It’s minus three, the wind is biting and my skin is looking raw and far from fresh. Sound familiar? If you’re anything like me, then the icy weather of the last week will be playing havoc with your visage, whether that’s wind-whipped cheeks or seriously chapped lips. And with Valentines Day just over the horizon, now is not the time for a beauty crisis. So how to fix it? A scrub will take off dead skin cells, while a nourishing facial oil will help sort out some of the dryness. But when your skin is really in need, homemade troubleshooters just won’t cut it so Covent Garden’s Relax Spa has come up with the perfect solution: the Relax and Rejuvenate uplifting facial.
Before you start worrying about parabens and other toxins in spa-strength creams, chill: everything used in the treatment is by Cornish organic brand Spiezia, so you can rest assured that everything going on is entirely synthetics, chemical and toxin free. Even if this wasn’t the Ecologist, that would be a serious bonus during a cold snap because with skin already irritated by the chill, the last thing it needs is a dose of allergenic chemicals. What it really needs is good hydration and a circulation boosting massage, and the Relax and Rejuvenate has both in spades.
Snuggled under a gloriously thick duvet, the treatment began with a thorough cleanse using a balm based cleanser that was removed using warm flannel mitts. Next came toner – also applied via flannel mitts – which smelt strongly, and not entirely pleasantly, of stewed flowers before another balm was applied and the facial massage really got underway. With no less than 83 separate massage movements, this is what really sets this facial apart and what does the most good. While masks, creams and scrubs will help, nothing gets the circulation moving like massage and nothing is so good at promoting lymphatic drainage. In short, if after a good facial massage your skin isn’t firmer and glowing, then it’s time to start worrying.
After the balm had been thoroughly kneaded in, a gentle scrub using dried chamomile in lieu of the usual chemical beads followed. Now ultra-smooth, my skin received another therapeutic dose of massage, this time extended to the neck, shoulders and upper back. By this point, I was half asleep: proof that the facial lives up to the relax part of its name if nothing else.
A mask was applied and while it sank in, I was given a wonderful head massage, which simultaneously banished tension and sent me further into the land of nod. When it came off – warm flannel mitts again – I was almost out for the count. But after a little gorgeous-smelling rose and vanilla facial oil was slicked on, I was woken up and sent off to face the tube. Where, incidentally, I was the recipient of several admiring glances, courtesy of my new glow. Despite the cold snap, my skin had got its mojo back.
The Relax and Rejuvenate Facial costs £85. For more information and for details on other Relax spas, see www.relax.org.uk
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