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Being quite synonymous to the adjective “pain,” I’ve shied away from the ritual of going through monthly facials. To me, they were nothing but stones to crack upon one’s head with all that pricking. After quite some time, I have become a devout follower.

Maybe it was also because of the infallible number of Francophile books I’ve read that I finally discovered the #1 fans of the monthly facial: French women. They liken the practice to a regular doctor’s checkup and a car checkup. If we conduct maintenance appointments for our bodies and cars, then why not for the face?

True enough, the facial is more of maintenance rather than a cure. The facial is intended to take out white heads, black heads, or comedones, as dermatologists call it. Unless you have your acne injected, it is not a solution to stop breakouts, rather a preventive measure when conducted regularly (my derma recommends every two weeks to a month).

In honor of the French women who made me realize the importance of conducting maintenance, here are the top five dermatological centers I recommend for that regular facial:

fcc

1.  Facial Care Centre. Unarguably one of the best derma centers I’ve tried, FCC is home to the gentlest facial I’ve ever tried, pricking included. Their facial service includes the use of a waffle bathrobe, drinks, a private room and quiet surroundings. Each service begins with a consultation with a dermatologist and ends with a relaxing facial.

2.  Skin Dermatology, The Spa. Very much like its sister brand, Skin Dermatology is relaxation at its finest. One of the notable points of this derma center is that the doctor does the pricking, which is very gentle. Private rooms, relaxing ambiance, their famous ginger tea and lovely doctors—there isn’t anything else to ask for!

3.  Belo. My last facial, which they call the glycolic facial, is one of the best facials I’ve ever tried. The attendant began the session by rubbing lavender oil onto her hands and letting me inhale the wonderful scent for a full minute. By this time, I was already relaxed. My facial included the application of glycolic acid, which aided in the removal of comedones. It was a bit itchy and painful, but tolerable. After the session, I was mildly red but my breakouts had cleared the day after and I felt like a new person. The Belo Med branch I go to is the one in Bonifacio High Street and it’s lovely!

VMV-Clinic-1

4.  VMV Dermatology Center. Gentle everything is what I know of VMV. When they claimed that every product they offer is hypoallergenic, their services reflect that, too. I love it that they don’t do pricking of the acne so you can relax and know that it’s really just cleaning. VMV has a very friendly price range, too. My Blemish Buster Facial was priced at P899.

5.  House of Obagi. Their signature facial might be a bit too much for one’s pain tolerance but it does the trick. However, HOO’s claim to fame is their roster of peels, designed to treat the most stubborn of skin problems. I should know; I underwent their blue peel years ago.

Runner up: Flawless. I’m not usually a fan of mass facial centers (there is not much privacy), but I am a fan of Flawless’ commitment to cleanliness. Each of the tools used are sealed in plastic and paper packs, which assures you they weren’t used previously. While I can’t guarantee pain-free pricking, their facials often leaves one with a refreshed face after a day and if you’re the mallgoer type, their branches are most often located at malls, too!

Where do you regularly get facials, bellas?

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