Hint: It’s not your basic wash, exfoliate, mask, and go.
Facials and me just don’t get along. Firstly, the time factor is against me. With two jobs (one full time and one online) and a little (screaming) baby, I cannot afford to put my life on hold, even if it’s for my sanity or my skin.
If I am going to spend any time for my face, the treatment’s got to be ‘big-time’ worth it. And they’ve got to let me bring my cell into the room. I often joke that me cellphone is like a pace-maker— I die without it. That was my criteria to beauty editor Marcela when she asked me to test-drive the latest PDRN Cellular facial. Possibly because she knows when it comes to beauty treatments, I am more a cryptic than an aficionado. And she knows that I don’t mince my words when giving establishments that waste my time a good dressing down.
When I first swept into SW1 Clinic, I was a harried mess of bags, files and cellphone (all two of them vibrating at the same time). I must admit I was a little curt with the receptionist who could not locate my booking. Turns out I was booked under my first name not last. I was sure by the time they settled me into the treatment room, I must have added a wrinkle or two to the front desk staff. Kudos to them for keeping their cool.
Read More: Ageing Cleverly with PDRN
PDRN is a short for polydeoxyribunucleotide. A mouthful? Yes, this uber long term refers to a protein that activates a pathway in our skin called the ‘salvage pathway’. For those who didn’t hear me the first time, I said ‘salvage’, not ‘savage’. In studies conducted on people who had real problems (unlike me), PDRN boosted their skin healing, cured their skin ulcers and improved overall dermal health.
How does that apply to me? Considering the only ulcers that I have are gastric due to stress, I was skeptical how my skin could possibly benefit. Apparently, our skin undergoes stress and microscopic injuries daily— from sun exposure to antioxidant damage. How fast we age is a cumulative total of all these injuries. Suffice to say, the faster and better we handle these micro-traumas, the better our skin will look and feel, now and into the future. Talk about new-age anti-aging!
Read More: The New Age Skin Lifts You Need to Know
In all honesty, I was prepared to hate the treatment, and after being gently told to put my cellphone aside, I barked “so how long is this going to take?” with the temperament of a war veteran on steroids.
But all credit to my therapist who expertly soothed my tensions away, and maintained a cheerful demeanor despite my sour constitution. The PDRN Cellular facial started with some deep breathing exercises where my air passages were filled with the relaxing whiff of lavender, then a soothing rub down of my temples. Short of Xanax, this is possibly the most tranquil I have felt.
Read More: What to Do About Your Neck
The therapist gave my face an efficient (and very pleasantly aromatic) scrub to remove dead cells, of which I was sure I had an ample supply judging from my habitual neglect. Then she carefully opened the vial of PDRN and brushed it across my skin, using a special hand held ‘massager’ type apparatus which helped it instantly penetrate into my deeper dermis.
This magical infusion is then followed with 5 minutes of sonophoresis (sound wave therapy), which feels like a cooling probe being rolled across my skin in a lifting fashion. This is said to enhance absorption of vital nutrients and promote skin lifting.
Just as I was sinking into the depths of blissful relaxation, my therapist applied a 24K gold mask that felt like liquid gold against my skin. That was the last nudge I needed before I fell into a dreamy sleep, awash with unicorns bearing birkins as gifts.
The next thing I knew, I sniffed the aroma of lavender against my nostrils as the therapist gently roused me from dreamland with a pressure point massage. What happened? I enquired (did I snore?). I was gently informed that the facial has ended, and that I will be led to a makeup area complete with refreshments. (wow! you need to try their sapphire tea).
I was blown away by the whole facial experience even before seeing any results. I was told by my editor that this was a ‘clinical facial’ at a ‘clinic’ which I thought was short for: ‘you’re not supposed to enjoy it, just grit your teeth and go through with it’. I even conjured up images of women in delivery suites chanting slogans ‘no pain, no gain’ prior to stepping into the clinic. But to my surprise, this was a REALLY comfortable and restoring experience, even for someone as highly strung as myself. That night, I went home and my husband looked at me suspiciously “have you been shopping or drinking or both?” Apparently, my skin was glowing and flushed like a baby, the sort of look when I am in throes of ecstasy brought on by impulse purchases or a good Bordeaux.
I had all but forgotten about this little facial experience when a week later, after an especially vocal and emotionally charged meeting (what do you expect from seven peri-menopausal women), my colleague sidled up to me in the corridor and asked “so what is it? Botox or laser?”
I was completely blown away. It was 5pm and I was sure my thin, ill-applied layer of tinted sunscreen must have disappeared into thin air by now (if not smudged onto the wrapper of the avocado sandwich I ate for lunch). While driving home, I peered into my car mirror at a red light, and I must say, my skin looks suppler now, even in its naked, unwashed glory, it looked better than it has ever looked with makeup on.
Suffice to say, I would be the first to put my name down if there ever was another opening to go for the PDRN Cellular Facial again. I’m sold.
Read More: What Alcohol Really Does to Your Skin