Sherron Holder-Culver works at SP&Co, a health & fitness company located in the basement of Michael Hoppen gallery in Chelsea. Funnily enough, I often pop into the gallery to view their exhibitions, but somehow the fact that there is a gym and a place with interesting health and beauty practitioners downstairs, has escaped me-so much for priding myself on having a sharp eye!
I came in on a quiet sunny Saturday morning and was looking forward to meeting Sherron and trying a Forlle’d Hyalogy oxygen hydraderm facial. Sherron, a lovely woman with masses of beautiful thick curls held away from her face by a red ribbon and a wide smile on her face, welcomed me in and took me to the changing room, asking me whether I wanted a drink ( later we both failed in our efforts to open a tight lidded bottle of CocoJax water, which made both of us laugh, as each one of us thought we had some muscle power in our arms ).
The room where Sherron works is small but intimately cosy and warm, with wooden shelves at the back housing various products, including one of my favourite brand’s ( Ole Henriksen ) and fluffy brown towels covering the treatment bed.
Forlle’d is a Japanese brand that uses nano technology in their skincare formulations and Sherron is working exclusively with them in the UK ( while she doesn’t use all of the brand’s products, she is very complimentary about their research and products-I found it reassuringly helpful to know that she is a selective therapist that mixes and matches brands in order to achieve ultimate results ). The facial that I was having is aimed at replenishing essential vitamins, amino and hyaluronic acids and ceramides in your dermis layer-in general this combination is available via injections or mesotherapy ( neither of which I have had in the past and nor do I plan to have in the immediate future-this girl prefers nature & nurture to anything needle related ). The treatment began with me getting cosy under the covers and Sherron putting a warm compress over my feet, which almost instantly relaxed my body-don’t forget all the reflexology points on your feet that play a role in relaxing you and easing the tension.
With my hair pulled away from my face, Sherron started with a double cleanse-Forlle’d squalane oil based cleanser cleared my skin from the effect of pollution residue, while the foaming cleanser ( with palm oilbase ) finished the cleansing process. Both cleansers leave your acid levels intact-Sherron holds firm that one’s skin shouldn’t feel ‘squeaky clean’ after you finish cleansing.
This relaxing cleansing ritual was followed by a very indulgent hydration of the skin with pure filter water through the platinum head ( I love clever gadgets ) which opens the pores and lets the products penetrate deeper. Extraction shouldn’t aggravate your skin, according to Sherron ( in my case, the apples of my cheeks, where I tend to get occasional redness ), the aim instead is to get the balance of the skin right. The area around my nose ( this area on our face is prone to congestion, however it isn’t that easy to clean, unless you go to the facialist or dermatologist ) was gently but effectively attended to and I have to say that there was no redness post treatment.
I am a very big fan of Ole Henriksen ( as my past posts about him and his treatments can testify ) and so is Sherron, who used to work at Ole Henriksen space at Bluebird. She actually knows Ole in person and has done some training with him back in LA. As a consequence she is also a huge admirer of his and uses his products during the treatments and facials that she does. Ole Henriksen chamomile mask was applied to my face ( it smells so nicely I think of summer and green fields with an occasional daisy popping up its head ). Forlle’d P-effect reliance gel then gets applied all over my face , which acts as a perfect skin supplement of the skin, as it contains CoQ10, marine collagen & elastin, as well as a stable form of brightening vitamin C. This gel boosts skin’s moisture retaining function-quite useful be it in the warm or cold time of the year ( the product feels like a slightly liquefied gel and the skin feels remarkably soft after application, as if it has a protective barrier over it ). At the same time an oxygen mask is placed all over my face-well, it’s a plastic mask that sort of stands a small distance away from your face and while very pure oxygen is sprayed all over your face, boosting your skin’s clarity and luminosity. While your face is getting an oxygen treatment, Sherron gives a relaxing foot massage ( you can choose to have an arm one, if you prefer ) and you also have soothing neck and shoulder massage. By the time that my ‘oxygen’ session was almost done, I started feeling slightly woozy and had to ask Sherron to remove it from me. Sometimes a good thing can feel like it is too much, like going skiing and feeling slightly light headed when you go up the mountain slopes-it takes time for the body to adjust. The same applies to oxygen in pure form-we live in very polluted environment and aren’t used to fresh air in the city. Sherron says that if a client is claustrophobic or weary, then they can choose to have ‘an oxygen mouth instead of having a full face’ treatment.
The facial is finished by the oxygen rich spray ( mixed with Forlle’d patented ionised platinum lotion which contains vitamins, ceramides, amino acids, copper, silver and gold, all of which help to stimulate fibroblasts ) that helps to revive, condition and hydrate the skin, as well as boosting collagen and elastin production.
While Sherron has kind, dancing eyes, she is a very calm and knowledgeable practitioner who is very curious and is constantly learning and researching new things. The equipment that she uses gets imported from Japan ( like an ultra-sonic spatula that boosts circulation and has a lifting effect on the skin ) but when it comes to skincare brands, she prefers to mix and match, in order to best suit her clients needs. She is like an ‘animated chemist’ who wants to be ‘in the know’-it took about six months of research of Forlle’d ( this brand is quite popular in Russia, in Moscow in particular there are several spas that use their products ) and she only chose the ones that don’t contain ‘blue parabens’.
When I ask Sherron how this facial came about, she tells me that it is ‘a clinical facial with great added touches’ and it aims to relax the client and get the best results for their skin’. She likes using essential oils and firmly believes in their benefits, so she mixes essential oils for her clients but says that one needs to be selective about which one to use. For example you need to avoid pumpkin essential oil if you have dry skin, while oil like neem and tea tree are good anti-fungals ( helpful if you are prone to skin break-outs ).
We both agree that it’s not about the fancy packaging but about the efficacy and suitability of a product to the client’s skin, that’s why Sherron is particularly complimentary about such brands as This Works, Micheline Arcier, Ole Henriksen, Aromatherapy Associates and Forlle’d.
What really appealed to me is that Sherron chooses to treat her clients holistically, carefully ascertaining their needs and their skin, giving advice and sometimes making products tailored especially for them. If need be, she will send you to a nutritionist or dermatologist, as well as educate your about skincare and well-being. As she puts it to me ‘the more you educate, the more the person wants to learn. I don’t feel I should short-charge people. You wouldn’t do it to yourself, why do it to others?’
Sherron has Barbadian roots and was brought up in the environment of open door policy, celebrating people and food. Her mother was a cake maker and came from a well-off family, while her father wasn’t as well-off, so really wanted to impress his wife-to-be and her family. Sherron’s mother was nervous of Western medicines, so she tried to create lotions and potions and this love of creativity and mixing, clearly rubbed off on Sherron, who initially mixed products for herself and then progressed to mixing them for the mothers in her children’s nursery and then started selling them on Portobello road. She did a course in massage but really wanted to heal people with good, effective ingredients.
She is an independent spirit who always followed her path, be it while working at Berkeley hotel spa, Le Colon Hotel in Kensington or Oliver’s( ‘a fabulous organic store in Kew gardens’ was how Sherron described it to me ) and Revival( the biggest health centre on Chiswick High street at the time that Sherron worked there ) before ending up working at Bluebird.
What I very much enjoyed was talking to Sherron and learning about my skin-she ‘re-assessed’ it several time during the facial, and her comments made sense to me. She aims to tailor make every treatment to your needs, so you can choose a facial ranging from bespoke maintenance, to glycolic peel with oxygen, stem cell anti-ageing, derma-rolling with oxygen & red lights or an express one if you are short on time. Issues like wrinkles, acne scarring or large pores are addressed.
In my case I walk away with advice that I don’t necessarily need to cleanse twice a day. As long as I do a thorough job in the evening, then I can just do a quick wash with warm water in the morning. Another advice is to mix equal parts of lavender and tea tree oils in good quality olive oil ( the one where you can see some residue at the bottom of a glass bottle) and then add some minced garlic, which has anti-bacterial properties. While I tell Sherron there and then that I don’t think I will be using garlic on my face if I can help it .) I really value the depth of analysis and the care that Sherron bestowed on me and the knowledge that she kindly imparts, making me think about my skincare needs and routine-a very good thing! She warned me that I might have some redness around the apples of my cheeks, as my skin re-adjusts itself but it wasn’t drastic and within a few days I noticed an improvement in my skin’s clarity.
To learn more about Sherron and Stephen Price & Co, go to :http://www.spandco.co.uk/SherronHolderProfile.html
3 Jubilee Place, Chelsea, London SW3 7TD tel. 0207 351 3332
For a full list of treatments that Sherron offers, go to: http://www.spandco.co.uk/pressreleases/treatmentmenu.pdf
Facials from £65 for an express one
p.s I was very lucky to get some Forlle’s samples from Sherron and have to say that I was quite impressed with the results, as well as the slight sci-fi feel of the products ( the main aim of this skincare range is to power the outstanding abilities of hyaluronic acid, a substance that occurs in our skin naturally. Forlle’d developped low-molecular hyaluronic acid which allows the skin to remain and feel more moisturised for longer-you do need to drink at least a litre of water a day irrespective of what skincare or bodycare you use).
You can use the products three ways:
–‘easy care’: you cleanse the face with P-effect clearance cleansing or P-effect re-purerance wash and then apply P-effect reliance gel, which is a wonderful moisturiser.
–‘basic care’: unlike easy care, here you use P-effect refining lotion ( it has a rich texture and works on the skin from the inside, as it seals moisture by acting as a barrier-the effect is quite impressive in a subtle way ) and P-effect basing emulsion in place of gel
-if your skin feels rough or dry, then you use beauty serum P-effect essence( this serum is unlike any other I tried in the sense that it has the power to penetrate deep beneath ) after cleansing the face, adding cream instead of emulsion.