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One might think the mostly likely new product launch for an esthetician would be a face cream or serum — maybe an eye balm. But for longtime Hollywood favorite Biba de Sousa, who treats Emma Roberts and Alison Brie out of her private spa in WeHo, the most organic first formula to put out into the crowded skincare market was her Onerta Body Lotion (from $6 for 1.25 oz. to $85 for 16 oz. at estheticunderground.com), the all-over product that de Sousa has been privately formulating and perfecting over the course of years. This launch is the first in a brand-new luxe line for all skin types called Onerta, which follows her less expensive Esthetic Underground label that was created to target problem skin.
The facialist, who says she felt born to be an esthetician, also counts as fans Emily Blunt (who she calls her “fairy godmother” for spreading word of her treatments to her inner circle), Michelle Monaghan, along with fashion designer-entrepreneur Rachel Zoe and bold-faced hairstylist Andy LeCompte. Her powerful holistic facials combine modalities such as cryotherapy, myofascial release, reiki energy balancing, microcurrent and modeling masks; treatments run a cool $300 for 60 minutes or $450 for 90 minutes.
De Sousa adds that on the red carpet “dewy will always be ‘in,’ and now that look is easy to achieve; the technology we have today allows for instant tightening and hydrating, but maintaining this look and feeling requires a good skincare regimen, as well as inner health.”
I just love @alisonbrie for all that she does!
A post shared by Biba West Hollywood (@bibawesthollywood) on
In fact, it’s a lack of dewiness that first led to her experimenting with a body lotion. When she moved to Los Angeles, de Sousa felt she was “being mummified in the dry heat,” she says. “I started mixing various ingredients to alleviate transepidermal water loss, because my skin was bothering me 24/7. At night, I could feel my feet scratching against the fine fabric of my bed linens, no matter how much salve I was applying.”
The self-testing period for the Onerta Body Lotion was long and included ingredients such as shea butter and other fruit butters and oils. The final paraben-, sulfate-, petroleum-, fragrance- and formaldehyde-free product features safflower seed oil, mango seed oil, green tea, gingko biloba, frankincense extract, shea, vitamin C and DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol). The latter is a collagen builder and skin-brightening agent that “leads to smoother, firmer skin,” says de Sousa. “Our hands and feet experience so much wear and tear and most don’t address that with enough nourishing and conditioning ingredients!”
Pro tip: Apply the lotion on freshly towel-dried skin to lock in moisture.
While de Sousa’s body elixir does all sorts of amazing things — alleviate dryness, protect against environmental pollution, help to heal scars, reduce age-related pigmentation — that are without a doubt appealing in today’s beauty market, de Sousa purposely does not tout trendy buzzwords and ingredients or rely on cute packaging or social media to sell the line.
“I want to give my clients the results from an experienced working esthetician, not from a corporate office where it’s all about sales goals and marketing,” she says. “And I’m not about trends.”
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