Daily Archives: April 13, 2011

Review: Pure and Simple Spa

Disclosure:  I was not endorsed or compensated by Pure and Simple for this review.  I decided to do this review to share with my readers my experience, which I paid for entirely.  These are my honest opinions.

Pure and Simple is a spa based in the Toronto area and specializes in facials using holistic treatments and natural products.

I first found out about this spa from reading Fabulously Broke’s review of her experience.  If you haven’t already checked her out, you gotta get over there (after this post 🙂 )!

I have never had a facial before.

My skin had also been acting up in the last few months.  My face felt really oily in the middle of the day, and I was breaking out more.  I was also interested in using more natural and holistic methods to treat and repair my skin.  And I was interested in how Pure and Simple could help me.

The Consultation

Prior to going for my first facial, I booked a complimentary consultation at the Yorkville location.  The consultation consisted of meeting with an aesthetician who asked me a few questions, and looked at my skin under a bright light.   She asked me how I was feeling, how I take care of my skin –  including what products I used.

She diagnosed my skin as dehydrated and “congested” around my t-zone area.  She said the dehydration in my skin was causing it to produce more oils, and I was in some dire need of extractions (of old and current blacks heads).

She recommended the “Clear Complexion” facial for me, but told me that if that wasn’t in my budget, even any facial would be better than nothing.  She recommended that I may need at least 3 facials to get my skin re-balanced and that I should be using natural moisturizers (and serums) as they are less irritating on the skin.

I took her advice and booked the Clear Complexion facial.

The Environment

The main foyer had all their skin care products and make-up lined up on shelves and along the walls.  The staff were very knowledgeable and samples were available for most of their products.

The spa spanned several split stories, and the room I was in was in for the facial was in the basement.  When I went in for my facial, they brought me to a clean, dimly lit room.  They had nice heavy blankets and soothing music playing which helped to relax me.  They also had all their products lined up along the counter top.

The Clear Complexion Facial

According to their website, this facial:

Specially designed to help achieve radiant complexions, this facial purifies skin leaving it clear, hydrated + glowing. A combination of intense natural peels as well as the LED light, will help clear skin, revealing its natural beauty. This facial also includes a scalp, decollete + arm massage.

Before the aesthetician started on my facial, she warned me that this facial would not be very relaxing, but it would yield results.  So that’s what I concentrated on.

My facial started off with the aesthetician cleaning my face and using the lactic acid peel. Then came the extractions – and there was a lot of them.

There was a brief sea salt microdermabrasion where she went once over my entire face.  The microdermabrasion felt like sand paper with a small vacuum at end, and

Then approximately 30 minutes of LED lights.  The aesthetician explained the blue lights were to kill bacteria, the red lights  and green lights were to help with scaring and pigmentation.  At this time, they also gave me a nice arm and head massage that felt amazing. 

After the lights, I also got a complimentary moisture mask because my aesthetician said that I really needed it! 🙂

At the end of my facial, I was afraid of looking in the mirror because I thought my skin might be all blotchy from the extractions, but this wasn’t the case.  My skin just looked really shiny from all the moisturizing goodness they put on it.

I asked my aesthetician how often I should have these facials, and she said that I needed them more often at the beginning of my treatment to repair my skin, and after that I can just come in for “maintenance” facials – pending I am properly caring for my skin.   She recommended a facial every 2 weeks to start, and then every month thereafter.


The products my aesthetician recommended for me were the ones that she used on me during the treatment.

  • Lactic acid exfoiliator
  • Mild wash (so not to dry my skin)
  • Collagen serum (to seal in moisture right after I wash my face)
  • Blue Mud Mask Moisturizer (for acne prone skin)
  • Physical sunscreen SPF30

I was overwhelmed by the list of products they recommended to me, both during my consultation and after my facial. Although, they did not pressure me to buy anything, I think that it would have been more helpful had they only recommended the top 2 or 3 products.

They did provide me with samples of the mild wash, collagen serum and the blue mud mask to try.


My Clear Complexion facial costs $149 before tax for a single visit.  Pure and Simple also offers 3-pack, 5-pack and 10-pack facials and that brings the average cost of each facial down.  I decided to buy a 5-pack of the Clear Complexion facial.

From surveying my friends and colleagues, this is not outrageous for a facial, though it is on the higher end of the spectrum.   Personally, I would rather pay a bit more for a good facial from knowledgeable professionals.

The spa also called me back about 4 days after my visit to check on how my skin was doing.  I was really impressed with this part of the service.


Four days later, and my skin has healed from the acne and damage I had right before the facial.  I’ve also noticed there is an improvement in my skin’s pigmentation.  I’ve had a few post facial break outs – and it’s a little annoying, but I’m not sure if this is expected.

I’ve been using the sample products religiously for almost a week now.  And I find that my skin is less oily and more moisturized (I love the way that blue mud mask lotion smells).

Note: I will be researching on the products I am sampling and figure out if it  purchase.  I already use a light cleanser – SpectroJel, and I have been faithfully using my moisturizer (Marcelle) for years.  I will do another post on this.

I would  definitely be going back for a few more treatments.  I think that  my skin needs a few treatments before I can go into “maintenance” mode, however,  I thought that my aesthetician’s recommendation for facial frequency was too frequent for my budget (and schedule).  For me, I would start with a facial every month, and then ease off to about 4 to 6 facials a year.


I would recommend that anyone with a bit of wiggle room in their budget, and would like to try a more holistic approach to skin care with give Pure and Simple a try.

Additional Resources

I also found some great information from their website while I was browsing around for pictures to include in this post.  They also had a book which was available at their spa locations, in addition to the condensed forms of information online.   I really enjoyed reading about acne here.

I hope this was helpful for my Toronto readers.  Please feel free to share your recommendations or thoughts in the comments of what you’d like to see in my reviews.


All photographs are from the Pure and Simple website (or taken by me).


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