And… Relax…

13th December 2013

Jill Glenn lies down, thinks of nothing and goes with the current…

I used to think that the best way to achieve complete relaxation was via a full body massage. Now I'm not so sure. I may have just transferred my affections.

Come with me, if you will, to Elstree, to Skin Deep. From the exterior it’s just a cabin in a garden; stylish, admittedly, and with wonderful views of open land, but a cabin nonetheless. Inside, though, it is simply and beautifully laid out, as spotless and serene as you could wish. Both Guinot and Environ are available here, so having tried – and liked – the latter in the past, I'm opting today for one of Guinot's signature treaments, the Hydradermie Plus. The disadvantage, as a journalist, of being invited to review a salon or treatment is the need to constantly try something new, something different, and not simply relax into a procedure you know and love… but the bonus, of course, is that when you're forced to step out of your comfort zone you sometimes discover the diamond you didn’t know was there.

Coming at the end of a long and difficult week, the opportunity to lie down on that comfortable white treatment couch and do absolutely nothing is very welcome. In fact, I think, who needs a facial? My therapist, Lisa Coleman, could just cover me up and leave me for 90 minutes and I'd be happy; I could just write about the benefits of a morning siesta….

After giving me a few moments to undress (down to underwear, for the top half at least) and settle, Lisa returns to tuck me up warmly and set to. She talks me through the process in advance, preferring to keep silent throughout it, so that I can really chill out. When she looks at my skin under the lamp she manages to refrain from the sharp intake of breath that I've experienced on other close examinations. In fact, she's surprisingly complimentary about its condition, identifying only a couple of potential problem areas, and explaining what she'll do to address them.

Lisa calls Hydradermie Plus a ‘current treatment’; it uses both galvanic and high frequency techniques to facilitate deep penetration of the epidermis and effective moisturisation and reoxygenation. I’m a little cautious about this, to be honest, but it’s so gentle and soothing I could just lie back and enjoy all day. I especially like the sensation of richness – all the lotions and potions and serums and creams are lavishly applied; I can almost feel my skin drinking them up. And the finger pressure – always firm, but never intrusive – is just right. Time stands still.

I appreciate, too, the fact that three of my colleagues comment positively on my appearance when I return to the office. When someone tells you you look glowing at 11 o'clock on a Friday morning, what's not to like?!

Hydradermie Plus is both the most popular and the most expensive of the treatments available at Skin Deep, and, frankly, it's worth every penny. I appreciate that in tough economic times it might not be easy to find the money, or, indeed, to justify the expenditure - but if you can, then I doubt that you'll regret it. It is probably the best facial I've ever had. • 020 8236 0429

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