Cancer is a disease that many people battle with. Skinchanted, a new specialized oncology spa, has opened in Peekskill to help ease the pain a bit for those who have suffered through cancer-related treatments. It is located in the old Masonic temple next door to the Paramount Center of the Arts.
Kerry Kourie of Garrison, the owner of Skinchanted, has been interested in skin care since she was a child. Her mother fought a battle with melanoma that instilled in Kourie the importance of caring for the skin.
“My mother has a really big scar on her chest because of the cancer and I know that is how I got interested in working with skin,” said Kourie. “I would always chase her around with sun screen because she is not very diligent in putting it on.”
While interested in skin care, Kourie first tried her hand a public relations. She landed a job with Estee Lauder, where she learned about MAC cosmetics and Aveda products. But Kourie soon realized that a life behind a desk was not for her.
So she went back to school at New York School of Esthetics in Tarrytown. Upon graduation she worked for a medical spa and then spent a few years working for Angle Face Spa in Yorktown.
“I learned a lot from Angle Face, but eventually decided I wanted to do this on my own,” said Kourie.
Knowing that she had to set herself apart for all the other spas in the region, Kourie did some research.
“I was reading this article about a woman in Massachusetts who was an oncology esthetician and one of her clients gave her a testimonial and I remember thinking that it was really impressive to help people who have suffered so much,” she said. “I knew that was what I wanted to do.”
Being an oncology esthetician is so specialized there are only 250 technicians in the country who are certified in the field.
Kourie trained under Morag Currin, who has pioneered the only Oncology Esthetics® certification for licensed estheticians. The targeted training teaches estheticians to incorporate massage techniques specifically for people undergoing cancer therapies, to screen for cancerous skin lesions, and to bring cancer survivors’ skin back into balance.
“With oncology esthetics it is really about what not to do,” said Kourie. “With a lot of cancer survivors they have a pic line or a port in their chest or they could have a scar that is still tender. They can have radiation burn or radiation recall. Just as radiation can really affect your body on the inside it can affect your skin as well.
Kourie offers special facial and body treatment that are tailored specifically to help alleviate some of the discomfort.
“I offer a Comfort Cancer Facial that gives a person an hour-long stress free facial that used gentle products,” said Kourie. She also offers lymphatic draining and a post-chemotherapy radiation kit, that includes a cream moisturizer and a gentle cleanser and it has special antibiotics in there.
“It is made for those who undergo radiation, chemo, survive burns, bedsores or excessive dryness,” said Kourie.
She also has henna tattooing for eyebrows, reflexology and a massage therapist that works out of the spa twice a week.
Kourie is discussing an opportunity to work with the new cancer center at Hudson Valley Hospital Center.
Although specializing in oncology patients, Skinchanted is a full service spa that can help one. The spa’s other services include waxing, paraben free tanning and make up application.
Skinchanted is located at 1016 Brown St. Suite 303 in Peekskill.
For more information call (914) 930-1421 or visit www.skinchantedspa.com.