Lit from Within: My Relaxin', Extractin', Zit-Zappin' Facial with T-secret (and a discount code!)

Monday, January 5, 2015

My Relaxin', Extractin', Zit-Zappin' Facial with T-secret (and a discount code!)

Products & services provided for review.  All opinions are my own.

Hello, Fireflies!

If I've said it once, I've said it... well, a lot.  I have oily skin.  I have mostly thought of my oily skin as a problem - prone to blemishes, makes my makeup run off... but now, with a little help from Tsecret, I understand that oily skin is healthy skin - I just needed to learn how to take care of it!

Tsecret came from Tamahra’s Secret Skin Care Products.  Madame Tamahra, a French Chemist and Cosmetologist developed many of these recipes while living in Cuba - long before there were chemical treatments widely available for acne.  Tsecret still believes in the tenet of using natural ingredients to balance the skin, and their not-so-secret weapon?

Extractions.  Yep, this is not your regular massaging facial. 
The building is small and unassuming, but the magic is here.  Upon first entering, I was offered a lovely beverage to consume while I filled out a questionnaire outlining my health profile and habits.  Tsecret looks at skin health from not only what you put on your skin, but also what you put in your body.  My Aesthetician, Jane Johnson, told me a story about a young person she was helping with a really advanced case of cystic acne - the pores on this person would produce a sticky substance during extractions that turned out to be linked to the client's constant consumption of peanut butter!  Everyone's system is different, but for this client, getting rid of the peanut butter in her diet really helped clear up the acne.

Jane told me that the detective work  - figuring out what environmental factors could be exacerbating a client's acne - is a part of her job that she really likes.  I like watching who-done-it shows on TV, which is about as close as I get to playing detective!
My facial took place in a quiet, comfortable room with an adjustable bed, candle, and soft music.  When you consider that the next thing I did was take off my clothes, it almost sounds like a romantic date!  Don't worry, they give you a sheath to wear, and the softest warm booties.
Before the steaming, there is a bit with some towels and Jane put a creamy gel on my face to protect it from the heat.  Turned my lips white, which I thought was a neat trick.

Then, the steaming begins.  Steaming is a core aspect of the extraction process, because it really opens the pores up.  And open pores are giving pores.  The steaming is a bit intense, I won't lie.  Very hot water is pored over lovely scented dried bits of things, and then you are covered with a heavy towel that holds the steam in.  Three 7-minute sessions of steaming really makes you sweat.. I mean, I was a bit dewy.  Maybe glistening a bit. 
When I was done, Jane put a layer of plastic wrap on my face, to keep the moisture in while she worked.

And, boy, did she work.  Our faces have around 30,000 pores on them, and it takes time to get to them.  A facial is no less than 2 hours, and they also have facials that last 3 or 4 hours.  The sebaceous plugs in the skin that cause bumps and breakouts really can't be removed by topical treatments - only through extractions.  Using primarily her gloved hands, she extracted all manner of blemishes - whiteheads, blackheads, millia - they can do it all, even cysts.

Because she spent so much time preparing my skin beforehand, it didn't hurt a bit - during or after.  No bruising or irritation at all.  Some infected extractions can be a little tender, but I didn't find it to be.  It was actually very relaxing!  Especially the 4-layer masque Jane applied at the end. 
Personally, I like knowing what a person is doing to me, especially when I can't see it.  Jane explained everything she was doing, and answered all my questions without skipping a beat.  Turns out, we both had first careers in Human Resources before realizing that our passions lay elsewhere, and we both have dogs.  (She has a cat, a husband, and a couple of kids, too.)

You know how when someone tells you about something they really believe in, about something they enjoy?  Yeah, Jane's eyes lit up telling me about her work at Tsecret.  Sure, all the processes and procedures there are standardized to make sure you get a quality facial with every Aesthetician, but I really connected with Jane's passion and sincerity.  Jane told me how she wants to set every client up for success at home - that getting a facial was just one tool to use in clearing the skin, and that she didn't expect clients to keep coming back forever.  She wants to help people discover how their skin reacts to environmental factors, too, like products we use on our skin, or put in our bodies.

I think Tsecret did set me up for success!  They sent me home with their cleansing regimen - Cotton wraps, Manuka cleanser, Ionic Spritzer, and their special oil.  Tsecret make all their products themselves, in small batches, from ingredients sourced all over the world!  They contain NO chemical preservatives or emulsifiers, parabens, artificial colors or perfume, and they don't do any animal testing.

I believe that their oil cleansing protocol is pretty unique! I have done oil cleansing before, but nothing like this.

You start by misting the face with the Ionic Spritzer.  ($23; refills $7) It's a mineral spray that refreshes, soothes, and maintains the PH balance on the skin.  It's made with ionized acidic water, lavender, saw palmetto, colloidal silver, grapefruit seed extract, calendula, apple extract, rosemary essential oil, ionic and trace minerals.

Next, take a piece of the super-soft, super-strong 100% Cotton Wraps ($17), and fold it in thirds.  Shake to recombine the Manuka cleanser  ($29.5) and then shake it into the cotton.  Wipe the oil cleanser on the face, removing all dirt and makeup (though I prefer to use a makeup wipe first to get all the heavy makeup off first.)  This cleanser contains a combination of jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, hamamelis, ionized acidic water, hawthorne, queen of the prairie, colloidal silver, essential oil of manuka, and grapefruit seed extract. Manuka oil is anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, and anti-allergenic, and fights bacteria better than tea tree oil while being gentle to even itchy and irritated skin.  It has an earthy smell, not strong or unpleasant, but reminiscent of a nutty oil.
This oil cleanser you don't wash off!  You wipe until you've used all sides of your folded cotton, and that's it.  The oils left behind are actually good for your skin.  Top off with whatever serums or moisturizers you normally use.

The last step is to put on a few drops of their Huile Rejennisee ($65.00).  The rare and effective Camellia Oil is the first ingredient in this nourishing oil,  Sea Buckthorn oil gives it a distinctive orange color, and it also contains rosehip and borage seed oil - all 100% organic.  Full of antioxidants and essential fatty acids, this oil helps with wrinkles, dry skin, hyperpigmentation, and inflammation, deeply hydrating and helping repair the skin.  Because I have oily skin, I only use this oil at night, after the cleansing process.  In the morning, my skin is amazingly soft and hydrated.  And, don't worry, the orange color doesn't stain your skin or your pillowcases.

Speaking of pillowcases, replacing my satin ones with cotton and using this cleansing regimen have made a huge difference in the amount of pimples I'm seeing on my face.  Because I test different serums and moisturizers and makeup all the time, I can't stop all the pimples, but this has made an amazing difference in my skin's health.

I'm all relaxed, with brighter, clearer skin after my first Tsecret Acne Facial!
I don't talk that much about being a plus-sized beauty blogger, but I think it's important to mention that Tsecret accommodated me seamlessly.  They had a sheath that fit me, and Jane always made sure I was comfortable during the extraction.  Even when I filled out the questionnaire and told them I ate every junkie food on their list that can cause skin problems, I never felt judged.  So, if you've not gotten a facial before because you're afraid of judgement, please see Jane at Tsecret.  I'm sure she'll make you as comfortable as she made me.

This offer is good through April 30, 2015.

For more information, or to make an appointment, you can find TSecret on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube. You can also read my friend Catherine's review, from Beauty By Cat, by clicking HERE.

If you're in the Orlando area, you can call them at 407.999.5008.  Tsecret has clients come in from lots of different parts of the globe, though, so they also have a toll-free number:  877.826.2472.  You can reach Jane at, or the main info desk at

What special thing do you do to take care of your skin?

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