The first time I got a facial was maybe 15 years ago. I had just started working, I had a bit of money, and I figured, why not spend it on my face?
It was some random facial center; I can’t even remember the actual name now. They had a few treatments on offer, but the attendants at the time had no training in performing extractions, so we skipped the manual pricking and just went with some hokey oxygen-based treatments that I didn’t fully understand.
(By hokey I mean they actually hooked me up to an oxygen tank with that nose tube thing — I don’t know why or what for. And a small cockroach scuttled past while I was waiting for the oxygen treatment to end.)
My skin definitely felt cleaner, but all in all — nothing happened. I decided that facials were a bunch of bull and I was better off trying to figure things out on my own.
Until last Monday, that is.
See, I’ve been doing these laser facial treatments at Wink Laser Studio, and I am beyond happy with the results. The treatments got rid of my blemishes and acne scars, taking me from full coverage foundation to just a bit of concealer in ten sessions. Worth it.
I did, however, still have some congestion around my nose and on my cheeks. My nurse at Wink recommended getting a facial just to eliminate these clogged pores and further improve my skin condition.
It took a lot of research before I finally settled on Glow Skin Clinic. I have to admit it was their Instagram account that first caught my eye. Pretty visuals work, what can I say?
It did bother me that they didn’t have their own website, though. (Edit: their website is now up and running. Hooray!) I had to go through their IG highlights to find the services they offer. There’s also the confusion with their prices. The HydraFacial, for example, is listed as Php3,500 on their IG and Facebook, but that’s only if you get the package (so Php3,500*5). A solo session costs Php4,500.
At first I just wanted to get the regular facial, but I saw the HydraFacial and figured my face could use a hydration boost. All the services offered by Glow Skin Clinic include the regular facial plus a specific treatment like Clear + Brilliant, Oxylight, etc.
We started with cleansing and a facial massage — a great start to any facial, as you probably know. I don’t enjoy massages that much and I know the aesthetician could feel just how tense I was, but I did like having my face cleansed thoroughly. It’s so relaxing, having someone else remove every inch of dirt and grime after a long day at work.
And then the steam machine appeared. I knew the extraction was imminent, and I briefly wondered if I should ask her to skip the manual pricking. Glow Skin Clinic has the BT-Micro wand to gently exfoliate, which is great if you have sensitive skin or if you just want to keep your session relaxing and chill. (Because, as you know, pricking is decidedly not chill.)
I figured I’d be brave for once, though, since the entire point of me going to get a facial was to clean out my pores properly this time. I did tell the aesthetician that I had sensitive skin and could turn red at the drop of a hat, just to warn her in advance.
Of course it was painful. That’s the entire thing with extractions. The good news is that the aesthetician was able to cleanse thoroughly without getting too aggressive, and I managed to leave the place with minimal redness. Magic. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
With the extraction part out of the way, we could finally get to the actual star of the show: the HydraFacial. According to Allure:
It’s a medical-grade hydra-dermabrasion device that carries out a patented three-part regimen — cleansing, exfoliating, and then infusing skin with intensive serums.
The machine uses several different tips, depending on what it wants to do. There’s one for exfoliating and suctioning out congestion, and there’s another for infusing the skin with customized boosters that target specific concerns.
I didn’t get to choose my boosters, but that’s perfectly fine with me. I wouldn’t really know what to get anyway.
We began with GlySal — a combination of glycolic acid and salicylic acid. It scared me, to be honest. I had just gotten an extraction, and now chemical exfoliants? But the aesthetician didn’t keep it on my skin for long and the concoction was neutralized with water after less than a minute.
Next she used the wand to gently exfoliate and cleanse my skin further. I think it sucked up whatever congested stuff didn’t get cleared out during the extraction.
Finally, the boosters. I got Britenol: a mix of arbutin and vitamin C to target dark spots and brighten (duh) the skin. I also got HydraFacial CTGF to fight fine lines and wrinkles.
The aesthetician ended the session with a nice, soothing layer of anti-inflammatory cream followed by a thick helping of their moisturizer. The entire experience was just… wonderful.
I felt relaxed (despite my general aversion to massages) and cleansed and fresh and despite the initial pain of pricking, I still found the facial very soothing and calming. I was asked not to wash my face for 6 to 8 hours, which I did rather grudgingly. I didn’t want to mess up the effects of the facial, you know.
I woke up with no redness (okay, maybe a few spots) and very clean skin. For the first time in a long time, I could touch my face and not feel any bumps. It’s been five days and my skin still looks really good.
I do have a couple of small bumps on my forehead and on my right cheek today. Nothing too awful or obvious, though. I had been worried about purging, but that didn’t happen so I’m super chuffed.
All in all, my experience at Glow Skin Clinic was A+. To sum up: here’s everything I love about them (in no particular order):
- The aesthetician was thorough but not aggressive in doing the extraction.
- The aesthetician listened and took my warning seriously when I said I had sensitive skin and wanted to avoid redness. (She added red light therapy to help with skin healing and to tone down redness, specifically because it was one of my concerns.)
- The place is clean and bright but not clinical or intimidating.
- The price seems expensive at first, but it’s super worth it given the level of service
- They have iced tea so you can chill while waiting and it is super delicious. (There are two other flavors to try on my next visit!)
Will I be back? Of course. Do you know how magical it is to find an aesthetician who knows how to treat your skin the way it needs to be treated? I might not go for the HydraFacial next time, though. I’d like to try something else like their Signature Facial or the famous Clean + Brilliant.
Their juice, too, of course. I’ll be back for the juice.