The Cold and Flu facial sounded like a brilliant idea when all around us, people are coughing and sneezing. Could a facial really help us look and feel fabulous again when laid low with a horrid bug?
What happened before the treatment.
Arriving at the Michaeljohn Beauty and Medispa flagship salon on Albermarle Street, W1 is very much a Mayfair experience with its grand black marbled entrance, huge vase of lilies on the reception desk and immense glittering chandeliers.
I sat in the reception area of the hair salon before being met by my therapist Hayley who led me downstairs to the suite of treatment rooms, dropping my coat and bag with the coat check lady on the way.
In the treatment room I was given a supplement tablet containing zinc, Echinacea, omega 3 and vitamins D & C - all associated with boosting the immune system. Then I was asked to take my top off and lie down. The massage bed was contoured and comfortable and I very snug wrapped in blankets and towels. The lighting was low and the colours very muted so it was easy to close my eyes and relax very quickly.
The very first thing that Hayley did was hold her hands over my face and ask to me to take three slow and deep breaths. Her hands were covered in eucalyptus and tea tree oils – both known for their antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties. Inhaling deeply and slowly really made me start to relax and let go, so it was doubly powerful. This process was repeated several times throughout the facial and was a really lovely touch.
After cleansing, Haley directed the steamer onto my face while she massaged my hands and lower arms with oil before putting a giant heated glove on to my hand and then repeating the same process on the other side. These stayed on - and stayed hot - for the rest of the treatment. Next came the extraction, the deepest and most thorough that I have ever had. It was mildly painful and Hayley did ask if it was too much but as I pointed out, if you have been through childbirth, you can take a little blackhead extraction.
Hayley painted the beautifully textured cream face pack on and then stood behind me to do a really lovely strong massage on my neck and shoulders which felt wonderful and must be amazing when the muscles are really tight when laid low with a virus.
Hayley then took off the mask, smoothed warm oil over my face and began a facial massage designed to target blocked sinuses. Lastly a serum and moisturiser were applied and the treatment was completed.
The massage bed was eased into a semi upright position and I was left to come round in my own time. I was then handed a glass cup of delicious lemon and ginger tea with manuka honey.
I felt very relaxed and my skin looked glowing. I asked whether I should put on make-up and Hayley said that foundation and BB creams can clog the skin after a treatment, so she applied mineral makeup with a brush. This is light enough to let the skin breathe but still gives some coverage. Perfect!
Who would like this treatment?
Anyone with the aches, pains and dull complexion of a winter cold could not fail to feel revived by this facial. Hayley told me that it has also proved very effective for hayfever sufferers and those who have recently done a lot of flying.
£85 for 75 minutes
Michaeljohn Beauty & Medispa:
25 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4HU
8 Motcomb Street, SW1X 8JU
14th February 2014
Length size pools; strong swan pipes; seriously deep tissue massages; beautiful views from outside thermal experiences.
Sniffing therapists; cold treatment rooms; hard sell on products.
Behind the scenes