Oatmeal and rice to soften and soothe the skin

The holidays are a time to indulge, and what better way than sneaking off to a day spa next to Capitol Hill?

At the end of a skin facial at Skin Beauty Lounge in the Eastern Market area, the urge is to sign up for the service all over again. Even after an hour and 15 minutes, it still feels too short.


But let’s not be greedy.

The lux treatment is part of the holiday stress-relief package that includes a choice of the normal skin facial or the stress-relieving therapeutic massage followed by a solar pedicure and manicure, which means that jojoba and almond oil will be massaged into your fingers and toes to relieve dry, brittle nails and skin. The price tag: $145.

Skin Beauty Lounge, created by Scoey Wilson and Nora Pirglu, has a slumber-party feel. They remember things such as the style of your hair the last time you visited. They make sure you feel at home without pestering you.

“It’s very relaxing,” Wilson says of the holiday package.  “There’s so much hustle and bustle and moving too fast.  It’s nice to come in and take a break, and it’s a nice gift as well.”

Before getting a facial, patrons fill out a lengthy questionnaire, so you’ll need to reveal your caffeine intake, whether you burn easily in the sun, your pain threshold and things such as, “Do you blush easily when nervous?” (In any case, definitely.)

Kimme Chu, one of four aestheticians at the lounge, leads me into a dimly lit room where burning incense and soft music add to the relaxing atmosphere.

This isn’t the sort of place that skimps on services. While the masks are hardening, there are two different massages, one for hands and arms and another for shoulders, neck and d�colletage. The treatment is soothing overall, but two items stand out — the hospital-grade oatmeal mask and the rice exfoliant with natural bleaching agents.

The oatmeal mask, Chu explains, has a gel base of aloe that “helps replenish water moisture” in the skin; it also helps to calm redness and revitalize dry skin. The rice exfoliant contains a “daily microfoliant skin-whitening, brightening agent.” A licorice-root ingredient helps calm skin infections.

Just downstairs from Skin Beauty Lounge (skinbeautylounge.com) is Oggi, an Aveda spa that is also offering holiday specials that run through Dec. 31. New clients get a 15 percent discount off services and 20 percent of product purchases.