I have had my fair share of needles in life. From the dentist, to the doctor, to the acupuncturist, to the tattoo artist; I have been poked, prodded, jabbed and inked. All for good reason and always for long term betterment. But, when my friend Cassandra Anderton asked me if I wanted to take advantage of a free vitamin facial treatment, I wasn't anticipating the pointy end of a syringe. I envisioned the sounds of a stream or waves lapsing on a pebbled shore, emitting from an in house sound system, all the while getting my temples massaged as a thick goopy layer of mud and citrus cleared my mind and my pores. Instead, I was in line to receive an experience I will not soon forget and, in a strange way, yearn to repeat.
The crew at Vital Health in Kitsilano were very welcoming upon my arrival and as I waited for my appointment I flipped through a copy of Details to brush up on some style tips. When my time had come, an extremely jovial lady by the name of Margo came to collect me from the lounge. She commented on how nice it was to see a guy want to take care of his skin and paid me a compliment on my attire. I was flattered. But, as I entered treatment the room, I couldn't help but notice the lack of canned music and spa-like tinctures. As if reading my mind, Margo asked, " Are you ok with needles? " My response: " I'm cool." She then proceeded to inform me of the treatment I was about to recieve. Designed by Teoxane Laboratories in Geneva, it's called Light Filling and it's a process that involves micro injections of Hyaluronic Acid, amino acids, antioxidants, minerals, and a singular vitamin. The needle reaches to the subdermal layer of the skin and the cocktail of ingredients are meant to hydrate the skin on a cellular level.
First, Margo applied a numbing agent; then I held an icepack to my cheek to further the lack of sensation overload. Thankfully she was a pro, and although I admit that it did sting a bit around the eyeline, it was relatively tame. Reminiscent of acupuncture and after a few pokes, actually pretty relaxing. But it's the long term benefits that drive the science of Light Filling that had me intrigued. It is, and I quote (from the pamphlet), "A new concept treatment between filling injections and mesotherapy, which redensifies your skin deep down and restores its natural ability to reflect light. "
So here's the big reveal…….My skin felt great! I left with a couple "bee sting" looking marks that subsided in about two hours and now that's it been a few days you wouldn't notice any unusual puncture marks or blemishes. Margo informed me that in roughly two weeks after the treatment I would feel a series of small "burst:". the effect of the Hyaluronic cocktail having rehydrated my skin from the inside out. I'm kind of excited for the sensation…I wonder if it feels like pop-rocks?
As with most intricate and heavily studied treatments, this one comes with a price tag that may be a touch daunting. When I asked Margo how much it would have run me if I had just walked in from the street, she told me she would have normally used two syringes worth, one per each side of the face, but since I have been rocking my winter beard, we narrowed it down to one syringe total. Price tag – $300, which would have been double if not for the facial hair barrier. Technically, one benefits the most by repeating the process 3 times spread out over three week increments. At which point the overall cost would tally up to $1500 (a discount is applied for buying all 3 sessions). Keep in mind, those collective sessions are effective for a year, are all natural, and overall are less expensive than the alternative. ( Plus, there is a huge upside: you can still smile, chew food and, show genuine expressions.)
Now fellas, I know what you're thinking. Damn, that's a lifetime supply of scented after shaves and body washes that I can use to double as shampoo and face wash. Stop there. Let me precursor this by saying that I felt good when I left the clinic, and I felt amazing when I woke up! Exfoliate, under eye gel, lather and apply cream all you want, this is something different. This is a treatment Patrick Bateman would kill for. Not like he really needed an excuse but you catch my drift.
I'm four days in and I have physically noticed the change. I like my coffee, I like my beer, I like the feeling of sunshine on my face. All these factors add up to aging skin and sometimes topical solutions just don't reverse the effects like a good old fashioned needle full of acids and minerals getting injected into your grill. A blend of RHA Balm, Serum and, Advanced Defence Cream, applied nightly, have helped keep the nutrients hard at work during my R.E.M. cycles. I have been waking up, looking in the mirror and feeling thankful for having had experienced the treatment. As Margo said to me at the end of our session, "I know beauty is inside, but it feels good to look good too." I agree and, if it means a little poking and prodding now and again, I guess I'll just take it at face value.