First Facial Experience & Photo Editing Magic

9:34:00 AM mandy 15 Comments

So the story goes...

During a dinner party/get-together, my mom's friend (or my childhood friend's mom...for this post I'll refer to her as Auntie F) and practically everyone else noticed how badly I was breaking out.

Drink more water, one said.
Clean your face a lot, another told me.
And so the comments and friendly nagging advice continued.

Auntie F for one reason or another suggested why not I go do a facial?
As I usually tell her, "heh I don't have the money for that!"
Normally she'll say "It's not THAT expensive" or "Tell your mom to treat you!"
Strangely that night she actually offered to treat me to one herself...which definitely caught me out of the blue.
Of course being the type who finds it hard to turn down people...I awkwardly accepted.

After a few days, Auntie F called and told me the time and place for my appointment.
After class Friday, I went to my very first facial at a place in Chinatown.
They have quite a few stores here in NYC, so they must be doing something right.
I thought perhaps they'll help me with whatever problems that were causing the eruptions on my face.

They asked me to change into a tube shirt/dress and told me to lie down.
Simple enough directions. But I was still pretty nervous.
One: Auntie F told warned me beforehand that the first facial will hurt. Her son (yes her son) could testify to that.
Two: I cannot handle pain AT ALL.

The beautician put a gel on my face and massaged it around before she wiped it all off.
If I'm right...she was probably cleansing/taking whatever was on my face prior.
Then she applied some sort of sheet mask and I assume I lied there for at least half to one hour.
During that time I also felt steam being blown onto my face, which I think was to open my pores up.
This segment of the facial was the most relaxing. I took the advantage to take a short nap.
In the middle of this part, she came in and gave my shoulders a massage.
It was strangely comfortable and painful at the same time.

When the lady came back again she started to press a tool on my forehead.
At first, it felt like someone was just scratching it.
But then it became very painful...almost like piercing pressure.
I like to think I endured it pretty well.
Until...she started to go toward my more sensitive areas like the eyebrows...then toward one cheek and the other...then my nose, chin, and upper lip area.
If I was the only one there I would have screamed. Of course...that wasn't the option.
I held it in. I unknowingly teared up. I was twisting the towel they gave me. And I even dug my nails into my palms to divert pain.
But boy was Auntie F not kidding when she said it'd be painful.

After the extraction portion...every little touch/movement around me made me flinch.
I couldn't even relax my face for the beautician to tidy up my brow area.
All the pain was over in maybe 15 minutes? Or it could have been even shorter...
She went on to put some kind of alcohol? gel substance all over my face.
It stung SO BADLY...Especially because she opened up so many wounds from the extraction.

Thankfully, there was one last part to the facial.
The clay mask! The second most relaxing part of the entire facial.
I think I had it on for about another good 30 plus or minus some minutes.
Finally, the beautician removed, cleansed, and moisturized my skin.

When I got home and got a mirror to look at...I was a little horrified taken aback.
I had a feeling this wouldn't be some miracle facial treatment.
I just didn't think it was going to be so bad.
In addition to the redness and bumps I had before I went in, I had like a bajillion other NEW red dots all over my face from the extraction.
To make matters worse, I had to go out for a family birthday dinner afterward and even my 7-year old cousin was asking me "Mandy...what's wrong with your face? o.O" (In these exact words and with the same facial expression!)
AWKWARD...!!! How do I explain what happened to my face to an elementary school child?\

Now what's done is done.
All I can do now is hope the redness and dots will go away with time. (Quickly, please! I beg you!)
Or else I don't know what I'm going to do =.=
It probably isn't all their fault but this has officially scared me away from facials for a long time.

Before & After

Left is how I looked the next morning (or yesterday morning to be exact). The redness went down substantially. To accurately depict how bad my skin was...just think where all those dots are across my forehead, nose, upper lip, and chin area was MUCH redder and way MORE apparent. It kind of looked like some sort of aftermath from a skin illness. (Maybe that's why my cousin asked what happened to me? The dots weren't bumps like acne.) On top of that, new pimples are forming now too *sigh*

Right was made possible with a little magic called photoshopping or more specifically the healing brush tool. I did nothing more than just 'erase' most of the spots. (Not even edit the colors, which is what I normally do to my photos.) Once upon a time...about 4 months ago, my skin did look like this. For some reason over the summer, all havoc wreaked on my face. I have yet to figure out why or how to fix it. I can only hope now that it'll be better once the cooler weather sets in here in NYC.

For the time being, does anyone have any suggestions on how to calm acne or what I could do about these red spots leftover from the facial treatment?
Is this side effect normal of these "treatments"?
I'm open for any suggestions now...really! & Kudos to anyone who read through all this!


  1. Oh no! Hopefully the redness and scars will go away soon. I've never been to a facial treatment because my mom is convinced that extracting the way Asian people do will leave scars and I think I agree :/ I'd suggest keeping your skincare super basic for the next few days and weeks. Try to avoid wearing any makeup because it might make your skin more congested. If you have some sort of calming, hydrating mask, I think now would be a good time to use it!

    I'm sure if I was in your position I'd definitely cry because I have such low pain tolerance! I used to thread my eyebrows in high school and I'd always shed a few tears haha. Also, it's so hard to ignore family friends and their 893722374 opinions. I hope they'll learn to mind their own business soon and stop bugging you about your skin :)

    1. I thought the same thing about extractions too. Hopefully it doesn't end up scarring...that would be my worst nightmare =.= Ah I hope a lot of the redness will go away before school tomorrow! Or else staying away from makeup would be so difficult :X Thanks for your tips! I'm going make sure I enjoy a mask tonight.

  2. Ahh that sounds scary! I've never had an actual facial done at a place before, but my mom has tried giving me at-home facials before and that hurts too! I think the best way to treat it, like Kar Yi said, for the next few weeks is to not tamper with it too much and use basic skincare products. And to not touch your face too much! Hope it gets better soon, dear! :)

    1. My mom doesn't do anything for her skin. But my aunt tried to do extracting on my once. It hurt a lot and that's considering she was being 'light-handed' with pressure...!

  3. I've never had a facial before but I can tell you that it's worse before it gets better. Your face will heal and it'll probably improve :D I have a friend who gets monthly extractions but her skin has been really good!

    1. Within a week's time, my skin does feel & look a lot better. All those red dots finally went away! I don't know if I have the same will to go even a second time :X too painful!

  4. Yep, this is exactly how my facials went... Pleasant when the masks were on, super painful during the extractions! The redness does subside after a few days but if you want to speed up the healing process, use vitamin E oil or cream on the spots. I'd also suggest using a spot treatment on the spots so they don't turn into angrier zits. Avoid exfoliating for a week too since your skin is already so agitated. Anyway, by the time your skin heals, it should be glowing. The best part about my facials was that my face was smooth and always glowing :)

    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I'll keep that in mind if I ever have extractions done again...LOL
      I'm so glad the redness is pretty much gone now after a week. My skin feels smooth right now too! But I'm still debating whether it's because of the facial or the new skincare I'm using :\

  5. Hi Maggie! You could try this for the red spots: sit two tea bags of chamomile in a glass of cool water for about five minutes – the glass should be in the fridge. Remove the bags and apply them on the red spots. It works for me. You know, I wasn’t surprised to learn about your problem. Asian skin is one of the most sensitive skins. Treatment for it calls for a delicate balance between clearing the condition, and maintaining skin color. Tell me if it works for you, too. :]

    Francis Powers

    1. I didn't get a chance to try this method but I'll keep it in mind if my skin ever gets sensitive!

  6. Oh my! I've been considering having my first facial too, but now I'm a nit hesitant.. I don't want to walk out of the salon with red spots all over my face XD I can tolerate pain pretty well but I'm still hesitant to get a facial since I don't know a good salon and I don't want to go to the same salon as my mom LOL!

    1. If you can tolerate pain well I think you should give it a try when you find a good place. After the spots went away my skin felt a lot smoother and less decongested. Hmm maybe if you go to the same place as your mom you get try to squeeze a discount out from them for? xD

  7. haha yeahhh my facials were pretty painful as well, but i have a high pain-toleralance on my face. However, this year when I went back to Taiwan and got a facial...i started to cry as the lady picked at my pimples. And she was like "does it hurt really bad?" hahah I really wanted to say " no shit...can't you see the tears?" ughhh but my chinese ain't that great. But yeah why don't we just photoshop! hahaha I loveee that option :)

    1. Haha I wish there was a reality equivalent function for pesky imperfections :P

  8. Just let the red spots heal. I know they’re bummer, but they’re all part of it, and you’ll get used to it eventually. You can apply chamomile tea as cold compress to calm it or you can use mild calming moisturizer to help. Don’t give up on facial treatments. With the help of balanced diet and sleep, they’ll help you achieve healthier skin that doesn’t need any photo editing. Lilia, La Fleur de Beaute