I like spa treatments. Love a good massage, a good soak, a good scrub. Facials… not so much. I’m the girl that gets a facial and comes out looking worse: major acne flare-up, greasy, sweaty, shiny. I have not had a facial in over ten years because, quite frankly, I’m too scared. There has been a buzz about the facials at Physician’s Center for Beauty for some time: not just about the facials, but about their aestheticians and how good they are. I mentally prepared myself to lay low this week, so that nobody would see my face and scheduled an appointment.
I arrive at my facial and prepare to get my smock and go into the room. I meet my aesthetician Paula and I am informed that I will need to get totally naked for this facial. Pray tell, why cannot one wear underwear to a facial? Where I’m from, this process is only for the neck up. Paula’s answer was “because I don’t want to get seaweed in your underwear.” Naturally. That’s usually a huge concern for me. I stop asking questions, strip and proceed. I then lay down on a massage table on my stomach, face-down, in a position like I’m getting a back massage. Now, I am totally confused. Where are the cucumber slices? Where is my blue mask?
(Thank goodness my photographer for this story is my friend, Jill Shiflet. I told her she was going to be taking pictures of my face during the facial and she walks in to my derriere swinging in the wind. The things I will do for this blog!)
Paula proceeds to stimulate pressure points on my back with massage oil, followed up by a hot towel laid across my back. I’m starting to relax but still confused about why I’m getting a back massage during my facial. I think I’ve maybe signed up for the wrong treatment. So, I pop up like a meercat and ask what is going on? She explained to me that the back, face, neck and chest are all tied together, you cannot treat one without the other. Well, that makes perfect sense. I am now content and I return to sloth position.
Here’s where it gets good. She has me get up and roll over and makes my “bed” into a “recliner”. Please remember that I am buck naked. Jill averts her eyes and scurries to the corner of the room. While I’m sitting up, Paula is putting a stinky seaweed concoction on a piece of foil that runs the length of my back on my recliner. She lays a piece of cheesecloth over it and I recline back on it. This stinky stuff is hot and then starts bubbling. I’m going to lay in this seaweed for the remainder of the treatment. It might smell at first but it feels fantastic. What I do not realize is that this seaweed is detoxifying me during this entire process.
On to the facial part of the program. Paula pulls out the big gun: the magnifier. The treatment becomes a little more familiar to me now. All treatments are done to my face, chest and neck (the latter two parts screaming for attention after years of neglect). I am exfoliated, then a toner placed on my skin, then the big steamer (love that thing) blasts me for a couple minutes.
The magnifier comes back into the show and the extraction begins. Paula then places serums and creams on my extracted skin. After that, she applies a fantastic eye mask with dualing paintbrushes all around my eyes. (I would have paid extra for that part as well, it was like a sinus massage).
Then for the finale, she paints a mask on my face that feels like creme brulee. While that dries, she massages my head, neck and shoulders and does the hot stone massage on my arms. Perhaps I fell asleep at this point. It was pure heaven.
Then she removes the mask and it looked like Freddy Krueger. I thought it was so creepy I took a picture of it. I’m hoping all my skin badness is on that Freddy Krueger mask.
Unfortunately, it was now over. It lasted about an hour and a half. I sit up and realize that all that seaweed is still under my back. Paula says at this point, “oh, yours doesn’t smell too bad.” What? Because you are detoxing there, I guess some people leave some pretty stinky toxins on the chair. Poor Paula has to deal with all that. I am told that I’m going to be very thirsty afterwards and I was. When she was working the tissues, it releases toxins into the body comparable to exercise. Water will help eliminate toxins that were released from the muscles.
I was worried I was going to break out, like in the past. It has been three days and I have had no negative side-effects, no breakouts, nothing but smooth skin. Paula uses products that are marine based, not botanical based. She explained that marine products do not have the same negative side-effects as some botanicals.
For me, it was comparable to a full day at the spa in an hour and a half. No normal facial is going to compare because of the almost full-body treatment, detox and massage that you receive. The hot stones were the coup de grace. I was done. I could barely get dressed to leave and I do not really remember driving home.
The facial I had was the “customized facial” and it retails at $85. Physician’s Center for Beauty has five full-time aestheticians who offer facials as well as chemical peels, microdermabrasion and other services. It is located in Shelbyville Road Plaza, and their phone number is (502) 897-SKIN or www.physicianscenterforbeauty.com.