Intrigued by the promise of a red-carpet glow, sans makeup, I decided to treat myself to the 'Fire and Ice Facial' from Sydney's newest concept salon, Self.
Using pharmaceutical grade skincare brand, iS Clinical (a cult-fave among celebs like Chrissy Teigen and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), the facial promises some of the most effective results using only the best active ingredients to rejuvenate, clarify, balance and nourish the skin.
Self by The Parlour Room, owner and founder, Natalie Papadopoulos, explains that this 45-minute facial, while exfoliating and highly active, requires no downtime, "This facial is known as the pre-event facial and often done before a red carpet event, so that you have a beautiful glow straight away". The treatment is perfect for all skin types, however she recommends if you do have super-sensitive skin you might be better off opting for one of their less active facials.
So What Exactly is a Fire and Ice Facial?
Natalie explains, "It's a powerful, age-defying, clinically active treatment designed to rapidly (and safely) resurface the skin and reduce fine lines. Guaranteeing some of the most effective results, you will leave with noticeably hydrated, soft, smooth looking skin. Encouraging cellular renewal, this facial is perfect for all skin types and works to reduce areas of pigmentation, dark spots and blemishes, leaving you with a healthy, radiant glow. It's also known as the pre-red carpet event facial as it has no downtime."
To start, they triple cleanse the skin using iS Clinical's Cream Cleanser, iS Clinical's Cleansing Complex and iS Clinical's Warm Honey Cleanser, which is left on for five minutes under steam to give the skin a really deep clean. Post-cleanse, they move onto the 'Fire' part of the facial with iS Clinical's Intensive Resurfacing Masque. This tingly masque works to exfoliate and resurface the skin without excessive post-procedural peeling. It also smoothes and softens the skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, leaving you with a healthy glow.
While I was a little nervous when it started to heat up, I knew it was going to do wonders for my skin so I stuck it out for the full three minutes. You can actually feel all the actives going to work and deeply penetrating the skin to give you the best results so it's worth the slightly uncomfortable tingling feeling.
After that, they move onto the 'Ice' part of the facial. Using iS Clinical's Rejuvenating Masque it gets to work refreshing, soothing and hydrating the skin after the active exfoliation. It's thoroughly revitalising and helps calm any inflammation or irritations that may be caused by the exfoliating masque. The minute my therapist started to apply the cooling masque I could feel my skin calming down and I slipped back into relaxation mode for the rest of the facial.
Then, they apply iS Clinical's Youth Eye Complex to help rapidly soothe and hydrate the eye area. It also helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and minimises dark under-eye circles and puffiness — yes please! Natalie's hot tip: If you already own or want to purchase the eye complex, it also look amazing applied over makeup as it has light reflecting properties and will drown out dark circles. *Adds to cart*
Next up is iS Clinical's Pro-Heal Serum Advance+, it's a highly soothing and healing antioxidant that's perfect if you're prone to breakouts or inflammation. We follow that with iS Clinical's Hydra Cool Serum for an intense boost of hydration, that cools and calms the skin. And finally, they apply iS Clinical's Reparative Moisturise Emulsion to seal the skins barrier and, of course, an SPF.
Unlike other cleansing facials, Natalie says you shouldn't see much of a purge, however, if you're prone to breakouts post-facial she recommends coming in a few days or weeks prior to any events. "All skin is different and can react differently. We would always suggest coming in a few weeks before any big event for your first treatment just to see how your skin reacts." I was bracing myself for a purge, because thats how my skin usually reacts after a rich treatment, but it never happened. All I was left with, for weeks, was clear, glowing skin.
As for post-treatment care, Natalie recommends you avoid exfoliating for two to three days after your treatment to avoid any reactions from over exfoliation. While the facial is active, it's gentle enough that you can get it every four weeks, says Nat.
The Fire and Ice Facial will set you back around $280, but after having experienced the treatment first hand it's absolutely worth it. It's definitely going to become a staple in my treatment routines and a go-to before special events. The after-glow was next level and my skin was the clearest it's been in weeks post-treatment.