If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that now, more than ever, it’s important to focus on self-care. And what better way to treat yourself than with a facial?
With a plethora of spas, salons, and cosmetic practices out there, choosing the right treatment can seem daunting. After all, there are facials and then there are facials… from lasers to relaxing massages to express treatments. Thankfully, the Vogue Arabia team has narrowed down some of their favorites, meaning all you need to do is sit back and get that much-deserved skin TLC. This is a page worth bookmarking.
Triple Lift facial
The lowdown: There are two treatments at Away Spa that use the state-of-the-art Biologique Recherché remodeling face machine, but the anti-aging Triple Lift is our favorite. Despite the description, “remodeling,” the process is non-invasive and combines the power of various electrical currents – each targeting different layers of the skin and promoting the production of collagen. Athermic pulsed high-frequency current is used to revitalize the epidermis while a low and mid-frequency current reshapes and tones deeper structures in the skin. Galvanic current is used to improve the absorption of active ingredients. While there are flashes of light during the treatment, they are not uncomfortable or unsettling, but you will get a slight metallic taste in your mouth. Don’t worry, it’s normal.
This treatment isn’t just current-based. You’ll get the usual cleansing, toning, exfoliation, massage, and masks using products that are not only best suited for your skin but complement the Biologique Recherché machine. Note, due to the currents used, this is a cold treatment, but the therapist will adjust that by heating your massage bed.
Please note: Anyone who has ever had Botox or fillers cannot do this treatment.
The results: Thanks to a boost in the skin’s cellular metabolism, the rejuvenated glow is instant. Skin tone looks balanced, lines are visibly reduced, and skin feels tighter and plumper. Eyes also look wider and cheekbones more pronounced.
Best for… Anyone who is too scared of, or would rather not try, Botox. The result makes you look younger and you can smile while still looking natural.
Extras: The Away Spa also has a steam room and sauna for all guests to use (closed during Covid-19).
Details: 120 minutes, AED1,700
Hydra & Spectra facial
Where: Medcare Hospital Al Safa
The lowdown: Despite this treatment offering a combination of two facials, it is so quick, you can sneak it in during your lunch break – you don’t even need to disrobe. After a short consultation, the therapist starts with the HydraFacial, which lasts around five minutes. Dead skin cells and excess sebum are removed before a mix of salicylic and glycolic acids are applied to break up dirt. This is then vacuumed up along with blackheads and impurities, while hydrating and plumping serums are simultaneously applied.
Then it’s time for the Spectra, a highly effective laser skincare therapy that’s not for the fainthearted. The treatment begins with the application of a carbon-based solution, as lasers work best with dark pigmentation. At first it feels warm as the laser passes over your face; however, it rapidly becomes what could be best described as mini firecrackers going off on your face. While your eyes are closed you can sense the sparks and certainly feel them, too (though not painful), and you can even smell the smoke. We found it a little disconcerting but it’s over before you know it and the results are worth it.
The results: Considering it’s so fast, the results are phenomenal. Wrinkles are instantly reduced and the complexion is brighter, but what is more impressive is the improved skin tone. It’s no surprise many celebrities use this treatment as a rejuvenating refresher. The laser treatment is used by some to get rid of freckles so your complexion is a little lighter after the session, but fear not as the real results kick in around five days later when the glow is truly impressive. You won’t need foundation or even a BB cream.
Best for… A glow-up treatment before a special occassion.
Extras: The treatment is in a hospital so it’s a no-thrills in-and-out session, perfect for those in a rush.
Details: Around 30 to 45 minutes, AED1,600
Anti-Pollution Detox Facial
Where: The Branding Room, JVC
The lowdown: This peptide-based detoxifying facial is equal parts gentle and intense, making sure you get to truly unwind while also getting your skin thoroughly cleansed. The treatment starts after an in-depth consultation. The therapist then preps your skin with a double cleanse: the first using a gel and the second using a clay cleanser. Every step of this facial is designed to clear away the build-up of dirt and deeply purify the skin while strengthening its environmental defenses. A vitamin C-based scrub is then massaged onto the face prior to the use of a high-frequency machine. Essentially a glass wand, it channels a low current onto the skin to help kill acne-causing bacteria and stimulate cell renewal. This step combined with the vitamin C scrub feels a little uncomfortable for those with sensitive skin, but it is not unpleasant or painful and is worth the results.
The next step, which is extraction, can be painful for those with many deep-set spots, blackheads, and pimples. The extraction is the lengthiest but also the most effective step of this facial and it is highly recommended if you want to get the most out of your treatment. Once the therapist has extracted every possible spot and blackhead, a high-frequency machine is used to cleanse the skin. This is followed by a soothing face, neck, and shoulder massage to help reduce puffiness.
The results: Skin feels and looks smoother, lifted, and glowing. It may be a little red and sore from the extractions, but that will subside after a day. You might also get a few breakouts as a result of the deep cleaning – if this is still the case after three to five days, you can revisit the salon again free of charge.
Best for… Oily, clogged, and congested skin.
Details: Around 60-120 minutes (depending on how long the extraction takes), AED325
The lowdown: Long gone are the days when skin enhancement consisted of two options: injectables (Botox or dermal fillers) or a face lift. Today, the market for non-invasive enhancement is huge, but how do you choose? Like most things in life, a tailor-made approach seems to make the most sense, which is where Aquagold comes in.
Essentially a step up from traditional micro-needling, Aquagold uses 24ct gold-plated needles to distribute a vial filled with a cocktail of vitamins, minerals, and peptides into the skin. Additional substances (for me, this included vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and Botox), are mixed in to create a bespoke serum that targets your skin-tone and individual concerns. Instead of injecting into the muscles (as with traditional Botox), needlework focuses on the outer, surface layers to lift the skin and target pores, creating an all-over smoothing effect. Hand-held, the vial is lightly stamped onto the skin with added pressure on the plumper cheek areas and, thankfully, a lighter touch over the bonier forehead and jawline. Overall it’s a completely tolerable sensation and is over in just 10-15 minutes.
The majority of the session is dedicated to pre-treatment (a consultation to discuss specific concerns followed by a light cleanse, exfoliation and mini hydrafacial to clean the skin) and post-treatment (the application of a vitamin C cream and a calming solution to tone down any redness, followed by a high SPF).
The results: Subtle redness subsides in under 30 minutes. Sun, gym, and saunas are to be avoided for the rest of the day. For up to two days after the treatment, if you have sensitive skin, you may notice a slight roughness to the texture of your lower cheeks and jawline. This subsides quickly, leaving the skin looking brighter, tighter, and smoother. Consider this a pre-event pick-me-up for your skin rather than a long-term overhaul.
Extras: Make the most of your consultation. The specialists offer some incredible advice for your skin type.
Details: Around one hour. From AED1,399 to AED1,500
Where: The Branding Room, JVC
The lowdown: This facial starts with a thorough double cleanse, before a gentle exfoliation to remove excess bacteria and impurities. This is not as rigorous as it sounds – in fact, it feels pretty refreshing and relaxing as you get a face massage with each step. Once prepped, you move on to the Aqua B extraction – a small suction machine using water – followed by optional manual extraction. This is the only step in the entire facial that is a little uneasy. However, you’re teated to a slow face massage afterwards before a spot of peptide infusion therapy, and a CO2 jelly mask that hydrates and cools the skin. While the mask works its magic you get a head massage. When the mask is removed, the final step is the application of face and eye serum, and moisturizer with SPF.
Please note: Since the reviewer was pregnant at the time of review, post-treatment radio frequency therapy had to be excluded from this treatment.
The results: The skin is super-hydrated and glowing, giving that lusted-after dewy look.
Extras: The chic salons offers a range of services including full-body massages, waxing, and semi-permanent makeup.
Details: Around 90 minutes, AED650