I decided to get a facial at a place I've been going for years for bikini waxes called Peaches Skin Care here in Santa Barbara. My skin was majorly breaking out after I switched to a heavy daytime moisturizer with a high SPF (FYI, it was Boscia Restorative Day Moisture Cream SPF 15 -- heavy and greasy, ugh) and I was feeling desperate. I knew from doing my usual extensive online research that precedes any kind of beauty-related service that Peaches makes their own products, uses microcurrent and microdermabrasion (say what?) in their facials, and boasts on their website and social media sites that they can clear up any kind of acne, with before and after photos that seem too good to be true. So I had high expectations, and also high doubts that my uber-sensitive skin would do well with the two M's that I thought were reserved for "medical" spas (i.e. places you can get Botox but say you're going to the spa--or so I hear).
After a facial that was a little over an hour with a friendly and concerned esthetician, my face was looking a bit battered (she did very thorough extractions), but I was feeling hopeful. Here are my main takeaways from Peaches:
- Regular facials with extractions, microdermabrasion, and microcurrent are important for skin maintenance. The extractions get all the acne-causing gunk out, microderm brings up layers of new skin, and the microcurrent lifts and tightens (they call it a "face lift without surgery"...which I think is more than a bit of a stretch). A second facial a few weeks after the first is the most important to make sure the new skin that was brought up by the first facial stays clean (or maybe this is a ploy to get you to buy a facial package at Peaches...which gives you a small discount if you pay for 3 facials at once. Either way, I bought it).
- Only pure antioxidants penetrate the skin and make a difference. I didn't feel pressured into buying their products, but the way the esthetician seemed to honestly believe they were the best out there and that they could change my skin sold me. I bought a cleanser, exfoliating wash, toner, and mask. (Full disclosure: I would've bought their moisturizer except that after testing it on my arm I had an allergic reaction.)
- Yeast infection cream can cure your acne. The esthetician also insisted I put Monistat 7 (yes) on my face morning and night after toning. She said that acne is often a fungal problem and so the Monistat helps with that.
- Milk of magnesia is a fabulous face mask. They recommend you sleep with it on your face like a mask or at the very least in problem areas, as it calms skin, curbs oil production and helps acne. I've been leaving this on overnight on areas where I feel like I might have a zit coming on, and, sure enough, I wake up zit-free in the morning!
- Wear sunscreen on your face only when necessary. This probably shocked me even more than the vag cream. According to Peaches, sunscreen ingredients are pore-clogging and cause breakouts. She recommended a titanium dioxide sunscreen to use only as needed, but since wide-brimmed hats are for sale in the Peaches lobby, I think it's safe to assume they prefer hats to sunscreen.
- Makeup is the devil. Absolutely NO liquid foundation. Pure mineral makeup with no fillers is OK (i.e. no Bare Minerals) but they really hate foundation, saying it causes acne.
- Even worse than the devil: Wearing the devil while working out. Sweat will cause your makeup to clog your pores even more.
All of this might seem pretty extreme and weird to someone who has not tried everything to clear their skin and had no luck. But people like me, think, hmmm, this actually kind of makes sense.
Was it instant omg-this-skincare-is-a-miracle? No. Have I had any breakouts? Yes. Have they been smaller than usual and few and far between? YES. They also go away quicker and without using any targeted acne treatments like the ones I reviewed in my original Acne Post. In fact, most of these minor breakouts happened while I was traveling and not following the routine to a T, and since I got back and had my second facial (3 weeks ago) those breakouts cleared up super quick and I have not had a single breakout since.
The main issue I am dealing with now is minor irritation that may or may not be related to the Peaches products and routine. After my first facial, my skin was definitely more sensitive and reactive, and I was also flushing at the littlest cause. Since my second facial, it's been a lot better. Some days I can feel my skin flushing more easily than others. I also suffer from bad seasonal allergies that always affect my skin, and it's prime season right now. Since my skin is looking so great otherwise, I am really hoping it's not the products. I will probably be in denial at least for another 6 months until I use them up anyway. :)