East County skin spa won’t move outdoors, despite new options

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SAN DIEGO – The state released new guidelines Monday for personal care businesses moving their operations outside, including places like nail salons, hair salons, skin care and massages, but one skin spa in Rancho San Diego says they refuse to move outdoors, even if customers are willing to do so.

Personal care businesses like The Skin Boutique are licensed and trained with the highest standards of sanitation for inside their business, which it is a controlled environment.

This location has the option to move outside to a parking lot behind the spa or on the sidewalk in front, where it sits next to a pizza shop and other businesses.

Clare Vacio is used to working out of her treatment room, providing facials and other services like waxing or eyelash extensions. It’s an area she can regularly clean and sanitize, a stark contrast to what lays outside.

“How am I supposed to sanitize this parking lot every day?” Clare said.

For Vacio and so many others in her industry, there are a number of issues that come in addition to the less than ideal locations.

“We have skin care products, we have a lot of electrical that needs to be plugged in. The skin care products will go bad because it’s hot outside.”

For an industry that prides itself on sanitation, operating under a tent that must have at least three sides open for air flow just isn’t going to work very well.

“We do offer facials and waxing and some people have intimate waxing. It’s impossible,” said Vacio.

Aside from sanitation and privacy concerns, there is also the investment that has already gone into PPE and plexiglass at salons, spas and beyond for the mere three weeks they were allowed to resume business.

“We did everything and then some and what is being asked is complete opposite,” said Vacio.

The California Board of Cosmetology has its own inspectors actively checking if businesses like The Skin Boutique are closed under the state order. If they find anyone operating, businesses face a fine and getting their license revoked.

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