I first visited no-nonsense facial hub Heyday last year in Bethesda. I loved being able to pop in for a 50-minute reset — but driving 45 minutes from Alexandria was hard to, well, face.
So when the spot opened in Old Town in July, I booked an appointment. The franchised operation is owned by Level 5 Capital Partners, who believed an Alexandria store would fill a void for 18- to 40-year-olds who want a personalized and efficient skin care option.
It was the right idea. “Our goal was to perform 1,000 facials within the first 30 days,” says CEO Patrick Ryan-Southern. “By the time we opened, we’d already sold 1,000 $65 first-time facials.”
The day I visited, there were two other customers ahead of me; they were whisked away while I browsed the products. The creams, serums, and more are curated by DMV region senior shop educator Regina Wilkins, come in various prices, and are produced by small or minority-owned businesses (like woman-run Naturopathica and Black-owned Epara). And I experienced some of them during my session with skin therapist Julia Minarcik, who soon escorted me to one of the eight curtained treatment rooms.
One of the things I appreciate about Heyday is the ease of settling in. You don’t have to go through the typical day-spa rigmarole. Instead, you scoot into the chair in your athleisure and chat about your routine and what you want to target. For me, it was hyper-pigmentation on my forehead.
Our session began and ended with a lovely cleansing balm and hydrating cream by Naturopathica, but the magic happened in between. We went over suggested treatments — a glycolic-chemical exfoliator to help with my skin tone; extractions around my nose; and LED for anti-aging, reducing inflammation, and stimulating collagen production — then Minarcik applied Grown Alchemist’s Hydra-Restore cream cleanser with nourishing olive leaf, which she removed with an ultrasonic device. (It uses sound waves to push the molecules farther into my follicles for a deeper cleaning.) The feeling was soothing.
I was wary of the exfoliation, but I had no reason to worry. At various times, Minarcik asked me to rate the tingly feeling from one to five. Other than my upper-right forehead (a four), it was a two.
Extractions came next. Luckily, they went fast thanks to Minarcik’s gentle touch, and I was soon spritzed with a Naturopathica lavender-honey spray (for its antiseptic ingredients) and experiencing the calming sensations of DC-based Alchimie Forever’s Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask — a longtime favorite of mine — paired again with the ultrasonic device.
I spent the last five minutes under the LED while Minarcik created a record of our session. (The exfoliation and LED are upgrades; Heyday now also has a micro-current treatment to stimulate the muscles beneath the skin for a temporary lifting effect.) Minarcik also suggested I take home Josh Rosebrook’s Daily Acid Toner to help with brightening and hydration.
Moisturizer is key for all of us during this transition from fall to winter. The air will be drier and colder, so a cream-based product that’s rich in lipids will keep skin fresh, advises Wilkins. “But don’t skip sunscreen.” And use this time to try an advanced treatment like a microdermabrasion: Your chance of sun exposure is lower. “When summer comes around, you’ll already have your best face on.”
I already had my best face on when I left — and I’m still basking in the glow. From $109 per month for membership, from $140 for nonmember facial; 815 King St., Ste. A, Alexandria