Some brands are very well-known in their own right, thanks to their founders, but it is the people that often work behind the scenes who help enhance your perception of the brand with their knowledge
Last week I had a pleasure of talking to Yen Reis, Skin Laundry founder, who was in town to introduce her skincare brand to the UK in person. We talked about Yen’s own skin issues that resulted in her launching Skin Laundry and the way she combines Asian skin beauty ritual ( which for some women can entail about ten steps and takes time and daily effort, as Asian women, unlike their European counterparts, have more patience and take time and care looking after they skin properly and not jumping from one potion promising magic to another) with the results-driven modern science.
Skin Laundry facial takes only 15 minutes and requires no downtime, the only thing that the facialist would tell you post treatment is:
– don’t undertake heat-generating activities like hot pod yoga or sauna after the treatment (the same day)
– do use a scrub on your face in the evening of the day you have your treatment.
The facial itself is a two-step YAG laser & IPL (intense pulse light) treatment, that is suitable for most skin types. Before you book yourself in, it is worth-while to check out the Skin Laundry website and going through the list of contraindications ( please click here ). The list itself is quite long, but it is reassuring that the brand is thorough with its vetting process – which in many ways is more US than European, as in protect and be protected against litigation. Once you go through the list and sign yourself in at the Skin Laundry counter at Liberty (the screen is immersed in the wooden frame and looks pretty cool), one of Skin Laundry trained professionals ( mine was lovely Miriam ), will take you up to the treatment room on the first floor of Liberty London, which is a cool oasis of calm serenity. Beware though, as the shoe department is right next to the treatment room and will draw you in like a magnet post treatment ( you clever sales people working in-store, giving women two of the things they love at the same time)!
Before the treatment starts, you are given a Skin Laundry facial wipe to take your make-up off ( that was the only point step that I didn’t like, as I prefer to have my face properly cleansed with a product, rather than a face wipe ), then you are ready to climb on the firm, but comfortable treatment bed. Miriam made sure my hair was off my face and then put special glasses over my eyes, to protect them from the bright light, and we were ready to go.
Miriam asked me if I had laser before ( which I confirmed I did ) and tested it on my hand, which felt a bit tingly. Once I confirmed I was comfortable, Miriam proceeded with treating my face with a laser twice – while it’s not uncomfortable, you do feel like electricity static on your face and it smells a bit like the dentist drilling your tooth. Having said that, don’t be put off by the description – I actually felt quite relaxed, even before Miriam said that this smell was ok and my skin was looking good. After two rounds of laser, which evaporates dirt, make-up and bacteria from your pores, a soothing gel is applied liberally all over your skin and your face gets treated with red light, which flashes you will see even with your eyes closed. IPL delivers high intensity pulses of broadband light that helps reduce redness, if you are prone to it, as well as evens out the skin tone. Once this was done, Miriam cleared the gel from my skin & applied Skin Laundry ‘
Advanced Protection Daily Moisturiser with broad spectrum
When we are young, we are eager to explore the world and to try & experience absolutely everything. We are also more susceptible to following trends when it comes to fashion
Located in the quiet enclave of Pavillion Road, in place of what used to be a ground floor children’s store, now it is a 3,000sq/ft space, split between retail and consultation space on the ground floor and seven room treatment clinic upstairs.
When you enter the store, all high ceilings and lots of light, you are welcomed by the smiling & chic staff ( personally I appreciate both male and female perspective on skincare & products & your other half might benefit from advice as well, if he comes with you or on his own), who will happily guide you to the area of your choosing, depending on your needs.
There is a Theory Bar ( you can sit, talk, apply the products and learn the best techniques and tips ). In the future Skinesis dermal experts will host masterclass sessions on subjects like cleansing, using Sarah’s unique experience and application methods. Armed with the right skincare products and tips, you will go home where you will skilfully look after your skin, making sure it looks healthy and beautiful, irrespective of your age. There are also iPad stations, in case you come with kids or your companion, so they will be entertained while you have some ‘me-time’.
I have been already using Su-Man’s skincare and have seen her work at the Anti-Ageing Show in Olympia earlier this year, so when I drove to Su-Man’s home to have a facial with her I had a vague notion what to expect. When Su-Man opened the door & let me in my first thought was ‘my goodness, I want to have a lithe body like hers and such a perfect face as well’. She truly looked like a young girl that day, her long hair in high pigtails, the way the mischievous Pippy Longstocking would wear them and yet she has tremendous wisdom, seriousness and experience radiating from her eyes. Su-Man led me into the tranquil garden, at the back of her house, where her treatment room is located, in a glamorous shed like cabin. Inside you are greeted by a light, airy space that is modern yet old-fashioned, in a comforting way.
We talked about my skin or possible concerns that I had and Su-Man did a computer analysis of my skin with a device attached to it, which transmitted reading straight to the screen. I was told that my skin was normal but had inflammation underneath and with that I was told to get undressed and zoom under the warm blanket on the treatment table – no time lost here!
Su-Man is curt and to the point but is in no way aloof as some reviews would suggest. There is a military precision to her but it is more to do with her dancer training and discipline. She put a rolled up blanket under my knees, to make sure I was aligned ( my spine was very grateful ) and comfortable and started her work.
The rest of the facial is a bit of a blur of the most wonderful kind. I had a firm neck and shoulder massage, while my face was steamed and then cleansed and extractions done. Su-Man’s massage technique is hard to describe, her fingers move all over the face, zig zagging, rolling, circling, digging deep deep into your muscle tissues. She massaged my ears and rolled them like a cigarillo – it is heavenly albeit unusual. Within seconds relaxation and warming sensation spread on to the rest of my body.
A seaweed mask was hand-wisked and applied to my already re-energised complexion, while Su-Man proceeded to give me a vigorous foot massage-the best I ever had. She massaged my calves and thighs, truly working her knuckles in the dormant muscles tissues. My feet were cleansed with warm towels and then Su-Man linked her fingers throughout my toes and rolled them back to front – after it, for the first time, I truly understood the meaning of the phrase like ‘walking weightlessly on clouds’ when I got off the treatment table. Astonishingly, that feeling lasted all day ! That is the magic of Su-Man’s shiatsu massage technique for you ( a while back it helped her to get over a very painful back injury – one of the negatives which goes alongside being a professional dancer ).
Throughout the facial Su-Man dispenses her wisdom, if you ask her questions. My personal Su-Man wisdom quote that truly stuck from that day onwards was ‘your face is like a sheet, it needs to be ironed’. Beware, no place on your face will be left untouched, your scalp and nostrils included and it will leave you with the most wonderful ‘awake’ feeling’ and a sense of awareness of facial muscles.
You know what was most unusual and touching during my treatment that day? When the foot massage was finished Su-Man took my socks and put them on my feet, before tucking them under a blanket. When I expressed my gentle surprise the reply that came back touched me and told me a lot about the type of person Su-Man is: ‘let me be your mother in this moment in time, as only a mother would nurture in moments like this’.
Before I knew it, a lavender compress was applied to my face, my shoulders and my neck were stretched upwards, making me feel a few inches taller instantly. My face flushed and plump, my bone structure more prominent – and I so wished the treatment just went on and on but like all good things it just came to an end.
I had a facial in June and now that the end of the year is almost upon us I can honestly tell you that it was one of the best combined body treatment and facial I ever had. You will certainly never forget, noticing the difference it makes to your complexion and muscle tone in the simple, yet very effective way. Just bare in mind that you don’t go to see Su-Man if you want superficial pampering, you go to see her to pamper the mind, while vigoriously exercising the muscles.
For more information about Su-Man, her treatments and skincare visit her website here
The treatment room, located behind a discreet door at the back of the beauty hall is tiny and you can hear the gentle hum of the shopping crowd outside, yet it doesn’t distract you or the therapist and you feel like you are in a gentle, pampering cocoon.
IOMA is a scientific based brand that approaches each of its client’s individually and tailor makes treatments and skincare according to the client’s specific needs. Jean Michel Karam, brand’s founder and CEO took it as one of his main aims to treat his clients in the way that they will see the ‘before’ and ‘after’ results on the computerised screen, after the use of IOMA products. Your skin is assessed by MEMS machine (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) which detects physical phenomena like pressure, acceleration etc. in a particular environment. In IOMA case MMS are miniaturised and integrated into skin analysis devices that will measure accurately several of skin parameters, like moisturization, clogged pores, bacterial activity, pigmentation, UV damage, redness, fine lines and wrinkles. In the case of bespoke rituals, the formulations will be personalised according to your needs at the moment in time. The machine-IOMA Beauty Diag, Sphere or Link can store your results, making it easy to evaluate the skin’s improvement as you use specific IOMA products.
Nikki made sure that I was comfortable and then took various ‘readings’ from my face, some with a device like you would have an ultrasound with and some with tiny see through dots put on my skin, in order to accurately analyse things like skin sebum. IOMA Beauty Diag diagnoses and examines several things, notably:
-dry skin & UV damage, -fine lines, -oily skin, -dark spots, -redness,
-bacterial infections, -wrinkles and lack of firmness
with the readings varying from 1 to 15 and 6-7 being a good reading. Nikki asked me what I expected to get from the treatment and then explained the steps of the facial to me. The facial itself starts with a hot cloth applied to your chest areas and breast bone (soothing and comforting at the same time), followed by the neckline massage which is synchronised to your breathing by the therapist, who is moving her hands with the wide open palm strokes.
Nikki throughly removed the make-up not just from my face, but eyes and neckline (ok, no make-up on my neckline but perfume and environmental dirt from living in the city) with IOMA’s gentle moisturising cleansing milk. What made it even more special was that she massaged my eye area, instantly relaxing my whole face and almost sending me into sleepy, dream like state (this is the occasion when I was grateful for the gentle hum of the busy shoppers outside).
A moisturising toning lotion then gets applied to cotton wool and spread around your face, with massage like strokes, before a tissue is placed on your face to absorb the extra moisture. Nikki then proceeded with exfoliating my face with a gentle emulsion including the neck area (why don’t more facials include this area, which is often overlooked, yet it is one of the first places to show our age) and relaxing but stimulating eye massage then helps to de-puff and detoxify this delicate area of your face.
Each of IOMA facials is tailor-made to your skin’s needs, which the therapist can ascertain visually, as well as based on the machine’s readings. Yes, do bear in mind that certain areas of your face, where the reading might be taken from, might differ from one another-left/right side of your face-for example I think I was born frowning, so clearly I would have more prominent wrinkles around my forehead than around another area of my face. I also asked Nikki about the difference of a few percent between left and right side of the face, and she said that simple facts like on which side of the face you sleep at night can determine the outcome.
What makes IOMA facial stand out is the constant, synchronised massage during the facial that also stimulates various points on your face responsible for detoxing, de-puffuing, relaxing, correcting water retention or hormonal balance. It not only stimulates your body but it tones your facial muscles and relaxes you features, as well as your mind. Importance of massage shouldn’t be underestimated, as it’s even been proved that little babies who are massaged and stroked have calmer, happier demeanour.
An anti-wrinkle mask was then applied to my face, while Nikki also put moisturising cotton wool pads on my eyes and then proceeded to apply two layers of gauze to my face-I bet looking from the side it looked like a scene from the movie ‘Face-off’ yet felt so cosy and cocoon like. On top of it Nikki applied a warm detoxing mask and while the masks worked their magic, she massaged my scalp and did reflexology, as well as varying massage movements from large to small pinches, percussions, tapping, pressing, flowing or twirling movements-it truly was one of the best, practically non-stop facial massage treatments I ever head, with the soothing sound of waves and arabic motives playing on the sound desk in the background. Add to this the hand and arm massage and you complete upper body gets to be involved in what is technically a facial.
With the mask and gauze taken off, as if the imprint of my face for posterity, Nikki expertly treated all of my face to various lotions and potions, like IOMA eye contour cream, ultimate generous serum and generous day cream. Then the measurements, which were taken before the facial get taken again and I have to say that the result, after the non-invasive treatment of just a little over an hour are quite impressive. My face looked more even, with less imperfections and the feeling of softness all over. My eyes were wide opened and the jaw-line relaxed.
So if you are looking for a facial that will give you accurate skin diagnostic, as well as personalised product recommendations ( you can also have you day and night cream customised with various serums in order to create a perfectly tailored product for your skin’s needs at the moment in time) and extensive facial massage which will also stimulate your mind and body, then one IOMAs menu of facials is definitely for you. I can go as far as saying that a monthly facial like that would bring your face lasting benefits and delay the ageing process or the need for cosmetic procedures.
I was invited by Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals team to experience the 45 minute facial in the privacy of the wonderful treatment room in Liberty’s of London ( this year Liberty’s really made a big push with their beauty department and treatments and it seems to be paying off in spades, with more structured product zones, interesting brands and experienced therapists ).
Amid the hussle and bustle of the roaring business on Saturday, I was taken by Giulietta, my facialist, to the treatment room and as soon as she shut the door behind us, the relaxed atmosphere and slightly dimmed lights made my slight nervousness dissipate-I have never had an invasive treatments and trying this high tech facial for the first time, I couldn’t help but wonder what the final result would be like.
Giulietta, who comes from Sardinia, a sweet, statuesque woman with clear, plump skin went through the questionnaire with me first ( making sure that I haven’t had any invasive treatments, like Botox or wasn’t pregnant ) and then explained the treatment to me ( as well as point out the machine and its attachments that she was going to use during the facial ), before she left the room to let me get ready (you need to take your jewelery and watch off ). When she came back a few minutes later, she placed a hair-band around my head, examined my face and started the facial with cleansing my face with Perricone M.D. Hypoallergenic Gentle Cleanser ( it is formulated for sensitive skin and is free from drying, stripping or irritating sulfates ). My face felt soft and residue free and then Giulietta gently wet my face with the cotton wool pad and started treating my face with CACI’s electric spatula, which acts as a gentle peel on your skin. You experience a slightly tingly sensation but within seconds you can’t help but relax further.
Once that part of the treatment was finished ( and time goes by without you really noticing it ), Giulietta took out the next gadget, which looks like a pair of kitchen tongs, metal and slightly rounded at the ends, that is connected to the clever CACI machine. Giulietta operates it like a clever wizard and she started by gently touching my face with the gadget, staying in each area for a little while. You feel a slight pinching sensation and get a quite strong metallic taste in your mouth ( which is normal and you shouldn’t worry about it ). Your skin gets rolled gently while it is stimulated with electric currents and Giulietta decides how strong or gentle they should be, so you get a very personalized approach each time.
Within a couple of minutes I could feel the blood rushing to the skin’s surface and my face started to feel warm. Surprisingly it all feels very relaxing and once I got over the initial metallic taste I almost drifted into a light sleep.
Your whole face gets attended to, even around the eye brows ( but not the delicate eye area ) and the hairline, after which Intensive Pore Minimiser ( a clever product that gently exfoliates your skin, refines skin texture and helps to tighten the skin, minimizing pore size ) was delicately applied all over. As neck line is very important and is included in the facial, Giulietta applied Firming Neck Therapy ( helps to increase skin’s elasticity ) followed by Cold Plasma Eye cream ( an extremely hydrating product for the delicate eye area that targets dark circles, fine lines, puffiness & loss of brightness ) and
I came in on a quiet sunny Saturday morning and was looking forward to meeting Sherron and trying a Forlle’d Hyalogy oxygen