Is It Safe To Go For A Facial Right Now? We Asked An Expert

If there was ever a time for self-care it is now.

PPE wreaking havoc on your skin? Stress breakouts? Sun-deprived skin? It's time you treated yourself to a facial. Or, well, let us treat you. We've teamed up with Dermalogica to give one lucky Irish Tatler reader the chance to win the ProSkin Advanced treatment (a 60 minute treatment worth €100) at their newly launched flagship store in St. Stephen's Green. Plus! There's even a prize for not one but ten (!) runner ups: Skin Solver Treatments (a 15 minute treatment worth €20).

After months spent in lockdown juggling working from home with parenting, health concerns, financial woes and worrying about at-risk loved on, many of us have been left feeling anxious, fatigued and highly strung.

If there was ever a time for self-care it is now. The ultimate spa experience is something many of us are desperate to indulge in, with our sunlight-starved skin and poor posture longing to be soothed by the hands of a professional while surrounded by lavender scented spritzes and soft music.

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Thankfully, after four extremely long months of DIY facemasks and stress-induced breakouts - we are now finally able to book our faces in for some professional TLC. But for all the good that comes with returning to the salon, there's a wave of stress and anxiety. 

For starters, the experience will be radically different. Some beloved practices have to be shelved - goodbye complimentary refreshments - and new protocols have been introduced to ensure that travellers and staff feel safe and protected. 

With that in mind, we spoke to Sinead Sission, Spa Manager at Dermalogica recently opened flagship store located on the first floor of St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre

fIRST OF ALL, IT IS SAFE

One of the biggest worries surrounding facials is the simple matter of, 'is it safe?'. In short, yes. "We have taken every possible precaution to ensure client and staff safety," says Sinead Sission, Spa Manager at DermalogicaAs a global brand, Dermalogica, which trains over 100,000 licensed skin-care professionals each year and has over 20,000 independent salons and spas worldwide, utilized its vast resources to act fast in creating a reopening plan for its locations across Ireland. In May, the brand launched an official guide,  12 Principles for Enhanced Service Safety, detailing safety protocols, as well as a Clean Touch Certification allowing skin therapists to complete online training on key principles and practices. "All of our team are Clean Touch Certified," confirms Sinead. "Staff temperature checks are conducted at the start of the day. We also have unlimited access to PPE and cleaning equipment. We also change into our uniform when we arrive to the store."

Sinead recommends checking out Dermalogica's social media to see images and videos to know exactly what the experience will be like now. "We are more than happy to answer any questions or settle any worries you might have over the phone or via email." 

YOUR ARRIVAL MIGHT BE DIFFERENT 

Many salons will be displaying messaging around what to expect in their windows so you're prepared before you enter. This will include reminders around social distancing and hygiene. Dermalogica's flagship store now located on the first floor of St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre will be putting up screens to protect reception staff and arrivals will be pre-scheduled to avoid congestion. "There is a COVID-19 medical questionnaire that clients must fill out before their treatment," tells Sinead. You'll also be paired with one facialist only, to limit contact.

It's also vital that you arrive to your appointment on time and stick to the treatment slot you booked. Appointments won't take longer than usual, but service timings will be strictly adhered to in order to allow for the correct cleaning of equipment and the treatment room before the next client. "The treatment room is thoroughly cleaned after each client. We also have cleaning of all high touchpoints regularly throughout the day too," says Sinead. 

HAND-SANITISING AND ANTI-BAC WILL BE NECESSARY

You might be asked to wash your hands on arrival, or at Dermalogica's St. Stephen's Green store, hand sanitising stations are available at the door. Facialists will be required to wash their hands regularly and customers might be asked not to touch anything unnecessarily to reduce risk. What's more, Dermalogica has also removed all product testers. If a client wishes to purchase a product, they can let their facialist know, who will wipe products down before placing in a bag for the client to take home at the end of the appointment.

YOUR CONSULTATION MIGHT BE VIRTUAL

Some salons are conducting short consultations virtually prior to appointments to reduce the amount of time that clients will spend in the salon. Dermalogica has long been servicing customers in this way; the brand’s free Online Face Mapping Tool collects photos of your skin, along with descriptions of skin health concerns, and makes product recommendations. 

 YOUR FACIALIST WILL BE WEARING PROTECTIVE GEAR

Government guidelines recommend the extensive use of PPE for both the staff and customers. "Our team will wear a visor and a mask during treatment," says Sinead. Customers must provide their own PPE or it will be provided to them at an additional cost. While most treatments will require you to be maskless, you will have to wear a mask when walking to and from your treatment and whilst you browse around the store. 

Towels and gowns may be disposable

Some salons will be using disposable products for client peace of mind, “we use biodegradable, disposable sheets which are one use per clients," explains Sinead. Dermalogica will also be using a combination of disposable and non-disposable towels, but no towel will be used more than once, and towels will be laundered at 60°. 

Refreshments will be limited

One of the greatest joys of going for a facial is the glass of bubbles or frothy cappuccino and biscuit that accompanies it, but for the time being this is not on the cards. Dermalogica advises its stores not to offer food or coffee, or to only use disposable cups and glasses if they are available. 

STRINGENT HYGIENE STANDARDS WILL BE PUT IN PLACE

This will include things like the cleaning of all tools and product packaging after each use, and all salon surfaces regularly throughout the day as well as using single-use fabrics or towels washed at a minimum of 60 degrees celsius. What's more, treatment rooms are sanitized after every client. 

CONTACTLESS PAYMENT WILL BE ENCOURAGED

To avoid cash (and potentially the virus) changing hands. Most salons will only be accepting pre-paid, contactless or card payments. Some salons will offer contactless payments in your treatment room to streamline the reception desk and screens will be used at Dermalogica to protect staff behind the counter. Card machines are also thoroughly sanitised after each use.

Finally, if you're not feeling well - stay at home

Perhaps the most important point to remember on this list: if you're not feeling well, stay at home. "If you are suffering from any flu-like symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, high temperature or shortness of breath), please get in touch and we will reschedule your appointment," advises Sinead. The same goes if you have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days or if you have travelled outside of Ireland within the last 14 days. 

#WIN:

So now you know exactly what's in store when going for a facial in our new normal, wouldn't it be nice to try out the experience for yourself? Well, you're in luck! We've teamed up Dermalogica to give one lucky Irish Tatler reader the chance to win the ProSkin Advanced treatment (a 60 minute treatment worth €100) at their newly launched flagship store in St. Stephen's Green. Plus! There's even a prize for not one but ten (!) runner ups: Skin Solver Treatments (a 15 minute treatment worth €20).

To be in the chance of winning Dermalogica's ProSkin Advanced Treatment or one of the ten (!) Skin Solver Treatments that are up for grabs, simply answer the question below: 

Create your own user feedback survey

This competition is open to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland residents aged 18 or over unless any other age restriction is specified or implied. T&Cs apply. Closing date 16/09/2020.

Main image by @irishtatlerbeauty on Instagram

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