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Dermstrata microdermabrasion and a comparison with other facial clinics around Metro Manila

January 14, 2009
No, that's not me

No, that's not me

Women are weird creatures, we can be deathly afraid of leeches, spiders, or any benign creature, but we will willingly subject ourselves to the torture of having a facial. If you are one of the legions of women who pay a visit to the facialist every so often, welcome to my site, my sadomasochistic friend. The thought of having an injection is enough to drain the blood out of my head (which is why I have been served a memo for skipping the annual physical exams), which is why its odd how I can take the pain of being pricked and prodded (repeatedly!) all in the name of beauty.

Anyway, I was long overdue for a facial so I decided to swing by Dermstrata to get a session of microdermabrasion (Price: 1,250 for 1 session, promo price: 2,700 for three sessions, 5,950 for 7 sessions). I really think that Dermstrata offers the best deal available out there. As far as diamond peels are concerned, I have tried Mendez Medical Clinic (Main at Tel. no. +63 (2) 635-2577, SM Fairview Branch +63(2)9377453), Let’s Face It  (+63(2)8075411), and Godiva (+63(2)8365801). Mind you, these phone numbers are just for one of the many branches, but I think any inquiry can be answered by any representative.

Okay, let’s compare. My very first diamond peel was with Mendez, and the reason why I chose the clinic back in 2004 was because the procedure was done only by dermatologists, not facialists. I felt secure in knowing that a Dr. and not a Ms. was going to be scraping my face. I availed of the combo package, which was the Diamond-slash-Rosy peel, which basically meant that you will only have one ply of skin left between your raw flesh and the world. After a light facial (done by a facialist), layers of your skin will be scraped off by the wand (with suction), then as if this doesn’t sound painful enough, industrial strength peeling agent will be applied to your ravaged skin, enough to make you violently jerk on the table. Ah, the price of beauty. The whole procedure took over an hour, and cost 2,500 at the time. I’m guessing they have gone up a bit, but due to the recession, I wouln’t be surprised if the price is still the same. I was happy with Mendez, but I don’t know, Dermstrata just seemed to be the more logical choice. Maybe its because they have Sexbomb and that tacky Pauleen Luna as endorsers. Just too masa for my taste.

Let’s Face It, I say let’s dump it. I don’t know if I was just unlucky because it seems like the machine they used on me was the prototype, but I felt like wood being sanded down. The grains were not very fine! I think they could use that machine for filing nails when it’s not in use. ‘Nuf said.

As for Godiva, turn around and just spend your 700++ on a nice piece of clothing. They might be cheap but the service will reflect that exactly. No pampering whatsoever, it was like a love-less quickie! The facialist will ask you to lie on a table and go straight to doing microdermabrasion, without any TLC. I felt used and abused; don’t you have any feelings for me at all Godiva?  Screw Godiva, I’d rather pay extra and have the works.

Ok now going to Dermstrata. I think it’s worth my 1,250 pesos to get a facial, a mask, and even a bonus back massage towards the end of the session. First, they apply a medley of concoctions on your face to wash it down and soften it up (the marinating phase), then they steam you for about 15-30 minutes depending on how many clients they have at that moment (the dimsum phase), then they do the most painful part of the procedure, the facial (the torture part), then they a few rounds of microdermabrasion and then another mix of balm on your face then this cold rotating metal thingie over your face (to close pores and have redness subside i’m told), then another balm and you’re good. Right before you jump out the table, a nice back massage. I think that justifies 1,250 doesn’t it?

I like it that unlike other facial centers, i’ve never once felt like the facialists are rushing to finish their job out of the three times I’ve used their service. But I do think that for best service, you should go on weekdays when there are less people. Weekends tend to be crazy, and thus longer waiting time. A person can only take so much Celine Dion and cricket sounds.

40 Comments leave one →
  1. katierhoda permalink
    May 26, 2009 5:01 am

    cool, cool. But perhaps your bad reviews are merely a coincidence? I want to try the new godiva brance in robinsons manila midtown but i’m too chicken to risk it. Some give good reviews for godiva while some bad. but i do agree dermatologists should do these procedures. They are, after all, dermatological procedures.

    • sugarhigh37 permalink*
      May 26, 2009 6:41 am

      I don’t know, I just feel it’s wrong to go straight to the procedure without any preamble whatsoever, I think that should at least do a basic facial to get rid of any ginormous blackheads before filing away on your skin… It was a bad experience and I have every reason to believe that this is how they do it across all Godiva’s branches.

  2. martina permalink
    June 13, 2009 4:42 pm

    I suggest you try (Forever) Flawless this time. Same price, PhP1000 for a Power Peel then just add PhP 210 for a whitening mask. Service is way better than that of dermstrata! I’ve tried both and I’m more satisfied with Flawless. The only thing I like about dermstrata is that after the treatment, your face isn’t red due to the abrasion but I guess Flawless’ method is more effective. You just leave it after a few hours and the redness subsides. If the budget’s not a problem that much, you could opt for the Advanced Whitening mask for around PhP 750 i guess… It’s a very good facial mask that would compliment the redness of the Powerpeel! Try it, highly recommended!

  3. sugarhigh37 permalink*
    June 22, 2009 8:24 am

    Thanks Martina, I’ll definitely give this a try. I guess the only reasons why I haven’t tried them is the real cheesy name, the pink logo and the fact that it used to be owned by Rosanna Roces. I’ll blog about it when I get the chance..

  4. July 13, 2009 4:41 pm

    SO TRUE!
    I’ve tried many derm clinics b4
    i enjoyed having my facial or other services at dermstrata
    employees are very friendly (particularly dermstrata at sm dasma) and even though it’s near closing time, they still do their job d ryt way. D nla minamadali.

    • sugarhigh37 permalink*
      July 14, 2009 3:09 am

      Yes, i’ve experienced going there near closing, and I was the last out. The girl’s companion was already waiting for her outside, and I was actually waiting for her to rush the thing, but she stayed on tempo, di talaga minadali. I hope they do that across all branches, these kind of feedback in blogs will keep the customers coming.

  5. tere permalink
    August 9, 2009 2:14 am

    yeah your sooo right… i fell so pampered in Dermstrata… there’s one branch of Flawless center, before magstart yung treatment moh you will be given a towel then you will be the one to wash your face sa wash area nila. But in Dermstrata grabeh…super pampered…and super nice ng mga staff.

    • sugarhigh37 permalink*
      August 10, 2009 7:16 am

      I hope someone from Dermstrata is reading this and taking note of the positive reviews so they keep it up. It only takes on rotten apple to spoil the barrel.

  6. Huile D'Olive permalink
    August 27, 2009 2:28 pm

    I’m a satisfied customer of Dermstrata. Would anyone know of the DP in Slimmers skin?

  7. Lexy permalink
    September 14, 2009 2:39 pm

    I had my 1st session of DP this afternoon at Dermstrata at the Block and I have to say, I was really pampered. The attendant was nice and friendly. I would definitely have a regular treatment with them. BTW Im planning to try the Crystalization treatment, have you tried it? any tips? thanks =)

    • sugarhigh37 permalink*
      September 15, 2009 7:03 am

      No I haven’t actually, what is it supposedly for? I only usually go for diamond peel, which incidentally i’m long due for!

  8. nai res permalink
    October 12, 2009 2:12 pm

    hi, i would want to know about how many sessions of dp should be favorable for us women? thanks

    • sugarhigh37 permalink*
      October 12, 2009 3:19 pm

      I can only speak for myself as I think this depends from person to person. If you have problematic skin, i.e. recurring pimple episodes, microderm might not be the best option for you, as oral medication might be what’s called for. No matter how you slough off dead skin, if there’s something wired wrong in your skin, you might be making it worse by undergoing diamond peel.

      As for me, I used to have breakouts which I got under control by taking the pill (which is of course, a whole different topic). After which, I had periodic sessions of microdermabrasion to even my skin out. I never went less than three months in between, my sessions were few and far between because the skin really takes a beating, and I think it should be given sufficient time to relax and heal. I heard some people do it once every two weeks, and a good friend once told me that Claudine B. the sister of a bitchy actress mistress to TBC, does exactly that. Guess dfferent strokes for different folks.

  9. anything but ordinary permalink
    November 20, 2009 2:41 am


    nice review there! =)

    just a quick question though. do you have any idea about body peeling? i have marks on my legs and arms due to insect bites and they hardly go away. im not sure which derm clinics to trust about this.

    thanks so much!

    • sugarhigh37 permalink*
      November 23, 2009 5:54 am

      Aha! You know what, I had exactly the same problem. Mine was due to bed bug bites that I got during a homestay in northern Vietnam (quick note to readers: ALWAYS check your hotel/ hostel/ B&B beds for signs of infestation). It’s been over a year and the marks are still kinda visible. I hate not being able to wear shorts!

      Anyway, for this, I would suggest you go directly to a dermatologist in a proper hospital. I went to Medical City in SM Fairview where my doctor gave me a prescription for a super whitening and peeling product (for about 400 pesos each). Of course the treatment will depend on whether you have open pustules or if its just marks. Important that they are able to determine why your skin is reacting that way and not just peel away.

      In my case it was just post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and as my doctor said, the marks on the legs will take much longer to disappear than those on my arms (it was gone in a few months).

      If you’re suffering from marks only, i have an at-home solution: try SK body peeling solution. This comes in a big amber bottle. It peels like crazy, strong enough for the legs, and you only need to use it like once every 2 months. I think you can still get this at SM. While we’re at it, for the face, I also recommend SK for peeling. It smells a bit foul, like Cubao beauty parlor smell foul, but it works. Just hold your nose. 🙂

  10. gracey permalink
    November 30, 2009 3:46 am

    i was referred by a friend who, just out of no where tried dermstrata (i dont know which branch) as i was looking at their price list. they actually dont have much selections when it comes to facial. or i just didnt notice it because i was trying to figure out the difference between them.

    I have tried LETS FACE IT a before…they actually have a bunch of tissue beside you because you’ll start crying once the facialist starts to remove those blackheads on your nose…i was waiting for the tissue as i lay on the bed and finishes the face steam…luckily the next thing i know is im done with the pain..(NOT MUCH)it was indeed a very relaxing treatment that a client is looking for in a facial center…good job guys!!

    • sugarhigh37 permalink*
      November 30, 2009 9:45 am

      Glad to hear you had a good experience with them. I hope they’ve improved their service since mine. The sign of good service is when they can replicate the experience across all sites, otherwise, keep that particular facialist close!

      • Apple permalink
        December 11, 2009 7:18 am

        I’ve tried having a facial in this skin clinic and felt relaxed with their painless facial. Since then, its been a regular thing for me.

      • gurl figueroa permalink
        December 12, 2009 4:10 pm

        hi there!..i am looking for reasonable prices for derma srvices since i still have breakouts of acne and scars at the age of 28, its really depressing that’s why i decided to go for professional help..i have inquird at dermstrata and will come nxwk at sm d blck..i hope this will be the ryt clinic for me..reading all of ur testimonials made me want to try it asap!!

      • sugarhigh37 permalink*
        December 13, 2009 3:05 am

        Just make sure that you consult with a dermatologist first, if your breakout is really bad. I would advise against going straight to microderm because all this does is slough off the skin and might irritate the swollen ones further. Though i’m quite sure that if they see you have breakouts they will tell you straight away that diamond peel might not be right for you. Good luck!

      • Seidi permalink
        March 11, 2010 8:44 am

        It’s not Microdermabrasion, it’s a Derma roll, which is different. The dermatologist did recommend it. I don’t have break outs, just some fine lines and old scars.

  11. February 1, 2010 10:32 pm

    i tried flawless at greenhills it was okay but after power peel for 1 thousand they sold me a mask for 580 pesos which I dont think helped at all and its like you cant refuse. I didnt leave a tip because i felt riped off with the price of the mask.

    • sugarhigh37 permalink*
      February 2, 2010 2:46 am

      I really feel icky about Flawless, i don’t know for some reason I can’t bring myself to trust them. They also try to sell stuff at Dermstrata but I don’t feel cornered at all and I usually just say flat out no and it’s no issue.

  12. Seidi permalink
    March 9, 2010 5:22 am

    Hello there!
    I’m Australian living here in Manila and have to say I’m addicted to Dermstrata! I have poor Aussie sun-dried skin with fine lines, open pores and a few acne & chicken pox scars (gee i sound beautiful). Initially I saw the Dermatologist and she recommended the diamond peel first and if I wanted to try the Derma roll. I love the diamond peel, I didn’t find it painful at all and my skin felt lovely and soft afterwards. I felt pampered and really enjoyed getting all the gunk off my face. Eventually I felt brave enough to try the Derma roll as the scars on my face weren’t going to go with just the diamond peel. I have now had three sessions of the Derma roll – she told me that I have a high pain threshold, but I’m not convinced, as each time I visit for the Derma roll it seems to get more painful (probably because I know what’s coming). *It is not for the faint-hearted!* It’s expensive and it hurts – but WOW! it has made a difference that is for sure. My face is usually a few shades darker than the rest of my body but now it’s the same colour and also my scars are now, I would estimate, about half as deep as they were to begin with! I have three painful sessions to go and will go ahead simply because it is working & also I have paid upfront. It takes almost 2-hours for each session and by the time I leave my face is slightly swollen and very pink – I wear my sunglasses when leaving and pretend to be texting or look at my feet so as not to scare people! If you have sun-spots, scars and lines and can handle a bit of pain I would highly recommend the Derma Roll – but if you already find the diamond peel painful (which I definitely don’t) I wouldn’t go with the Derma roll. 🙂

    • princess permalink
      November 4, 2010 4:44 pm

      hi, how much will it cost if I avail the derma roll at dermstrata?

  13. jackie permalink
    April 11, 2010 6:31 pm

    hello! nice review. i have acne scars and i’m not really sure of what treatment to do. is it diamond peel or microderm? need a reply please! 🙂

    • sugarhigh37 permalink*
      April 13, 2010 9:25 am

      same lang ang diamond peel and microdermabrasion 🙂 but yes, this is the treatment you need. At least the treatment readily available to you.

  14. michelle permalink
    May 12, 2010 6:21 am

    I love dermstrata, i just had a diamond peel yesterday and i love the way my skin looks. The regular price of their diamond peel is P1200 but they actually have a promo for diamond peel right now which is P2700 for three sessions!

  15. Jemm permalink
    June 2, 2010 1:38 pm

    Hi there! Is DP good for oily skin too? My main problem is my oily skin and like it is causing more blackheads than usual… And idk, I have tiny “hairs” around my nose… They are like really tiny that sometimes I mistook it for blackheads whatsoever lol. Please help me ma’am. I’m also a pampered client of DS. ^_^

    • sugarhigh37 permalink*
      June 2, 2010 3:50 pm

      Oh man, take my advice with a grain of salt cos im not a derma, just another girl in the search of good service. I won’t say its gonna do anything for your oily skin because its just gonna peel off the topmost layers of your skin and wont actually do anything for your skin’s oil production. I suppose it will lessen the oiliness of your skin for a few days after your whiteheads and blackheads have been extracted, but not permanently. Consult a doctor for solutions to oily skin. Good luck girl!

  16. jhenkoy permalink
    July 22, 2010 9:00 pm

    Hi, i would like to ask if diamond peel does leave skin peel after the treatment. I had my treatment at Dermstrata Sucat, but I get these skin flakes on my face after my 2nd day. I hope you can give me some advise. Thanks.

    And, i still have the scars from my facial. Should I get worried now? Btw, this is not my first time. I had my first diamond peel @ Godiva Robinsons, and it doesnt feel like this one.

    • sugarhigh37 permalink*
      July 23, 2010 5:29 pm

      I haven’t really experienced skin peeling after the diamond peel, only when I got the rosy peel treatment at Mendez way way back, but that’s because its intended to peel after the lotion. Anyway, if you know that your skin reacts badly to the facial, ask to skip it. If you feel uncomfortable a few minutes into it, ask your facialist to stop.

      I don’t know the severity of your problem, but if it persists, go and see a dermatologist, preferably somebody impartial and not affiliated with any facial spa. Good luck!

  17. grayzee permalink
    July 26, 2010 6:05 am

    I’m 33, and guess what? its my first time to have chicken pox. Up to date, I’m on my 3rd day. I keep on searching for forums and advises about the treatments for chicken pox scar. Is power peel & diamond peel applicable to chicken pox scar? when this one dries, I’m planning to have one, my choice is Forever Flawless. Then I read about Dermstata which gives me another options.
    So, between the two, who do you think can have a solution over my scar?

  18. jason permalink
    August 11, 2010 8:35 pm

    hi guys.. i am looking for a reputable dermclinic.. i have deep acne scar and im still having breakouts.. i badly need a help. i cant decide where to go because of so many derm clinics now. help.. help

  19. December 23, 2010 3:38 am

    ok lng ba magpadiamond peel at the age of 17?
    nakkastressed kse mgkapimples. and pimple mark! errr.. :(((
    at my age. nakkaconcious ang my gntong face !
    help think plzz..

  20. June 12, 2011 9:50 am

    I was just thinking of going to Dermstrata for my very first facial. I’ve been reading reviews of facial salon, and you have a nice reviews, I must say. Everyone’s telling that Let’s Face It is not good. And mixed comments on Flawless. I only want my blackheads and whiteheads to be extracted. Nothing more. Does Dermstrata has that basic service and are they good at it? Thank you so much. And continue blogging.

  21. August 15, 2011 2:22 am

    interesting blog..

  22. August 17, 2011 10:28 pm

    Hey There. I discovered your weblog using msn. That is a very smartly written article. I?ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thank you for the post. I?ll definitely comeback.

  23. czarina permalink
    March 23, 2012 4:14 am

    hi , last year nag pa facial aco sa dermstrata and ginamit co din eung mga products nla … nag worked out naman , hnggang july co lng ata gnmit kc nwala na mga pimples co . ngayong february grabe dumami tlga , kc nag gamt aco ng ibang product , so i decided na bumalik ulet sa dermstrata , nagpafacial aco and gnmit ulet eung 1 set nla … kso 2 weeks na , parang uala nman nangyari , nagttke dn aco ng pills n sinuggest nla , mamaya babalik aco dun for another facial ulet … balak co itanung kht may mga pimples and zits pren mukha co ee pde na kaya nla acong i diamond peel ? gusto co na sna kc mkakita ng improvement , kc aalis nko papuntang US sa may … so need need co ng iimprovement tlga … 😦


  1. Dermstrata Microdermabrasion - update « Consumer review for everything Pop encounters under the sun

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