It’s been six months since South Africa first went into a nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19, and while most restrictions have since been lifted, many of us are still hesitant to embark on all our regular activities. Perhaps you have a compromised immune system, or you live with an elderly relative. Whatever your reason for staying home, you no longer have skimp on your monthly skincare treatments.
Professional skincare brands had to adapt to the new normal, and for many, this meant the rise of virtual facials and skincare treatments. This means receiving products to use at home, but doing so under the guidance of a professional, usually via Zoom.
Always keen to try new things, our editor experienced her first virtual treatment last week: Optiphi’s Intermediate Treatment Kit Targeted Home Treatment (R450.00). This kit targets skin hydration, skin protection barrier support and balances oil levels. It includes a physical exfoliator, hydrating serum, a nourishing barrier cream mask and a complimentary Facial Cleanser sample.
Here, she takes us through her experience:
“Spas, salons and skincare clinics were some of the businesses that were hit the hardest when the nationwide lockdown was imposed. However, it was only a matter of time before innovation took charge and professional skincare brands found a way to service their clients from the safety of their homes.
Enter the latest craze (which we really hope is here to stay!): virtual skin treatments. I was really excited to try one of Optiphi’s new at-home treatment kits, as my skin took a bit of a beating during the various lockdown levels. I usually go for a peel every four or five weeks, but have not had one since early March. And even now that my salon is open, I’ve decided to wait a little bit longer before I go back, so this opportunity came at the perfect time.
I was sent the Optiphi Intermediate Treatment Kit, which retails for a very reasonable R450.00 (anyone who goes for regular facial treatments know that you can easily pay double that when you visit a salon). I set up a Zoom meeting with one of the Optiphi therapists, and was sent a list of things to prepare for our virtual meeting: some warm water in two bowls, a face cloth, headband, sunscreen, some ramekins and a clean foundation / mask brush.
I got everything ready and tuned in with my therapist for the day, Tasneem. Before we began my treatment, she spoke to me about my current regime, my allergies and medications and my lifestyle, just like you’d do at a regular salon. I told her all about my skincare concerns and she explained exactly how this treatment would address them.
First up was a double cleanse with Optiphi’s Facial Cleanser. I tend to rush through the cleansing process, so it was really lovely when Tasneem told me to take it slow, to really massage my skin and to enjoy the ritual. Once I cleansed twice, it was time to pour the Exfoliating Concentrate into my ramekin and paint it onto my skin with my foundation brush.
While the concentrate did its thing, Tasneem and I chatted about skincare. She was so knowledgeable and lovely – everything I want in a therapist! She asked me various times whether my skin was feeling okay and if I was experiencing any burning or discomfort. I had absolutely no pain, burning or discomfort except for a slight tickle around my nostrils, which is apparently normal as the skin in that area can be a bit sensitive.
After a few minutes it was time to wash the product off my face. I used a soft face cloth with warm water. Next up I applied the Vitamin B Complex Skin Supplement and gently massaged it into my skin. It absorbed quickly and left my skin feeling refreshed. Once it was absorbed, it was time to apply the Optiphi Dermal Reconstitution Mask. This is a leave-on mask, meaning you don’t wash it off. It was rich, had a luxurious-feeling to it and I could feel how nourishing it was on my skin.
The mini tube it comes in holds 10ml, which meant I had enough left over to use a few more times after the treatment. Tasneem and I chatted a little bit longer before she instructed me to apply my sunscreen, and gave me the lowdown on post-treatment rules. The whole process took around 30 minutes.
I was careful to stay out of the sun for the rest of the day and to follow all Tasneem’s instructions, and I must admit, my skin felt great! It was plump and glowy, and I felt the results were very much in-line with what I achieve by going to my salon.
I absolutely loved having this treatment, and I will definitely have more in the coming months and even years. Even when life returns to normal, it will be great to substitute your regular in-salon treatment for a virtual one when you are travelling or when you simply cannot find the time to pop out. However, having said that, there is something so precious about skin-to-skin contact, and the relaxation you enjoy when you’re at your salon or spa. Performing the treatment at home is not quite as indulgent as having it done at the salon. In an ideal world I’d love to have both options available to me.
I would highly recommend this to anyone with access to a computer and wifi.”
Read more about Optiphi’s range of home treatments here.