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A peek inside the new Barba Skin Clinic on Biscayne Boulevard reveals a space marked by soft lighting and hues of ivory and blue. The idea? Pretty, classic and clean, which is the first sign that Dr. Alicia Barba and her sister, Stella, are definitely tuned in to what pleases the eye—yet anything but skin-deep.

“We believe it’s health before beauty,” says Alicia, when asked about the mantra for the clinic, a center for cutting-edge dermatology that offers custom facials, peels, electrolysis, laser hair removal, injectables, and just about every other treatment out there.

Like most sisters, the Barbas share some common physical traits—big, chocolate-brown eyes and warm, reassuring smiles among them—but the siblings also have their differences. “I’m even-keeled,” says Alicia. “I’m not the spitfire Stella is.” Stella nods in agreement, adding, “But you can tell we’re sisters and patients respond to that.”

This “we are family” yin and yang has served the two well. After Alicia graduated from Harvard and started her private practice in Miami, she reached out to Stella who was working in electrology in San Diego, and asked her to come work with her. They did so for more than 10 years and then last summer they decided to expand with a new concept: a spalike asylum dedicated to upscale and “serious skincare.”

Serious is right. Every aesthetician at the Barba Skin Clinic receives an average of six months tutelage.“We had to create mini-Stellas,” says Alicia, laughing. “That doesn’t happen easily.”

But happen it did, and positive buzz on the clinic has spread among Miami’s nip-and-tuck-happy set. But the Barbas are staying true to their original mission statement, and they’re not afraid to speak their mind when they think a patient might be going overboard.

“The secret to beauty is feeling good and that goes beyond a procedure,” says Stella. “We know when to say no.”

Alicia and Stella Barba’s Hots
Shoes, European pharmacies, design blogs

Alicia and Stella Barba’s Nots
Hangovers, dark tan lines, overdone lips