I’ve always considered myself to be blessed with good skin. My teenage years weren’t full of skincare angst -- I never had to cover spots with toothpaste (what were they thinking?), chalky concealer that was at least one shade too dark or an emergency fringe. When I hit my late 20s, I suddenly had a t-zone and blemishes. My skin dried out during pregnancy and gave me a brief period when my skin was actually balanced. A year post-baby and my skin is dry, dehydrated and oily. So, with three skin types in five years, what do you do?
With all the resources of spa, I called on uber glamorous skincare brand Natura Bissé. Their first standalone spa in Westfield opened in January so it was time to try a facial on their terms, with my husband and little one safely ensconced in Playworld, handily just a couple of halls away from the spa.
I was booked in for the Diamond Cocoon Experience, a facial which protects the skin from environmental damage – pollution being the main culprit. I arrived slightly flustered from coaxing my one-year-old who has just started walking and now refuses to go in his pushchair across London. The scents, soft colour palette and the warm tea all made me breathe a sigh of relief. Here is a temple of spa.
There are just three treatment rooms in the spa, each with wide and heated beds, music you can choose (I went for classic) and 99.9 per cent pure filtered air so your post-facial skin isn’t instantly bombarded with stressors.
My therapist, Jennifer, explained that the facial would cover three main steps – liberate, fortify and shield. With La Marseillaise now running through my mind (who needs liberté, égalité, fraternité when you have liberate, fortify and shield?) Jennifer started the treatment with a double cleanse, using an active charcoal cleanser which gently tingled as she foamed the product against my skin. She applied a light serum to hydrate and then an intense acid-rich exfoliation. Normally I’m pretty ok with peels, my skin is quite thick so I barely know that they are going on. This was intense: as in ‘am I going to have to plead with my therapist to take it off?’ intense. She removed the mask and applied a prebiotic serum and then a hydrating mask. I began to relax…
Jennifer massaged my face and used a cooling jade roller to sculpt the areas that were perhaps not as tight as they used to be, my jawline and eyes. The final step was the ‘shield’, a very light film which, according to Jennifer prevents pollution particles from sticking to the skin and protects the skins against high-energy visible or “blue” light. It felt beautifully light on my skin, no post-facial remorse from me.
The treatment aims to purify, oxygenate, hydrate and strengthen the skin. And yes, I’d agree with each of them. My skin felt cleaner and smoother than it has in a very long time, it felt like a mask had been lifted and I left the room with fresh new skin. Although the peel was intense, it works across skin types from my thick and oily skin to more sensitive skin. My skin looked and felt so much better for days.
Now, if only they could find a way ease my dark circles…
My new favourite book and podcast: I have no brain space at the moment so I’m re-visiting old favourites including American Gods by Neil Gaiman.