Are You Into Facials And/Or Massages?

Facial and Massage

I have a friend who absolutely hates facials, massages or any sort of therapeutic remedies that involve strangers touching her face and body. In fact, even if it was someone she knew, she’d rather not have them touch her face or body. Needless to say, she doesn’t go for facials and massages. I find that very interesting because most people I know adore facials and massages.

I’m one of them.

But I haven’t always liked them. In fact, facials and massages took years of getting used to before I started to enjoy them. Back then, I used to think they were akin to torture methods. 😛

My mum introduced me to facials. She adores them and makes it a point to go for one at least once a month. She’d purchase facial packages at beauty salons that use brands like Kanebo and Thalgo, and she’d treat me to them every now and then. Facial packages are very popular in Asia; for example, you’d pay a large sum of money for 5 facials and they’d give you a treatment or two for free.

I was in my mid teens when mum treated me to my first facial. I’d gone with her to her facial treatments and was fascinated with all that skin stroking and massaging, and it was finally my turn to experience all that! Oh how I felt utterly grown up back then. An adult was actually giving me, a kid really, a facial!

In hindsight, it was a regular facial with facial cleansing and lots of facial massage. It was not a bad one. But boy, I hated it. I didn’t realise my jaw, neck and shoulders were that sensitive to touch (or at least, no one but me had ever touched those areas. Mum doing that to me as a baby didn’t count). I was cringing, squirming left right and centre throughout the entire facial because I was so ticklish. The whole 1.5 hours felt like torture. I didn’t understand why mum enjoyed it so much because I told myself I’d never, ever have another facial again. Why would people subject themselves to this?! 😛

I didn’t have another facial till many years later when I started working. I decided to bite the bullet and give facials one more go. I braced myself for all that tickling feelings on my neck and shoulders. You’d think that I was crazy paying so much for something I didn’t even think I’d enjoy, right? The funny thing was, I really enjoyed that facial! Sure, my neck was still a tad sensitive but the overall experience was lovely. I left the salon feeling like a million bucks. Maybe it was because I had a boyfriend then and … well, let’s just say, I wasn’t the only who touched my neck and shoulders anymore. 😉

From then on, I splurged on monthly facials. Technically, they don’t do all that much to my skin other than feeling very soft and smooth from all that scrubbing and massaging. It was the relaxation and pampering I was after, and am still after now.

I only started enjoying body massages within the past 10 years. I love back massages but when it comes to my legs – especially the thighs – I’d grip the towel so hard because the areas are terribly sensitive and ticklish. I still remember the time when I went for a full body Thai massage with my cousin Beetrice in Bangkok and she laughed so hard at me laughing so much because I was so ticklish. The massage was good but the entire experience of us laughing like crazy (including the massage therapists who found us terribly amusing) is something I won’t forget.

These days, I tend to go for remedial massages. As I’ve taken up running, I needed firm massages targeted at my back and lower legs, especially the calves, usually using massage balms with camphor. They’re not relaxing massages and can often be quite painful (think silently screaming into the massage table hole). But the relief I feel after a remedial massage is simply fantastic.

If you’ve not super ticklish like I am, aren’t a fussbudget when it comes to strangers touching your skin and have never tried a facial or massage before, why not give either one or both of them a go? As always, research the beauty salon, check out their reviews online, etc before making your appointment. If you’re based in Australia, I highly recommend Endota Spa*. They’re more expensive than independent beauty salons but they’re renowned for their service, hygiene and safety. I’ve tried many beauty salons from my Groupon days and after less-than-savoury experiences in certain beauty salons, I now only go to Endota Spa. If you’re in Melbourne or Queensland (particularly near the Palazzo Versace), I also recommend Aurora Spa*. It’s pricier yet more luxurious than Endota Spa.

Have fun!

What about you? Do you enjoy facials and/or massages too? How old were you when you had your first facial/massage? Was it a cringe-worthy experience like mine or did you enjoy it?

*not sponsored or affiliated with any of these spas.

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12 comments… add one
  1. Paris B

    Yes and Yes. I haven’t gone for a facial in a while – just haven’t found the right place I want to keep going back to, but I thoroughly enjoy every second of a facial or massage. I’ve met people who say it’s a waste of time. Sure, if you feel it is. Me? I love those 2 hours for just being purely ME time – no sneaking looks at the phone, no one talking to me, no aimless staring at the tv or computer. Just me and 2 hours of pure pampering. Anyone who says otherwise can bite my ass 😛
    Paris B recently posted..Your Say: Will you use these NSFW-shaped Lipsticks?My Profile

    1. Tine

      OMG yes. It’s literally one of the very few times when you’re forced not to use your phone (the other would be at the cinema). I must say though, that while my body is relaxed during a facial, a little tense during massages (damn my ticklish skin!), my brain is super switched on. I’d be thinking of things I want to do, have to do, ideas for the blog, ideas for stickers, ideas for just about anything. The only time my brain actually switches off is if the back massage or facial is so good, I fall asleep. Strange. 😛

  2. Norlin

    Used to treat myself to facials quite often and it was all thanks to my friend who was in training to become a beauty therapist after secondary school, to take over her mum’s salon. It was mind blowing for me to see my “pores” through this contraption. Some UV type thing? Then be treated to a facial and massage by my bestie. Can’t beat that. And at “mates” rates too.

    With body massages, I’ve tried it a few times but not the remedial ones, until more recently because of my running. But, like with facials I haven’t been treating myself well and booking myself in for one! Naughty me! I only ever go for it when I feel the pain. Idiot yes, but darn it! It’s so expensive here! I’ve been to both Endota and Aurora, both FABULOUS but now I’ve found another remedial massage place nearby where I live. She’s qualified remedial therapist and I think you can claim, depending on your health care provider. I think that’s a sign that I need to get myself booked in for one! 😀

    1. Tine

      Oh yes, that black light UV thing that you can see your pores, dehydrated patches and sun damage. That box freaks the hell out of me! 😛

      Endota Spa at Chadstone now allows claiming with your private insurance for remedial massages. They didn’t have a HICAPS machine when they were at the previous location but now they do. Woohoo! 😀 How awesome is Aurora Spa?? I’ve been meaning to book myself in as a birthday treat for the last 3 years but never gotten around to doing it. Maybe this year. 😛

  3. Kat Ness

    I wish I had the money to get facials and massages. I love the relaxation feels during it and also just the thought of getting pampered. I’ve had a couple of Thai massages and I was silently crying from the pain… but my muscles needed a good unknotting.
    Kat Ness recently posted..Autumn Empties | 2016My Profile

    1. Tine

      Facials and massages are expensive in Australia. I had a shock when I moved here. Not that facials were very very cheap in Malaysia but they were still a hell lot more affordable that I could book myself in for one at least once a month. When I moved here, I could only go for one every 3 months. It’s not so bad now; I go for one once every 1-2 months.

      Was it the full body Thai massage? They shouldn’t hurt (unless your muscles were super knotted!). I love them; they way they “cracked” my back when they swung me side to side … HEAVEN!

  4. MonicaP

    Oh, Yes! Enjoy both. In the past, I’ve probably purchased more facials than massages (take care of the face, forget the bod!) LoL. But like you, I NEED a massage after a physical fitness session has beaten me down (I thought exercise was suppose to be good for you?).

    Although there are certain placed I don’t like to be touched – feet (ticklish) and head, as I don’t like how someone rubbing my hair sounds in my head (yes, weird, I know).

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    1. Tine

      Hahah I know what you mean! Even though I get ticklish around the thighs and legs, I can still somewhat tolerate them. But I absolutely draw the line of anyone touching my belly. I’ve told many massage therapists that they’re not to touch my belly and they thought it was because I was pregnant. 😛

      OMG I know right? Exercise is supposed to make you feel better! Not make you feel like you need a massage after exercise! LOL!

  5. Asha Eapen

    Ooh, nothing like a massage for some sumptuous relaxation! 🙂

    1. Tine


  6. Catherine

    An indulgent facial usually includes a neck, hand and feet massage which is bliss. As a single person I never got them, but now constantly being in the caring tole(mother and wife) it feels nice to be cared for myself.

    1. Tine

      I can’t agree more, Catherine. And so you should; being a mother is hard! You should definitely be pampered too! 🙂

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