A few months ago, I met a dear friend of mine for a (virtual) dinner. “Your skin looks amazing,” I said, leaning closer into my computer screen; wondering if it was poor internet connection, a filter, or just really good skin. It looked radiant and freakishly smooth, probably what Beyonce looked like at two months old. “I just got a carbon laser peel,” she replied. I was sold on the spot.
What also intrigued me was that it doesn’t hurt as much. My pain threshold is famously lower than the Tonga Trench (I whined for a full day after getting my first Covid shot). So any treatment that can deliver results without me breaking a sweat has a very high appeal. For the uninitiated, a carbon facial is essentially a gentle exfoliation and toxin-pulling session that is usually done in a dermatologist’s clinic or a medical spa. The carbon cleanses pores and laser blasts excess oil, dead skin and debris away.
When I went in for my appointment a few weeks later, I pleasantly learnt that there was nothing spa-like about the experience. There was no elevator music or soft fuzzy blankets for you to take a nap mid-way. Unlike the medieval torture of typical extractions, the entire process was done using medical- grade devices, and the lasers cleared out all the gunk, blackheads and whiteheads seamlessly. After my skin healed completely, I looked in the mirror to find fresh, clear skin.
Like I had gone on a vacation to Maldives and had a butler named Hulio bringing me margaritas by the beach. These procedures are definitely an investment, both in terms of time and money. You have a few days of skin flaking and the sessions are definitely not easy on the pocket, depending on the location and provider. I don’t think I could justify a monthly visit, but I’d definitely do this every few months before important events, like my wedding, aka whenever my boyfriend gets the good sense to propose to me.
While derma-facials are definitely going to be tailor-made and infinitely more effective than salon-facials, it’s key to understand that good skin doesn’t start, or end, there. It’s all about upkeep! There’s no point in doing elaborate facials and treating yourself if you’re not going to maintain it. Your skin’s pH is weakly acidic, around 5.7, so look for a cleanser that can maintain it.
I’ve been enjoying Re’equils Fruit AHA Face Wash, especially in the days post a medifacial, because of how it’s gently exfoliating and balancing. Alkaline cleansers can damage your skin’s protective barrier, eventually resulting in loss of moisture and dehydrated skin. When I become the President (of whatever) my slogan will be: Carbon Facials and AHA Cleansers Deserve More Credit.
Also: Makeup Not Math, but that’s a whole other story. More next week!
Saumya R Chawla
Beauty behaviour with a side of dessert