I have always looked after my skin, but it’s probably only in the last few years that I have started to include regular facials into my skincare regime. Since turning 40 I have noticed that my skin needs a little more help than I alone can give it at home and I have really started to notice the benefits of having regular facials. But with so many different types of facials on offer, where does one begin? How do you find one that is right for you? Well, hopefully this blog might help…
I have been lucky enough to experience a few different types of facials recently, so I thought I would share my experiences with you in one post.
Sarah Bradden is an independent therapist offering a very different kind of facial. I went to her practice just off the Kings Road, which happens to be in a room in the stunning home that belongs to her friend. Being in a such a beautiful and inviting home instantly made me feel more relaxed, as did Sarah, who has a very warm and reassuring way about her. My measure of a good therapist is always how quickly I feel the need to unravel. And with Sarah, it wasn’t long before I started to open up and offload. I have to admit that I was quite nervous to begin with, as I have experienced acupuncture before and found it quite painful. However, the accupuncture that I had experienced in the past was to treat a severe muscle spasm, and Sarah assured me that this treatment would be quite different. While I am not a massive fan of needles, I am always up for trying new things and I do believe that sometimes, if there’s no pain, there’s no gain.
To begin, Sarah does a full medical consultation and then she takes a tongue diagnosis. ‘What on earth is that?’, I hear you ask. Well, Sarah asked me to stick out my tongue while she had a really good look with her torch. I can’t pretend that I wasn’t ever so slightly cringing at this point. “Oh goodness me, I have coffee breath’ and ‘My tongue is probably really furry and gross’ thoughts darting around my head. But I did also think about something my mum always says. You can always tell if you’re sickening for something by looking at your tongue. So I found this bit really fascinating, as Sarah was able to detect a stomach complaint that I had been experiencing for a few days. I won’t go into too much detail on this point, but without me saying a word, Sarah had pinpointed the issue and was also able to bring some relief with the accupuncture during the treatment.
After the tongue diagnosis and consultation I hopped onto the bed and Sarah began a cleansing ritual which was very relaxing. I was feeling pretty tense and a little hot and sweaty by this point, knowing that the needling was not far away. Sarah reassured me and talked me through everything in detail, every step of the way. The first needles that went in were a little uncomfortable, but Sarah would warn me if a particular point was likely to be a bit more tender than others, so I could take deep breaths and steel myself. I am going to be honest and tell you that I did quite a lot of deep breathing and there were a few ‘owwwwwws’ followed by nervous laughter, during the needling process.
Sarah put quite a few needles in my ears and in various points in my face. Some were definitely more tender than others but the discomfort disappears after a few seconds. The intradermal needles that Sarah uses work to relax facial tissue, define, sculpt, and encourage renewed circulation. They focus on rejuventating, re-energising and address all signs of skin concerns by stimulating and repairing skin mechanisms from within the dermis. She placed a needle in a persistent spot that I had had for weeks and it was completely gone within days of the treatment. She also works the micro system using ultra fine body or ear needles to help balance and heal the body. I had several needles placed in my ankles and feet. Once all the needles are in place (it’s worth mentioning that Sarah does not over needle on the first treatment) she applies a mask to encourage collagen growth, reduce skin redness and it also has deep hydrating benefits. She then uses state of the art LED light therapy (see Darth Vader pic below) to certain areas of the face and body (I had the lights placed on my tummy) to help with any healing or imbalances. It’s a non-invasive technique credited by NASA research, which aims to re-programme the skin’s ability to adapt to the ageing process, promote internal healing, collagen and elastin and address skin concerns. Still with me?! Good, because I am about to tell you about the best bit of the whole treatment. Sarah finishes with THE most relaxing reflexology which left me floating in a deep state of relaxation. I think you can tell from the photos above. Immediately after the treatment my face was definitely more defined and my skin was glowing. There were a few marks left from where some of the needles had gone in, but these disappeared completely within the hour.
I had a very relaxing facial at home with Balance Me’s Head Facialist, Mandy. I am a big fan of the Balance Me range and use many of their products, so it was lovely to experience this facial at home. If you are looking for a more traditional facial using natural products and facial massage then the good news is that you will soon be able to find your nearest Balance Me trained therapist and book an ‘at home’ treatment. These are the products that I use and love.
A couple of weeks ago, on the snowiest day that London has seen in years, I went along to the Dr Sebagh London Clinic on Wimpole Street to experience a Dr Sebagh Supreme facial. Tine, the lead super facialist at the clinic, welcomed me into the large treatment room with her beaming smile and after a chat about my skin concerns (and extreme weather conditions!) she asked me to remove my jewellery and my top. I then climbed onto the heated bed and was cocooned by warm blankets while watching the snow fall heavily outside. After trudging through a blizzard to get to the clinic, it was a beautiful moment of tranquility and I felt so relaxed and cosy.
The facial began with the traditional make up removal and double cleanse using the Dr Sebagh Foaming Cleanser (£28) and the Rose De Vie Cream Cleanser (£32) Next, the Deep Exfoliation Mask (£59) is applied which works to remove the dead layers of the skin. Tine recommends using this product once or twice a week. Then the Skin Perfecting Mask (£42) is applied and after this, Tine begins the lymphatic drainage and facial massage using the Rose de Vie Serum (£129). Tine has the most incredible technique which works the muscles under your skin. Think intense HIIT workout, but for your skin. She worked the knots in my jaw and under my cheekbones (I am a tooth grinder) and I could feel the tension in my face washing away. I told Tine how much I enjoyed this bit and she suggested that I do it at home. So I have started giving myself a good facial massage every night and am experiencing far less jaw ache as a result. Tine combines her more traditional methods with the new technology and used the Hydrafacial machine and HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultra-Sound) on me. HIFU is radio frequency which tightens your skin. If you have ever experienced laser hair removal, it is very similar to this. In places (such as under the jawline) it can feel a little hot and bit like an elastic band pinging against your skin. Not at all painful but in places it made my fists clench. After this, the Serum Repair (£69) and Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream (£79) are applied to tighten and brighten the complexion. This pure Vitamin C in powder form is like a shot of energy for the skin and is said to be the wonder weapon against ageing. Tine recommends using a 5p amount every day. To finish she applies the High Maintenance Cream (£95) and Sun-City *SPF 30 Protection Cream. *currently out of stock* At some point during the treatment (I can’t remember exactly when as if I wasn’t chatting I was in a deep state of relaxation!) Tine also applied a mask and moisturising treatment to my hands. Definitely the part of my body that I neglect the most!
Amazing products and technology aside, what made this facial so incredibly special and unforgettable was Tine. She is so passionate about health and skincare and we covered so much in the time that I was there. But it wasn’t just her 20 year’s experience as a facialist that made an impression, it was her vibrant personality. She has an indescribable energy which is both uplifting and grounding at the same time. I left with glowing, plumped skin and a renewed sense of wanting to look after my skin and overall health and wellbeing. I have started having a shot of goodness every day (a recipe suggested by Tine, which includes a granny smith apple, fresh ginger, fresh turmeric and black pepper) and I am trying (and failing!) to drink more water.
Next week I am going for my first of three monthly facials at Medicetics. I have experienced their incredible ‘red-carpet’ Hydrafacial before (you can read my review here) and after my consultation with Dr. Dondos, I have started using a couple of products that she recommended which include the Neo-Strata Cleanser and the Elta MD Tinted SPF 45. For anyone that is looking to take their skin care to a cosmeceutical level, I would highly recommend a consultation with Dr. Vicky Dondos. She has a very refreshing take on fighting the signs of ageing and is an advocate of the ‘less is more’ approach when it comes to botox and fillers. You can read a very interesting piece about why Dr. Dondos believes in pulling back on botox when her clients are in their 40s in a piece written by Susannah Taylor for the Huffington Post.
To finish with, I wanted to share a few things that I do to help maintain a healthy complexion.
As always, thank you for reading!