I don’t know about you but I tend to have a facial every three to four months. I cleanse my face daily, moisturise and occasionally use a mask or a scrub. Facials for me are a treat but a necessity too, as certain things should be done by professionals, especially when one wants to look good. I also don’t want to resort to cosmetic procedures, so ‘maintenance’ is important for me.
I used to see the ‘high priestess’ of facials Anastasia Achilleos and loved her hands and the glow my face acquired after an hour and a half with her. Then she moved to Home house and it took ages for her to open the spa there, due to the reasons unknown to me. Now she is on maternity leave and no one knows for sure when she will be coming back. I had a mini facial at the Home house spa with Holly in September and loved her sweet demeanour and soft hands. We discussed various facials that she does and I got curious about the Environ facial, as I kept on hearing about this brand started by a South African plastic surgeon Dr Des Fernandes, who was a pioneer in introducing vitamin A into skincare formulations.
The spa at the Home house is tiny but it feels like a quite, secret grotto. Holly cleaned and steamed my face which felt really relaxing. After doing an extraction, she has put a thick layer of cream on my face and started working with the machine which sends tiny currents into your skin layers, making the cream and vitamins go much deeper into the epidermis. The tingling sensation wasn’t unpleasant and the cream felt nice and warm on my face. The next stage was like nothing I have ever experienced in facials before-and believe me, I have had a few! Holly mixed a thick paste and painted it on my face. The concussion felt like a warm, stretched play-do on my face. She then attached the special ‘crocodile’ grips into the top of my ‘mask’ and then started giving me a relaxing leg and feet massage. I was lying down with my eyes closed but instead of feeling relaxed I felt tense. The currents stimulating my face were making me ‘see’ shooting stars and the mask felt a little rigid, making me feel like a woman in an iron mask. It wasn’t uncomfortable but my body was feeling defensive and the tension was making me feel uneasy. After what felt like a good 10 minutes Holly gently took the ‘mask’ off and my face felt all plumped up and firm.
Holly did warn me that the active ingredients in the Environ formulations may make my face have some breakouts as it takes a little while for your skin to get used to this ‘active’ skincare and true to her word, I got three or four pimples in a few days-moi, who never gets pimples. Definitely not something that you would want to make an appearance just before Christmas but then, I have been warned.
While I think that Holly is a lovely facialist I don’t think I will want to repeat that particular experience. I don’t mind extractions-an unpleasant but necessary evil, but this skin stimulation made me feel uncomfortable physically and that’s not something that I look forward to in a facial. It’s not easy for women to find time for themselves and when they do, one wants to unwind and enjoy, instead of feeling tense and convincing herself that what is being done will be good for her long-term. An experience? Yes! Whether you want to try it is up to you.
An Environ facial with Holly at Anastasia Achilleos Method spa at Home House (1h30min £151)
Tel. 0207 670 2073