The hustle bustle, noise and commotion at most salons and skincare institutes can be daunting, especially for someone looking for a quiet and rejuvenating experience. In most places you’ll walk into the sights and sounds of women of all shapes and sizes, chattering over the oft-deafening hum of hair dryers, noisy machines, loud music and more. The aromas welcoming you in will be a combination of hair dye chemicals, silicone products and the odd candle here and there, intended to overpower the smell.
The CACI Centre in Karachi, however, is a small oasis far from the madding crowd. Tucked away in Clifton neighbourhood, it’s been around for almost two decades and has the silent, mature aura of experience and knowledge. Run by Farkhanda Bawany, whose skin is testament to how good the treatments and services must be, the CACI Centre is where women looking for a discreet and relaxing experience have been heading to for years.
Referred by a friend, I thought I’d check out this well-kept secret when I was in need for a facial. I booked my appointment and was met and consulted by a qualified and trained cosmetologist who queried about my skin in detail before designing a customized facial for me. Post 40, I needed a spot of hydration, anti-ageing, firming and lifting which could all be achieved in the hands of experienced professionals and updated machines. We walked upstairs to the treatment rooms as soothing music played in the background, already making the hour or so ahead a welcome experience.
My facial, as most facials, began with in-depth pre-cleansing and cleansing, followed by a gentle peel. Now, I had never had a peel before and I was a bit worried that my skin wouldn’t react in a friendly way and would go red and blotchy before the dinner I had to attend later that night. I was assured nothing of the sort would happen as the natural, fruit peel was extremely gentle and only removed the outer layer of dead, dulling skin.
The CACI treatment was next and involved another set of experienced hands working with another set of products and machines. They called it micro-current lifting, which involved a set of devices working on primarily the jawline. Micro current devices are now available in all forms, many intended for home use and a lot of women do keep them in their cabinets as beauty regime essentials; it was just more reassuring to have the professionals work their magic with the guarantee of good results. Plus, the jawline tightening also included some sort of magical face massage in which I could feel the muscles tightening and firming up. This was followed by radio frequency skin tightening and another massage using thermal energy, all intended to bring a youthful glow to the face and neck.
The facial lasted a little over an hour, the experience bringing a concoction of creams, potions and elixirs to the treatment. Gentle spa music played in the background throughout and though my eyes were covered with cooling pads, I was constantly guided through the process so that I knew what was happening. The result was instantly refreshing and yes, I could see a difference.
Skin treatments have really advanced over the years and women are going more and more radical to retain youthful complexions and skin tones. That said not everyone wants to take the drastic, irreversible route through injectables and surgical options plus not everyone can afford to pay that kind of money they consistently require. I feel facials, especially customized facials that cost anywhere around ten thousand rupees, are a better option for preserving skin over a longer duration. They are gentler on the skin and the pocket. The CACI Centre does offer injectables too, I was informed. Guided by qualified cosmetologists you could go for a dose of Botox, fillers, mesotherapy (for the face and hair) and PRP, another extremely popular treatment these days for those who can handle the sight of blood and plasma. There was also a section of treatments for the body, including cellulite reduction, slimming and ECM Contouring.
All in all, it was a great and affordable experience and one I would definitely go back for.