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Skin Stars

Whatever glow goals you have—from a dewy, youthful face that seemingly defies aging to clearing up problem skin—these three beauty goddesses in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area will help you achieve premium skin status.

by Jenny

After much demand from clients who were driving to Miami to get their coveted facials, Sana Skin Studio has a new eco-chic outpost in Fort Lauderdale’s burgeoning FATVillage district. Step inside the studio encased in calming, soft hues and walk through the arching hallway to begin your journey with their aptly named skin healers. “We’re more than a skin studio, we’re a movement to self-care and good skin,” says Valentina Hernandez, founder of Sana Skin Studio. “We’re not promising quick fixes but offering a support system where people can build a relationship with a skin healer and see their skin transform in a holistic way.”

Valentina Hernandez, founder of Sana Skin Studio.

Unlike spas which mainly partner with one or two skincare lines, Hernandez focuses on what she calls “hero products” from brands that create products with non-toxic ingredients that are better for a person’s health and the planet. “We curate the best of the best from our favorite clean-beauty brands. We believe that everyone’s skin is different, and one brand is not a perfect fit for everyone,” says Hernandez. Outside of what’s used in their facials, their retail store is like a candy store for the skincare obsessed, jam-packed with favored beauty heroes like the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser, Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator Toner, and the LINNÉ Renew Face Serum.

Facials are goal driven and guests can choose between 30, 50 and 70-minute treatments customized to what they need that day. Choose from The Signature facial, ideal for monthly maintenance; The SuperGlow, which involves a brightening peel and microcurrent to tighten muscles; or The SuperDetox, meant to clear and calm congested skin. Your skin healer will talk you through each step of the treatment, or you can opt to simply zone out and they’ll offer their advice post-treatment. “This is not a facial where you walk out and have no idea what was done. You’ll walk out with education about your skin and how to take care of it,” says Hernandez. Supporting the idea of a consistent skincare journey, Sana offers a membership program where participants receive a 50 or 70-minute facial every month, along with additional discounts and perks.

Courtney Smith of Glow by Courtney Grace.

Tucked away in an unassuming strip mall in north Fort Lauderdale, you’ll find the studio of Courtney Smith of Glow by Courtney Grace. The gorgeous army veteran, who went to nursing school and trained under top plastic surgeons, focuses on transformational skincare from cystic acne to of-the-moment, glow-up services. Bonus: she has the skills of a masseuse, and you’ll live for her facial and upper body massage.

Those with severe acne woes seek out Smith, who is a certified acne specialist through Face Reality Skincare and has self-proclaimed bragging rights to a 90% success rate. “I can clear Grade 3 to 4 cystic acne in four months,” Smith says. The aesthetician offers popular treatments such as micro needling with SkinPen, which she even uses on the stomach to help lessen the appearance of stretch marks, and the new HydraFacial Syndeo machine. It’s equipped with special features that provide lymphatic drainage to depuff and sculpt the face, a suction that painlessly extracts impurities, and personalized boosters that deliver hydration and antioxidant-rich serums that result in glowing skin. (The most satisfying part of this treatment is the clear “gunk jar” that showcases all of the bad stuff the machine removes from your face—gasp!)

Her other current skin-perfecting obsession is the PRX Derm Perfexion from Italy, a high-powered chemical peel that can be applied to the face and body to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. “This is the holy grail of peels with no downtime or pain. It’s been dubbed a “liquid facelift” because it tightens and lifts the face,” says Smith of the treatment that requires three to six sessions for optimum results. “With me, you’re going to get the latest and greatest. I’m always continuing my skincare education and staying on top of case studies and mentorships,” says Smith.

Maghan Morin of Melanated Beauty Spa.

 

Maghan Morin created Melanated Beauty Spa in Hallandale Beach to fill a void in South Florida’s day spa market and beyond. “I wanted to build a luxury space that includes people of color that you don’t often see in the spa industry,” says Morin, a Florida native who is of Haitian descent. Building brands around inclusivity and diversity is her forte. She previously owned a successful company focused on helping minority women start sustainable businesses but was forced to shutter during the pandemic. That’s when the entrepreneur stumbled across a business plan that she wrote for a marketing class in college—a time when she was struggling with cystic acne and had trouble finding an aesthetician that was familiar with treating her skin type. “I was shuffling through my files and found my old business plan for a day spa catering to the unique needs of melanated skin. I felt it was a brand that I could really build,” says Morin, who founded Melanated Beauty Spa in 2021.

While self-indulgent relaxation is always a part of her skincare treatments, don’t expect a typical steam, cleanse, or extractions, and you’re out the door. “I do a deep-dive into clients’ needs, focusing on anti-aging to hyperpigmentation,” she says. In her skincare arsenal, medical-grade chemical peels that are safe for melanated skin and target fine lines and uneven skin tones, micro needling to boost collagen or treat acne scars, ultrasound treatments for cellulite, and her own signature protocol, the Melanated Facial. “We make a fresh, customized mask for every client in the room with them,” says Morin who sources ingredients from India, Jamaica, and Korea.

Her latest super-power treatment uses the Geneo device, a machine that offers different facials, using oxygenating bubbles, ultrasound, and massage for smooth and glowing skin.

With a business mind for making the spa world more inclusive, she’s franchising with day spas in Atlanta and a second Florida location in her hometown of St. Pete. “In South Florida, we take our skincare and self-care seriously,” says Morin, “I want to take our concept beyond our region to other people who want to make the skin they’re in as beautiful and healthy as possible.” sanaskinstudio.com, melanatedbeautyspa.com and glowbycourtneygrace.com.

By Angela Caraway-Carlton.

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