The Chairman looks back on a year of monthly facials

Jan 24 2020

Sybaritic Spy

Spa Spy

3 min read

Is having a facial every month worth it? Our Chief Spa Spy says yes. Here's why...

January is named for the Roman god Janus, the god of doorways and gates, beginnings and endings. He is usually shown with two faces, one looking backwards and one looking forwards. Each year, I look back at last year’s resolutions to see how successful they are. Have a nice holiday – tick, eat less meat – tick, start Pilates – tick, practise the piano… not so good.

Having regular facials was my key resolution. That may sound odd coming from the Chief Spa Spy. Facials are a part of my job: new treatments, revamped treatments, high tech treatments and sometimes just plain weird treatments (bird poo facial anyone?). My resolution was about seeing a specialist and making a long-term plan to take care of my skin. I’m not interested in anti-ageing, I just want to keep what I have in good condition.

Louise Thomas-Minns is a skin health therapist I had used before. I like her treatments and feel she really knows her stuff, so in the enthusiasm of the moment I booked a facial with her every 4-6 weeks for the whole year. Louise rose to the challenge and came up with treatments that would combine to improve my skin. And improve it they did.

Louise focused on rehydrating my skin (too much coffee, not enough water!). A combination of gentle peels, deep cleaning masks, rich moisturizers and wonderful lifting massage makes my skin feel bright and glowing each time. Louise also began using Dermalux LED® Phototherapy which helps to rebuild collagen and reduce lines. As a claustrophobe I found it very hard to lie with a large curved light very close to my face but did some deep breathing to get through it. On her advice I added a night-time serum to my regular cleanse and moisturise routine and then an eye cream to help soften the smile wrinkles. I don’t hate them – they are a sign of a life enjoyed – but I would prefer to keep them gentle.

The major advantage of seeing the same person every month is that Louise could really get to know my skin and see how it reacted both to the treatments and to my everyday life. I could ask for advice and together we could experiment. Louise also tailored each session to meet the needs of not only my skin but also my stress levels. Lying on a warm treatment bed, doing some deep breathing and letting Louise work her magic on my skin is pretty close to a therapy session!

By about halfway through the year people started to notice. Some simply said, "Your skin looks good." (Thank you, friends). A few asked if I had anything ‘done’! One even suggested that I must have a Dorian Grey style picture in the attic that was ageing for me!

So, will I continue this year? You bet! Despite the cost and the difficulty of finding the time. It’s an investment in my skin of course, but it’s also an investment in me. For an hour and a half, I just look after myself and switch off from the world. My buzzword for 2020 is going to be ‘self care’. I have plenty of other things on my 2020 new year’s resolution list to work through, (including piano lessons) but a regular facial is now a vital bit of my self care.

Louise Thomas-Minns can be contacted in Norwich 01603 633633 or in London 0203 3262971. Or visit


Sybaritic Spy

24th January 2020

Spy Likes:

Warm treatment beds; fragrant steam rooms; therapists who listen to what you say; unexpected treats such as back massages that start with hot towels on your feet.

Spy Dislikes:

Small towels; crowded changing rooms; black mould in the showers; therapists who sniff; anyone who doesn't take my lavender allergy seriously - until I'm actually sick on them!

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