Today we are talking facials and some great skin care products I have started using after several facials at Massage Envy Spa. My annual Massage Envy membership entitles me to one massage or facial a month, but can I schedule additional massages or facials as often as I like. To read more about Massage Envy or to locate the ME Spa nearest you, click here.
While I have had massages at Massage Envy, I like going for facials best of all. My esthetician, Michelle, has created a skin care plan just for me based on my age, the characteristics of my skin, the presence acne or blemishes, and any prior sun exposure/damage. My ME facials follow a specific protocol and then I follow up with an individualized home care regimen.
If you have been following along on my blogging journey, you probably know that I did a ReDiscover ME Challenge with Alison Lumbatis from Get Your Pretty On in February. (And you probably remember that I loved everything about this challenge!) Read more about it here, here and here. You probably also know that as a part of the challenge (and the subsequent work on ME that I have continued doing since the challenge), we had to identify and work on several Self-Care/Appearance Goals. One of mine has been to have a facial or massage once a month. And that is one goal I have had little trouble reaching.
During my facial last week, I decided to take a few pictures and write a few notes so I could share the process with you. So follow me, through this door into a peaceful world pampering.
Before my facial began, I checked in and was offered water or hot tea. The soothing purple and green palette of the waiting area help set the mood that continues all the way through the session. Michelle had a warm misting machine going as I entered her room. I disrobed to a level of my own comfort, usually removing shirt, jewelry and shoes then snuggled under the comforter. When Michelle returned, she began the session by interviewing me about any changes in my complexion and/or overall health, how I feel the home regime has been working.
For this appointment, Michelle started with something a little different. She asked me to put my face into a damage-assessment UV analysis machine. The damage-assessing UV analysis machine reveals several different things: sun damage or other pigmentation issues, dryness and dehydration. It helps to determine factors influencing the size and possible congestion of pores and will highlight any skin irritation.
It was a little like putting my face up to the machine that conducts the glaucoma test at the ophthalmologist’s office. (That is one hard word to spell!) Was a little worried that I was going to feel that puff of air in my eyes. No puff, but what I did see was scarier than a little air.
In the picture on the left, I am holding the camera so that it is facing me and taking a picture of my skin under the light. The picture on the right is the image of my face reflected onto a mirror in the UV analysis machine. (And yes, one of my goals has been whitening my teeth, thank you!)
See all of those little dots?
Billions and gazillions of what looks like
freckles in natural light are actually sun damage and pigmentation issues. I am probably a teensy bit naturally freckled but nothing like this.
The UV analysis machine also identified dark pigmentation issues on and above my eyelids. Really not terribly noticeable in natural light but an indication of sun damage.
I drink lots of water everyday for the chronic kidney disease that was discovered when I had to have my first cervical spine surgery. Apparently, my hydration is pretty good, but Michelle did encourage me to continue to drink even more – water. My pores were slightly enlarged on the ala or rounded part on either side of the end of my nose. The skin on my temples are a bit dry and the pores there were a little congested.
Otherwise, I was just great!
Obviously, my most serious issue is sun damage.
So, how did I get all of this sun damage?
Interestingly, I was given UV treatments by a dermatologist for slight acne on my face, chest and back as a teenager back in the ’70’s. I also spent a lot of summer time in the Tennessee sun, at the pool, laying out in the backyard, water skiing with my boyfriend at the lake. As a young adult, while married to Brennyn and Lauren’s father, I lived in the Republic of Panama. We were at the beach several times a week. No one worried about skin cancer and sun damage back then. I used baby oil, and Panama Jack dark tanning oil to basically deep fry my skin. We didn’t know anything about SPF we just thought the tanner, the better.
In the early ’90’s I bought and had my first house built and shortly afterward, we put in a pool. More sun bathing! But we had started exchanging our suntan oils and lotions for sunscreen.
These days, my moisturizers, my foundation, blush, lotions and creams all have an SPF number. I don’t leave home without it.
Now that we know the problem(s), what is the plan to reverse them or at least hold them at bay?
Michelle provided a facial that concentrated on several of my issues: hydrated my skin with the warm mist, cleaned my face, applied a cucumber astringent to tone and improve the texture of my complexion and a finished with a collagen serum to soften fine lines.
So here are my before and after pics. I wish I had taken them in exactly the same position and the same distance from the camera. I realize there is room for (much) more work here but I am pleased with the results after an hour-long facial. I think there is improvement in the lines around my eyes and mouth.
Be honest, can you see any improvement or am I looking through rose-colored glasses?
Michelle recommended continuing the Murad Environmental Shield Vitamin C regime I have been doing at home. Its purpose is to “reverse the signs of aging that result from exposure to everyday environmental factors such as sunlight, smog, pollution and stress with this antioxidant rich treatment”. [source] She suggested that we also start focusing on anti-aging, too. The vitamin C is making a difference on my “freckles” and brightening my overall complexion. I am using and will continue to use the Murad Essential C cleanser, followed by the Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion and the Murad Essential C moisturizer. I am to use all three of those products morning and evening. Then Michelle added a Hydro-dynamic moisturizer in the evening for my eyes. I am to pat it on my lids, brow bones, and under my eyes to help take care of the pigment issues and fine(?) lines.
Here’s how all of that looks:
And here are all of the great Murad products available at my Massage Envy Spa.
I am going to make another facial appointment for approximately four weeks from now and will share my progress (or lack there of). Also, I want to go on the record saying I am not looking for a Fountain of Youth or even something to turn back the hands of time. But I am all for repairing what little I can of the damage I have done to my complexion and trying to be kinder and gentler with my face from here on out!
Would love to know what your skin care regime is. Please leave me a comment below!
If you are interested in Murad products, they are available online through Amazon.com as well as at any Massage Envy Spa.
Hugs and kisses,