My First Facial

My face, post facial!

My best friend Linda told me she’d gotten her first facial and loved it. She also signed up for a monthly membership at the spa, which means for her monthly fee she gets either a massage or facial every month. AND, she can bring a friend, who will get a facial or massage at the membership price! She asked, “Do you want to come with me in March!?”

Um, YES PLEASE! I’d recently chatted with someone from Philosophy about changing up skincare routines and being unafraid to try new skin creams, etc., even with sensitive skin, so I thought a facial was a great way to loosen up and give my face a treat.

Linda booked our facials for this past Saturday. We went to Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa, which is apparently a chain. I filled out the paperwork and Elissa, my skin therapist, came out to greet me.

Once shown to my room, I slipped out of my flannel, button-down shirt and bra, and wrapped myself in a towel that closed like a strapless top, and slipped under the covers on the heated massage table/bed. Elissa came back once I was settled and asked me about my skin.

I told her I have rosacea, and she advised I go with the sensitive skin facial. I agreed. She told me that the products she’d be using were Dermalogica products, from their UltraCalming line. I had mentioned to her that Dermalogica was supposed to send me a sample set of their UltraCalming line but never did. I totally misspoke. Their PR folks DID send me the samples, but I never reviewed them because I didn’t use them correctly or consistently. I should have asked for guidance on the proper regimen. I did talk to my contact a while later and she said she’d send some full-sized products of some of the items for me to review, but she never sent them. I never followed up because I felt bad that I didn’t properly use the sample set they sent in the first place.

Anyway! Linda had mentioned to me that she enjoyed her skin therapist, because during the 50 minute facial, she hardly talks. But that’s what I loved about Elissa. She told me what she was doing, and when I’d ask questions she was happy to answer.

Not only that, but she too has rosacea, and it was so interesting to talk to someone who looked to be near my age, maybe younger than me, who has this skin disease!

Getting a facial was a bit of a learning experience! I learned a few things I wasn’t expecting to, like when she extracted my blackheads, I asked her if she was going to use a tool. No, she explained. Blackhead extraction is actually somewhat of an art in that you want to make sure there’s no bacteria going back inside the pore. Using tools are actually detrimental to that goal, and she was using a method, with just her fingers, that she was taught in school. I told her I use cotton swabs when I try to extract them on my own, and she said that was actually good.

Then I asked what blackheads really were, and she told me the only difference between a blackhead and other comedones is that the top of the comedone oxidizes, which is why it turns black. The rest of it is white, she added, popping my comedones as she talked.

Not only did Elissa tell me about the colloidal oatmeal mask, steam, and Dermalogica Barrier Repair as she used them on my face, but she also noticed I was sporting China Glaze Broken Hearted Crackle Glaze on my digits early on in the facial – which I wore over Maybelline Express Finish in Pink Prizm…Ok, here’s a pic:


Anyway! She and I chatted about nail polish a little bit and she told me about her problems getting polish to stay chip-free because of the nature of her work and her hands being in water a lot. She said she sees a lot of customers wearing OPI Lincoln Park After Dark – still relevant after all this time! It was nice to chat about nail polish and skin care and things of that nature with someone who understands! Someone who loves it!

Elissa really sold me on the Barrier Repair. This line has helped calm her redness, and she swears by the Barrier Repair. You know how sometimes when you go to a shop and the sales clerk will tell you how great that sweater or dress looks on you, just to make a sale? I could tell that Elissa was being honest with me about Barrier Repair and the UltraCalming line. So when I left, I used my 10% discount as a new member of the spa (Oh yes, now I too will be getting monthly facials!!) to purchase a new sample set of the UltraCalming line. Elissa pointed out which products on the box to use in what order:

Start with the UltraCalming Cleanser, use the UltraCalming Mist, apply the UltraCalming Serum Concentrate, and finish with Barrier Repair. Use the UltraCalming Relief Masque when I get flareups; I’m thinking of routinely using it once a week.

I’m so excited to go back next month! My face is so smooth, “like a baby’s bottom,” is how Linda puts the feeling LOL

Have you ever gotten a facial? What do you like – to talk to your skin therapist or to stay quiet?