There’s Microdermabrasion and Then There’s Microdermabrasion

I recently saw an ad for 30% off Microdermabrasion at another skin clinic, and I wanted to experience it for myself. It was already $60 cheaper than at my clinic (which is what professional operators charge) and then with 30% off, it made it $79 cheaper. Basically, this brought the price down to $61 which done properly could NOT possibly cover the cost of the treatment. Not in the required time frame.

I called on a Friday and was able to get an appointment for Monday. Perfect! That’s my day off, so it worked well. During the call, I was asked if I wanted the express or the cleansing Micro option. I went with the long version; as a mother of twins, the more ‘me’ time I can get, the better! It was explained that it would be a 20-minute treatment. The long version is 20mins? So what’s the short version? 10mins? Mystery shop, here I come!

So Monday arrived and off I went. When I reached the salon, I wasn’t greeted, but simply told to take a seat as they were short-staffed. I thought to myself, that’s ok… I have allocated plenty of ‘me time’ this afternoon for the treatment. When it was time for my Microdermabrasion, I was greeted by the manager. She was going to be looking after me today. At this point, I was thinking, ‘this is going to be good, especially as I have the boss.’

My treatment soon began with a really good cleanse. Ahhh that’s nice, I could nearly drift off. Time for the Micro; smooth skin here I come! At this stage, I realised I hadn’t filled in a consultation form. What if I had a contraindication, something that prohibits me from having a micro? I don’t but she’s didn’t know that! Within 5 minutes, the Micro was over. My skin therapist didn’t perform the Micro on my whole face but mostly worked around the outside of my face with what I would call a very rough and uneven technique. There wasn’t any support given to my skin during the Micro (I actually thought I would be left with some bruising – try explaining that to the husband!). The signs in the clinic advertised that the treatment was for anti-ageing, but she missed the area I was most concerned about; the eye area. I’m in my thirties and this is the first sign of ageing I am experiencing!

Next, a really lovely mask was applied. It felt really nice and soothing. The therapist left the room while the mask soaked in, and the lights in the room stayed on the entire time. Really? When the therapist came back (no more than 5 mins later) she patted the mask in and then removed it. ‘Ok, your treatment is done,’ I was told. “Whaaat? How about moisturiser, SPF? You can’t possibly mean you’re going to let me walk out into the warmest time of the day, in the middle of summer without protection!” All I could think was ‘pigmentation, here I come!’ So off I got from the bed.

At this point, my skin was feeling extremely dry and tight as it was literally bare (hello dehydration), and off to the reception area I went. I was ready to pay. I was met by the skin therapist at the front desk, who offered me the option of purchasing additional Microdermabrasion treatments, to use as a course. Now since she still hadn’t asked me my skin concerns (that part is usually done before the treatment), I politely declined (even though what I felt like doing is strangling her). Why would I want to put the health of my skin at risk 6 more times? I paid my bill and as I left the clinic, I checked my phone for any missed calls. I noticed it was 2.08pm; exactly 24 minutes after I arrived.

Now, let me explain what a thorough, skin-improving Microdermabrasion looks like, and why it takes every second of a full 45-minute treatment. Firstly, it is essential that the treatment begins with a deep facial cleanse. This ensures that all dirt, impurities and oil are removed from the skin in preparation for the Microdermabrasion. The Microdermabrasion is then able to remove dead skin cells (which is the point of the treatment!), and not just suck up the oils and makeup left on the surface of the skin. The Microdermabrasion must also be performed with a supported skin and really worked over the entire face, even the eye area. What follows next is what I believe to be the most essential part of the whole treatment: a vitamin-rich infusion mask (and it is at this point that the lights go down so you can truly relax).

With any professional exfoliation-based skin treatment, you can’t just take, take, take from the skin without giving back. When we perform our infusion masque, we not only apply one mask but, using Sonophoresis (a tool that utilises sound wave technology to infuse active ingredients deep into the skin layers), we use two different serums and follow with a hydrating mask. This protects and supports the skin’s barrier, and this is what creates a natural softness and glow in the skin.

After the infusion, we leave the products on so the skin can drink up every little bit, while we perform our signature décolleté, shoulder and back massage. To conclude the treatment we apply a hydrating eye cream and protective moisturiser with 50+. Yes, there’s microdermabrasion and there’s microdermabrasion.

In this instance, I actually PAID for my skin to be put in harm’s way as opposed to receiving a result. You’re not comparing apples with apples but rather apples with sultanas!