Hands down, the best perk that comes with being a beauty writer is having access to the latest and greatest skincare products, including some of the richest moisturizers, luxurious cleansers, and fast-working serums on the market. So yeah, I have pretty high standards when it comes to skincare. So high, it’s rare that I ever spoil myself beauty-wise (excluding hair appointments) outside my home. I’ll happily settle with a DIY spa day in my room.
That being said, it’s not like I wouldn’t appreciate a relaxing facial day at the spa. I’m just not into the idea of paying for the similar results I can get at home.
To be fair, I’ve only had one facial in my entire life, which was about three months ago. Upon losing my spa virginity, I really had no idea what to expect. I just assumed all traditional facials were life changing and had instant results, since almost all my girlfriends rave about their fresh spa skin. So I just did it! And forty minutes later, one hundred and something dollars plus tip was wasted. I just didn’t get it: all the aesthetician did was cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize my face, all while telling me I had beautiful skin, ultimately giving me false hope. Although it was very relaxing, I couldn’t help but feel ripped off by the experience. I left the spa super moisturized but tired-looking.
But just when I thought I was completely over the idea of facials, I was invited to try a facial of my choice at Pure + Simple Spa. I obviously didn’t turn down the opportunity, because what did I have to lose? I gave facials another chance, but this time I did my research to ensure I actually got the results I wanted.
I have oily skin: I’m really oily around my T-zone and cheeks, with visible pores around my nose area. But what I really wanted resolved was the loose, dark baggage around my eyes and mouth.
So after comparing the different facials, I decided to settle with the IPL Photo Rejuvenation Treatment. It’s not your traditional kind of facial, but I wanted instant results. The IPL facial (Intense Pulsed Light) treatment promised to brighten, tighten and strengthen my skin after one treatment, so I put it to the test.
Like every facial, the aesthetician started off by cleansing my face to remove makeup, oil and debris. The next step was a little bit scary — it was time for the IPL. Pressing a high-powered, hand held device against my face, the aesthetician shot the intense pulsed light into the skin and instantly zapped away whatever issues I had: large pores, dark patches and eye bags, including a little bit of facial hair. The benefit of IPL is that the shot of light instantly stimulates the growth of collagen. It wasn’t painful, but it also wasn’t pleasant. It was almost like a big static shock, but with the the scent of burning hair. After doing this all over my face, my skin was cooled off with cold compressors and was ready for serums and a mask. The treatment was then completed with moisturizer and sunscreen, which caused a weird woolly-looking fluff on my skin (which is a normal reaction apparently).
Besides the fluff all over my face, I remember feeling totally brand new and looking like I’d been Facetuned. The skin around my eyes tightened and brightened and I looked completely poreless. The aesthetician even said my skin looked as smooth as a hard boiled egg!
I was so happy and surprised that this treatment actually worked. Unfortunately, IPL regimens require five sessions to get the full effect — with each session spaced out every four weeks, which was how long the results lasted on my skin.
That one hour session was worth $250. Yes, $250. But I definitely think it’s worth it. Why?
The overall experience was totally different from what I usually do at home (obviously). And although I’m a total skincare junkie, the use of advanced technology and high-performing ingredients really delivered instant, semi-permanent results. Now I’m not saying I’d get a five-session package, but I would definitely do this again. I do recommend trying this treatment during the month of a big event or vacation.