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April 1, 2019

Hurts So Good

One beauty writer’s test drive of a facial that includes serums, needles, and a whiff of acid

When it comes to skincare, I’ve always followed a “no pain, no gain” philosophy. As much as I’d like to be in the pro-pampering, #selfcare camp with its watermelon-scented sheet masks, I like a little tough love for my skin. I came of age in the era of astringent (toner and its “gentle-but-effective” ilk were still a glimmer in some cosmetic marketing genius’ eye), and my gateway drug was a bracing bottle of Sea Breeze.

But alas, my Sea Breeze is now as dated as a bottle of SPF-free Hawaiian Tropic (yep, that was my jam too). A slew of science-backed, botanical-based products have ushered in a more mellow approach to skincare. And while I’ve embraced the aforementioned (sting-free) toner and, yes, I’m still a sucker for treatments and products that feel like they’re working. So when I had the chance to try out The Spa at The Joule’s Biologique Recherche Micro-Puncture Facial followed by LED light therapy, I booked my appointment stat.

The facial is designed to help fight signs of aging by activating a natural repair phase that regenerates skin tissue. The activation happens through a bit of forced injury, or, as the name suggests, tiny punctures in the top layer of the skin made by sterile micro-needles. In addition to creating better absorption for the cocktail of Biologique Recherche products applied during the facial, the process is designed to damage the skin just enough to trigger a repair phase that rebuilds tissue. The end goal: refined, plump skin with fewer fine lines and wrinkles.

My fear of what was billed as the spa’s “most intensive treatment” was assuaged once I was comfortably situated on the massage table and surrounded by the sound of waves, reassuring me that I was indeed in a spa and not a new-age torture chamber. My aesthetician Lory thoroughly cleansed my face, applied the brand’s cult-favorite Lotion P50W (an exfoliating toner designed to hydrate and balance skin’s pH), and layered on a hyaluronic acid concoction that smelled a little like, well, cat pee.

Post needling, Lory applied a finishing serum to plump and hydrate, and as a final step, clicked on the Déesse Pro LED light therapy mask. I wore it for 15 minutes to help heal my skin, enhance tone and texture, improve elasticity, and build collagen. The LED mask, Lory assured me, was her secret weapon, adding that, “using it regularly will make you look young forever.” Suffice to say, the mask has become my new obsession, too. —Joslyn Taylor

The Details: The Spa at The Joule, 1530 Main Street. Call 214.261.4555 to book your appointment