Think 2020 didn’t do a number on your skin? Think again. After months of DIY skincare gone wrong, this writer faced the facts when facial treatments resumed across Bahrain – no pun intended.
Acollective cheer was heard across the island when salons were allowed to resume services such as threading, tanning, eyelash extensions, and blow-drying, but nobody cheered louder than my left cheek. I spent the last few months of 2020 obsessing over a patch that felt more like sandpaper, and less like skin. And as much as I’d like to, I can’t quite blame coronavirus for this one.
No matter what I did, my skin perpetually felt parched. Dull. Dehydrated. It was time for some TLC, so when additional services were resumed, I headed to an address where the facials don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach: Dessange. Here, a menu full of customised skin treatments take different skin types and varying skin concerns into account, with the likes of LED light therapy and microdermabrasion offered as add-ons if you want to upgrade your facial of choice. I opt for the OxyCryo Therapy Facial after an extensive consultation form and detailed analysis reveal that not only is my skin on the sensitive side, but it’s also in dire need of a deep cleanse and loads of nourishment. This ultra-hydrating treatment lasts one hour and 15 minutes, and is designed to reveal a youthful glow and encourage the infusion of age-defying products in order to address expression aging, fine lines, and wrinkles. I’m sold when I see the words “supple, refreshed skin” looking back at me.
But I’m hardly an exception. We had no choice but to stay indoors and resort to DIY skincare through most of 2020, making us more reliant on professional help than ever before. Enter: Dermalogica. This professional-grade skincare brand has been around since 1986, and is one that dermatologists, estheticians, and amateur beauty buffs swear by. What I love about my time at Dessange is that Sapna, my facialist, talks me through every Dermalogica product used. Our chat is both educational and rife with some much-needed reminders. No amount of overpriced products can undo the damage caused by aimlessly touching my face (guilty) and not drinking enough water (guilty again). I settle on the heated spa bed, my facial kicking off on a relaxing note.
As hydration is the order of the day, it starts with the use of a gentle cream cleanser formulated to replenish dry skin and maintain moisture levels. Next up is exfoliation with Dermalogica’s holy grail – the award-winning Daily Microfoliant, a rice-based powder that activates upon contact with water and polishes the skin to perfection.
“No amount of overpriced products can undo the damage caused by aimlessly touching my face (guilty) and not drinking enough water (guilty again).”
I learn that it’s gentle enough for daily use, putting me and my sensitive skin at ease. Taking this step to the next level, Sapna uses a cleansing brush boasting microsonic vibrations that allow for a whopping 22,000 movements per second.
That’s six to eight times more effective than cleansing with hands alone! I make a mental note to invest in something similar for myself. The steam in the vicinity relaxes me further, but truth be told, I’m dreading the next step: extractions. I’ve experienced facials in the past that left me with scarring and irritation as a result of excessive force, but not this time. Not only does Sapna have a very gentle touch, but thankfully, she’s also done in no time. “You don’t have a lot of blackheads,” is very reassuring feedback in this case. She proceeds to what she calls the “therapist’s touch”, a step taken for lymphatic drainage and improved blood circulation using the Oil Free Massage by Dermalogica. Water-soluble and oil-free (as its name suggests), this fluid contains calming lavender and helps purify the skin and control sebum production. Admittedly, a face massage with gloved hands makes me nostalgic for pre-pandemic spa visits, but safety first.
What follows is the part I enjoy most. Keeping the dryness of my skin in mind, Sapna applies a generous layer of the Calm Water Gel, and everything about this moisturiser is appealing. It’s incredibly lightweight and feels like the skincare equivalent of guzzling a lot of water. My thirsty skin is instantly quenched. What’s fascinating to a novice like me – my skincare routine doesn’t stray past the use of rosehip oil – is the little ultrasonic tool that encourages deeper absorption of this gel, reinforcing why regular facials are a must. We turn to health and dental check-ups because the experts have tools and tricks that we’ll never know, so why not do the same for our largest organ? My skin is now ready for the thick, clay-based mask that follows.
It’s rich in minerals and marine plankton, both infused to normalise sebaceous secretions. Here’s where it gets good. A dome-shaped contraption that resembles an oversized oxygen mask and is connected to a bt-accent AIR machine is placed over my face. Insufficient oxygen causes a dull, tired complexion and skin that is slower to heal and prone to visible signs of ageing, so what this truly cutting-edge piece of technology does is plump, firm, hydrate, and revitalise it with the help of 94 percent pure oxygen. It also boosts the effectiveness of the clay mask. Win-win.
A mere 15 minutes later, the “AIR Dome” is lifted off my face, and Sapna and I can chat again. Our conversation spans everything from Cambodian spices to the merits of attractive policemen – yes, I’m a talker – as my mask is rinsed off and my face is spritzed with a refreshing mist full of antioxidants to create a protective shield of sorts.
An application of hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid follows, and I’m reminded why the beauty industry is downright obsessed with this substance. Not only does hyaluronic acid lock in moisture, but it also does wonders to improve the texture of skin. This one’s a must-have in any skincare routine, as is SPF, which rounds off my facial.
And where do I begin at this point? My skin feels alive again, smooth and plump and radiant – and nothing like it did an hour ago. Even the residual scarring that demands a spot of concealer has faded. I can see why Dessange has dubbed the OxyCryo Therapy Facial an essential for healthy, glowing skin. And if a non-invasive alternative to a face lift is what you’re seeking, the experts here may recommend that you complement it with the Bio-Therapeutic Microcurrent that is scientifically proven to increase 80 percent hyaluronic acid production, resulting in complete facial rejuvenation. With hammams still closed and body treatments off limits, now’s the time to focus on your skin, assess any damage caused by all things 2020, and start the new year with your best face forward – literally.
Call 1771 3999 for more information or to book an appointment. @dessangebahrain