MEJ Masthead

Flushing my old face down the drain

Emma Macdonald

  It’s been five minutes since I walked out the door of Clear Complexions, and I cannot stop running my fingers across my face.

Quite frankly, it doesn’t feel like my face and I am astonished to feel skin more at home on the faces of my children. My, oh my, it’s been decades since my skin’s been this soft.

I rub my fingers over my cheeks, chin, and forehead and race into the cinema to watch a movie with a friend. We settle our kids and I lunge across the arm rest to shove my face into hers.

“Feel my skin!” I demand.

She jumps a little, before peering in for a closer look.

“I’ve just had a HydraFacial. They have sucked off 40 years of accumulated grime and wrinkles and flushed it down the drain!” I say with glee.

“Oh yeah, they are the best, I’ve had that done too,” my friend (with the good skin) replies. “Isn’t it disgusting seeing what they suck out?”

Isn’t it just.

But hang on, how did I not know about HydraFacials before now?

They are a fairly non-invasive beauty treatment in which the skin is given what pretty much amounts to a deep clean and suction. Indeed, the visions I had as I lay on the bed and had a small suction wand moved over every square inch of my face was that this was the high-end version of a Morgans steam clean.

But it felt so much better.


Post-treatment selfie.

It has been a while between visits for me at Clear Complexions – the result of receiving a program of Clear and Brilliant facials that left my skin looking and feeling pretty great and a move to their Rationale skin care, which is, in my books, the best out there.

I kind of felt I had good skin and while all my friends are busy getting fraxels, I was feeling content. Until the warm weather returned. In recent months I have been battling what is surely the scourge of middle age – dealing with breakouts in among my wrinkles.

I know it is a first-world problem and I try and keep it in perspective as I go about my busy days with a beautiful family and satisfying job. But I tell you what, there is nothing so confidence-sapping as a flaky spotty chin, enlarged pores, AND fine lines which are making their presence less fine with every passing year.

Rather than slapping on some BB cream and racing out the door to face the world, recent months have seen me spending a little longer with the concealer, which has probably only exacerbated the problem. The thing about middle-aged skin is that it just doesn’t “carry” makeup as well, and the older I get, the less I can wear, despite my feelings that I need to do more to look better. Life’s great conundrum right there, people.

So in comes Poppy, my Clear Complexion nurse, and we discuss the situation. I tell her I feel I am losing my “glow” and that I am battling to settle my constant chin issues. She explains that the deep clean and deep moisture surge will help restore some balance and ease my congestion.

The procedure will take under an hour and will give my skin a thorough exfoliation while extracting through a gentle suction some of the sins of modern living (grime, grease and grit).

It is not painful, but the sensation of the suction is a little discombobulating at first.

After the exfoliation and extraction comes the moisturisation – through antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, peptides and other nutrients which are pumped into the skin as the other stuff comes out.

That’s the bit I am feeling, fresh new skin that is plumped up and ready to shine. In fact, as I stare at myself (rather a lot) during the drive home in the bright sunlight, I notice my new-found glow. My skin is noticeably tighter and firmer and the lines that are etched around my mouth are a lot harder to see.

Honestly, I am so excited. This is as close as I have come to turning back the clock.

Part of the appeal of this treatment is that it is finished with a 20-minute burst of Omnilux LED light treatment which stimulates collagen production, helps in the healing process, and lets you drift off for a 20-minute nap.

It means you walk out the door with very minimal irritation or redness. For me, my usually pale skin remained exactly that, and joy of joy, those red breakout marks marring my chin appeared to have faded already.

Three days later and my skin is still clear and noticeably plumper. Chin is 100 per cent clear and concealer-free again.

Poppy showed me the solution she had used to suction off my skin and while she assured me that it was in relatively good shape, the cloudy water was enough to convince me that all that dead skin and gunk is better off in the sewerage system than on my face!

I have had a few unbidden compliments on my skin over the weekend – as well as the compliments I’ve received when I have invaded someone’s personal space to show them by post-facial glow (the whole office has felt my cheeks now and they approve).

While this procedure was a road test, I have booked in to see Poppy again in January. Feeling this happy with my face is worth my time and maintenance and this is the sort of treatment that I would organise right before a big event. I can see the difference it has made, but must stop touching my face, lest I clog up all that good suctioning off!

the essentials

What: Hydrate + Heal Package (HydraFacial MD + Rationale Mask + Omnilux)
Good for: Tired, stressed, or congested skin or to boost skin health and appearance before a big event.
How long: Allow 60 minutes including a 20-minute burst under the Omnilux LED lights.
How much: $295 Package special (normally $435) with an initial course of four-to-six fortnightly treatments recommended before monthly maintenance.
Where: Clear Complexions have clinics in Bruce, Woden and Gungahlin.
Book: Contact a clinic near you here.

This is a sponsored post but opinions are the author’s own. It complies with the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission’s guidelines on Online Reviews. Read our Sponsored Post Policy if you would like more information. The author received her treatments free of charge from Clear Complexions.


Emma Macdonald

Emma Macdonald has been writing about Canberra and its people for more than 20 years, winning numerous awards for her journalism - including a Walkley or two - along the way. Canberra born and bred, she’s fiercely loyal to the city, tribally inner-north, and relieved the rest of the country is finally recognising Canberra’s cool and creative credentials. More about the Author

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