I received an email on September 15th that I read quickly and thought was spam. It started with, “Hi Andy, Hope you are well. Kaya Skin Clinic Middle East would love to have you visit the clinic for a session of Aqua Radiance to know your review about the service…” I didn’t give it much thought until I saw a pretty good review from Muscat Mutterings (another blogger in Oman) about the service. Aha! I realized now that it was an actual invitation so I replied and let them know that I would take them up on their offer. Let me share my experience with you from start to finish.
I’ve driven by this place thousands of times so I knew exactly where to go for the appointment. Just 2 buildings away from ProShots. This clinic in Al Qurum has been in business for 5 years now and was their 1st one. They now have 17 clinics: this one in Oman, 2 in Saudi Arabia (Riyadh & Jeddah) and 14 in the UAE (Sharjah, Al Ain (X2), Abu Dhabi (X5), Dubai (X2), Fujairah (X2) and Ras Al Khaimah).
Once greeted at the front desk, they led me to a lounge and asked me to fill out a form giving some info on “my history of facial care”. As one of their brochures I took home reads, “At Kaya, all decisions are made with the understanding that your skin is as unique and personal as your thumbprint.” I’ve only ever had 2 facials in my life: the morning of my wedding 2 1/2 years ago (which was a nightmare…that’s the facial I’m referring to, not the wedding! Better to clarify that one!) and once in Vancouver years ago when my grandmother brought me to a clinic as a teenager. After 4 years of skin damage from the desert heat here in Oman, including 2 really bad sunburns (once in Qurum and another time in Phuket, Thailand), I liked the sound of “restoring lost vitamins” over time due to the dryness of this area and reducing pigmentation. The only things I usually apply to my face are soap in the shower and shaving cream when I shave. Even aftershave is “a bit too much” in my books (cue the “Macho Macho Man” music! 🙂 ) and so I wonder how my skin has been affected over the years by not using moisturizers or sunscreen even in this heat and weather.
After filling out the form, I met with a dermatologist who asked a few questions based on the form I filled out and then I was free to ask any questions or voice concerns I might have before being treated. This was important to me because I had a lot of ridiculous questions like, “Would this hurt?” and the dermatologist on duty alleviated all my silly fears before being led to the treatment room upstairs. At one point, the doctor said, “You have a 1 or 2 face type…” and I remember laughing to myself wondering if that was technical language for “someone with a face like they’d been hit by a bus”, haha!
There are 6 skin practitioners on call at Kaya’s Al Qurm clinic: 3 Indians (one currently on maternity leave), 2 Omanis and the friendly Filipina in the pic above, Geraldine.
Aqua Radiance is “Perfect for such weather and uses all natural ingredients like air & water, besides, injects essential vitamins which we just keep on losing due to our lifestyle and the bad weather. It is not a treatment, nor is it a facial. It is something in between. Aqua Radiance is a skin enhancement service that is designed to eradicate dryness, nourish the skin and even out the skin tone; reducing pigmentation.” (from the email/brochures) It took 90 minutes and was a very comfortable session which seemed to pass quickly. The best parts were: 1) the cool air passing over my face segment which felt amazing and 2) after the mask was formed on my face, the specialist left the room for 20 minutes for the ingredients to do their magic as I napped off. Geraldine, on returning to the room, snapped this pic of me, haha!
As I thanked her for the treatment and walked downstairs to the frontdesk, there was a funny silent moment as the women thanked me and assumed I’d just leave. I wasn’t sure if I was expected to pay or not as the email simply said they’d like “to invite me for a treatment“. However, I’m not one to assume anything and so I brought plenty of money expecting to pay for a well-deserved treatment that I knew I needed anyway. The treatment is 60 rials (or about $150 US) so I figured that that’s what I’d be paying. “No, it’s complimentary“, I was told. Sweet! “Wow!”, I thought. That really is a bold marketing plan on the part of Anne, the senior marketing officer. Inviting a few bloggers in the area for a free treatment is kind of a gamble. What if something went wrong? What if I didn’t enjoy it? Then I realized that it’s exactly because they are such a professional clinic with much expertize that they were confident enough to invite an open review, knowing full well that their product was sure to please. Well, I was pleased as I left the clinic with a tighter feeling face, knowing that my face would be better in the long run for this care. Now that I know more about the benefits of such a treatment, I can see myself coming here every 6 months to one year. The battle of aging is a losing one, so might as well do what I can to even the odds! 😉
Kaya Skin Clinic is located in Villa No. 879, Way 2013 on Sarooj Street (on the street behind McDs), Shati Al Qurum. (Tel: 24601700, 24604300) Open Saturday to Thursday 10am to 8pm. Check out their website at www.kayaclinic.com
One interesting thing the dermatologist shared with me: When Kaya Skin Clinic started 5 years ago, the ratio was 90% female clients and 10% male clients. Nowadays, it’s more like 80/20. Wives out there thinking of getting their husbands a unique birthday gift (or otherwise) might want to consider an Aqua Radiance treatment (good for men and women). I also encourage those men who have been living in the Middle East for a few years with the same naive “if-it-doesn’t-kill-you-it’ll-make-you-stronger-mentality” as I’ve had to also step outside their comfort zone and give this treatment a try. If I enjoyed it, I don’t see why the next guy wouldn’t.
Kudos to Kaya Skin Clinic on their new sign! 🙂 Noticed this in the last few days of October 2011.