I’m all for therapies that show results. I’ll gladly submit to poking, prodding, wrapping and treatments that are tantamount to torture if I can see results afterwards. I’m definitely not of the school of gentle facials – extractions are my absolute 100% tip of the top favourite part. I’m not averse to microdermabrasion, skin buffing or use of machinery – Guinot’s Hydradermie facials are some of the best hydrating and lifting treatments out there, and they involve electrical currents. You have to be grounded to the bed, and that can be a worry for some. Not me though – bring it on. Likewise, Ole Henriksen’s excellent facials use brushes and vacuum suction, but they combine results with relaxation.
However, after a recent facial, what I do object to, it seems, is being given a treatment that’s almost completely mechanical. And conducted by someone whom, in another life, I was firmly convinced was a rough-housing sanitation worker. The facial started off with me being ordered to lie back. Then I was given out to for picking at a gigantic spot on my chin (well, you know how it is gals – it was colossal, I was merely helping it along).
And then the real fun started.
What felt like an electric toothbrush was taken to my face. It hurt. It actually hurt quite a lot. This went on for some time. Extractions were performed with a horrible hurty tool. Then, oh god, an extremely strong alcohol-based toner was doused over my face. So strong, my eyes watered, and my nose began to run. I got quite worried at this point, as this was possibly the absolute worst thing that could have been put onto sensitised skin, especially after such a harsh brushing. As an aside, I have what I think is a small tendency to rosacea on my cheeks, and I keep a close watch on it. After the treatment, my skin was red-raw and my cheeks are still calming down a couple of weeks later. I’ve had a few of those watery-filled blisters on them since, and I’m praying it doesn’t get any worse.
Once that lovely, calming and delightful step was over, a vitamin complex was added to my skin – by hand, miraculously. It was then mashed in with some sort of heated wand. For about 40 minutes. I lay, silent, praying for it to be over. No neck massage, no hand and arm, no kind words. It was Godawful. Just as I thought it would never end, my ‘therapist’ said, “you are done”, and walked out of the room.
About the only positive thing about this was the laugh I had about it afterwards, and the fact it can never happen to me again – because ladies, you will breathe a collective sigh of relief when I tell you that I had this wondrous treatment in Bulgaria. A beautiful country, yes, with wonderful friendly people too, but perhaps a place that still needs to learn a thing or 3 about proper skincare.