A few weeks ago I was invited to try out one of Total Body Concept‘s legendary facials. I said: um, yes please. Here’s a review of my luxury morning at the day spa – including my first ever experience of microdermabrasion and sonophoresis.
I arrived at Total Body Concept on a dull winter’s morning, slightly frazzled from organising myself to get out of the house without my six month old, and with a new winter cold coming on (the first of many this season).
To my delight, I was told by the friendly girl at the counter that I’d be starting the morning’s pampering with thirty minutes in the infrared sauna. She ushered me through to the sauna room, where I changed into a robe and relaxed in the sauna while gulping back icy cold, lemony water. [You can read more about my experience in the infrared sauna and its health benefits, HERE].
After the sauna melted away my mama-nerves and cold symptoms, I “freshened up” in the shower, donned a new robe and moved through to the “retreat room” where I sipped herbal tea, read magazines and waited to be met by my therapist and move onto the next step of my luxurious morning: the facial.
My therapist was warm, sweet and professional. When we got through to the treatment room she spent some time getting to understand me, my skincare habits and the nature of my skin. (As someone with quite sensitive skin this was reassuring to me. The last thing I wanted to be worrying about during my facial was whether I was going to have any sort of reaction to the treatment, and be walking out of there with my face stinging and as red as a beetroot.)
She explained what type of facial would be best for my skin this time, and away she went. Here’s how it went down…
The facial started with a “4-Step” Cleanse, to make sure my skin was good and clean for what lay ahead. First, a gentle milk cleanser, then a gel cleanser which was taken off with a sonophoresis (ultra soundwave) machine which meant a deeper cleanse [more on this machine below]. And then a pre-peel solution to prepare my skin for the next step: microdermabrasion.
A tiny vacuum for your skin. Well that’s what I imagined was happening while the little suctioning machine was hoovered over every inch of the skin on my face, chin and even my ears (which is apparently a goldmine for dry, flaky skin just waiting to be vacuumed up).
But technically it’s explained as a mechanical form of exfoliation to remove dead skin cells from the outer layer of skin. It’s a painless process using a diamond encrusted head to exfoliate together with a vacuum to remove the dead skin cells, leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth.
However you describe it, I liked the feeling of knowing that any dry, dead and loose bits were being banished from my face. And afterwards, it felt amazingly smooth. (And if you want, the therapist will show you the filter so you can see how much gunk she got off your skin!)
Sonophoresis | Infusion
The tiny squealing spatula. I actually don’t even know what it looks like, but with my eyes closed that’s how I pictured it as I listened to the intergalactic sounding machine screeching across my skin.
The UltraSonophoresis Machine was used twice during my facial: Once for removing the gel cleanser during the “4-step” cleanse, and then during this vitamin infusion stage.
During this step the machine was used to infuse vitamin serums into the skin, which helps the serums penetrate up to 10 times deeper than topical application alone. A warm, slightly tingly and unpleasant sensation (but not painful), the sonophoresis ultrasound waves stimulate micro-vibrations within the skin epidermis.
The deep penetration of the vitamin serums’ ingredients hydrate and refresh the skin. Depending on your skin the therapist will choose a couple of serums that’ll suit you best. For me, they used a Vitamin C serum and a hydrating serum.
From here on in the facial you’ll likely drift in and out of la-la land. This is the part you’ve been waiting for, and it starts with a facial massage. It was divine.
Mask + Scalp Massage
An “intensive hydrating peel off” treatment was applied to my face, with the aim of plumping and hydrating my skin. While this mask worked its magic, the therapist massaged my scalp. If you’re a serial sleeper, this is the part where you’ll fall asleep and start to drool. Heaven.
Serum & Moisturiser
A light application of a serum, moisturiser and a touch of eye cream. And you’re done.
All I had to do was dress myself and stagger back to my car in a relaxed stooper with my hair in a birds-nesty top knot. (Hot tip: Always book a facial on a day when you have nothing to do afterwards, and nothing on that evening either. It’s so much better to be able to sleuth your way into your pyjamas early after a day of pampering).
Over the following days my skin felt as smooth as my baby Albie’s bottom. And plump. No scales or dry patches. I could see the results of this facial immediately. These guys know what they’re doing, and I can’t wait for my next visit for a sauna and pampering.
*Images courtesy of Total Body Concept.