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22 August 2014 Last updated
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Fearsome facials

aQuarius takes on a fear-factor challenge with some seriously strange – and rather scary-sounding – facials… all in the name of beauty!

<i>aQuarius</i>
21 Aug 2013 | 11:23 am
  • Facial

    Source:Getty Images

SARA RAFFAGHELLO
CREATIVE DIRECTOR
AGE: 35


Treatment: 3D Stem Cells facial, Obagi, The Dubai Mall
Contact: 04 339 7060
Price: Dh800

Having a baby has had a drastic effect on my skin, mostly around my chin area, which has seen a breakout of angry red spots. Add to that the recent pigmentation damage on my forehead from too much sun and I was really in need of a facial fix. I’ve struggled to find products that suit me now; everything is either too heavy or too oily for my face. My main concern is aggravating my chin area and making my breakouts worse with any invasive deep cleansing.

Dora Atakul, my therapist, was a true expert. She began with a 10-minute consultation covering everything from my beauty regimen to my lifestyle. Although this isn’t a wind-chime-and-incense spa, the experience is still very relaxing.

After the initial cleanse, l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) was applied to my face, which felt warm and tingly. A cold oxygen and collagen face peel finished the process, leaving my face brighter and fresher.

At the end of the treatment, my skin felt soft and looked youthful enough that I could go without a stitch of make-up. I even noticed my pigmentation had reduced after just one session. I recommend this as a real pick-me-up for the skin.

CATHERINE LANGLEY
DEPUTY EDITOR
AGE: 32
Treatment:
The Oxygen Facial, 
Dubai Cosmetic Surgery
Contact: 04 348 5575
Price: Dh750

Despite being a bit freaked out by the prospect of having a high-pressure hose shoved in my face, the oxygen facial is a favourite of stars like Madonna and Brad Pitt and claims to diminish fine lines and hyperpigmentation, so who was I to turn my nose up at it?

Dr Olympia, my therapist, began with an examination of my skin. 
I have fine lines around my eyes and hyperpigmentation, so those areas were given the most attention.

The procedure works by pumping therapeutic oxygen via a hose in a high-pressure jet, which blasts out oxygen to the skin, stripping impurities and adding a serum made of hyaluronic acid, vitamins A, C and E and aloe vera, designed to boost new cell growth and collagen production.

The facial began with a thorough cleanse, after which the serum was pumped through the hose and guided around my skin. While slightly scratchy, this wasn’t as uncomfortable as I’d feared. Next, a moisture-rich mask was applied. Then a collagen fleece was placed over my skin to help harden the mask (think The Mummy), which enables quicker absorption.

I was impressed that after one session the lines around my eyes seemed to have lessened slightly and my skin felt much more dewy, as well as showing fewer pigmentation marks.

I am considering booking a course – the surgery offers a five-treatment package followed by monthly maintenance visits.

GEMMA JONES
GROUP FASHION STYLIST
AGE: 26


Treatment: The IQ (Intelligent Q switch laser) Skin rejuvenation treatment, Dermalase Clinic
Contact: 04 349 7880
Price: Dh1,800

I’ve never experienced any kind of laser therapy, so to take the plunge was a little disconcerting. But having heard amazing things about the IQ laser at Dermalase Clinic, I decided to throw caution to the wind. My skin has been looking quite tired and dehydrated of late, so I was looking forward to the chance to have my fine lines zapped away. The IQ laser works by passing light through the epidermis, targeting the lower layer of the skin to stimulate collagen production and help plump up fine lines. I was keen to see if it could smooth the skin around my eyes and forehead, and give me a fresher look without the reddish look that often follows a chemical peel.

My therapist, Natasha, conducted a short consultation before explaining the procedure. She then began a thorough cleanse and exfoliation, using luxurious Nimue products. This was followed by the IQ non-ablative pixel laser for five to 10 minutes over my face and neck. I’m relieved to say it was pretty much pain free. There were some ‘snapping’ sounds, which I had been warned about beforehand. They were a little alarming, but aside from that, the process was very comfortable and relaxing.

The treatment finished with an application of a fruit peel, hyaluronic acid, sunscreen and finally a spritz of vitamin C spray.

I would recommend this because as early as the next day, I noticed my skin glowed and was smoother.

LUCY WILDMAN
GROUP BEAUTY EDITOR
AGE: 36

Treatment:
ShuiQi Botox Companion, ShuiQi Spa, Atlantis
Contact: 04 426 2000
Price: Dh635

I’ve become obsessed with the firmness of my skin, and I am worried my face is starting to sag. My expression lines are also becoming more pronounced, so you could say that I was in need of a lift. This facial is designed to iron out lines using a combination of anti-ageing products from Rodial’s award-winning ranges, along with other natural ingredients to leave skin with an all-over Botox-like restoration.

After my skin was cleansed, the double-action massage, central to the facial’s effectiveness, began with the application of Dragon’s Blood Sculpting Gel. This product boasts impressive skin-boosting properties, and protects and firms for a smoother, more youthful complexion. Meanwhile the massage uses lymphatic drainage and acupressure techniques to work the product in. Next the Snake Mask was applied to draw out impurities and help diminish the appearance of fine lines, while brightening and correcting skin tone. Once dried, the mask was peeled off, and the Snake Serum was massaged in, which gave a mild freeze-like effect, supporting the reduction of visible facial contractions and minimising lines. Finally, a layer of Bee Venom Moisturiser and Eye Cream was gently applied to hydrate, plump and soothe the appearance of fine lines and reduce dark circles.

The results were phenomenal. I looked years younger 
than I had just an hour earlier. Simply the best anti-ageing facial I have had in years.

LOUISA WILKINS
EDITOR
AGE: 34

Treatment:
Bee Sting Facial, The Nail Spa
Contact: 04 349 7766
Price: Dh500

Being raised in the Middle East means I’ve spent a lot of time in the sunshine and, although I don’t dislike my freckles, 
I know they are my skin’s way of holding out a white flag and saying “Enough already!” And despite slapping on SPF50 every day, the ongoing effects of sun damage are visible. When I was told the Bee Sting facial was like a natural botox treatment, I was excited about the possibility of looking younger, but not looking forward to the ‘bee sting’.

On arrival, I was assured it wouldn’t hurt – much. The first thing I noticed was the heated bed and the soft, velvety blanket – whether I was going there for a facial, or a maths test, that bed would have put me at ease. The second thing was that all the products are organic.

The treatment started with a refreshing foot cleanse, and then a face cleanse with an ylang ylang and lavender oil cleanser. Next an orange flower toner and a face massage to reduce sagging and release stress. After the massage, the Bee Venom Mask was applied – it tingled, but didn’t hurt enough to rouse me from my zen state. Apparently the bee venom tricks the skin into thinking it’s been stung, thereby increasing blood flow to the skin, boosting collagen and elasticity.

Since the treatment, my skin looks brighter and feels firmer and I can see a difference in the depth of my fine lines. I am certain that after a few sessions, the results would be very noticeable.

DANIELLE ELMES-HUGHES
GROUP FASHION EDITOR
AGE: 36

Treatment:
Cryo Facial, 
Cryo Health Spa
Contact: 056 724 0608
Price: Starts from Dh350

It would be fair to say that my skin is not in its best condition right now. It’s suffering from hormonal breakouts, dehydration and dullness, probably due to a break in my regular facials for the past few months.

The Cryo Health Spa is an experience in itself, being the first of its kind in the GCC with state-of-the-art freezing-pod treatment rooms. The Cryo facial is popular with A-list celebrities like the eternally youthful Demi Moore, which is a huge selling point for me – who wouldn’t want to look like her at 50? The icy treatment promises to ‘freeze time’ with the use of cold therapy, which involves a painless freezing of the skin’s surface with extremely low temperatures (-120C to -160C). We started off with a gentle scrub, followed by cold blasts of air, applied by the therapist over my face and neck, concentrating on problem areas.

After the facial, I felt like I had spent the day In the Swiss Alps, and my complexion looked fresh and energised. I was surprised that it stayed this way for four to five days after. On the second day post-facial, my breakout had cleared up, leaving me with a clear and fresh complexion. I am impressed and will be going back for more. It’s undoubtedly the ‘coolest’ facial in town right now!

<i>aQuarius</i>

aQuarius

Text compiled by Junior Beauty Writer Sonam Basantani