Thursday, 10 October 2019

The Beauty of Facials

Let me just start this by saying that I LOVE facials. I would take a facial over a massage any day (and I'm a pretty big fan of massages too) but trust me when I tell you that not all facials are created equal.

If you've ever let me talk to you about skincare, I will have given you an earful about my good and not-so-good experiences. And since I have your undivided attention right now, I might do just that! I have had a $1500 laser treatment that I felt gave me next to no results, I've had a $350 hydrofacial that I have no idea what it did and I've had spa facials that felt like a nice cleanse, but not much more than that. On the other hand, I've had an IPL laser treatment that had mind-blowing results, microneedling which is quite possibly my new addiction and a series of personalized spa facials that totally changed my skin. I'm focusing on the last of these today but if you have any questions about the others, just let me know.

As you may or may not know, I currently spend my Saturdays working at Emerald Day Spa in Victoria. It is owned by a very good friend of mine, Tanya, and so I've been a client there for many years before ever working for her. She was developing a new facial program at her spa to focus on targeting specific skin concerns and asked if I would be a guinea pig. Of course I jumped at the opportunity because who am I to turn down a facial? I obviously couldn't resist. And since I loved it so much, I thought I would tell you all about it!
This is Tanya winning the award for the Best Day Spa in Victoria -- an award she has won two years in a row! I'm such a proud friend

The facial series is tailored to a person's specific needs and mine at the time was dehydration, hyperpigmentation and congestion. I had spent the 2 years prior travelling through South East Asia and Australia and hadn't been taking particularly good care of my skin. In humid countries, it always feel like your skin is hydrated enough, but in reality the sun and heat are taking their toll. Of course, I wore sunscreen and moisturized everyday, but I was constantly ill, ALWAYS in the sun, probably not drinking enough water, and not incorporating important ingredients into my skincare regimen. 
This is a photo I took right before starting the treatments. From this photo, I don't have any obvious skin concerns, but you can see that my skin is dull and lifeless and I hated going out without any makeup on.

Tanya put me on an entire skincare program to use at home while we were doing the weekly facials (which I will talk about in the next post) and I just want to emphasize how crucial that was for my skin hydration. After using really great products, I truly believe that you are just throwing your money away if you are getting fancy facials and using sub-par skincare at home. They come as a package deal and it really is an investment in your skin. But if you are like me -- it is one you will be so happy to make. 
This is a little sneak peek at my favorite product from the bunch. If you are going to run out and buy one product on my recommendation, let it be the Aveda Exfoliant!
Also, how good does my makeup free skin look here!? I think this was right at the end of the series.

Now lets talk a bit about the series of treatments. Tanya decided the best course of action was to do one treatment per week, alternating peels and manual microdermabrasions. We did this for 5 treatments and after Tanya assessed my skin, we decided to go ahead with a sixth. The very first and last treatments were full signature facials, and the three in the middle were quicker treatments with either the peel or the micro. 

The Signature Facial is incredible, with a plant based peel, exfoliation, extractions, lots of beautiful serums and the best part -- a scalp, neck, shoulder, arm and leg massage. I'm melting just thinking about it.

The Plant Based Glycolic Peel was really interesting. It is done in two stages, with the first being a warm sensation on the skin, then the second being hot under the touch of the hands. It's quite an interesting feeling, with the heat being most intense where the hands are pressing -- almost like a hot stone massage. 

The Manual Microdermabrasion was an intense scrub that was applied by hand. Tanya focused on one small section of the face at a time and applied quite a firm pressure. It was the quickest of the treatments and my skin felt like a newborn baby's when I left the spa.

The image at the beginning of this post is a before and after of my skin on the first treatment. You can see straight away how much my skin has brightened and plumped up, but maybe the best part is how much congestion was removed from my pores. I honestly didn't even realize that was a problem of mine, but wow was it ever. This congestion would come out with a fighting vengeance over the next few weeks as my skin purged itself like never before. Have a look below to see a little example of what I mean.
Ugh, why do I put these photos of myself on the internet? I'll never know...

So, Tanya had warned me that my skin may purge and I'm not sure that I really believed her but yuck was she right. She told me to continue with the skincare and power through so that's just what I did and I'm happy I listened to her. It was a painful few weeks, but the end result was brighter, plumper, smoother, and more hydrated skin. 

(I also just wanted to add that 2 other people were doing the series at the same time and neither of them had purging. I suppose I was just lucky...)

This final photo was taken just after I had my last facial of the series and I'm obviously feeling my skin, lol. But seriously, can we just take a moment to appreciate that glow? I do have a tinted brow gel on in this photo (I was testing it out after receiving it in the mail) but other than that, it's my natural skin.

This was about 5 months ago and with good skincare and a facial every now and then, my skin has remained healthy and glowing. I honestly couldn't rave about it more.

The process was a huge reminder that it is SO important to find an esthetician that you trust 100%. I mentioned at the beginning that not all facials are created equal and the same rings true for estheticians. Make sure you find one that is knowledgeable and experienced if you want REAL results. I would trust any of the girls at Emerald Day Spa with my skin and I don't say that lightly. Must be why they keep getting voted as the number one spa in the city!

If you have any questions about the treatments I received or the spa itself, please don't hesitate to ask! I'm always happy to chat skincare. xoxo

Thanks so much for visiting!



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