There’s good news on the horizon: Temperatures are expected to climb in the City of Gold this week. But before officially swapping out sneakers for sandals, consider a similarly ritualistic approach to skincare. While the last three months have been spent shrouding wind-chapped faces with cashmere scarves and layering on moisturisers, it’s finally time to put your best face forward. Spring-cleaning starts now, with the help of Grace Skin & Wellness’s hard-working treatments to reveal a glowing complexion just in time for the season ahead.
Now, if the world of facials sounds about as daunting as stepping into the Gucci boutique in Sandton City’s Diamond Walk, this is just for you. I’ve spent the last few years sorting the game-changing facials from the ‘not really worth it’ ones and am happy to say that the skin treatments I had at Grace earlier this month are worth spending your hard-earned money on. Before I get into that, I have to touch on how the surroundings are as luxe as the treatments. The boutique salon is breathtakingly beautiful – it’s an oasis of bubblegum pink doors, ornamental plant walls, ceilings covered in rose and peony wallpaper, and free-standing treatment rooms nestled outside in the gardens. Get your camera ready because you’ll want to Instagram a snap or two!
Onto the treatments, Grace offers facials, peels, massages, body treatments, waxing, nails and lashes. The two treatments recommended to me based on my skincare concerns – ageing and uneven skin tone due to sensitivity – by skin expert Lisa were dermaplaning and plasma lifting. Dermaplaning is an exfoliating treatment that removes dead skin and peach fuzz with the tiny scrape of a surgical scalpel, while plasma lifting entails the use of plasma flash and heat to stimulate the contraction, shortening and tightening of skin fibres. I’ll admit that at first, I was hesitant to go ahead with the treatments because I wasn’t too clued up on either of them. But after a pep talk from Lisa, I felt totally ensured that both were non-invasive and pain-free.
We then proceeded with the dermaplaning, which, FYI, should only be performed by a doctor or licensed medical aesthetician. I agree that the thought of a scalpel sliding across your face is a scary one, but it’s actually not painful at all. Think of it like shaving any other part of your body – yes, you can feel it, but no, it doesn’t hurt if you’re doing it right. My therapist gently scraped the surface of my skin – so, it basically felt like she was shaving my face – which got rid of facial hair and made my skin feel baby soft, all without having to use harsh exfoliators. I know what you’re thinking: “No more face hair and glowing skin?!” Sign me up, right? But wait, that’s not all – dermaplaning also helped give me a smooth foundation application and allowed my skincare products to better penetrate my skin when I applied them, making them all more effective.
In terms of downtime, you can expect some redness, but not always. Lisa says it’s common and perfectly fine to make an appointment during your lunch hour and go right back to work after the 30-minute treatment. She recommends letting your skin breathe for the rest of the day but says that you can wear makeup if you need to – just be bear in mind that your skin barrier is more open and may become more irritated. Once my skin had time to settle (it took about a day), I proceeded with all the foundation my heart desired. The treatment costs R500 as an individual treatment or R400 as an add-on to a peel or microneedling. Grace offers a variety of Lamelle peels that include a face massage, which are fab for combining with this treatment.
Next up was the plasma lifting. During the procedure, a tiny plasma flash AKA an electrical arc, is discharged from the tip of a Plasma Lift handpiece. The tool itself never touches your skin, but the plasma flash creates a tiny dot upon contact. Lisa used three different stamps on the handpiece – first a waffle weave, then a round, flat head and finally a pointy head. None were painful at all, but the waffle weave was slightly uncomfortable – probably because I was still getting used to the feeling of the little ‘shocks’. The waffle weave is used to create channels in your skin with plasma flash and heat and is very similar to microneedling in that it creates a controlled injury. Next, the round, flat head is used along with negatively charged serums to push products into the skin, and then the pointy head is used with serum to go directly into fine lines and soft them.
After plasma lifting on my entire face and neck, Lisa applied a Lamelle Dermaheal Growth Factor Sheet Mask, which is packed with a high concentration of active ingredients and therefore a great anti-ageing mask, to cool down my sensitive skin. I love that Grace keeps these sheet masks in the fridge so they’re cold and soothing on your skin – what a spoil! To finish off the treatment, Lisa did some LED light therapy using non-thermal LED light energy to trigger my body’s natural cell process to accelerate skin rejuvenation and repair. Different lights target different skin concerns: Red for ageing, yellow for redness, blue for acne, green for uneven skin tone and white for sagging skin. For the first seven days post-plasma lifting, my skin looked a little red and inflamed, but by the tenth day this had subsided completely, and I was (and still am) beyond impressed with the results.
The effect of plasma lifting is almost instant, but once your skin has completely recovered you notice the visible, marked difference in the quality of your skin even more. Overall, my skin on my face and neck is tighter, and my frown lines and crow’s feet are much less visible. Although your skin’s full potential won’t be reached until you’ve undergone three or four plasma lifting sessions, Lisa says the speed at which the full effect can be reached is considerably faster than that of any competing procedure or treatment. The sessions will vary in length depending on your needs, but the average is somewhere around 30 minutes. The cost of plasma lifting is R2,000 for upper eyes, R2,000 for under-eye bags and crow’s feet, R1,800 for mouth lines and R3,000 for neck. If you’d like a package, it can be arranged at a special price – simply enquire with the salon.
Side note: The sheet mask and LED light therapy were both add-ons to my plasma lifting treatment and come at an additional cost. Your therapist will suggest any necessary add-ons during your procedure according to your skin’s unique needs, which means that no two skin treatments at Grace will ever be the same. Some of the add-ons, such as the red LED light therapy, can be done in isolation too – try it next time you want to get your glow on but don’t have time for a full facial.
In summary, I’m over the moon with how healthy and happy my skin has been looking since visiting Grace. I’d highly recommend this gorgeous salon to anyone looking to treat their skin and see visible anti-ageing results … it’s worth every penny! The professionalism and hands-on service from the team of therapists is unlike anything I’ve experienced before – from the minute I walked in to the minute I walked out, I felt like I was in good hands and being taken care of by experts who genuinely had my skin’s best interests at heart. This is such a big thing for me as my skin is ultra-sensitive and has reacted badly to some treatments in the past due to lack of knowledge from the therapist carrying out the treatment. If you’ve visited Grace before, I’d love to hear which other treatments you’d recommend in the comments below (yes, I’m already planning my next visit!).
116 11th Street, Parkmore
011 883 2760