27 February 2008

Going Deep

When you haven’t had a facial in five years — and by “facial” I mean one performed by a licensed professional; not a DIY version, such as a Queen Helene’s Mud Pack Masque, at-home microdermabrasion, or self-inflicted “extractions” — you kind of have to make up for lost time. Or, at least that’s what I told myself. I’m going deep. I got my first “peel”.

Okay, stop. Please remove the visions of burn victims from your head. Really. I had a hard enough time imagining what I might have done to myself. There was an episode of “Sex and the City” that kept playing in my head...and I was without a handy black hat and veil to hide behind.

When I saw this specific facial done on TV (yes, that’s one of the problems of living in L.A.; you see it and have to have it...and it’s usually located around Robertson), it boasted a recovery time of about four days. I made specific plans to allow heal-time to happen over a weekend when I booked the appointment. However, as we were finishing up from the procedure, the esthetician sweetly said to me, “You are going to have a good peel.” Then I believe the word “sheets” was used in reference to the skin I would be shedding.


I was told I had about two days before the anticipated reptilian molting would take place. Just enough time to run out and get supplies (Cetaphil and Aquaphor) and my hair done. The hair appointment was put on the books weeks before and, even if I was scary, I was going to get my roots done dammit. It’s all about looking good, even if you are looking bad. And I do enjoy the irony of the ugly one must go through to get to the beauty. It borders on ridiculous, doesn’t it? All this for a little sun-spottage and melasma from the Pill. The Pill. Oh, how I rue the day I went back on it.

The upside was that I had this done over the Spirit/Oscar weekend, my high holy holiday. I was more than happy to stay in, glued to the telly, cheer on the winners while I (theoretically) worked on a screenplay and survived on delivered pizza. The pizza guy has already seen me (repeatedly) in sorry writing shape. I’m sure he wouldn’t blink if I looked like I had just returned from Nuclear Winter.

It was going to be easy taking four days off. Oh, the writing and housecleaning I could get done! Yeah, right. But, with the news that it would take a tad longer (7-10 days), I was disappointed that I couldn’t (wouldn’t) go to the gym to shed some of that writing weight. Not if I was going to be leaving epithelials all over the place. I do have some pride. Besides, during a peel-heal, you are very shiny. There’s no way to be in any way incognito when you are basically a walking, talking beacon. I thought I’d spare myself that indignity.

Yet, in spite of “Sex and the City” flashbacks, I didn’t resemble Samantha at all. It took about a week to completely molt (which I sped up on about day five by doing a DermaNew), and no children or old people were frightened in the process. There are still some spots I’d like lightened but, overall, it was worth it. And I won’t be waiting another five years to get another facial. As I was being examined by the facialist she complimented me on my small pores, and advised me to “keep it that way.” That’s just word-crack. You want to be sure to hear that again. And, there’s nothing like a threat veiled in a compliment to stir one’s vanity. Now I am looking forward to another splurge. Ole Henriksen, I’ll soon be calling.

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