7 Surprising Skincare Facts I Learned From My First Facial

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Photo: Courtesy of Anthony Tran

For the better part of ten years, I took my naturally clear complexion for granted. I laughed off the comments about the brightness of my face and the absence of blemishes, as if my skin type was that of every teenager or young adult. I’d been lucky enough to bypass the acne-prone gene that most women in my family have felt the burden of their whole lives. Instead, my biggest skin ‘concern’ was tackling chapped lips during a cold British winter.

Consequently, my skincare routine essentially consisted of two meagre steps: taking my makeup off at night with a bar of Dove soap and slathering on a drugstore moisturiser – if I remembered. Fast-forward to turning 26, and that’s definitely no longer the case. Since moving to the Middle East, I’ve become increasingly aware of the effects that sun, sea, and sand can have on your face: clogged pores, sun damage, and oily skin are all problems that are now on my (previously uneducated) radar.

That, paired with the realization of my face and body changing during my mid-20s, has made me a self-confessed skincare obsessive. I’m determined to nourish and protect my skin now rather than trying to turn back time when I hit my 40s, so when it comes to taking care of my face? You name it, I do it. I’ve swapped the soap for a ten-step South Korean routine, cheap creams for snail serums, and – drum roll – a dodgy DIY extraction session for a fancy-pants scientific facial. Cue: SkinCeuticals.

Photo: Courtesy of SkinCeuticals

Now, this is not just any other facial because SkinCeuticals is not just another cult brand trying to make it in the skincare arena – the industry experts here create advanced products that are completely backed up by science. And, thanks to Dr. Jaffer Khan of Aesthetics International, you can now experience the brand’s beauty innovation and holistic regimes right here in the UAE.

The Dubai clinic’s new range of facials tackles the four biggest skincare concerns: pigmentation, acne, ageing, and dullness, so no matter what your skin type is, there’s something for you. In my case, the facialist recommended a mix of the following: a detox and unclogging of my pores, followed by a hydrating and brightening treatment. One thing all of the facial options do have in common is the range of powerful ingredients used to deep clean, remove toxins, and resurface – think: antioxidants, collagen, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid.

Aside from my therapist cleaning, scrubbing, extracting, and rejuvenating my skin, she also talked me through the entire process, equipping me with the knowledge to continue caring for my skin properly long after my treatment. Keep scrolling to discover the seven important facts that I took away with the help of Aesthetics International and how you can give your skin the best it needs, 24/7.

1

Only 30 percent of skincare is what you put on the outside.

The skin is the body’s largest organ, and its health and surface appearance are determined by environmental factors, as well as the function of the components that comprise the layers below. Often, redness or inflammation of your skin is down to what you’ve recently eaten or drunk – and your face’s reaction is a way of telling you that it didn’t quite like it. 

2

A good skincare routine consists of at least four steps.

If you thought removing your makeup with a wipe was looking after your skin, think again. Your routine should comprise of cleansing (which means one product to remove makeup, another to clean), scrubbing/exfoliating to remove dead skin and clean pores, and detoxifying with the right antioxidant ingredients (like a clay mask). Finish off by hydrating and brightening with a good moisturizer and, for night, a repair cream.

3

Detoxifying should be your number one skincare priority.

You wouldn’t roll around in dirt and then put on a brand new dress, so why would you apply skincare without cleaning it first? You can slather on fancy creams, balms, serums, and extracts until the cows come home but if your pores are clogged, those expensive ingredients and time-consuming processes will not penetrate your skin. That’s why it’s important to have a regular facial, with extractions and deep-cleansing being performed by a trained therapist.

4

Water is your skin's best medicine.

So it’s hardly news that drinking water is good for you, but I was surprised to learn just how much good ol’ H2O can do for your skin. My therapist advised me to drink three liters a day in order to achieve optimum brightness, replenish my skin tissue, flush out toxins, and improve any darkness around my undereye area.

5

Vitamin C is key.

We’re actually not talking about drinking a glass of fresh OJ. Pure Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and, when used in skincare, can have dramatic effects. As part of my facial, my therapist used a 30 percent concentrated formula to revitalise and repair dull and tired skin, while restoring the skin’s natural glow and preventing future damage. If you’re going to introduce Vitamin C into your routine, make sure it’s the right potency for you – you don’t want to go overboard with application.

6

Prevent, protect, and then correct.

A correct routine for your face should cover three bases: prevention, protection, correction. Prevention means using products that address visible skin concerns such as fine lines, oil build-up, or pigmentation before they happen by using neutralizing antioxidants. Protection is where your sunscreen and Vitamin C come in; these serve as a barrier against dirt and oil and protect against potential sun damage. Correction is all about rectifying wrinkles, blemishes, and/or discoloration – you’ll find that retinol and collagen will aid with this.

7

A good facial should be tailored to your skin concerns.

When it comes to taking care of your skin, one size does not fit all. Based on your skin type and concerns, your facial treatment (and routine) should be catered to what you want to achieve or what you feel may be lacking from your skin. A good expert will be able to advise you on the best facial to have and what steps to take post-treatment.

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