’t abuse it into doing what you want and working better.”
Gold leaf is placed directly on the face then massaged into the skin.
A cooling seaweed algin mask made with colloidal gold and crushed pearl is applied then micro current is used for an all-over lift.
After a year in development, Mandallaz perfected her gold and diamonds facial. This application uses crushed blue diamonds, 24-karat gold leaf, and other anti-aging technologies to produce bright, firm, and smooth skin. “What I was trying to come up with with the gold and diamonds facial was a ‘Mac Daddy’ super facial,” she says.
Mandallaz explains that diamonds are good for exfoliation because when crushed, the fine grains are perfectly smooth spheres that won’t create microtears in the skin. (Ground walnuts and apricots, popular ingredients in scrubs, have jagged edges that can rip skin.)
She uses a Korean-made hand-held device called the Leaf, which aids in maximizing results. Its first function is to create microscopic openings in the skin. Then, when switched to the infusion mode, called electroporation, it helps anti-aging serums penetrate deeper into pores. Finally, there is the lifting function that completes the 90-minute facial.
Gold is repeatedly incorporated into the process in the form of gold leaf applied directly to the face and then massaged into the skin as well as via colloidal gold flakes in a variety of serums. Gold by itself, Mandallaz explains, is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. It is also ionic which, when used in conjunction with the Leaf, amplifies the effectiveness. In Korean studies, gold has been found to activate certain peptides.
Sheets of gold leaf from Korea.
Nicole Mandallaz created her own line of at-home products to complement her treatments.
In her facial, Mandallaz uses a peptide similar to Botox that when mixed with gold, increases its potency by 500 percent. Additionally, light therapy and electro stimulation (microcurrent), both of which promote increased absorption and are powerful lifting and collagen-stimulating tools, are part of the procedure. “I geek out on technology,” she says.
Mandallaz uses her own skin care line (Meta Skincare) as well as Korean products in her treatments. “I create skin care based on the functions of the skin and the cells,” she says. “I’m here to create real change and long-term results. I specialize in transforming people’s skin.”
Meta Skin Studio, 121 S. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information or to book an appointment, call 760-835-2004 or visit metaskinstudio.com.