Is getting a facial worth it?

hydrafacialMost people have had to deal with acne at some point in their lives, and we can all agree that acne is a serious pain in the rear. I said goodbye to acne in high school without really trying, I just washed my face every morning and evening as I showered. I’ve never been into these rather dramatic face care routines some women are into. But this year, my skin broke out. It makes me incredibly self-conscious, since I sometimes can’t tell if someone’s having a conversation with me or the raging zit on my forehead.

My sister told me (several times) that it would be a good idea to see a dermatologist just to figure out why I could suddenly have endless fun playing connect-the-dots on my face. So I did, I mean what could it hurt?

So I made an appointment for 4pm on a Saturday at Avane. I got there 10 minutes late, but that didn’t matter much because they were running behind schedule, meaning I wasn’t seen until 5:20pm. Dr. Pancholi asks me into his office and I sat down. This chap stares at the form I filled out and glances at me then recommends a treatment and shoos me out of the office, very politely. Now I’m confused…is this what I paid KES3,000 for? To feel like an insignificant pain that can bring in a little extra money? Wasn’t happy if you can’t tell. No sir.

The treatment suggested is one I’d heard of and always good things. “It’s changed my life forever” type things. So I decide to give it a go. The receptionist/cashier then tells me that it’s KES15,000 for the hydra facial treatment and KES8,000 for the home care kit. Yes people, KES26,000 in total. Insane right? I mean if you’re not reasonably well off or a sugar baby, this is hella expensive! How badly do you want that baby smooth skin? Would you give up buying that fridge or discount trip to Malindi for it? Be honest.

Anyhow, I decide to be a little reckless because I never spoil myself. Things like waxing, mani-pedis, spa days, even getting my hair done at a salon are completely foreign concepts… so this once I’ll do something nice for my otherwise bruised and battered body.

The treatment room is a floor down in this forgotten office space that isn’t nearly as inviting as the fourth floor space. The technician handling my treatment, Eunice, asks me to give her a second to set up then ushers me into a room and asks me to lie down. Now Eunice gave me the attention Dr so and so should have. She explained what she was doing and made light conversation which was nice. For those of you who haven’t done it, this is the process:

Eunice started by cleaning my face using face-wash and wet wipes, she then went into the activities below; Alexandra explains it well:

1: Cleansing and exfoliation. The technician uses a small “deplaning” tool that opens up pores and sweeps the uppermost layer of makeup debris and dead skin cells away. It feels like a spinning toothbrush was being run over my face.

2: Acid peel. Most glycollic peels leave your skin stinging for a few minutes until they’re washed off, but not this one. The glycollic/salicylic acid peel is gentle enough that it only creates the faintest tingle.

3: Extractions. If you’re the type of person who gets off on seeing what comes out of your clogged pores, this is the part of the treatment you’ll love. Instead of performing manual extractions, the technician uses something rather elaborately called a vortex-extraction nozzle that acts as a vacuum. The sucking sound it makes is oddly satisfying, but the best (or the worst?) part is the cup at the base of the machine that shows exactly what was extracted—and it’s more than you think.

4: Serum application. This step uses the vortex-fusion tool, which infuses an antioxidant-and-collagen-rich serum into the skin to promote elasticity and hydration.

My face felt all tingly and looked all glowy. There was a little soreness but not horribly so. I couldn’t wash my face until the next morning and scrubs are out of the question for at least 5 days. My skin is really soft now, though bumps are still there. I think the home care kit they gave me which has a facial wash, exfoliating scrub, facial and spot treatment, and moisturizer (BelleDerm products), is working. That or I desperately want it to. Giving it up to the end of the month to start seeing results.


Was it worth it? For 26K it better be! I’ve gotten a few compliments which is encouraging, but I don’t think I’ll be going again at the end of the month like I was told to. I’m a freelance event planner not a CFO for a multinational company. Plus I’m not too keen on Avane…just felt like a money-making joint not the sort of place where you feel like an appreciated client. (Just my personal opinion).

If you’ve done this, or something like this, share your thoughts below on whether it was worthwhile and if you’d do it again or recommend it to other people.

Edit: I received a call from Sonya Syan today who works at Avane. We had a short conversation where she apologized about the service received and explained a few things with regard to how Avane functions. She also offered to make it up to me. Now if you’ve ever had a bad experience with a company, rarely do they give a flying cow about your complaints, and they either ignore you or give a half assed apology, so I appreciate the gesture. She also sent an email:

Dear Misa,

Please allow me to introduce myself as the manager at Avané clinic. We are sorry to hear that you feel that the doctor did not spend enough time with you, and we want to assure you that we value every one of our clients highly. The doctor usually sees 40-50 patients in a day, and is usually able to make an assessment and entrust your treatment to the capable hands of the relevant therapist. We deeply regret the occasional delays that inevitably do occour and highly appreciate the patience and understanding of our clients. Should clients have any follow up concerns which they wish to raise with the doctor in respect of the treatment, they are always welcome to a follow up consultation at no additional charge.

The Hydrafacial is indeed a skin changing treatment, and the standard charges worldwide range from $170 – $200 per treatment. This because the products we use are genuine, our technicians are highly trained and we are able to skilfully adapt the administration of the treatment according to the skin’s responsiveness. The benefits of the Hydrafacial can be felt instantaneously, and this treatment is highly effective at improving overall skin health as well as addressing specific issues such as acne. 

As a gesture of our good faith, we would be happy to waive the fees of your consultation and offer you a complimentary Hydrafacial treatment on your next visit. We do hope that you will trust us to get you on the sure path to beautiful, acne free skin. Please get in touch with us to arrange an appointment at your convenience, and we assure you that your next Avané experience will be a happier one! 

Best wishes,

Sonya Syan

Avané Clinic


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