I'd really rather be swimming laps. Or having a hit of tennis (that court looks pretty good!). Hmm … perhaps I could even try that spin class. Anything but sit here in this waiting room in a white robe. I mean, it's not doing much for my manhood, is it? Mind you, it smells pretty good. And this concoction I've been given they call it some kind of tea is actually quite alright. I must say, the staff are very friendly and don't seem a bit interested in the fact that I'm a guy. After all, guys do this all the time, apparently.
I'm into day two of my long-weekend stay at Elysia health retreat in the Hunter Valley. I'm about as relaxed as I can ever remember being, and my partner and I are enjoying endless activities together (of the organised variety that is). So here we are; our second afternoon and I've been talked into having a facial. My girlfriend's ecstatic about the idea she's always telling me my skin's as tough as Old Nick. I, however, am a little more dubious.
My partner has wisely booked me in for a specific "Men's hydrating facial" (50 minutes, $99) and I am, I have to say, impressed by the fact that it's a treatment (including products) specially designed for blokes.
My"facialist" comes to greet me and makes me feel most comfortable in her care. I lie down and she begins assessing my skin. It turns out my girlfriend wasn't far wrong. I have a beard so I tend to be rather lazy with looking after my skin. What guy isn't?
Apparently because I do have whiskers, exfoliating is extra important. So after cleansing (my face feels cleaner that it's ever been already!) I'm treated to a grainy face and neck exfoliation. I often experience break-outs under my beard too, and am informed this is partially due to blockage and lack of hydration. My nose is riddled with blackheads, not that it's something I like to discuss, but I'm told squeezing them like I do isn't the answer. Pore refining masks and clever cleansing are preferable.
I'm told to categorically rule out soap as a cleanser (oops) and use a hydrating face wash instead. My therapist is using Babor products for men on my skin and I've got to say, they feel pretty good, and smell refreshing, too (but not girly or overly "Brute 33" like some male products).
I'm treated to a steam therapy before a luxurious-feeling fluid is slathered from forehead to chest to, I'm told, "saturate my skin with moisture to reduce fine lines and leave my skin revitalised".
Now, call me stupid but this is the first time I've heard that my tardiness with moisturiser is possibly one of the key reasons I have so many lines on my face. Perhaps I'd have been a little more diligent with the cream if I had have known it'd lead to fewer crow's-feet.
The last bit of my treatment is the best: a divinely relaxing face, neck, scalp and shoulder massage (now why doesn't my girlfriend ever do this?) before a special mask is applied to my increasingly supple skin to reduce irritations associated with shaving and improve my skin texture. A generous licking of moisturiser, which my skin seems to drink, concludes the surprisingly pleasant experience.
As I slowly haul myself off the table I feel a bliss-like state usually only associated with more rigorous endeavours. My noggin feels fresh as a baby's bottom and I am, I must admit after 50 minutes of pampering, a true convert. I emerge beaming (my face a little red from all its prodding and revitalsing, but this will settle down I'm told) and stock up on Babor products (male, for sensitive skin). And my new mantra? Cleanse, exfoliate, apply shaving cream, moisturise and slather on SFP!
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