On the morning I showed up at BeautyMark for my first ever Collective Skincare facial, skincare specialist Kathryn Sawers had her work cut out for her. My complexion was looking less than stellar thanks to a stressful week at work, a few drinks the night before, and the ultimate beauty sin of falling asleep without washing my face. (Indefensible, I know, but I was so wiped out.) To say that I was eager for the skin-soothing benefits of a Dermalogica facial would be an understatement.
Kathryn—who brings over 12 years experience to her fledgling business—approaches skincare from a holistic view, looking at lifestyle factors such as stress, diet, exercise, and skincare regimens and how they contribute to or detract from a healthy glow. "The skin is the body’s largest organ with many integral functions. It acts as a window, in the sense that if looked at carefully, it can give insight into overall health. When our skin looks good, we feel confident."
As I filled out the iPad-based paperless form which would help her tailor the treatment to my needs, the unhealthiness of my lifestyle emerged. Regular exercise: little to none. Water consumed daily: 1.5 to 2 L (yay!). Caffeinated beverages consumed daily: 1 to 3 (yikes).
Thankfully, there was only relaxation and no judgment awaiting me in the cozy treatment room, which was painted a soothing robin's egg blue. The 60-minute facial began with a quick hand and forearm massage ("Great for people who work in front of computers," she explained). Using professional-grade Dermalogica products, Kathryn proceeded to cleanse and exfoliate my skin, then prep it for extraction with steam and hot towels. She noted areas with congestion and discolouration and explained the possible causes as she went along, alternating the gentle, soothing motions of her hands with little pressure-point massages.
Collective offers five different skin treatments ranging from $35 to $140, and clients can choose whether to use Dermalogica or Tata Harper's all-natural skincare line. This sounds deceptively limited though, as Kathryn customizes and blends the products used according to each client's needs and skin concerns. Noting that my skin was sensitive and red post-extraction, Kathryn selected ultra-calming formulations for every step and applied a cool-to-the-touch oatmeal mask. She then used a blend of sheer tint and multivitamin power firm to even out lingering pinkness, replenish nutrients, and provide SPF protection.
An hour later, my skin's texture was softer and smoother, and although I had some redness because of the extraction work, Kathryn's expertise ensured it didn't flare up. My complexion has only improved since then. Thanks, Collective, for the skincare SOS!
For more information or to book an appointment, check out Collective Skincare's website.