I Got a Facial For the First Time Since COVID-19 Started — Here's What It Was Like
Last weekend, with New York Gov. Cuomo's go-ahead, I got my first facial since the coronavirus pandemic began eight months ago. Let me give you some background: as a beauty editor, nail appointments, facials, and blowouts all used to be a regular part of my work week, but then COVID-19 caused all in-person events and appointments to come to a halt, and that part of my job became a distant memory.
Because facials are as close-contact as it gets when it comes to beauty treatments, salons and spas offering them were of the last category of personal-care businesses to reopen. While they waited their turn to get back to businesses, owners had to implement extensive changes to make their space safe for both clients and staff members. Finally, around mid-September they got the all-clear in New York City.
I've spent the greater part of 2020 now reporting on these new procedures and talking to industry professionals about what it's like to operate amid the pandemic. But for the longest time, I still wasn't ready to check it out for myself. Only after spas had their first few weeks back in business without any problems did I allow myself to consider it.
Ahead of my appointment at the Dermalogica in Soho I was emailed a health questionnaire to ensure I didn't have any COVID-19 symptoms. On my way to the appointment, I was both incredibly excited to be doing something "normal" and nervous. But when I walked through the door, almost all of the nervousness subsided. I was immediately greeted by a friendly masked aesthetician and offered hand sanitizer. There was only one other worker and one other client inside the entire facility, also both in masks, and small markers on the floor to direct foot traffic in one direction to ensure no one came into contact with each other. After filling out another brief questionnaire I went to the bathroom to wash my hands before following my aesthetician to a private treatment area. Only once I was in my designated area did I remove my face mask.
My aesthetician, who was wearing a standard medical-grade face mask before, came into the room dressed in disposable scrubs and a face shield over her mask which she wore for the duration of the treatment. We kept the chatting to a minimum, aside from her asking about my skin-care concerns and me asking how the return to work has been (the answer: she couldn't wait to get back). Additional PPE aside, the actual facial portion of my visit didn't feel any different from what I was used to, and surprisingly, I was able to relax.
Overall, I had a great experience. I attribute a large part of my feeling safe during my appointment to the research I did before booking. As a brand, Dermalogica stayed active throughout the pandemic virtually by creating the 12 Principles of Enhanced Service Safety and even rolled out a new program called the Clean Touch Certification for skin-care professionals to become certified under these new COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Taking in-person appointments amid the coronavirus shouldn't be taken lightly, but by the nature of their career, aestheticians are highly trained and hyper-sensitive to cleanliness. If you follow the rules and regulations outlined by the CDC and your state and respect the facility and those around you, it can be a nice little treat for yourself.