Facials are not only for sissies

Five years ago I wouldn't be caught dead In spa robes, let alone with cream on my face.

This week I did what a few years ago I and my friends frowned on.

Men who do facials are just not man enough - they are sissies. This is a view commonly held by men who cherish their masculinity and despise those who show their feminine side by doing the opposite of what is expected of "real men.

Despite discouragement from my male friends I hit the road on Sunday and experienced a different kind of adventure at the top-class Phumula Spa on the sixth floor of the Park Hyatt hotel in Rosebank.

Tired and jaded from the weekend's activities I was late and did the gentlemanly thing under the circumstances. I apologised profusely.

Apologies accepted and being told by therapist Getrude Khosi that my time would be cut short accordingly, I was ready for a journey I had never before undertaken.

It turned out to be an exciting and exhilarating experience.

It starts off with friendly therapist Khosi telling me to lie down on this clean bed with my face turned up.

She gives me the choice of taking my gown off, really off, or pilling it down the the hips. My conservative side takes over and I choose the latter option.

She puts a light from a machine on my face. It blinds me and she advises me to close my eyes.

"This is to analyse your skin type," she explains. "You have an oily skin."

Oily skin, me?

"It's just a skin type over which no one has a choice - but we can change a skin condition," she says. "Your skin is dehydrated and that can be corrected."

But now I want to know what causes skin dehydration though I anticipated the answer - or part of it.

What I can say is that alcohol drunk in moderation is fine, but excessive amounts of it come with all sorts of problems - including dehydration.

"It is either alcohol or you don't drink enough water," she says.

Now, to correct the condition of a dehydrated and oily skin. There are products to drain the extra oil and there is a hydrating product as well, she advises.

She covers my face with nice smelling Comfort Zone products. Believe it or not, my skin feels different within moments.

At this point I am fed some very interesting stuff.

For example, the French president recently visited the same Spa for a facial.

That makes me happy. He's definitely no a sissy; neither am I.

The treatment of various types costs between R250 and R2000.

lEdward Tsumele's treatment was courtesy of Phumula Spa.