A new series that looks at the various facets of the urban woman's life. This article, the first, explores the promise of the new power facial.

Who doesn't love a facial? You simply drift away as your face is pampered and relaxed. Aromatherapy, oils, luxurious beds, instrumental music in the background lulls you into a soft slumber and at the end of the 60- minute session you come away: a new you!

Today there is a new kid on the block. It is called the power facial and considered an alternative to Botox. Botox still has its admirers, but seems to have lost a little of its lustre as new advances are made and many admit that having used it they find the ultimate look scary and robot like. Face freezing is another definition that says it all. Using Botox leaves one feeling a little expressionless, and not able to move one's forehead.

This new technique is a facial that is simply more assertive, that stresses on what the therapist can do with the plethora of products in the market. Women today are much more concerned about the end results rather than the actual pampering that goes in to a massage.

Great results

Today therapists use products that are simply overflowing on the shelves, all with clear instructions that promise ‘great' results but obviously work well with a massage and internal mouth work. There are gels made from Chilean snails that contain naturally occurring collagen and elastin to smooth the skin. Lava shells from the Pacific contain a natural mineral heat and seaweed from the Dead Sea is used to exfoliate and hydrate the skin.

The premise of the new facial is the same as a workout. No pain, no gain. If you want to get a good body you must work on it. Similarly if you want your face to look good you must stimulate and massage it. Botox does away with lines but it does not give the muscles of the face a chance to work; where as in a facial, by stimulating and massaging the face one can lift and contour it giving better definition. And the most recent trend suggests that going inside the mouth allows one to reduce tension and loosen the jaw.

Whether one goes inside the mouth or not, there is no doubt that the facial is elixir on which women swear by. And the reasons are very simple. A good massage brings the face back to life, and if done regularly, it will exercise as well as tone the muscles. Regular facial manipulation redefines, softens and relaxes the face.

The writer is a novelist and poet who writes on women's issues and social trends.