Confession – my first ever facial was at the age of 29…and it happened just a few weeks ago. I don’t know how I should feel about this. Disgusted that I waited to almost 30 years of age to have my first facial experience? Relieved that’s it finally over and done with and I can say I’ve had my face cleansed, scrubbed and smoothed within an inch of its life? A bit of both really.
The Big 3-0
I had been contemplating getting a facial since the start of the year. My upcoming birthday milestone was looming large and I felt my skin needed a little pick-me-up, beyond that of my twice weekly face scrub and monthly face mask. Whilst not plagued with spots or acne or any serious skin conditions, my skin was looking a little dull and lack-lustre. I felt like it was due a treat since it has served me pretty well these 29 years.
When the opportunity arose to have a skin consultation at Destination Skin in House of Fraser, Belfast, I jumped at the chance. Here I explained what I wanted to improve about my skin and it’s appearance; and then my skin and my skincare routine was put under the microscope.
I explained to Lisa the Skin Practitioner that I wanted some luminoisty injected back into my skin and I wanted the feeling of clean pores. I said my eye area and the on-set of fine lines was a slight concern to me as I age. I was reassured that my skincare routine was pretty good – I use a facial wash in the morning and follow that with a face serum and spf lightweight cream. At night-time I take my makeup off with a creamy cleanser, follow that with toner, under eye cream and a thick nighttime moisturiser.
Under the unforgiving light of the UV Box I was told my forehead and bridge of my nose where in excellent condition – no real pigmentaion issues of sun damage (yay!). My eyes and lower half of my face told a different story. These areas were apparently dehydrated and suffering from a little sun damage.
Some of the skincare suggestions made for me was investing in a good eye serum for my delicate under eye area rather than cream as that will better hydrate my skin. She also recommended an glyco acid wash to use twice a week to really clear away the dead skin cells on my face. I’ll definitely look into getting a good eye serum and I’ll do a bit more research around glyco acid ashes to see if it’s something I want to use.
Finally, Lisa recommended a Vitamin C Peel and Microdermabrasion facial. This would really clean up my skin, hydrate it and give it the brightening effect I wanted. I was excited to experience my first ever facial, and the fact I felt I was in good hands and was getting a ‘proper’ facial was reassuring. I booked myself in for the following week.
So what was the facial like? I was told the facial would last about an hour but mine didn’t last quite so long. I got the feeling when I arrived at the clinic that they were under time pressure as a client had arrived late and I was told I might not get the micrdermabrasion facial which left me a bit disappointed. In the end I did get the microdermabrasion facial. The Vitamin C peel took about 30 minutes followed by 10 minutes or so of microdermabrasion.
Lisa had me sign a consent form to say I was not pregnant or have/had cancer and that I was happy for the treatment to take place. This made the facial experience feel very serious and I started to get a little nervous for what was about to come. If I couldn’t have the facial if I was pregnant or had cancer, did I want it at all? I was told the reasons this kind of facial was dangerous in the cases of pregnany and cancer was because some the the products drain off into your lymphnodes and bloodstream.
The Vitamin C Peel
To begin with my face and neck were cleansed. All makeup was removed apart from around my eyes. Special eye pads were placed over my eyes to protect them from some of the products that would be used on my skin that may harm the eyes. A solution was then applied which smelled like vodka and was really quite unpleasant scent-wise. Once my skin was properly prepped the first vitamin C layer was applied and left on for three minutes. Then a second layer was applied and left on for three minutes, and finally a third and final layer was applied and left on for several minutes. I was told my skin might tingle and feel strange with the layers on but I felt no real strangeness or uncomfortableness.
“An all-round brightening treatment which delivers a perfect instant glow, there’s no downtime, visible peeling or irritation associated with it.” ~ Destination Skin
The peel solution gently exfoliates the top layer of skin, smoothing the skin’s texture and boosting cell turnover. Lisa explained that this process will vary depending on the client and they skin needs. Some people will require more layers with stronger active ingredients.
Finally all the Vitamin C layers were removed and it was time for the Microdermabrasion!
This is done using a machine and basically my face is ‘hoovered’ using a little noozle. Over and over Lisa went on my skin, smoothing it all and sucking out all the badness. It felt very satisfying! It wasn’t sore or uncomfortable at all. But it wasn’t relaxing either! Lisa concentrated alot on my chin and around the sides of my nose, where I am most conscious of my pores.
“Microdermabrasion is a deep exfoliating treatment that delivers crystals to the skin at high speed, effectively removing the top layer of dead skin.” ~ Destination Skin
Once the microdermabrasion was finished Lisa put on serum and cream for me and I was good to go. I was warned my skin would be red and blotchy for a short time, and it was but nothing I couldn’t handle. However, I did have to make my way through House of Fraser and back to my car barefaced, red…and probably rather scary looking. But by the time I got home the redness had really went down and I had no adverse effects.
Results so far
The morning after my facial I felt brilliant. My skin felt slippery smooth when I washed it and my pores looked so incredibly clean! I was impressed…and a bit hesitant to put makeup on and start clogging up my pores.
Now two weeks on I can’t defintively say I see a noticeable difference in how my skin looks. I don’t feel super luminious and lovely but I’m realistic enough to know that one facial isn’t going to transform my complexion. I was advised to have this type of facial every four weeks for three months,take a break and then resume, but I can’t see this happening. Facials like these are costly and a luxury in my eyes – in total the Vitamin C and Microdermabrasion at Destination Skin is £120. I’d love to have one in another three to six months time as a treat to myself.
Thank you kindly to Destination Skin Belfast for giving me a complimentary consultation and treatment.