Getting a proper facial just isn’t very British is it.
And I mean a proper facial, not just a random one in a random spa in a random hotel that you randomly thought you’d have because you’re in a hotel with a spa and isn’t that the sort of thing you’re supposed to do.
I mean a facial with someone who is only one step down from a dermatologist, who has seen all skins of all types for years and years and who can often suggest inexpensive tweaks to your skin regime that will solve – or at least alleviate – whatever’s bugging you about that visage of yours. Maybe you don’t even know what’s wrong. Maybe you just want to stop looking so puffy, knackered and baggy. (I make no judgment, just speaking from personal experience.)
But, like I said, it’s not very British. Deep down we think it’s probably all nonsense – that a better idea is to give our faces a scrub with some Pear’s Soap and a flannel and hope for the best.
But perhaps we could re-think this, and maybe consider going for a proper facial, but in a very British way (i.e only once or twice a year).
I have only ever had two proper facials. One was at the Skin Health Spa in Marylebone. I went to see them when I was 23 and fantastically depressed about that particular bout of acne. That was less of a facial and more of a hardcore course of glycolic facial wash and skin peels – but it certainly worked.
And the other proper facial I’ve had was just now, with Mandy Oxley Swan, who does a lot of work with Balance Me skin care (who in turn, are doing some work with ME right now, so sent me off for a facial).
Proper facialists have the faint air of a really good GP about them, mentally taking in the whole you in order to work out what’s going on in your face. She slayed me with her diagnosis that some facialists will perform “extraction” (i.e. squeeing spots) in order to look like they’re doing something. I knew it!!!!!!! She double-slayed me with her “yeah right, get real” face when I told her I needed to stop drinking, especially white wine. This woman is realistic.
No one facial will change your face forever, but Mandy sent me off with a simple skin regime using mostly Balance Me products but also recommending a Ren tonic exfoliator ; the Pixi Glow Tonic I have raved about in the past started irritating my skin, (my hero products ALWAYS inevitably turn against me), and the REN tonic is much more mild but will also work to dissolve those tiny cysts.
The point is that a good facialist ought to be a little bit like a good GP or dentist for your skin, setting you off down a path of skin health, requiring only annual or bi-annual check-ups.
Mandy is based in Stoke Newington, for any North Londoners. I think I have a discount code but I am working in a cafe today and haven’t got it with me. I will double check when I get back and add it if I have it. PROFESH AT ALL TIMESZ.
Pamela Marshall at Mortar and Milk is in Fulham and comes highly recommended to me by my friend Madeleine who really knows about such things. Pamela is very booked up but I am advised by Madeleine that one ought to simply get on the list and wait one’s turn.
How about you? Are you very un-British and have a brilliant facialist that you can recommend? Please leave a comment below in the handy box.
The full list of products recommended to me at the end of my facial were:
Rose Otto Face Oil – to combat some redness I have around my nose (nice). This also smells uh-mazing. Get the Rose Otto Body wash if you just fancy a treat and don’t need any redness-combatting.
Pure Skin Face Wash – to cleanse without irritating; I had always assumed I didn’t have sensitive skin but I think that sometimes my breakouts are an expression of sensitivity.
Balancing Face Moisturiser – to moisturise without clogging pores (I use this in the morning and the Rose oil in the evening)
And here again is the REN exfoliating tonic, which I am using to smooth out tiny cysts