My experience at the Dermalogica Skin Bar at Ulta
Updated: Apr 14, 2020
So first let me start out by saying everything I'm writing about is based on my own experience and the advice of my dermatologist. That being said, I think that sentence pretty much sets the tone for this post! Its not that I didn't have a good experience, but for the price I paid, I think it should have been better. Also I did not like that I was not getting the correct advice on what I should do to help my skin. I was actually getting advice to do things that would harm it.
So, I'll begin. About a week before I went to London, I was on my way to my hair appointment at Ulta. (I went to Katherine and I LOVED the way my hair came out). I was a bit early, so I waited in the salon and was approached by the esthetician to see if I wanted a 10 minute facial that costed $10. I said yes, and followed her to the Dermalogica chair. She sat me and down and began to ask questions about my skin history and what it was like etc. (The usual stuff they ask you before they start a facial) I gave her a brief history about my acne, that after years of topical creams I decided to take Accutane. I DID tell her that I still use Retin-A (trentinoin), on occasion, because I still get small breakouts that do unfortunately, scar. For this reason, I asked if we could do something about my pitted scars and dark spots. The esthetician then responded, that she can apply a peel which will help with the hyperpigmentation and microdermabrasion. We didn't do the facial that day, her client had come in shortly after, but I did schedule the facial for the following week.
The next week I went in for the facial. The esthetician greeted me and asked me to refresh her memory about my skin, to which I did (maybe she had forgotten, she sees a lot of people everyday, so I understood that). Again, I told her about the Retin-A (trentinoin). She asked if I used trentinoin recently, and I said yes, I used it last night and then she gave me a look. She then quickly said we couldn't do the peel. I was really annoyed at this point because at no point did she tell me within the last week that she couldn't do the peel if I was still using the Retin-A. This was my first facial done, so I honestly didn't know any better.
The whole reason I wanted to do a facial was for my dark spots, and I just felt this totally defeated the purpose. I also asked her if I could apply makeup afterwards being that I had to go to work after and ya girl wasn't going au natural. She said yes no problem at all. After the facial was over she said I would wait 2 hours...AFTER IT WAS OVER. She said she'll try it, which she did and it burned to the point where she had to take it off. So again, no point to even doing the facial in my opinion.
The facial itself was pretty basic. I have given myself at home facials before, and to me it was no different. She did a pre-cleanse, cleanse, toner, face mask, and then she did black head extractions...with her finger...she had gloves on, but you are not supposed to do extractions with a finger..this leaves a scar! All of these products were Dermalogica products. I use their exfoliator, but personally I don't think that their products are suitable for sensitive skin. A majority of them contain chemicals, that can be very harsh. I'd prefer natural products on my skin. When she finished she closed my pores using those skin globes you can get on Amazon for $4, and sealed everything with a facial spray. When she gave me the mirror to look at my skin, quite honestly it did not look any different but red. I was glowing, but it just wasn't a wow factor. I glow after I do my own facials honestly. I paid $84, for the facial. She charged extra for the extractions. Personally I don't feel that it was worth $84, maybe $30-50, but $84 was a lot for something that was so basic, especially when what I wanted couldn't even be done. I left the store feeling uneasy.
After my trip and overcoming jet lag (which can affect your skin), I paid a visit to my derm and told him about this experience. What he said surprised me. My doctor said that when doing peels with skin that has great amounts of melanin, you have to be very careful. The peels can cause more harm than good, resulting in hyperpigmentation, making dark spots even worse. He didn't suggest I proceed with peels at all. What she was trying to sell to me, wasn't even going to help me.
My advice to you if you're looking to get a professional facial done, go to someone who knows what they're talking about not someone who wants money. Also consider natural products, which lowers the risk of any bad reaction your skin might have with chemical-based products. If you are dead set on getting a professional facial done then I do suggest going to a Dermatology Clinic. It is more money, but they know what they are doing as doctors are the ones you consult with. I will not be doing anything skin related at Ulta. I understand that some people like it, and it may work for them, but it just didn't for me. From now on I will be going to my doctor first regarding any facial procedures that I am considering. My doctor knows my skin best, he studied it, and he has worked with me 4 years on my skin. This esthetician met me twice, and clearly knew nothing about my skin.
Hope this helped you gain some insight into your next facial!!