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Facials involve a variety of skin treatments to keep your skin looking young.
Facials involve a variety of skin treatments to keep your skin looking young.

Health, Santa Monica, Hot Flash

The Weekly Hot Flash: Face Off

Posted Jun. 26, 2013, 9:08 am

Barbara Bishop / Hot Flash Columnist

Face off – I’ve discovered it’s more than a hockey term. It’s what I experienced at my last facial, and I lived to tell the tale.  

I have been getting monthly facials for more than 35 years. The ritual started when I had teenage acne problems. Long after the acne disappeared, the facials continued.

One piece of personally proven advice I can give to you (men and women) is to take good care of your skin.

I consider my best asset to be my face. People tell me I look closer to 40 than over 50.  

When I was younger, like 22, I was constantly getting asked for my ID when I went bar-hopping with my friends. I hated it then. Love it now!  

I am deeply grateful for my teenage acne – it started me on a lifelong path of keeping my skin healthy.

Back to my most recent facial.  

I have been going to my technician, Cathy for more than 10 years. She works magic. And she’s quite inexpensive for the extensive ritual she puts me through.  

First, she shapes my eyebrows.  

This time, she had to dye them because she found some WHITE eyebrow hairs.  

If that wasn’t enough of a sign of getting older, she started plucking away at my chin – I had a long hair (well, long for a chin-hair) growing out of it! “Holy s--t! I am old!” I yelled, in the quiet meditative space.   

But Cathy smiled and remained calm.

I simmered down after she had me do some deep breathing exercises to relieve the angst.  She’s so Zen, that Cathy!  

She then began my facial with a soothing cleansing of my skin. Then she used a steam-machine to open my pores to make the extraction process easier. Easier for her, not for me! That mo-fo procedure hurts!

When I heard the snap of her surgical gloves, I knew it was extraction time.

What she does when she “extracts” is kind of squeezes my face all over in different directions, getting rid of the build-up of dirt, oil, grime, pollution and whatever else she discovers in my pores.

This particular day, she found a couple of whiteheads. This is when the extraction “fun” really begins.  

She takes a small sharp needle-like object and pokes at the white head until it comes out. Ouchy-mama!

What I do in the name of beauty. A few more minutes, and she’s done. Thank god.  

Feels like there’s a huge hole in my face. But there never is.

What she did next may really freak you out.  

She took a tiny razor blade and started scraping my face at my jaw line. OMG!  

It was like I had a beard. Then she went to my upper lip. I was afraid to ask her what in the world she was doing. She must have seen the sheer terror in my (closed) eyes, and explained what she was doing.  

The procedure is called dermaplane, and it literally takes the first layer of skin and anything attached to it, off!    

Once I got used to it, I asked her to remove the first layer of skin from my whole face.  She did, and when she was done, my skin felt like a baby’s behind!  

So soft, and hairless!  (Mind you, I did not have that much hair on my face in the first place!)

What’s really at the end of this rainbow is the half-hour head, face, neck, shoulder and arm massage she does before and after applying a fruit-forward, moisturizing mask.  While I am waiting for full-blown hydration, what else is there to do but lie there and get an awesome, relaxing rub-down?    

The entire facial process took three hours. Amazing. And she charged me $150.  

Such a deal. I am not allowed to tell you where she works. She’s busy enough.  

Can’t wait till next time!

Barbara Bishop is President of Santa Monica-based BBPR, Inc. For comments, suggestions, email

Hot Flash Universe is the go-to source for women over 40 looking for insight into the hottest, most current trends, products, and issues. Topics are approached with candor, intellect and a healthy dose of humor. We search for the best Santa Monica has to offer for women of any age to be sexy, smart, and savvy.

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