A Bare-faced Truth

18th January 2013

If you have skin issues, whether real or imagined, you have to like – and trust – someone quite a lot in order to take off your make-up in front of them. And as for having your photograph taken, when there’s nothing between you and the lens…

Jill Glenn is persuaded to do both for an Environ® facial. She’s not sharing the photos, though.

There’s something immediately appealing about Anna’s Touch of Beauty. Tucked away in Northwood behind the High Street (that’s the old Northwood High Street; don’t do as I did and go to the town centre first…) with its wooden floors, its pleasing white and aubergine colour scheme and its friendly, welcoming mother-and-daughter team. I feel at ease, straightaway despite some apprehension about what’s to come.

I enjoy having facials… relaxing, being pampered, taking time out from everyday life. But the Environ taster experience – tailored to my particular needs because it also includes an in-depth skin analysis consultation – is rather more rigorous. The brand takes itself very seriously; I try to match the therapist’s earnestness as she enthuses about their philosophy, about the benefits of ‘cosmaceuticals’ and ‘bridging the gap between medical science and beauty therapy’, and the ‘thoroughly tested active ingredients’. It’s all good stuff, but I find it hard to pay full attention, though, because as I listen, behind her on the screen is a photo… of me.

Via the state-of-the-art imaging technology, therapist Katie is able to show me all my flaws… small areas of dehydration, pigmentation below the surface of the skin, plus redness on the nose and chin. It’s rather galling to see oneself thus exposed, but the upside is the prospect of a regime to treat this hidden damage. First developed – by a South African plastic surgeon, Dr Des Fernandes – to prevent skin cancer, Environ promises to penetrate right down to the dermis ‘where the living skin cells are’ in order to deliver ‘actual physical changes’ for maximum long-term benefits, instead of just sitting on the surface as other creams and lotions may do.

Environ has high doses of vitamins A, C and E plus powerful antioxidants and peptides, and the range is vast. There comes a comprehensive list of products that I can/should use at home as part of a focused treatment plan – but I’m pleased that this is presented as an ultimate goal rather than an essential instant purchase, and I’m happy with the advice on which products to invest in first.

Then we come to the taster facial itself. This I do like. It incorporates much of the soothing that I recognise from less scientific procedures, but has some very individual elements, including the use of iontophoresis and sonophoresis – that’s electrical current and sound waves to you and me. Wired for skin. It’s strange but not unpleasant. The alginate that is pasted on over the face is deliciously cool, although having it peeled off after it has dried is not unlike looking up into your own death mask. Very weird.

A month or so on, I’m happy with the state of my skin; I’ve even had a compliment or two. You can’t ask for much more.

for more information about Environ facials and
other treatments, see www.annastouchofbeauty.co.uk

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