“Get rid of your face scrubs, they are not doing you any favours.” “The best sunscreen is the one you will wear every day.” “I love chemicals!” Just a few of the confident statements that you may hear on the XO Treatment Room’s Instastories or from the mouth of Annie Graham, skin care guru behind the brand, as she administers your customized XOA Facial.
I have followed Annie for quite some time on Instagram and have noted the glowing, youthful faces of her prominent Calgary clients. Annie Graham has a degree in biology and a vast background in chemistry but she breaks everything down into no-nonsense, easy-to-understand layman’s terms.
My hippie heart and brain always falls decidedly on the side of au naturel but there is something that leads me to trust that Annie’s chemicals are friendly ones and so, last week, I willingly and quite eagerly put my face in her hands. It was right after the announcement of the weekly Thursday special which was an oxygen facial. Thursday specials are compelling because they always offer a steep discount and they expire when the Instagram story expires which makes me have FOMO. The oxygen facial was offered the week before my sunny LA vacation and right in the middle of the Calgary smoky summer. I wanted a fresh face!
I quickly sent Annie a message and in typical fashion, she responded bluntly that I didn’t need that facial. Her exact words were, “Not the one for you. YOU need ME.” God, I love confident professionals who tell me what I need!
The XOA Facial is a one-hour session with Annie. She assesses your skin and then addresses all your skin issues using all the tools she has to make you look and feel your best. My session included so many things that I lost track of them but I do remember the key things we talked about.
Wash your face!
Annie stresses the importance of this simple step and is always reminding her clients to wash their face morning and night. I purchased the newly formulated New Surface X, it is effective and gentle.
Vitamin C is a proven skincare superstar but the molecule can be quite unstable and degrade quickly. Annie created Heavy C which is unique in chemical structure resulting in much higher stability. (Purchase online or in-store.)
Annie told me that Calgary is one of the driest cities to live in and so we need to be making sure our moisturizers are working for us. One of the things I noticed is that they don’t try to upsell you on Annie’s products when you are at XO Treatment Room. I asked if I needed her moisturizer and she said, “If you already have a moisturizer that is working, keep using it.”
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!
Don’t try to pin her down on a sunscreen recommendation, because Annie believes that the best sunscreen is the one you will wear. This is where my natural-loving heart cringes but I get her point. Find a sunscreen that you believe in and that you like the texture and smell of. It is a challenge, but your skin will benefit for years to come. (I am currently loving the Mineral Sunscreen Lotion from Young Living but I also like Celazome and Colorescience Loose Mineral Sunscreen.)
My XOA Facial Experience
My XOA treatment included a gentle chemical exfoliation and another type of exfoliation with a blade (I know, I’m so technical!), a laser treatment on two very dark freckles, the removal of a dark skin bump that Annie said was a skin tag, the magical disappearance of red capillaries around my nose, tightening and lifting, deep moisturizing and more! Where else can you go and get so many treatments in one session? (Check out my XOA Facial Instagram Story Highlight to see better images of my before and after face.)
Annie assured me that my skin was going to progressively respond due to collagen stimulation and healing and that my face would look even better by the time I got to LA. She was right. I am over the top happy about my skin right now and it has been a week since I voluntarily consented to the chemical freak.
I’ve been washing my face morning and night, applying sunscreen in the day and Heavy C at night and moisturizing like a fiend. Hopefully, this regime will keep my skin healthy and glowing until the next time I go to XO Treatment Room. Next time I am going to ask if she will treat my entire body – Oh, the luxury!
Annie and I worked out an exchange for my XOA treatment. All opinions are my own and very honest. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE XOA FACIAL and I am loving my Heavy C so much that I will be back for more products and more facials.