Back in February, I had my first facial at Toccare Day Spa, a little self-care haven located on Providence Rd. It was my first facial experience and it was one of the most relaxing spa experiences that I’ve ever had. Since opening in 2013, Caci Di Russo and her staff of talented estheticians have brought quality, customized, and clean beauty to the Charlotte community.
In this interview, Caci Di Russo shares about what inspired her to open Toccare, the story behind the name, and answered some of the skincare questions that you’ve always wanted to ask.
When did you first come up with the concept for Toccare Day Spa?
My then-boyfriend, now husband, and I toyed around with the idea when I left my long-time position at “Carmen! Carmen!”. That was in 2011. Then the opportunity came up for me to rent a space from Jeffre Scott Apothocary, which was a great learning experience for me. I had been there for about a year and a half when Jeffre decided he didn’t want to offer services anymore, so I then started to explore my options. Massi heavily encouraged me to take the leap and work for myself and loaned me the money for our first investment. This was in December 2012, and we then opened Toccare’s doors on February 11, 2013. (I told our contractor we had to be open for Valentine’s Day.) Once I made the decision to take the leap, everything fell “organically” into place. My concept was really just to create a home for me to take care of my cherished clientele and offer safe, realistic options for self-care.
How did you decide on the name Toccare?
There are three meanings behind choosing Toccare as our name. Toccare means “to touch” in Italian, so besides the obvious fact of facials and massages being a form of touch, and that being the most powerful form of communication, I’ve always felt that you should choose your skincare based on the texture, smell, and the way it feels to you. The most important meaning is that it is a homage back to my existing clientele. They’ve been very loyal to me and afforded me the opportunity to do what I love. They have “touched” my life by making Toccare possible. My husband and the Villa our shop is in are also both Italian, so I thought it was very fitting.
At what age is it the most important to begin a daily skincare regime?
13. People that start with great habits are typically the best at caring for their skin long-term.
How often should you get a facial?
We recommend once a season unless you’re specifically trying to combat an issue in the skin. As the seasons change, it’s a really great time to check in with your esthetician and assess the condition of your skin. We can see how it faired through the last season, and also prepare it for the next. With clients that are preparing for an upcoming event, dealing with stubborn acne, looking for more anti-aging results, or just in more overall need of self-love, we recommend once a month.
What type of process do you go through when selecting the beauty and skincare products that you carry at the spa?
We are always scouting and being scouted by new brands. It’s a pretty fun process really. Our entire team participates in the testing of new brands and all of our brands/products are heavily vetted.
What is the most important skincare product that should be included in all skincare regimes?
Is there a particular brand or product that you recommend to clients?
We are all really big on face oils here. I think oils are what the skincare industry has been trying to figure out all this time. Finding the right one can be the most balancing and make the biggest difference for all skin types. As far as brands, we all have our favorites! My personal favorites are Pai Skin Care and Marie Veronique.
What are some of the products that you use in your personal skincare regime?
Even though I own a skincare boutique, I keep my routine pretty simple. I also hate any type of waste, so unless I’m really not impressed, I always finish my products. With that being said, I’m always trying something different when I finish a bottle- it rarely stays the same. Right now, in the morning I splash with a little water and use Pai Rosehip Oil cocktail with their Back to Life Hydration Serum. At night, I’m using the Marie Veronique Vitamin C Serum and Pai Avocado and Jojoba Moisturizer. I mask once or twice a week with Botnia’s Hydration Mask.
Are there foods you recommend in addition to skincare that will help promote hydrated and clearer skin?
I’ll refer to Dr. Perricone’s book, The Wrinkle Cure here. Salmon, blueberries, walnuts, anything high in Omega. Also, coconut water is great for hydration.
You co-hosted a Balance & Beauty event with North Corner Haven back in May. What was your biggest takeaway from the wellness event, and do you plan to have more events like this in the future?
Personally, my biggest takeaway that day was the reminder of how important our connection to nature is. The second we turned down the dirt road entrance and drove the mile and a half to reach the farm, my soul was just beaming with excitement. It was honestly a huge opportunity for us and I was so happy to be a part of it. Yes, we’d definitely like to do something like this again in the future!