When I was a beauty editor at a national magazine, it was my job to be a skincare devotee. Lotions and potions filled my bathroom and semi-regular facials were the norm. But a career change, family obligations, and hustle-culture overwhelm supplanted my lengthy (not to mention expensive) skincare regimen. Added environmental and physical stress took a heavy toll on my already sensitive skin.
So when Exquisite Skin Care owner and esthetician Angela Pisoni-Bartley invited me to try out a facial at her charming skin studio at The Pier in Narragansett, I jumped at the opportunity to face my
neglected… well… face.
Pisoni-Bartley is originally from Oregon and relocated to Rhode Island with her Rhody-born husband. After setting up shop in Jamestown in 2018, she moved to her Narragansett location in the spring of 2021, in the middle of the pandemic. With loyal clients willing to trek over the bridge, COVID or not, it didn’t take long for the new space to thrive.
Walking into her light and airy skin care studio, you understand why. The beach-chic interior invites you to leave the stress of the day at the door. But stepping into the well-appointed treatment room, with its candle lighting and soothing spa music, is like being wrapped in a cocoon of wellness. It’s evident that Pisoni-Bartley received her training in holistic skincare, which focuses on using natural ingredients rather than cosmetic intervention to
nourish the skin.
After changing into a spa wrap and sliding under the covers of the heated facial table, Pisoni-Bartley took a better look at my exhausted skin. An eruption of rosacea under my left eye left my skin splotchy and irritated. Since I hadn’t properly exfoliated in months, my face was a riot of textures.
Pisoni-Bartley’s known for her popular summer treatment, a sea salt microdermabrasion facial, which includes an oxygen infusion. Even though the sea salt
exfoliation is gentle, Pisoni-Bartley took one look at my overstressed face and decided it was too much treatment for my hyper-reactive skin. She suggested a hydrating facial to calm my aggravated dermis.
Exquisite Skin Care works exclusively with Eminence Organics, a Hungarian skincare line that I previously avoided because I worried their product would be too strong for my skin. (Pro-tip: just because a product is sourced from natural ingredients, doesn’t mean it’s gentle, especially for reactive skin.) After her careful assessment, she matched my stressed skin with two of their lines: Stone Crop and Calm Skin.
My parched skin soaked up so much of the Stone Crop gel cleanser, I fear I emptied her bottle, since she had to keep applying the product. After a thorough cleansing, she assessed my skin one more time to make sure we were on the correct treatment path. She recommended adding red light therapy to the treatment protocol. The low-level LEDs help soothe angry skin, like mine, while also encouraging collagen production.
With the course of treatment solidified, an exfoliation followed. For this, she mixed Calm Skin Cleanser with Eminence’s Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant. This powder uses rice for a gentle physical exfoliant as well as with both lactic and salicylic acid – two chemical exfoliants – to slough off dead skin cells, leaving a buff base ready to soak up the coming nutraceuticals.
After a spritz with Stone Crop’s hydrating mist, it was time for another cleanse, this time using the Stone Crop Cleansing Oil under a hydrating mist of steam. She used a Skin Buddy, another device that uses LED technology, to work the oil into my skin. Extractions followed. My face was so well prepped and her hands so gentle, those were barely perceptible.
Once extractions were over, it was time for the mask. Again, Pisoni-Bartley combined products for my personalized treatment protocol. While the mask soaked in, she gave me a soothing scalp, neck, and shoulder massage that practically melted me into the treatment table. After removing the mask, it was time for the red light therapy. While that worked to revitalize my skin, Pisoni-Bartley revitalized my feet with a trigger point massage.
By the time she slathered me in Calm Skin Serum and Moisturizer, I was a noodle. More importantly, my dull, fragile skin was positively glowing. Between the serenity of the skin studio’s ocean-side space and my coddled skin, I can’t wait to return to Pisoni-Bartley’s treatment room.
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