The Spa Treatments That Will Have You Reconsidering Those DIY Facials


After trying everything from toothpaste and baking soda (neither of which I can recommend in good conscience) to Accutane (the 2nd go round gave me a bad case of temporary night blindness) and a laser peel 7 years ago that left me looking like a burn victim (Hide in the back at your desk this week. Said someone who worked for, and took pity on, me at the time. Obviously, I looked pretty bad, even after a week of laying low at home.), I finally have skin that most of the time, looks spot free and clear. 

As result of this what-some-might-call-superficial struggle, I've also developed a phobia about anyone hovering over my face, trying to steam, deep clean or (God forbid!) gawk and poke. In other words, the female rite of passage known as the facial. Most of the ones I've submitted to over the last decade or two have left me beet red and pissed off, usually because an aesthetician has sternly rebuked me for one or more skincare related infractions, like not bothering to moisturize. (Would you, if you'd basically spent decades blotting your face every damn hour?) 

With all this in mind, when I motored over to Balencia Medspa in North Prov for a complimentary facial, I was pretty nervous. (And my gray roots were coming in too. Yikes!) Turned out my current regimen, which included DIY facials, was not cutting it. I already kind of knew this because of the tiny bumps (What are those stubborn bleepers anyway?) that had been forming on my nose. So, one of the key points I took away from my appointment was that I can no longer go it alone and expect glowing, Cate Blanchett-like skin. (Also, for all of you current fans of regular facials, you know you can't slack on skincare on a daily basis, then expect that monthly session with your aesthetician to fix everything, right? It's a joint effort for sure.)

But the real story is that beyond my aesthetician Diane being a doll (She truly knows how to put people at ease. Take my word, and that's coming from a neurotic of epic proportions), she both microdermabrased (Not sure if that's a real word or what, but it did sweep away the blackheads. Baaaah bye!) and dermaplaned (A small scalpel is used to exfoliate dead skin cells and as an added bonus, remove that 'peach fuzz' that we all have.) my face and I left happy and excited with the result. Keep in mind these are 2 things I swore I'd never ever EVER submit too - because I feared they'd be a repeat of the whole laser episode that ultimately put me in hiding.

Not the case! Some slight irritation immediately folllowing (Post treatment, makeup free photo below.), but nothing major. As a matter of fact, my face felt and looked smoother than it has in years. And it's only going to get better. (My sister tells me it usually takes a week before you start reaping the full benefits of a well done facial.) Also, jazzed to report that Diane got rid of some nasty blackheads - between my eyes no less - that none of those $85 peels or scrubs from Sephora could touch. (Still love ya Sephora, just need to change things up a little.) Finally, instead of taking me to task for not moisturizing, she gave me some nice samples to try out this at home. All in all, a complexion changing beauty experience.

*This post has been updated and modified from the original version from Spring 2017.*