Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Day At the Spa—Beware

For my birthday, Eustacia gave me a gift certificate for the salon where I get my hair cut, and she asked that I use it toward something other than the monthly trim I'm going to schedule anyway. The place is a spa with massages and facials and catered lunch, and you can spend the day there.

She and I decided we didn't want to spend an entire day but maybe a couple of hours, so we scheduled facials, and I scheduled a pedicure for me and a manicure for Eustacia. She thinks feet are gross—she's right, but pedicures can be so delightful.

I was assigned a "facial technician" who used to sell Clinique and swore by it, so I find her product endorsement at her new job suspect. Plus, she's obnoxious and so artificial, she took my arm at being introduced to me and gushed with a lilt, "Wonderful. How did I get so lucky to be scheduled with you today?" What?

Once in the quiet room with the flute music and soft lighting, the woman turned up all the lights and said we had to address the pigment discoloration on my face before we did anything else, and how much time did I spend out in the sun, anyway? I confessed I had been out in the sun without sunscreen, which explained the sun spots that had this woman so concerned. She didn't think I had cancer, but she was sure I needed a microdermabrasion treatment and possibly a chemical peel.

I said "no" to the peel right away but agreed to the microderm thing, not knowing exactly what it entailed. Well, let me tell you. It basically involves you lying still on the table while the technician sands off your face with a belt sander.

The overly eager woman took off four layers of skin from my face by raking it with a small sander over and over again while she talked about how good I was doing and how the treatment was doing wonders with my sun-damaged skin. She occasionally asked questions about my kids and my summer that required answers, so I talked to her a little bit

Half-way through the procedure, I felt something gritty like sand between my molars, and then I thought about what it was I was chewing on—particles of my own skin, I thought to myself! I thought of Soylent Green but kept my eyes closed and my jaw clenched until it was all over, and then I decided I had simply sucked in a few of the crystals that are used to help with the exfoliation, or the sand blasting more like it.

I'll admit the treatment did remove some of the effects of sun damage, and my skin feels noticeably better, but it seems a barbaric procedure, and I paid to have it done. In fact, I paid $90.

Have you ever had a microdermabrasion? And how often do you think a middle-aged woman should have it done?

5 comments:

Rich said...

Nothing like a day at the spa, Robyn.
I like to go end see my Asian massage therapist Cindy for an hour complete w/happy ending. Feel like a new man when I leave there.

kyle@sift said...

Skin deep. NEVER.

dive said...

Yikes!
Scary women with a bunch of power tools hide in the back of a hair salon and you actually GO IN THERE?

I hope you've learned your lesson, young Robyn!
Hee hee.

MmeBenaut said...

Wow Robyn, you are so brave! I spend days and weeks and months in the sun without sunscreen and I suppose it shows but I'm much too wimpy to do that (I think).
Perhaps I've just had enough pain on my face - I had half of my face peeled back once so the parotid tumour I had in my salivary glad, underneath the five branches of the facial nerve, could be removed. It was a 5 hour operation and I have a scar from the top of my ear in front, around behind my ear and down my neck. I also had a skin cancer removed from beneath one eye and my sister stabbed me with a pair of scissors once, just above my eye, through my eyebrow (3 stitches). So, no, I don't volunteer anymore for pain. Like I said, you're brave!

PF said...

Was the girl's name Lynda, by any chance? Used to sell Clinique at Elder-Beerman? hmmm.