A Beauty Editor Braves Her Facial Phobia

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Thought you had strict skin care rules? At age 27, Beautylish's Cinya B. finally gets her first facial from Hollywood guru Sonya Dakar. Keep reading to discover why she feared the procedure and how her virgin complexion reacted.

As a beauty editor, I’m constantly a guinea pig for new products. While I test out makeup and hair items with reckless abandon, I am totally chicken when it comes to skin care. In my teens and ‘20s, I was fortunate enough to avoid full-blown acne breakouts (Beauties, this isn't a humblebrag, when I do get zits they sprout two times the normal size in prime real estate zones like my chin, forehead, and nose). Because of this stroke of genetic luck however, I've always had an irrational fear that one wrong pampering session or serum would throw off my skin's natural balance forever. Through stealthy planning and a strict testing regimen, I’ve managed to avoid facials and other treatments for my job. But recently, I've had a change of heart. Perhaps it was the fact that I just turned 27. Or, that after moving to California, I haven't been the best at remembering to apply sunscreen daily. Whatever the reason, I found that my complexion was becoming dull and uneven. I decided as a birthday treat, I would take the plunge and let my virgin skin experience its first facial. But if I was going to bite the bullet, there was only one woman I could trust with my precious complexion: Hollywood’s skin care guru, Sonya Dakar. I'd been following her tips and using her products for years—not to mention, she helps Sofia Vergara, Bar Rafaeli, and Gwyneth Paltrow achieve complexion perfection!

I was extremely nervous the morning of my appointment and my worries only grew when my colleague, Alexandra J., wished me good luck and added: "I hope you don't cry!" When I got to Sonya's posh Beverly Hills office, I immediately relaxed. Not only did I get to sip on a tasty smoothie while I filled out forms, but Sonya and I chatted about my sensitive skin concerns before she started. After cleansing my complexion with Sensi Wash, Sonya applied her famous Flash Flacial, which gently exfoliated my face (Beauties, if you can't splurge on a pricey facial you need this at-home alternative!). "See how the dirt is coming off?" asked Sonya as she gently wiped away the gel with a damp cloth. "Um, yes!" I replied, mesmerized—and slightly embarrassed!—by the layers of debris being lifted from my face. She applied her NeutraSphere Nano Mask with Stem Cells, which contains ultra hydrating oils such as apricot, buriti, jojoba, and shea butter, and set me under the steamer—my personal face sauna—for six minutes. Next, she washed away the mask and applied her Detox Micro Scrub, which includes all-natural exfoliants such as cocoa, ginger and jojoba beads that gently remove dead cells.

Then came the scary part: Extractions! I gripped the sides of my cushioned chair prepping for the pain, but was relieved when Sonya (knowing it was my first time), opted to use a small tool to preform light extractions, so I barely felt the tiny pinches. Next, Sonya applied her Nano Peel, which combines lactic and phytic acids to reverse sun damage and plump up skin. In order to prep my skin for its LED treatments, she layered two of her masks: Volcano and Nano. Then, I lay under the LED Blue Mask—the wavelengths penetrate the skin and effectively destroy acne-causing bacteria—for ten minutes. Next, I received a 20 minute session of the Red LED light (top), which improves cell metabolism to stimulate a natural increase in collagen and elastin production. For the last part of my treatment, Sonya applied a blend of her Stem Cell Transformer, Nano Hydrator, and Retinu before pressurized оxуgen was applied on the skin (through a plastic mask, right). This helps boost hydration, healing, and circulation.

Although I didn't really expect dramatic results, I was shocked when I saw my reflection. "I look sixteen again!" I gasped. Not only was my skin glowing but the darker patches and red splotches were completely gone. As I left the office and stepped out on the street, I felt completely confident not wearing the slightest swipe of makeup. And my dewy complexion lasted longer than 24 hours too! It was a breeze to put on makeup for the rest of the week, and I could completely skip the concealer step thanks to my newly even skin tone. But the best part? No breakouts and no irritation! I may have been terrified before I went, but one session with Sonya completely converted me. I'm already saving up for another session with the guru in six months. Sure, it might be pricey, but it's worth the splurge to me!

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