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Don’t freak out, but did you know fall tends to spell disaster for our complexions? It’s actually the most common time of year for pimples, with some derms even referring to the back-to-school period as “back to breakouts.” (September is also acne awareness month. Coincidence? We think not.)
Here’s what happens: As temperatures and humidity levels drop, skin tends to dry out, creating a buildup of cells on its surface. Meanwhile, however, your sebaceous glands are still producing oil at summer speed. The result? Oil and bacteria get trapped under the dead stuff, and that’s when the zits show up.
In a bid to reverse the trend (and hold on to our summer gleam for as long as humanly possible), The Kit editors set out to try the buzziest facials of the moment. From ice-cold cryotherapy to designer face massages, here are the treatments that truly made a difference.
The details: As the world’s largest luxury brand, Chanel is all about creating unmatched experiences. At the brand’s Beauty Boutique — the first of its kind in Canada — the facials are parcelled into 75 to 90-minute gifts to yourself in which every detail has been considered. The soundproof treatment area is hidden behind a gold door. The bed and linens are imported from Paris; a New York hypnotherapist composed the music. During the treatment, there are no extractions or tools. Instead, the focus is on facial massage, courtesy of facialist Miriam, who studied at a Chanel beauty academy in Mexico. After activating pressure points on my arms, legs and feet, Miriam spends almost an hour on my face. She cleanses and moisturizes (using the brand’s toning Le Lift line), while kneading and smoothing to help define facial contours, particularly my jaw. The grand finale is a deeply hydrating collagen mask that is used exclusively for these facials. “You can’t even buy it at the boutique,” whispers Miriam, summing up the appeal of this one-of-a-kind experience.
Post-facial glow factor: My skin felt taut and looked so dewy that I skipped the offer of concealer. I headed out into the sunshine, with great skin, sure, but also a vow to take better care of myself. — Laura deCarufel, editor-in-chief
The details: This power-packed treatment, held in Gee’s newly renovated bright white Rosedale space, features a parade of high-tech devices so you get the most bang for your precious time. First up is a double cleanse, then a round of diamond-tip microdermabrasion that sucks away any dead skin. That clears the way for a light steam and gentle extractions (made easier by the lack of debris), followed by a crackly pass of the high-frequency device to kill any bacteria and prevent breakouts that may be caused by extractions. Next up, a clear jelly sheet mask filled with hyaluronic extract, rose extract and antioxidants — but that’s not all! Over it a panel of LED lights shone down, designed to penetrate the translucent mask and infuse skin with bacteria-reducing blue light and inflammation-calming red light. A blast of cooling oxygen infused with hydrating, brightening serum was the delightful cherry on top. Finally, toner, serums, moisturizer and sunscreen chosen from Gee’s stellar range of product lines (Tata Harper, Dr. Sebagh, Barbara Sturm, Skinceuticals, etc.) sealed all the goodness in.
Post-facial glow factor: My skin was seriously smooth, bright and plumped, with no redness from extractions. And after a complimentary light makeup touch-up, I went straight to work feeling glowy yet put together. — Rani Sheen, executive editor
The details: I’d landed on a red-eye from San Francisco that morning and gone straight to work, so this facial could not have come at a better time. Arriving at the newly revamped Spa My Blend by Clarins (the only one of its kind in the Americas), I slipped my weary limbs under the covers and practically salivated as the therapist listed off the steps to come. There was cryotherapy, LED technology and a vibration machine as well as personalized boosters and serums, which were all wonderful in the way of results, but what I particularly delighted in were the massages (face, hands, feet and scalp.) Because this is about more than skin, though I’ve rarely seen mine this plump and juicy, it’s about really treating yourself. Which is why I highly recommend packing your swimsuit and sinking into the hot tub or unwinding in the eucalyptus steam room when you’re done (you get a complimentary spa pass with the facial). I also hear the plush chaises in the lounge are the perfect place to doze off in your robe …
Post-facial glow factor: Jet lag, what jet lag? I looked more rested and radiant than I do after a two-week vacation. — Katherine Lalancette, beauty director
The details: With all of the amenities at the Hotel InterContinental’s spa, it would be easy to while away an entire afternoon in pretty luxury: the saline pool under a skylight ceiling, the steam room, the salt hot tub, the chaises on the wooden deck with the skyline view, the licensed spa menu: oh, to be a lady of leisure, indeed. However, the facial itself feels like an afternoon of leisure. Sandwiched between the consultation and aftercare recommendations are 10 feel-good skin care and massage steps (OK, the extractions maybe don’t fit in the feel-good category, but they’re optional) using citrusy-smelling products from Swiss luxury brand Luzern. The marquee step, the “oxygen infusion” of 98 per cent pure medical grade oxygen, is said to do everything including boost collagen production, heal acne, speed skin cell turnover … and more and more. Does it? The internet is awash with varying opinions. But something in that combination of oxygen infusion, exfoliation, enzyme peel, mask and serum application gave me a glow I took back to the office to many compliments.
Post-facial glow factor: “Your skin really does look amazing,” said one of a few colleagues who praised my pampered skin. I looked fresh and healthy and my skin felt extra soft for days. — Eden Boileau, managing editor
The details: After a few especially energy-zapping weeks during which new fine lines seemed to appear daily and a blemish more stubborn than I am (and I’m a true Taurus) had taken up residence on my chin, my dull, broken-out complexion needed divine — or at least, high-tech — intervention. Enter this multi-tasking treatment, complete with everything you could ask for in a facial: nine bespoke steps designed to regenerate skin cells, soothe inflammation, tackle sun damage, brighten skin, decrease fine lines, promote circulation, combat acne and curb redness. The process included diamond microdermabrasion for deep exfoliation, a high-pressure oxygen spray for intense hydration, cold laser with microcurrent that exercises facial muscles for a subtle toning effect, and a nonthermal, non-invasive LED light therapy panel customized to increase my skin’s overall radiance, improve the look of fine lines and address said acne around my jawline. Out of breath yet? Don’t worry, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy.
Post-facial glow factor: Instead of slinking into an Uber and racing home red-faced and irritated, I galloped down Queen West without a stich of makeup, letting my illuminated face guide me to my next destination. As for my chin tenant? I don’t know her. — Jennifer Berry, digital editor
The details: Cryotherapy is a huge wellness buzzword — it’s the premise that chilling the body (or in this case, the skin) to sub-zero temperatures induces a boost in circulation and repair processes. Now, U.K. skin care brand 111Skin has developed cryo technology for use in its hyper-luxurious facials. Yes, you will feel a bit chilly. Once tucked up in a warmed bed within the cushy surrounds of the Four Seasons spa, the usual elements of a high-end facial are expertly administered (cleansing, exfoliating peel, mask, massage) using 111Skin’s Celestial Black Diamond products, which use black diamond particles to increase the skin’s absorption of its signature anti-aging ingredient NAC Y2, developed with scientists who studied the aging effects of space travel on astronauts’ skin. But the star of the show is the hand-held device that aims -30°C purified air at the face, neck and décolleté during two separate passes, to increase collagen and elastin production, boost microcirculation (hello, lit-from-within glow), lift and tighten, and quell any redness or inflammation. While you may wish to ask for an extra fluffy blanket, especially during the pass on the neck and chest, the cold stream feels next-level refreshing.
Post-facial glow factor: I have never emerged so even-toned and gleaming from a facial before — I couldn’t stop staring at my firm, lifted, calm and glowing skin. I even posted a no-filter photo on Instagram immediately afterwards. — Rani Sheen, executive editor
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Post time: Sep-09-2019