I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
My acne struggles started at around 13, made an exit between ages 16 and 19, when I routinely saw a dermatologist, and crept back into my life at around age 20. From then on, my skin was completely out of control, and nothing I used helped. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's really not good.
A couple of months ago, the right side of my face went buck wild and suffered a massive breakout. So I thought I'd try a new way to treat it: An acne facial at Clear Clinic, a dedicated acne-treatment center started by dermatologist Dr. Eric Schweiger.
Clear Clinic offers two kinds of acne facials: The Clear Clinic Mini, which includes cleansing, a steam combined with their P3 Mask (a pore-purifying pumpkin mask), extraction, and a moisturizer, and SPF ($95, 30 minutes).
The other is the Clear Clinic Signature Medical Facial, which is what I tried. It includes cleansing, microdermabrasion, a deep steam combined with an application of the P3 Mask, extractions, the application of acne medicated pads and a moisturizer and SPF ($195, 6o minutes). Here's what you get:
My facialist, Jessica, started by cleansing my face with Clear Clinic Foamy Cleanser, which contains a blend of cucumber and aloe that helps soothe and moisturize the skin. It was immediately followed by microdermabrasion, which removed all those dead skin cells with a mechanical abrasion combined with suction device.
Once Jessica was done removing those dead cells, she applied Clear Clinic's P3 Mask, which is made with pumpkin enzymes, a natural exfoliant, to help further break down dead cells. Then, Jessica turned on the steam and let me be for about 20 minutes.
After that, she rinsed off the mask, and this is when the fun came in: extraction time. I love extractions because it’s professionals doing the pimple popping, and those pores need to be freed from all the dirt and grime that’s hiding in them. Jessica said the massive breakout on the right side of my face contained pimples so tiny that she needed a needle to pop them. Yes, A NEEDLE.
The extraction part lasted about 20 minutes or so, and Jessica really took the time to get everything out of every last pore, which was reassuring because in past facials, the esthetician told me she couldn’t get everything out because she was running out of time. Jessica informed me that most times, her facials last an hour and a half opposed to just an hour due to extractions, and no, there’s not an extra charge for extra time. That's a huge plus versus getting a facial done at a spa.
Once the painful extractions were complete, Jessica wiped my face with Clear Clinic Clear Me Pads (a mix of salicylic and glycolic acids) and smoothed on a menthol, aloe, and vitamin C ice mask for 10 minutes to calm any redness. The final steps were applying Clear Clinic Prep and Soothe for moisture and EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 sunscreen.
This experience shed a different light on the way I feel about facials in general. It was good to know that Jessica actually cared about the well being of my skin; it didn't feel like she was just doing a job or rushing to get to the next client.
My face was red and puffy once I left the clinic, but it went down in about a few hours. After a week, I noticed that my skin was still glowing and that most of the breakout and acne scars were lighter, some were totally gone. Thanks, Jessica!
Have you ever had an acne facial (or get regular facials)? And how do you feel about extractions?