Owner of Passaic County Spa Agrees to Pay $10,000, Accept 10-Year Ban on Doing Business in NJ to Resolve Allegations of Practicing Medicine Without a License

For Immediate Release: July 10, 2024

Office of the Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
Division of Consumer Affairs
– Cari Fais, Acting Director
Division of Law
– Michael T.G. Long, Director

For Further Information:

Media Inquiries-
Lisa Coryell

Final Consent Order

TRENTON – Continuing their efforts to halt the unlicensed practice of medicine in spa-like settings, Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Division of Consumer Affairs (“Division”)  announced today that the owner of a Passaic County skin-care spa has agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty and accept a 10-year ban on operating a skin care specialty spa in New Jersey in order to resolve allegations of unlawfully providing invasive aesthetic treatments only licensed medical professionals are authorized to perform in New Jersey.

Rasha Abdul N. Basuf, owner of the now-defunct Skyn Spa in Clifton, entered a consent order with the State Board of Medical Examiners (“Medical Board”) and the State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling (“Cosmetology Board”) that resolves allegations stemming from the Division’s investigation into Basuf’s business practices.

Prompted by a tip from the public, the investigation found evidence that at various times between March and December 2023, Basuf—who is neither a licensed cosmetologist nor a physician—and her salon unlawfully provided cosmetic services without the requisite professional licenses; provided services that exceeded those permitted under the salon’s skin care specialty shop license; and provided services that only licensed medical professionals are authorized to perform.

The unlicensed services allegedly performed at Basuf’s salon—Botox and dermal filler injections, body contouring, laser hair removal, teeth whitening, permanent makeup, microblading, microneedling, and platelet rich plasma facials (also known as “vampire facials”) —underscore the dangerous risks associated with so-called “med-spas” that offer aesthetic medical treatments in day-spa settings.

“No matter how elegant or professionally staffed a ‘med-spa’ may appear, without proper supervision and guidance from licensed, authorized medical personnel, consumers may be exposed to dangerous treatments that could have serious long-term consequences,” said Attorney General Platkin. “As the med-spa industry continues to grow and evolve, we will continue to investigate and hold accountable individuals providing aesthetic services they are neither licensed nor qualified to perform.”

“We urge the public to thoroughly vet the professional credentials of practitioners before undergoing any invasive beauty treatments, especially when the treatments are offered at discount or ‘club’ prices,” said Cari Fais, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “If you suspect someone is providing medical or cosmetic services without a license, please let us know. As the action announced today illustrates, a single tip can help us put a stop to unlawful activities that pose a serious threat to the public.”

According to the Board’s findings of fact, which Basuf and Skyn Spa neither admit nor deny:

In March 2023, investigators with the Division’s Enforcement Bureau (“EB”) conducted an inspection of Skyn Spa, which advertised a wide array of aesthetic services, including many that require a professional license to perform. At the time, the spa was not licensed by the Cosmetology Board to do business in New Jersey.

When interviewed by investigators, Basuf reported performing various services such as teeth whitening, body contouring, laser hair removal, eyelash extensions, conventional and permanent makeup, and skin care therapies, among other services offered at Skyn Spa. She told investigators that the microblading and microneedling services offered at her spa were performed by a nurse named “Lenora” whose qualifications and contact information she could not provide.

During the inspection, EB investigators observed pharmaceuticals, equipment, and medical supplies inside the shop, including disposable syringes, butterfly needles, an ultrasound and other machines, lidocaine, and benzoyl peroxide. At the conclusion of the inspection, investigators informed Basuf that her spa could not remain open while providing unlicensed services, including those that require a medical license to perform.

The following month, Skyn Spa applied for a skin care specialty shop license from the Cosmetology Board. As part of the application process, an inspection of the premises was conducted, during which investigators observed that the medical equipment and supplies had been removed from the premises. In June 2023 Skyn Spa was issued a shop license permitting it to offer and to have its licensed employees perform waxing, eyelash extensions, conventional makeup applications, and skin-care facials.

However, when investigators conducted a follow-up inspection of the salon in December 2023, they discovered evidence that Basuf and Skyn Spa were again offering and performing services outside the salon’s approved scope as a skin care specialty shop, including services that require other professional licenses. The medical equipment and supplies that had been removed before the June inspection had been returned and Basuf’s social media page advertised several services that may not be performed by a licensed cosmetologist in a skin care specialty shop––including Botox and platelet rich plasma facials­––because the treatments require highly specialized training and a separate professional license. In addition, Skyn Spa advertised services explicitly prohibited by the cosmetology statute, including teeth whitening, body contouring, and services that use devices that affect the living cells beneath the outermost layer of the skin.

In February 2024, Skyn Spa filed a Certificate of Dissolution and Termination with the New Jersey Department of Treasury to dissolve its corporate entity and surrendered its skin care specialty license a month later. The spa is currently closed and not offering any services to the public.

Under the terms of a consent order filed with the Board of Medical Examiners and the Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling, Basuf and Skyn Spa must cease and desist from advertising, offering for sale, and engaging in any services that constitute the practice of medicine and surgery and the practice of cosmetology and hairstyling at any location in New Jersey. Basuf must not hold herself out as qualified to practice medicine and surgery or any service that constitutes the practice of cosmetology and hairstyling. Basuf is also barred from seeking a skin care specialty shop license from the Cosmetology Board for a period of ten years from the date of entering the consent order and must also pay a $7,500 civil penalty assessed by the Medical Board and a $2,500 civil penalty assessed by the Cosmetology Board.

Basuf is the latest individual to face enforcement actions relating to alleged unlicensed medical practice in connection with so-called “medical spa” treatments involving needles, syringes, and lancets or prescription medications like Botox and lidocaine.

  • In October 2023, Carolina Nunez, a licensed cosmetologist and skincare specialist who owned and operated Carolina Nunez Skincare in Union, agreed to pay $22,500 in civil penalties to resolve allegations she offered and performed numerous services exceeding the scope of her cosmetology/skincare license and constituting the practice of medicine without a license. Those services included dermal filler injections, Botox injections, cosmetic tattooing, platelet rich plasma treatments, and usage of a hyaluronic pen. Further, Nunez allegedly offered cosmetology services in a shop that was not licensed by the Cosmetology Board.
  • In June 2023, Marisol Cabrera, a licensed cosmetologist who owned and operated the now-shuttered Marysol’s Beauty Works in Union Township, was reprimanded by the Cosmetology Board and required to pay an aggregate civil penalty of $17,650 assessed by the Cosmetology Board, the Medical Board, and the Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy to resolve allegations that she exceeded the scope of her professional license and practiced medicine and massage therapy without a license. Cabrera allegedly performed numerous medical and non-medical procedures at her salon, which included incisional drainage, lymphatic drainage massages, and usage of ultrasound, radiofrequency and cavitation machines. Further, Cabrera allowed an unlicensed individual to perform cosmetology services in the salon in violation of the professional rules for Cosmetology and Hairstyling.
  • In February 2023, Isabella Dos Santos, a licensed cosmetologist and licensed massage and bodywork therapist who owned and operated Katica Body Contour salon in Elizabeth, consented to a five-year suspension of her massage and bodywork therapy license and agreed to pay an aggregate civil penalty of $20,000 assessed by the Cosmetology Board, the Medical Board, and the Massage Board to resolve allegations that she exceeded the scope of her professional licenses and practiced medicine without a license. Dos Santos allegedly performed numerous medical and non-medical procedures at her spa, including facial fillers, platelet rich plasma treatments, micropigmentation, chemical peels, lymphatic drainage massages, ear candling, teeth whitening, and laser hair removal. Further, Dos Santos offered cosmetology services in a shop that was not licensed by the Cosmetology Board, in violation of the professional rules.

The investigation of Basuf and Skyn Spa was conducted by the Enforcement Bureau within the Division of Consumer Affairs.

Deputy Attorneys General Stacy-Ann T. Davy and Michelle Mikelberg, under the supervision of Professional Boards Prosecution Section Chief Doreen Hafner, within the Division of Law’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement Practice Group represented the State in the matter.

Patients who believe they have received medical treatment by an unlicensed or inadequately licensed provider or have been treated by a licensed professional in an inappropriate or unsafe manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.