The first time you do anything always carries with it a sense of nervousness and excitement. “You have never had a facial?” trilled Paula, my therapist for the hour as I confessed all. You see, for reasons way beyond my comprehension, I have never taken good care of my skin. I started moisturising (sort of) in my second year of university but I only recently discovered the joys of cleansing, toning and moisturising in one go.
A few months ago I boarded a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong. As I reclined in my seat, the stewardesses handed me a gorgeous little toiletry bag. I eagerly unzipped the little blue bag and inside I found miniature samples of Murad, a skin care range that I’d previously unheard of. And for the first time ever on a flight, I cleansed, toned and moisturised before I reclined my bed and actually slept. I was sure I felt the benefits on arrival in Hong Kong and I was hooked.
Upon arrival back into London, I was happy to find a salon that performed facials using Murad products. Essential Therapie is situated just off Fleet Street and within perfect reach for busy city types, perhaps the most likely people to want to wind down at the end of a busy working day.
The salon offers three types of facial – Murad, Dermalogica and John Masters Organic.
Murad – Cosmeceutical Range. It is a results driven brand that contains the most active ingredients to give maximum benefits in minimal time.
Dermalogica – Cosmetic Range. It has active ingredients, but is considered less active than a cosmeceutical brand.
John Masters Organics – Organic Range. It uses certified organic ingredients that contain no parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, petro-chemicals, synthetic fragrances and artificial colours. This is suitable for clients who have very sensitive skins or who prefer no to use chemicals on the skin.
As it was my first time and I am naturally fair, Paula decided to perform the AHA Rapid Exfoliator Facial (£66). The words that then came out of her mouth were music to my ears. “You have very soft and smooth skin, you must have good genes.” I had kind of figured this out as I have never had any major issues, I rarely break out in spots and I haven’t exactly been kind to my skin over the years.
Paula started off by explaining the facial process and set to work cleansing twice while my face was sprayed with steam. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the warm mist enveloping my face and the lather of the cleanser cleaning away the remnants of the mornings make up application.
The next stage was to apply the glycolic with giant cotton buds. Paula explained that there would be a slight tingling feeling or a minor irritation feeling. I felt a slight tingle but most was dispelled due to the soft giant cotton buds that circled my face during the application. It was left on my skin for three minutes before being removed with a hot towel.
Paula then performed what is called extraction. Sounds scary but I was surprised to find that this meant she took two tissues and used them to squeeze out any impurities. She was slightly disappointed as I didn’t have a great deal of blockage as my pores are very small, which I was told is a good thing.
After a few minutes, I was told the hard bit was over and it was now time for the massage. Paula took a squeeze of massage oil and set to work on my face, incorporating my arms and neck. After a massage that, if I had a choice, would have lasted all night, my face was covered in a cream mask, cotton pads soaked with hydrating toner and a lavender scented eye pillow and I was left to rest for approximately 10mins. When Paula arrived back in the room, she whipped out another hot towel and wiped the remnants off my face. But the biggest surprise was still to come.
I popped to the bathroom following my treatment and was almost shocked as I looked in the mirror – I looked 17 again and my skin was positively glowing. I couldn’t have been happier.
After my consultatoin, I was provided with a tailored prescription so that I knew what products to continue using. A week later, my products arrived – AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, Refreshing Cleanser, Hydrating Toner, Renewing Eye Cream, Active Radience Serum and Essential-C Day Moisture SPF30. I have been using the products for a week and I swear, I’m never looking back. The dark circles under my eyes have diminished, my face feels clean and toned and firmer. My skin is by no means bad but now is the time to prevent it from being bad in the future and Murad is helping me on my way to doing just that.
Food For Think was a guest at Essential Therapie
39 Whitefriars Street
020 7353 1895