Sunday, November 28, 2010

Facial Fears

From the Desk of Penny:
Penny here…with a lesson learned about getting a facial when you shouldn’t. A couple of weeks ago I went to the spa for what should have been a relaxing afternoon. That morning when I washed my face I realized my skin was a bit irritated…I had small bumps on my forehead and a few on my cheeks…almost like a rash. My face is often irritated lately so I wasn’t too concerned…besides my Groupon to the spa was about to expire. So I was off to enjoy the very same facial that I had back in February (see blog entry 02/21/10).

As soon as the first product touched my face I noticed something different than the first time…my skin was stinging. No. Not tingling as the aesthetician said some of the products might…but stinging as in burning a little. This is where Penny decided to take one for the team and proceed with the facial. LOL! What is it I always say: “Trial and error ladies…its trial and error.” LOL! I have never been so uncomfortable during a spa treatment that I have had to stop the procedure. So I didn't. But more importantly I realized that I put my complete trust in the people and the process when I go to the spa. After several applications of creams/gels, extractions of whiteheads/blackheads, and an ultrasound exfoliation machine, I am relaxed but my skin and lips were still stinging. The mask was the best part of the process and the last part. It was cool and soothing and was left on for longer than usual. I left the spa a happy customer despite the slight discomfort and chocked it up to my face being slightly irritated before I got there. I didn’t look closely at my face before I left but I expected some redness from the extractions. (read full story...)

After my visit to the spa I met a friend for lunch. During lunch my skin was feeling tender and my lips were still stinging even though I had applied Aquaphor ointment a few times. When I went to use the restroom at the restaurant and looked at my face in the well lit bathroom mirror, I was surprised at how red my face was and the scabbing that was developing. Fast forward a few hours later and I’m at home with ice on my face. *sigh* My skin was red and irritated; sensitive to the touch; with scabs on my cheeks and forehead like an infant who scratched up themselves with their sharp little fingernails. LOL! At closer examination I looked like maybe I had a chemical burn; like my face reacted to the products. I also think that although I had dry patches maybe the ultrasonic exfoliation was too much for my sensitive skin. I had to bail on a birthday party that night and was a bit disappointed.

For the first couple days I could only wash with water and pat it dry. By the third day I used Cetaphil to cleanse and only pure olive oil or virgin coconut oil to moisturize. By midweek the scabbing was falling off and I helped it along. (ssshh!) LOL! I was very careful with my face as I didn’t want any permanent damage (and there was none). By the end of the week I was able to use my regular cleansers and moisturizers. I also tried make-up then and was fine. Some of my friends felt that it was a ‘normal reaction’ to a chemical peel type facial, but I have had many, and never a reaction like that. When all was said and done my face was back to normal a week later.

In retrospect I realized that there is a chance that you may react negatively when you go for any spa treatment. Unless you know you’re allergic to something it is not always easy to know how your skin will react to professional grade products…even those that are natural-based like many of the ones used on me. I realized that even if I asked about every product that was used, I don’t know that I would have asked the aesthetician to do anything differently.  That's why I go to the professionals. Penny doesn't always know what's best for her skin.

I never called to discuss it further with the spa (although I did send an email about it the next day via the spa’s website, but never got a response). Let’s face it…I’m getting older and my skin more sensitive. I plan to be more careful, share all of my concerns with the aesthetician, and continue to ask lots of questions.  I hope no one is discouraged by this experience. Penny believes a woman can never have to much spa-ing in her life (yes, that's an action verb). LOL!

Be blessed. Be beautiful.

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