Strictly's Pasha Kovalev is a fan…

It's About The Result Not The Process

28th November 2014

Jill Glenn experiences a Hydrafacial at Revere, Northwood

Think facial, and – if you’re anything like me – you think relaxing, pampering, soothing. Think again. Almost the first thing that Dr Sabika Karim of Revere, says to me is along the lines of ‘you’re not here to enjoy yourself’.


Revere is a distinctly medicalised environment. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – it’s clean and bright and sharp – but it’s not what I left the office for. I was anticipating an hour or two of down time – not 15 intensive minutes prefaced by ‘there’s nothing relaxing here’.

I appreciate Dr Karim’s honesty, though (and even if I don’t, there’s not a lot I can do; I am already captive). I’m here to try the Hydrafacial, and I’m in good company. Revere’s celebrity client Pasha Kovalev, of Strictly Come Dancing fame, is a huge fan, and a regular at the clinic. Paris Hilton and Alex Gerrard are also reported to be fans of the process. If it’s good enough for them etc etc.­

Deliberately presented as an alternative to beauty-based facials, Hydrafacial exfoliates and hydrates the skin simultaneously. As a clinical treatment using specially formulated serums and moisturisers, it’s designed to improve the appearance of congested pores, uneven skin, fine lines and wrinkles and acne-prone skin, for even the most sensitive of skin types. ‘Any underlying issues will come out,’ says Dr Karim. I nod, accommodatingly, and make some understanding noises, without really thinking what she means.

The first stage is a mechanical exfoliation which, unlike a scratchy microdermabrasion, works by vacuum suction. It’s a jet wash for your face, to quote Pasha, and it takes off all the dead skin cells. The sensation is odd, but not unpleasant.

Next is an infusion of glycolic/salicylic solution (a mini-peel, in effect), to loosen impurities, blackheads and general debris from the pores without causing irritation. It’s not traditional pampering, to be sure, but it’s very gentle, and any attention paid to your skin feels pretty good. This is followed by the alarmingly named vortex extraction which, now that the cells are mobilised, sucks out blackheads and the like. The equipment has a little canister attached; at the end of the treatment you can see all the gunk that has come out. Ugh.

Finally there’s the replenishing phase, in which anti-oxidants are added back into the skin which is now ready to receive them. Then there’s the mirror.

Oh. Again.

Remember that comment about the underlying issues coming out? They have. My skin’s tendency to rosacea has manifested itself in all its glory. I’m tempted to mark Revere down on the grounds of their not having brown paper bags to put over clients’ faces in such an eventuality – but I’ll mark them up for their actual response. Within moments I’m prescribed a cream, a face wash and an antibiotic gel, and furnished with a follow-up appointment in around 8 weeks. The skin settles quickly, though – far more quickly than I would have expected – which suggests to me that the process has indeed just flagged up an existing issue rather than generating a new one of its own.

Overall, I like the experience. My skin glows (with health not redness) and generates positive comments from friends about how well I’m looking. It all goes to support one of Dr Karim’s aims for her clients. ‘We want you,’ she says, ‘to be the you you once were…’

Call 01923 834 020 for more information

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