Sadly, there’s a love-hate relationship going in my mirror right now—and it’s all because of my face. It’s not the freckles, which I have grown to love, or even the fine lines that give away my age. It’s the face that every day, my skin throws a a tantrum about something new, and I can’t satisfy it, no matter what I do. One day, I’m wiping oil from my forehead, the next, my cheeks are so tight I can hardly smile, and the next, I’m breaking out like a teenager. “Just hydrate,” everyone says. Well, that’s easier said than done, people.
I’ve tried creams, lotions, serums, potions, scrubs, ointments, masks, you name it. No matter how much water I feed my skin, it’s still mad at me. The state of affairs in the mirror is worrying because I don’t want these wrinkles etching any deeper, and I’m so over breakouts that I’m starting to temper tantrum for real. So I finally did what other women around me have been doing for years: I got myself a facial. And it was fantastic.
I had heard that regular facials work like magic. They slow the aging process, improve circulation, unclog pores, provide deep cleansing, re-hydrate skin and clear impurities. But I have so far not bothered to make my face a priority. Instead, I always seem to push my beauty regimen to the bottom of my to-do list. Well, it was time to change it up.
When I called Hand & Stone Hand & Facial Spa in Toronto (Leaside location), they asked what type of facial I was interested in. Ummm, how do I know? “One that can make my skin glow,” I said. “You know, one that can make me look radiant.” To accomplish that feat, I’d need to make an appointment and let the aesthetician take a peek.
What my skin got treated to
First, there was the set-up, designed to make all that stress you didn’t even know you’re dragging around seep out of you. I wrapped myself in a towel and lay down on a bed in a dark room as the sounds of the ocean and birds lulled me. With hot steam aimed at my thirsty pores, I answered questions about my skin. Yes, it was sensitive, yes, it was dry, yes it was oily, yes it was driving me to hate the mirror. Well, lucky me, I was about to try a menu of solutions. (Note: when you book your Hand & Stone facial, which you will, you won’t get this strange blend of treatments. I just needed to test a little of everything so I could report back.)
After my skin was steamed and cleansed, it was exfoliated with combined acid that felt tingly. Then came extractions of blackheads that had no business taking up camp on my nose, followed by microdermabrasion that sloughed off so much dead skin that I emerged feeling the appropriate blend of shocked/horrified/relieved/victorious. Next came a serum massage and some LED therapy with a red light that helps the product penetrate the skin. Finally, I was treated to a cool moisture surge mask for 10 heavenly minutes, while I enjoyed hand massages and almost fell asleep.
What I’ll go for next time
At Hand & Stone, you can choose from 6 different facials and 3 kick-ass exfoliating treatments:
Bio-Lift Collagen Facial: This moderately aggressive facial incorporates both an Active Peel treatment and a soothing, firming Collagen Mask to inject life vitality back into dull, dry skin.
Detox Facial: Encourages the skin to purge, detoxify and cleanse while purifying and rebuilding skin texture. This is a must-have for problematic and acne prone skin.
Thermal Facial: Smoothes wrinkles, increases absorbency, tightens pores and soothes skin.
Sensitive Skin Facial: Restores the skin’s pH balance and re-hydrates dull, dry skin, while soothing irritations and inflammations. Excellent for rosacea-prone skin.
LED Skin Phototherapy Treatment: Like a boot camp for your skin, LED Therapy combines thermal activity and the latest technology to optimize product penetration for rapid results. Ask us about our Anti-aging Therapy to reduce the signs of aging and our Clearing Therapy to help target and control acne.
Microdermabrasion: A non-invasive, non-surgical procedure that removes dull, lifeless cells on the surface of the skin to reveal newer more radiant skin. Improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, acne scars and hyperpigmentation.
Active Peel: Gentle exfoliation stimulates cell renewal. An effective treatment to diminish the appearance of fine lines, acne scarring and sun damage. Promotes skin revitalization and radiance.
What YOU get out of it
It’s true that healthy skin reflects not only how you look but also how you feel. I felt dull and lifeless when I entered Hand & Stone, and radiant and refreshed when I left. See for yourself.
Hand & Stone Massage & Facial Spa has 25 locations throughout Canada. The facials are performed by certified aestheticians and are individually tailored for women, men or teens. Take advantage of an individually tailored maintenance program so you can enjoy a clear, beautiful complexion in between regular appointments.