Healthy tries… a holistic facial
Frankly, any beauty treatment that offers more than the paltry attention I pay my skin (the daily rushed cleanse and moisturise, maybe a serum on a good day) gets brownie points from me. So when the Vaishaly Signature Facial pledged a full 55 minutes of lavish skin loving and granted me permission to recline in a room lit only with twinkling candles one hectic Tuesday afternoon, I was sold. But this was no ordinary facial, I reminded myself. This, the winner of countless awards, promised to be a highly personalised, holistic experience for both skin and mind.
Vaishaly Patel believes in the mind-skin connection, and specifically, that it’s the state of one’s mind that contributes to ageing. Fellow friends of stress will no doubt agree. That’s why, during a Vaishaly Signature Facial, whilst soothing serums and cleansing techniques are applied to the skin, clients are encouraged to switch off their mind – greatly aided by a unique anti-ageing massage devised by Vaishaly herself. The result? Deep relaxation, plus a clearer, smoother, softer and naturally radiant complexion. We thought it sounded too good to be true too, so we went along to try it out.
Step one – the consultation
Every facial is prescriptive, so once I’d popped off my top and shoes and got cosy under a towel, Lucia (one of Vaishaly’s specially trained Aestheticians) surveyed my skin. As she cleansed off what little makeup I was wearing (I really am as low-maintenance as they come) and the far more plentiful grime of the day (thanks, London Underground), she told me that my skin generally was in pretty good nick (phew) but I did have a few congested areas. Given my combination skin and working in the most polluted part of London, this came as no surprise. But I was intrigued to hear that the recurring pimples on the left side of my face, which I always put down to hormones, are actually most likely due to sleeping on that side. The occasional breakouts on my chin, however, probably are another joyous monthly symptom of being a woman, as hormonal breakouts tend to be localised to the lower half of the face.
Step two – extraction
Assessment over, the real nitty-gritty began. Lucia pulled out a metal extraction tool (yes, like the ones you see on those gross/brilliant videos) and got to work on milia (those tiny white spots), blackheads and any clogged pores. While not pleasant, it wasn’t uncomfortable, and was satisfying to feel the gunk being forced out of areas I didn’t even know it resided. Lucia worked quickly and finished up with a fine needle on a few stubborn areas.
Step three – microdermabrasion
I went in a microdermabrasion virgin, and came out wanting more. A super-fine scrub (the particles are barely visible to the eye) is applied all over the face then worked out with a tiny, tube-like vacuum. Particular attention was paid to congested areas and the creases around my nose, and it felt so, so good. Completely painless, the procedure sloughs away dead skin cells, leaving skin buffed and radiant.
Step four – high-frequency wand
Next came an ultraviolet wand, which was run over my skin to close pores, kill bacteria and boost circulation. Apart from feeling a very faint heat, this stage was fairly unremarkable, but it was reassuring to know that any germs left behind from the extraction process were being zapped away.
Step five – massage
So, to the main event. Massage is given the biggest chunk of time in the Vaishaly facial, and I was not complaining. With some gorgeous smelling lotions and potions, Lucia swept her hands over my face in a rhythmic pattern, cupping here and gently kneading there, as well as working the neck and shoulders – heavenly. The massage is said to release tension, increase blood flow and promote relaxation, and it certainly was the most relaxed I’d felt in a long time. While I didn’t experience the vivid dreams some do, I did start to lose a sense of my body. Many people do drift off to sleep, and I was close to being another. I felt tingling and weightless, lulled into a beauty-induced half-slumber, and when it was all over I didn’t want to move, let alone face the day outside.
Expecting to be a blotchy mess, I was surprised by how smooth and clear my skin looked straight afterwards. My complexion even had a faint glow, but there were a few extraction sites that were shining like red beacons – not ideal. Over the next few days the difference was noticeable – an ‘I woke up like this’ selfie sent to my group chat the next morning had friends asking 1) what foundation I was wearing, and 2) why had I got back into bed? It may have been thanks in part to the flattering morning light, but my skin has honestly never looked better (this side of my teens, anyway), and my disbelieving gal pals confirmed that I wasn’t just seeing what I wanted to see. As with all good things though, this too came to an end, and four days later all semblance of relaxation was gone, some unfamiliar spots were appearing (this can happen when your skin experiences a new treatment or product), and my glow had dulled back down to my classic ‘tired Londoner’ pallor.
At £120, the facial isn’t cheap, and if you want to be seen by Vaishaly herself, that’ll set you back a cool £200. While I couldn’t find any negatives with the treatment itself, the short-lived results and cost are enough to stop this becoming a regular habit (sorry, skin). For a special occasion, yes, absolutely. For your average Tuesday, maybe not.
Vaishaly clinic offer a range of treatments for women and men. For more information, please visit their website: vaishaly.com