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Day Spas Offer an Affordable Way to Relax & Rejuvenate

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CARY — Spas have been around in some form or another since 2000 B.C. At one time, they were destinations for the rich and famous. Now, most customers are everyday people concerned about their health and well-being.

Day spas are bubbling up in the Triangle, offering the latest in technology and techniques at affordable prices.

"A lot of people just don't know how to take care of their skin. That's really what they're looking for -- to improve their skin, to look their best," says Aesthetician Maria Franco-Poit.

Skin Sense is one of the oldest day spas in the area, but offers some of the trendiest services like Echo facials.

The facials, which are popular in California, use oxygen and vitamins to regenerate the skin.

"It just makes my skin feel like it's glowing," says Joan Sanoff.

The 63-year-old finds the spa experience keeps her looking young without plastic surgery.

"I don't want to be 20, I don't want to be 30. I don't even want to be 50 anymore. I really like where I am in life," says Sanoff.

TheCary Skin Spais one of the few spas in the state to offer not just pampering, but medical training, too.

If a skin problem is discovered during treatment, a doctor is nearby.

"We'll find skin cancers, abnormal moles, undiagnosed conditions and then refer them to a dermatologist so they can be treated," says Dr. Greg Viehman, a dermatologic surgeon.

The spa also sells stronger products that are only sold to physicians, so they claim they get better results.

Since opening in November of 1998, more than 14,000 people have come to the Cary Skin Spa; more than half make a return visit.

"We've almost tripled in size for our staff to meet the demands of the clientele, and it just keeps coming," says manager Courtney Thompson.

A staple in any spa that keeps people coming back is massage. In fact, 25 percent of the spa's clientele are men.

La Stone Therapy or Basalt Massage is a technique offered by very few spas on the East Coast.

Using sound for the senses, the heated stones melt into the muscles for deep relaxation.

"Some people liken it to being massaged by waves of heat. You can't feel the hands. You can't even really feel the stones. It's just very smooth," says massage therapist Karen Delahunty.

It is smoothandsoothing.

"My philosophy is growing older is what is supposed to happen to you, but lets do it in a way that I feel good about myself," says Sanoff.

Services such as a facial or seaweed wrap cost about $60. A half-hour massage for the back, neck and shoulders runs about $45. What did you think about this story?Send us feedback.

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Debra Morgan, Reporter
Edward Wilson, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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