MY LIFE IN...FACIALS
Having a facial might seem like an expensive treat, but I would argue it is essential for both relaxation and glowing skin – and after three decades as a beauty journalist testing them around the world I like to think I know a thing or two
I was an ancient 24 years old before I had my first facial and it was a revelation. Prior to this I had been travelling the world and studying at university and my ‘skincare routine’ was wiping my make-up off with baby oil and that was about it. Then I ventured into the world of magazine journalism as a beauty writer and suddenly a whole new world of products and treatments opened up to me.
Over the last three decades, as a fashion and beauty journalist, I have been fortunate enough to try many, many facials all over the UK and the world. I feel I have tried every facial on the planet: from a ‘placenta facial’ in Switzerland; four female therapists pounding my skin with pineapple grains in Sri Lanka; an 80-year-old doing the best ‘skin extraction’ ever on me in Palm Springs, USA; a facial using ‘ingredients picked during a full moon’ - in Sydney. In the process I have also become an expert on what works for skin and what doesn’t.
Facials to me are a chance to lie down and do nothing for an hour (when do any of us do that, apart from in bed at night?) and just relax. You totally give yourself over to someone else and if the therapist is good you will feel calm and all your cares (and tight muscles) will fade away.
Key ingredients for me are a beauty room that is warm enough to strip off in but not too hot you pass out. The room must also be spotlessly clean and smell good (burners with essential oils often do the trick). Forget tinkly music. I want silence or classical music played very quietly. I do not want bells jangling every ten minutes (facial in Thailand).
The bed must be comfortable and wide enough to fidget on and there must a towel underneath and on top of me (hygiene is paramount). The therapist needs to put me at ease – it is not my job to make him or her feel comfortable – and explain in detail the treatment that is about to happen.
After that it is a mixture of the ingredients and machines used combined with the therapist’s ability that will mean you leave either with an angry, red face that fights against what has just happened or you have clean, glowing skin that looks better than it ever did before.
The expert facialist that I have gone to repeatedly for the last 17 years is Rani Mirza in Knightsbridge, London (www.ranimirza.co.uk) - she has become such a friend that she even came to my wedding…I am divorced now, but let's not dwell on that for this blog post.
If you think that having a facial once a year is enough then ensure autumn is your season of choice. After the summer months, skin really does need some TLC. Time spent in the sun, exposure to chlorine and air pollution can all lead to blocked pores and very dry skin.
I will do another blog post very soon about the latest facials around and what is best for different skin types. Model below is not me but I love her natural looking skin!
Do comment on this blog and say where you go for a brilliant facial and any tips you have?