I went for a Hydrafacial and it may have saved my face mask wrecked skin
How's your skin these days?
Good? Bad? Finding it difficult to care because there are far more pressing things happening in the world?
Same, to be honest, but when you begin to realise that you're suffering from more breakouts than usual and your face is looking a bit, well, duller, something has got to give.
Face masks, although mandatory in many indoor settings and literally crucial to curbing the spread of coronavirus, do have their ever so slight downsides.
Although washing your reusable face mask after each use is recommended as good hygiene practice, let's be honest, a lot of the time we wear them, throw them back in our bags, and immediately use them again afterwards.
My own masks have been washed an abundance of times and set themselves on my face in steady rotation, but that doesn't mean that they haven't been leading to breakouts, dry patches, and redness. Because, trust me, they have.
Granted, for the majority of spring and summer, skincare was simply not of high importance to me. There were other things worth worrying about, like when I'd get to see my family again, or if I'd ever to get to enter a shop without queuing.
But as things started to settle down and we all eased into the (don't say it) new normal, I began realising that my skin was as neglected as the €20 note crumpled down the back of my wallet.
It was dry, it was blotchy, it was covered in blackheads - and so, when Thérapie Clinic invited me in for a Hydrafacial, I couldn't say "Yes please, sort my face out" fast enough.
For those unfamiliar, a Hydrafacial is a rejuvenating skin treatment that uses a vortex suction to cleanse the skin and remove blackheads.
The skin is then infused with antioxidants and Hyaluronic acid, leaving your face hydrated with a divine and instant glow. The facial takes under an hour and leaves little to no redness or swelling, meaning that you could pop in for one before an event (remember those?), and emerge looking as fresh as humanly possible.
My skin therapist, Audrey, took me through the steps, confirmed that no, my skin was not looking the best after months of neglect, and that yes, face masks are likely to cause breakouts.
She was wearing two - a visor and a medical mask throughout the treatment. The entire room was also cleaned thoroughly after the previous client left, measures that did ensure my appointment started later than it should have, but necessary measures all the same.
The treatment itself was entirely painless and actually quite relaxing. I've never been one to obsess over pimple popping videos but there's something oddly soothing about a stranger sucking dirt out of your head with a fancy machine.
Afterwards, Audrey showed me exactly what she had pulled out - a bottle about a quarter of the way full with a brownish liquid. My shame, exposed.
But hey, at least it wasn't in my skin anymore.
Upon first glance, my face looked considerably brighter and smoother, but the real difference was in my nose where the blackheads had been completely removed. For real, my nose had never looked so clear.
Elsewhere my face just felt a hell of a lot softer. I would have ran my hands over it for hours, but that probably would have triggered some blemishes. And, you know, there's the whole don't-touch-your-face Covid health advice.
For days afterwards, friends and family were commenting on my healthy, youthful glow. And in fairness I am young and healthy but too often than not, my skin does not look that way. It was nice to finally get a bit of recognition.
Thérapie recommend a course of five or six Hydrafacials every six weeks or so to ensure optimum results. Each individual treatment costs €150, or you can book a course for a discounted bulk price.
You can find out more here.
(This treatment was complimentary of Thérapie.)