Whenever I talk to a cosmetologist about getting a facial I can’t help but feel duped. Yesterday I spoke to a woman about the services offered at the salon where my boys were getting haircuts (yes, I take my boys to the same salon I go to — don’t judge) and the woman brought me a multi-page brochure of the products she uses.
She began by telling me that no matter which product I’m using, whether is be Lancome or something from Walgreens, they only treat the top layers of the skin. “Our products go down to the deepest layers of the skin, where it lives. The other products are just essentially treating your dead skin.”
She said this with such disarming earnestness that I felt sorry for her. Obviously someone in a position of authority told her this load of garbage to make her believe it with such enthusiasm. My mind wandered to a vision of twenty five women sitting in a classroom, heads pitched slightly to the side as they drank in the wisdom being bestowed to them by the strip-mall school instructor at the head of the class. Did anyone ask the question that was now burning in my brain, “How?” How is this product so superior to anything else I can buy? HOW, exactly does it get to “the deepest layer of my skin” when the other products stop at say, layer three?
I couldn’t help but analyze her face for signs of Fairy-like beauty or the pores of an angel. She looked normal. Surely she uses her own products? Is that a..a blackhead?
“I do extractions and I can adapt the treatment to your specific needs. Our products are synergistic.”
Extractions. What a lovely word. I’ve been doing “extractions” since I was 14 and they’re quite satisfying, I might add. Biore strips ain’t got nothing on my razor-sharp teen focus and my fingernail squeezing stamina. Why pay someone $120 to do what I’ve been doing for, ahem, 20 years?
But I digress.
The nice lady with the normal looking skin was on page four of her expensive looking brochure with the smooth texture (did they use their skincare products on the paper?) and was telling me that I might need several treatments depending on my individual needs when I heard myself sigh louder than I intended and she looked up at me with questioning eyes.
I interrupted her visual inquiry with an awkward smile and thanked her profusely. “I’ll look this over and call to make an appointment.”
I don’t know if what she is saying is true. I’ve never been to skin-care school. I just can’t help my cynicism when I hear things like that. It’s hard to believe that every other product is inferior and useless. I use Cetaphil cream and it seems to do the job. I am in my 40s and still manage to have a face after using gasp! BAR SOAP. How can this be, when according to her I’ve been doing it wrong all my life? Why sell me this spiel when what she really means is, “I’ll pick your blackheads without leaving scars and rub your face for thirty minutes. It feels REALLY good.”
THAT would sell me. That is what gets down to my deepest layer of interest.