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Palm Desert spa owner invents unique device as they prep for ‘new normal’ to keep clients safe


When the coronavirus pandemic reached the valley, Chakra Esthetics Day Spa in Palm Desert was another one of the many local businesses forced to close their doors.

“When you close down, it’s very scary and it has been a struggle for a lot of people in my industry,” owner of the spa, licensed massage therapist and esthetician, Angela Rafferty told News Channel 3.

Rafferty showed us how a day at the spa will look different for her clients once it’s safe for them to reopen.

“This is the Plexi-Face and a client will typically lay on the table just like they normally would … and the esthetician's arms move freely just as they would with no issues,” she showed us.

It’s an idea that came to Rafferty while in quarantine at home with her family.

“I recently saw an interview about babies in hospitals because we’ve seen so much medical in the news here lately and I saw an incubator and I got to thinking, 'That is an interesting idea! How could I do something like that that would address the issue of being so close to our clients?'” she explained.

The Plexi-Face is acrylic and it's made at a local company here in the desert. She told us once she opens, this will be a requirement for her clients to rest underneath the barrier when they come in for treatments.

“This device comes right up to their shoulders and the esthetician or spa professional will place this right up over your face," she said. "You can see they’re quite tall and that is really helpful when we are using steamers so you can continue to have steam in your service. Also, the height helps a lot with people who have claustrophobia and the clear acrylic is a blessing for people who have those issues,” she added.

Now she’s working on other plexiglass creations like this one for nail salons.

“I wanted to find a way to help other spa professionals return to work and their clients and feel safe coming in to see them again,” she said.

But she thinks that probably won't be for at least another two months. Spas are a part of Governor Newsom's third phase, so she’s waiting to get the green light from him.

“If I didn’t have this particular creation I’d probably wait a lot longer to return to work or possibly close the spa and that would be a tragedy,” she said.

This device is just one of the many ways her spa is trying to add extra measures to keep people safe. Other ways include temperature checks at the door of all clients. “We use a number of chemical sanitizers," she said. "We use air purifiers and we’re also going to be using lighted wands, UV light wands to make sure we are treating the entire spa between clients,” she said. Rafferty also sais she will continue to wear a mask and gloves when working with clients even with the Plexi-Face.

Until things return to a 'new normal,' Rafferty is focusing her energy on innovation.

To learn more about the Plexi-Face visit her website here:

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Caitlin Thropay


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