A super special six-step facial
No I’m not having my memory erased or being connected to the National Grid, this is the rejuvenation stage of my rather impressive HydraFacial …
I can’t remember when and where I lost my youthful bloom (if you find it, can you let me know?) but when I heard that the HydraFacial, which helps to restore your skin’s healthy gorgeousness, was available at the award-winning S-Thetics clinic in Bristol, I booked myself in.
The HydraFacial is no superficial facial massage using essential oils but an in-depth, six-stage treatment which combines high tech with botanical extracts amongst other things, to really – and I mean, really – clean, rehydrate and nourish the skin. It all starts off with a detox. This drains the lymphatic system (the network of thin tubes which take away fluid from tissues, cell waste and helps with immunity – a little biology lesson there), allows new lymph back in and increases blood flow and oxygen to the skin to tone and firm. Sounds complex but all it involved was the aesthetician moving a small suction tube gently over the surface of my face, which I could hardly feel. Step 2 is exfoliation and cleansing but we’re not talking about a puff of cotton wool and a dab of cleanser. Using small circular movements, the aesthetician used a little gadget to remove dead cells on the surface of the skin and push a serum of lactic acid, glucosamine and various botanical extracts beneath.
The third stage uses a glycol and salicylic solution to loosen debris (the polite word for blackheads) in the pores and brighten the skin, ready for step 4, which is removing them. I won’t show you but the aesthetician showed me the amount of gunk (dead skin cells etc) that came away during the cleansing process. It was bad. Step 5 is the turn of the tongue-twisting Hydrafacial Vortex Fusion technology to hydrate the skin with nutrients like hyaluronic acid and antioxidants to counteract damaging free radicals, peptides and multi-peptides (got that?). Almost there, step 6 is rejuvenation and where I started channelling a cyberman, as red and infrared LED light reduced redness, stimulated collagen and helped my skin produce vitamin D. This is the facial where science and beauty meet and although it’s not the same as a facial given by hand, it still felt soothing and relaxing.
There’s no downtime, so apart from a little pinkness for about an hour afterwards, I was ready for my close up, Mr de Mille. My skin looked clear, sort of firmer and ultra healthy, with no peeling or dryness, although the recommendation is to wear a 30 SPF sunscreen for about a week afterwards. You can have a one-off treatment for an instant lift or weekly for up to six weeks, tailor-made if you’ve got a skin concern.
The cost? It’s not ultra cheap at £140 but the results were impressive and that’s after only one session. After your treatment, you could go round the corner and have a mooch around the Arnolfini art gallery (and cool café) or stroll over to the far side of the harbourside where you’ll find the very newly opened Wapping Wharf’s Cargo 1 and Somerset’s super chef Josh Eggleton’s new Chicken Shed alongside other independent cafes and shops, all in old shipping containers.
Want to try it yourself? S-Thetics are holding a Red Carpet event on Wednesday 1 February, 10am-5pm where you can have an Express HydraFacial for just £30. You need to make an appointment on 0117 910 2409 or email email@example.com.
S-Thetics, 58 Queen’s Square, Bristol, BS1 4LF. Tel. 0117 910 2409. sthetics.co.uk