The Coast News Group
Sea Notes

Facing sun, wind & sea

If you spend much time outdoors, the largest organ in your body will take a beating. Each day sun and wind combine with stress and free radicals to conspire against your exterior in a never-ending war that hammers a surfer’s pliable skin into brittle shoe leather, or worse, cancerous scabs. Add surfers to a list of those who visit a region once considered the exclusive domain of mad dogs and Englishmen.Since lapping the sun 65 times, I have spent enough time beneath the great orb to power the city of Encinitas for a year, if it were run on solar batteries. And, for most of those years, I have taken better care of the paint on my car than I have the thin layer covering my body.

All that changed a few months ago, when I met medical esthetician Robin McNeal during a weekend workout class. After one look at my over exposed epidermis, she requested I come into her Encinitas office for what she called a hydra facial, a term I had never encountered, but that conjured up all the joy of sedative-free dental surgery. Still, Robin seemed trustworthy, so I agreed to give it a try. What did I have to lose? Plenty, as it turned out.

In her office, Robin proved a perfect combination of professional competence and friendly manner as she cheerfully explained the coming experience, easily mixing scientific language with the topics of the day. After some preparations, she took me through a four-step process that included cleansing, exfoliation, peeling, extractions and hydration.

The entire visit, which took less than an hour, was not only painless, but also nearly enjoyable as dead skin, dirt and various other unwanted hitchhikers that had attached themselves to me, were gently removed and placed in a bottle of what quickly became murky water. “That’s all dead skin,” said Robin, holding up the foul liquid that I had previously owned. Once the old were removed, various natural ingredients were painlessly injected, leaving my exterior noticeably more pliable, younger looking, healthier and more able to repel the daily assaults against it.

Aside from hydra facials, McNeal also offers Advanced Hair Complex +, a painless and proven process that promises to restore thinning hair, enhance the overall condition of the scalp, increase circulation, maintain cellular health and generally promote healthy hair. Haven’t tried that, but it seems that anyone who places SPF 50 atop Mount Baldy, would benefit from the treatment.

Before leaving, McNeal placed a dispenser of quality natural sunscreen in my hands. According to her, “Most sunscreen is actually damaging to your skin, cooking harmful chemicals into your skin. And, in my opinion, that is one reason there is such a drastic increase in skin cancer. This product actually revitalizes your skin while protecting you from the sun.” Having tried it for a week, it has worked amazingly well so far.

The rejuvenation of my skin came just in time for my 65th birthday. Can’t stop the clock, but it’s nice to clean it up a bit. Thanks Robin.

To learn more about Robin McNeal’s skin and hair rejuvenation, or to make an appointment, call (760) 274-2377, or visit, go to “Services” and pull down “Skin rejuvenation.”