When is a facial not a facial? When it has morphed into a high-tech treatment that transforms your skin with the latest techniques to achieve results that weren’t possible in the past.
Rest assured, if you’re partial to a more pampering approach, traditional methods have also had an update, thanks to potent new serums that actively improve the skin’s appearance with scientifically proven ingredients.
Vampire Facial Plus
An hour, $850 at The Face Place, thefaceplace.co.nz
Like pretty much everything these days, if Kim Kardashian is doing it – you can bet it’ll be on the menu for the rest of us sooner or later. Say what you will about her ability to kick start a fad, there’s no denying her skin looks good, so when it comes to the vampire facial, we’ll have what she’s having. The science is that blood is drawn from your arm and spun in a centrifuge to separate the plasma-rich platelets. They’re then combined with hydrating Hyaluronic Acid and uniformly applied to the skin using a e-dermastamp pen containing minuscule accupuncture-like needles. It feels like your whole face is being turned into a pincushion, but the process is said to promote the body’s natural healing ability, which in turn stimulates collagen production over the following months, leaving skin firm, youthful and clear. Kind of like childbirth, time removes any memory of discomfort when you’re left with a beautiful baby face. However you may not forget your colleagues looks and suspicions when they do a double take at your red face the day after. Although it’s easily covered with mineral foundation, a Friday afternoon session might be a go.
Environ Super Facial
90 minutes, $219, at About Face, aboutface.co.nz
When we say treating skin effectively is all about using sound, we know you’re thinking about the whale music which spas are so fond of. But it’s much more high-tech than that. Used in conjunction with Environ’s new peptide-packed anti-aging DFP 312 serum by pioneering skin doctor Des Fernandes, this facial uses sonophoresis – low-level sound waves that create a vibration that helps increase penetration of active vitamins deep into the skin’s layers. Sounds crazy but it’s legit – doctors and physiotherapists also use the technology to help deliver medicine through the skin. The probe, which is manoeuvred over skin, makes a high-pitched, but not unpleasant, tone and is directed to areas you’d like to target for brighter, plumper skin. Firstly, two different peels – one bio lactic and one glycolic – are left on for several minutes each. Fear not – a peel just means active ingredients remove dead skin cells and prep your skin for the highly effective serum. After the serum, an additional layer of vitamins A and C are added to your face before the therapist paints on an alginate paste that quickly sets into a rubbery mask (above right). If you’re claustrophobic, beware you won’t be able to open your eyes during this bit. Little clips are attached and the face is treated as an imperceptible vibration again passes through the mask. While the mask does its thing, you’re treated to a neck and arm massage. The overall experience is generally relaxing, but with different applications and processes involved, it’s unlikely you’ll nod off. In the days following, my face looked remarkably fresh, like I’d had a big sleep, and the texture was even, ultra-smooth and plump.
Murad IP5 Illuminating Peel facial
60 minutes, $175, at Caci Clinic, caci.co.nz
If you’re after the relaxing nature and glowy results of a traditional facial but you’re totally okay with plenty of other anti-aging, skin-brightening and fine-line diminishing benefits, this facial is for you. Immuno-Skin Complex works on the skin’s texture, and the additional eye-lifting treatment claims to make the area 75 per cent firmer in 15 minutes, although it’s not clear how long that lasts. A cooling recovery mask calms any redness from the active ingredients. For days afterwards, the eyes are visibly improved. Ideal when you want to look great, quickly, for a special event.
Rapid Revive Facial
45 minutes, $80, at Haven, myhaven.nz
If a spa’s treatments are effective, the décor shouldn’t matter so much, but we can’t help it – new Auckland destination Haven is cool and modern and offers some of the latest approaches to reviving and refreshing skin. Designed for busy women to treat stressed, tired skin quickly, Rapid Revive takes 45 minutes and includes a double cleanse and a brightening mask. Revel in having someone hold your hand – even if it is only to massage it – and breathe deeply before you return to real life.
Decleor Aroma Facial
90 minutes, $165, at More Than Skin, morethanskin.co.nz
If it’s not soundwaves, it’s another of the six senses getting a workout. After a deep cleanse and gentle exfoliation, Decleor’s unique Aroma Expert facial sees the brand’s 100 per cent natural, active, scented oils applied to the face using Aromadrainage and Aromoa pressure techniques. Your face gets a luxurious massage – giving all your muscles a workout, releasing tension and leaving you looking and feeling healthy and energised. Just when your face feels like putty in the therapist’s hands, lie back and enjoy the final step – a mask chosen for the specific skin issues you want to address.