Pamper Yourself With a Facial

by Sonja on December 8, 2008

I decided it was time to go in for a long overdue facial, especially with the rush of holiday revelry and family gatherings to come. Since I’ve been exploring the world of eco-friendly beauty products, I chose International Orange in San Francisco, a spa that uses products with lots of natural and organic ingredients, and gets tons of rave reviews. I had an amazing facial that left me totally relaxed and made my skin look positively radiant. I also got some great tips for doing facials at home.

Good for You

Aestheticians are specially trained to do extractions, something that shouldn’t be done at home, because you can really damage your skin.

Getting a professional facial is so good for you and your skin. Facials provide much-needed stress relief that promotes all-around wellness. Aestheticians are specially trained to do extractions, something that shouldn’t be done at home, because you can really damage your skin. You can sever the skin and create a permanent scar, or simply make a pimple a lot worse. An aesthetician also analyzes what’s ailing your skin that day and customizes your facial accordingly — when I went, my skin needed more hydration than usual now that the weather has gotten quite chilly. And facial massage stimulates the skin, promotes lymphatic drainage, and helps products penetrate better.

An Oasis

I instantly felt the stress melt away when I arrived at IO. They’ve created a chic, tranquil oasis with peaceful music and a cozy waiting area with delicious, healthy treats, like almonds and dried fruit. I couldn’t get enough of the lovely botanical scent that floats through the air, naturally emanating from the treatment rooms. They also have a beautiful deck. Unfortunately, it was too cold to enjoy on the day I went.

An Expert Touch

Jennie, the lead aesthetician, gave me an enzyme facial and “décolleté add-on” that brightened my skin and gave me the glow of good health. Jennie takes her time and has expert, healing hands. She customized an organic fruit enzyme mask made of pumpkin, pineapple, papaya, and grapefruit — everything smells ridiculously good. Enzymes are great for your skin. They break down the dead layers and accelerate regeneration of new cells. She also mixes organic honey, aloe, agave nectar, and goat’s milk yogurt into the masks, to help them penetrate and make massage easier. She says honey is excellent, because it’s antibacterial and very moisturizing. While the masks did their thing, she massaged my head, shoulders, arms, and hands — a heavenly treat.

Arrive Early

I recommend arriving early for any facial so you can take time to relax in a spa’s calming environment. At IO, you can even take a shower beforehand to boost the effectiveness of treatments. Products are absorbed better when skin is very clean and softened.

Tips for Facials at Home

Jennie recommends putting on a mask and then stepping into the shower, or place a hot towel over your mask.

Jennie gave me some wonderful tips for at-home facials. She recommends putting on a mask and then stepping into the shower, or place a hot towel over your mask. Both techniques open the pores and help masks penetrate better. She advises against steaming by putting your face over just-boiled water, because you can easily scald and damage the skin. She also suggests adding fresh ingredients, like she does, to commercial masks – one part honey, aloe, agave nectar, and/or goat’s milk yogurt to two parts mask. And don’t forget some cucumber slices on the eyes to reduce puffiness.

Time for a Facial

If you want to beautify with a facial, don’t do it the day before a big event, because there’s always the chance that it will release something lurking deep in the skin and you’ll break out afterward. Jennie recommends getting a professional facial once every 4-6 weeks. If you can’t go that often, at least give one as a Christmas gift to yourself and give yourself regular facials at home. You deserve it.

Beauty Bonus

I just got word from IO that they would like to offer an awesome discount to our Coveted readers. Get 15% off your ENTIRE purchase from now until December 24, 2008. This includes spa services, single session yoga classes, and even retail products, gift certificates. They have an amazing selection of services and products so definitely check it out. Just mention PEACE15 at the spa or on their website. This is  valid for a one-time purchase only and cannot be combined with other offers. They have more specials listed here on their site for the holidays. Enjoy!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Miss Glitzy December 8, 2008 at 2:46 am

I’ve been dreaming about it for such a long time and your post just make me feel like getting an appointment before Christmas!


Sonja December 8, 2008 at 1:38 pm

❤ Miss Glitzy, definitely make an appointment! The beauty and stress-relief benefits are so worth it. :)


kezia December 8, 2008 at 11:16 pm

i love international orange! i’d get a facial every 4-6 weeks if i could afford it. :-)


kezia December 8, 2008 at 11:39 pm

Does IO offer a discount for Coveted readers??


Katie December 11, 2008 at 6:21 pm

Just reading that made me feel more relaxed- oh how I wish I could splurge on myself and get a facial! Think I might have to settle for a DIY mask… :)


Sonja December 15, 2008 at 5:42 pm

❤ Hi Kezia, IO is offering a discount for Coveted readers. Check out my note under “Beauty Bonus” above. 15% off anything! Services, products, gift certificates! Sweet! (But hurry — it’s good through the 24th)
❤ Hey Katie, I’m glad I could help you destress a bit. If you can’t get in for a pro facial, definitely make time to do one yourself. Try the shower trick. I think it really helps. :)


Holly@dates dried fruit June 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm

I have always loved dried fruit, but never really considered using it on my face. I guess I shall have to try it on my face, it is one of those rare experiences where the date nutrition or the nutrition of any other dry fruit would not matter, and by that I mean go to one of those organic spas have the application of organic dry fruits on my face. You make sound like such a pleasant experience.


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