When I went on vacation pre-kids, one of my favorite things to do to as a splurge was to get a facial. I love having someone else pamper my skin, see what their thoughts are about how to improve it, get a few professional extractions… you get the idea. These facials can take hours by the time you get to and from the spa, get changed, etc. So, a full facial isn’t something that I can splurge the time on very often, especially now that I have two daughters.
After last week, I’ve resolved that I’m going to get facials more often. What changed? I went and had a facial at my local ULTA!
I have to admit that I’m probably in this store at least every 2 weeks. I have spent many hours there, browsing the makeup, skin care or hair care. Until ULTA asked me to have a facial at my store, I had no idea that the treatments were even available! There’s a room that hides in plain site, with skin care and makeup displays on the outer walls, and I didn’t even realize it was there.
Like pretty much every other facial that I’ve gotten, ULTA uses Dermalogica products for their facials. I’ve really come to love this brand for their results when I go for a facial, and the couple of times that I’ve used them at home I’ve always been impressed. So, I was really interested in hearing what Holly, my esthetician, had to say about my skin and what products she would recommend for better results at home. But, for the record, I was pretty stoked to see this cart overflowing with the big professional sized bottles of Dermalogica.
Holly started with cleaning my face really well. I had worn light makeup that day (I spent the morning running a few errands), so her first product was PreCleanse, which really seems to melt pretty much everything off immediately. She applied it to dry skin and rubbed it around, when she added water it becomes milky. It rinsed off very easily. She followed that up with the Special Cleansing Gel to ensure that every last bit of makeup and PreCleanse was removed.
Next Holly Face Mapped my skin. She went very carefully through my entire face and neck, looking very closely at my skin and asking very detailed questions. We talked about any fine lines that I have (they’re there on my forehead), where I tend to get clogged pores (my t-zone), the broken capillaries that I have around my nose from my rosacea (only a few and easily covered up with makeup, if they bother me she recommended seeing a dermatologist for further treatment). I was really impressed with the level of her attention to detail, and she made notes about issues and her thoughts. While I’ve gotten similar (though less in depth) assessments previously, they were always at locations where the esthetician was only familiar with their own line of skin care that they were trained in. Because Holly is at ULTA, she knew about all of the lines that are available, and was very familiar with their products. I didn’t have to explain what a product was, just why it worked well for me.
After we had gone over my skin, Holly customized skin treatments for my issues. There were masks and scrubs, amazing hot steamy towels (always my favorite), and even a scalp massage! We joked about the current trend of “multi-masking”, as both of us have just always applied masks to the areas that need them. The clay mask that my oily t-zone does great with doesn’t work for my dry/normal cheeks, just as that moisturizing mask for the cheeks isn’t doing much for my t-zone. Before I knew it, the hour was up and my skin was glowing!
Here’s a look at what products Holly recommended for me at the end of my session. She wanted to show me what she would use for a full skincare regimen at home with Dermalogica. I have combination skin with an oily t-zone, but also mild Rosacea and some redness, but I tend to tolerate most things very well.
PreCleanse: This is the oily, magical makeup melting product that Holly started with.
Special Cleansing Gel: Soap free and gentle enough for everyone, this cleanser removes every last trace of makeup and dirt. Note, if you are wearing eye makeup, this alone is not enough. You really do need PreCleanse to remove eye liner and mascara. But, that’s not really a surprise.
Age Smart Multivitamin Power Serum: If you’re interested in treating signs of aging, this is a great product to start with! This is a dry lotion/serum that melts a bit when applied. The product is not irritating at all, and it has a lot of active anti-aging ingredients packed into it including peptides and anti-oxidants with Vitamins A, C, and E. I’m using it twice a day right after washing my face (yes, I bought this one).
Age Smart MultiVitamin Power Firm: This one is product similar to the Power Serum, but for the eye and lip areas. It comes in a silicone delivery system to help smooth things over and make the whole eye area look younger. Note, because of the silicone, if you apply too much, it will pill up a little. Holly said a little goes a loooooong way, so don’t over do it with this one! This is on my shopping list, because I really regret not buying it.
Dynamic Skin Recovery Broad Spectrum SPF 50: Another product I’ll be buying ASAP! This is a light daily lotion with SPF 50 in it! Holly sent me home with a few little samples and it is fabulous! Notice that it is full spectrum UV coverage, and it works great under makeup. I need to buy this before my upcoming WDW trip!
Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque: I love to masque, and this one sounds wonderful! It is one of the ones that Holly used on me during my treatment. It has a lot of soothing ingredients, it super infuses your skin with anti-aging ingredients such as Vitamins A, C, E, F and Pro-Vitamin B5.
Multi-Vitamin Thermafoliant: This is an exfoliator that warms up as you scrub. Love that!
I really loved my 1 hour treatment with Holly, and I’m already planning to go back. I discovered that ULTA has quick 20 minute skin treatments as well (they’re called Microzone Express Treatments). Holly described them as similar to the full hour treatments, but more goal directed and without any of the extra such as lots of hot towel time and a scalp massage. She recommended alternating the quick treatments with longer 1 hour treatments to keep skin on track. My ULTA also offers peels, and there is microdermabrasion at other locations (just not in my state). I was actually shocked by the prices. My 1 hour treatment was about $35 cheaper than I had ever paid for a facial, and that “cheap” facial was with a much less knowledgeable esthetician. I’m already planning my next treatment, based on how busy I am it will be a Microzone Express, but at only 20 minutes long I’ll have no excuse!