There is no spectrum of appreciation for pimple popping videos: You either love them, or you hate them. And if you love them, then you probably also appreciate nose strips, "vacuum" pore cleansers, and extraction masks. There's just something so satisfying about seeing every last bit of puss, oil, and dirt squeezed out of your face — which is immediately what drew me to Sephora's new in-store treatment: The Perk Hydrating Facial.
Not to be confused with Sephora's "mini facials," which are really just a glorified form of in-store sampling, the Perk facial resembles a salon-grade treatment complete with a pore-sucking device. The facial won't extract your pimples, but it will deeply exfoliate, leaving you with a big, satisfying jar of dry skin, serum, and oil to ogle at the end. The good news: The facial is free with any $75 skin-care purchase. The bad news: You can't take the miracle pore vacuum home with you. (Trust me, I tried).
I started the facial by chatting through my skin concerns with a Sephora-trained specialist. (Important to note: Sephora's consultants are not licensed aestheticians.) She pulled out Sephora's Moisture Meter, a device that measures your skin type, to determine that my skin is "normal" but leaning toward the oily side. My specialist and I then walked through a few products she thought would be a fit for my complexion. You can choose to buy these items after the facial, or you can buy something else — it's entirely up to you.
My specialist then cleansed my skin before bringing out the main event: The Perk Hydrating Facial, a device which features two rollerball pens that are filled with serum. As you roll them over your skin, the device sucks away debris and oil while simultaneously pushing serum into the skin. She used a lactic acid-based serum first to loosen any dead skin cells, then switched it out for a Vitamin C serum to brighten my skin, especially around my eyes. At the end, she showed me a jar full of the excess serum, oil, debris, and dead skin. (Check out my special cocktail above.)
The entire process took 30 minutes and while I wouldn't say it was the most innovative facial I've ever had (which is a tall order), it was definitely the most rewarding 30-minute skin-care treatment I've gotten at the mall. If you're looking for a quick refresh, and live near one of the 100 Sephora U.S. stores where this treatment will be available, then I'd definitely recommend it. If you're looking for someone to extract a chin full of whiteheads, you'll have better luck at your dermatologist's office.