The skin care revolution

Photo by Will Dendis

Lisa Eckerlein-Bean believes she’s brought something new to Saugerties — advanced but affordable skin care. She’s renovated the top floor of her circa-1895 childhood home on Market Street and transformed the space into a relaxing micro-spa with a bed for skincare.

Eckerlein-Bean, a bubbly, chatty and personable woman with noticeably smooth and flawless skin, has gone through several career-makeovers from IBM to EKG technician to personal chef to corrections officer, before finally answering her calling as an aesthetician. “I have been a skin freak since I was 11,” she said. “I always thought that there was a miracle cream. I didn’t know that there are all these different things that you can do for your skin.”

In addition to facials, Eckerlein-Bean specializes in various skin peels and microdermabrasion, offering those services for substantially less cost than professional day spas. Thirty minutes with her $10,000 microdermabrasion machine will only cost $65. Follow-up with a facial and the total is $95—a good price for such a service which could easily set you back nearly $200 at some places. Chemical peels are also priced rather nicely at $40 per peel. For those who want to eschew the chemicals, there’s the $60 alternative fruit enzyme mask.


Eckerlein-Bean believes she’s carved out a niche.

“No one around here does anything like this,” she said. “I offer spa-type treatments for so much less than everyone else.”

She loves the space she created for the business, and her customers do, too.

“I like being in this zen, warm comfortable environment,” she said. “People don’t want to leave. They don’t even want to get out of the bed.”

I went for a facial from Eckerlein-Bean, and walked out more than 90 minutes later glowing. She takes her time. Like many a perfectionist entrepreneur before her, she has to balance her compulsion to do the job right with the imperative to make money.

“I take my time,” she explained. “I don’t rush people out of here. I care about my clients’ skin. I would rather be a skincare specialist than someone who just does facials every day. I want to know your skin and work on creating and making goals with you for your skin.”

This was certainly not my first facial, but I was momentarily taken aback when instructed to take off my shirt and jewelry, then slide down my bra straps before getting under the warm covers of the bed. But I dismissed my modesty when Eckerlein-Bean rubbed a lavender salve on my hands and forearms, covered them in plastic bags, and inserted each inside electric heating pads. Ahhhhhh, yes.

She first covered my eyes with pads and turned on a light and high-power magnifying lens, explaining that she was studying my skin’s texture, resilience, hyper-pigmentation and broken capillaries. She declared that I don’t have problematic skin and am fortunate to have good elasticity. Good to hear.

Eckerlein-Bean employed various cleansers, gels, lotions, serums and creams while massaging my temples, under my eyes, cheeks, neck, chin, shoulders and décolletage while I got lost in an ethereal cloud formed by the fruity aromas, soothing music, the room’s warmth and the hands on my forehead. She then applied a “mask soufflé” made of fruit stem cells to moisturize, and rubbed the wand of a high-frequency machine over my face for deeper absorption of the product. The creams were cleansers, toners and hydrators to tighten, firm and lift my skin, she told me.

Eckerlein-Bean held forth on skincare dos and don’ts while rubbing and massaging my skin, and shared her personal philosophies on cleansing and wrinkle-control. She’s a fan of the paraffin wax treatments, and emphasized the importance of toning at least once a day to restore proper pH to the skin. She swears by quality products rather than over-the-counter drug store substitutes. She reads and researches ingredients, even going so far as antagonizing department store counter help by taking a photo of ingredients listed on the back of a product to research later. Someday she’d like to develop her own products.

She secretly delights in doing pimple extraction on mens’ backs.

“I like zits,” she admitted. “I’m a sick-o.”

Twenty-one-year old Nikki Bell goes to Eckerlein-Bean to deal with stubborn acne, a ruinous condition. “I came to Lisa for help when my skin reacted to a hormonal imbalance,” she said. “My breakouts were so severe that I was afraid of permanent scarring. Lisa examined my skin and after several treatments and using the products she recommended, my skin cleared up completely and even the scars have faded.”

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