The new Kaya Skin Bar offers a variety of skin-care solutions in a retail setting

I’ve always thought I had reasonably decent skin. Yangmo, the expert at the Kaya Skin Bar dispels that illusion. Using a rather intimidating instrument, she scans my face and then waits eagerly for a print-out to emanate from the printer to which the instrument is connected. “Your skin is dry, the texture is uneven and the glow minimal,” she announces a trifle gleefully. “What is your skin-care routine?”

“I wash my face with soap twice a day,” I mumble shamefacedly. Obviously it isn’t enough. Yangmo definitely doesn’t think so. Pulling up a chair she outlines an elaborate skin care routine I must follow to obtain healthy, well-nourished skin.

“You must cleanse, tone, moisturize and use a sun-screen everyday,” says Neeti Modi Patnan, Manager at the Kaya Skin Bar, which has recently been launched at Orion Mall. “This is the very basic skin care routine you need to follow ,”

According to her, the diagnostic tool offers an accurate skin-care report, which in turn enables their team of experts to provide customized services to their various clients. “We have a range of products and therapies based on various skin types,” she adds. “It is all about providing holistic skin-solutions,”

She persuades me to try out a facial. I protest claiming that I have extremely sensitive skin that breaks out very easily. “Our products are hypo allergic, dermatologically tested and safe for all skin types including sensitive ones,” she says.

I finally opt for the Purifying Tea Tree Facial—the tea tree oil has antiseptic properties that clear the skin of acne leaving it fresh and glowing.

I am lead into the inter sanctum where facials are conducted and placed in a reclining seat that is oddly reminiscent of the one found in a dentist’s clinic. My hair is bundled into a shower cap, a plastic sheath is placed around my shoulders, my jewellery and contacts are removed—it is almost like getting into surgery. Soothing music plays in the background. The skin-expert covers me with a blanket and closes the curtain around the cubicle, cutting me off from the rest of humanity.

The procedure begins. Yangmo first wipes my face with a wet tissue, removing the layer of dust and grime that has collected on it. She then begins to exfoliate my skin using the microdermabrasion technique in which tiny aluminium oxide crystals are used to slough off the dead cells on the skin leaving its surface visibly lighter and softer. Next, she proceeds to remove the black-heads that dot my nose—a painful rather intrusive process.

“They are very deep,” she tells me while I bite my tongue trying not to yell as she scrapes, prods and pulls . “Look,” she says, handing me a mirror after a good fifteen minutes of sheer torture. I peer anxiously at my nose—which has turned a distinctly unattractive shade of crimson — and note that it looks much clearer.

Various other substances are applied to my face—revitalizing serum, Vitamin C, aloe vera gel. Finally a gooey green substance is massaged onto my face. This is the grand finale—a tea tree mask that hardens on my face and against my eyes. Yangmo lowers the music and switches off the light. I am completely relaxed by now and rather drowsy. I must look like The Mask or Incredible Hulk, I think to myself as I drift off into sleep.

I get fifteen minutes before I am roused, the mask peeled off and my face cleaned up. My face certainly feels cleaner and looks better but not startlingly so.

“You’ll see the real glow tomorrow,” says Neeti. She hands me my skin report and a sample of products I should be using of my face and smiles. “If you look after your skin today, you will not need to worry about it later,” she adds. Kaya Skin Bar is located at Orion Mall, Malleswaram, Rajaji Nagar.