Review: Aromatherapy Associates Aroma Radiance facial

Review: Aromatherapy Associates Aroma Radiance facial
Aromatherapy Associates newest facial delivers an all-natural anti-ageing punch, reports a fresh-faced Ruth Styles

Having your face prodded with a probe really shouldn’t be relaxing. It should be far from relaxing but somehow, in the capable hands of my therapist, it was. I was at the Mandarin Oriental getting to grips with the latest addition to Aromatherapy Associates anti-ageing arsenal and I wasn’t doing much in the way of grappling. Instead, I was half way to the land of nod. The new Aroma Radiance facials represent something of a departure for Aromatherapy Associates. The UK’s best known natural beauty brand has made a point of focusing on the holistic and the soothing, so an anti-ageing natural treatment with serious firepower is entirely new. In this case, the heavy weaponry comes in the shape of an enzyme fruit peel, which uses the acidic qualities of pineapple and papaya to relieve your complexion of any lingering dull skin. Unlike conventional chemical peels, it doesn’t hurt (although it does tingle) and doesn’t leave you with a red face. What’s more, unlike chemical peels, it doesn’t contain anything unnatural or nasty that’s likely to have unintended consequences later – Sex and the City’s Samantha, you won’t be.

The second round of heavy weaponry turns up post-peel in the form of a pair of electrodes. If this is starting to sound like a description of Guantanamo Bay’s interview techniques, don’t switch off: there’s no pain involved. Using a very low current, the electrified batons are used to massage your face, neck and chest, stimulating blood flow and tightening up your complexion in the process. You can feel a faint buzzing and occasionally more on sensitive areas but, overall, the effect is surprisingly soothing, which is an excellent thing because the electric facial massage is an extended one – there’s a good 30 minutes of soothing circles and complexion stroking to enjoy. By the end, I was starting to feel somewhere between stiff and sleepy, and was happy to move on to the third piece of heavy machinery from the anti-ageing arsenal: the mask.

No lonely guerrilla warrior, this mask; it comes in a team, with a vitamin C skin booster providing a shot of antioxidants and a rose-heavy hydration gel to dispatch wrinkles. There’s also a serum before you get to the mask, but when you finally do, you’ll find it has been worth the wait. Cool, soothing and calming, Aromatherapy Associates' intensive Overnight Repair Mask is the perfect antidote to the nerve-tingling heat of the electric prods. Packed with skin loving goodies including rose, frankincense and strawberry seed extract, it plumps and hydrates skin, all the while smelling divine. It’s kept on for 10 minutes to work its magic and while it does, you’re treated to a slow, soothing head, neck and shoulder massage. If the electric prods didn’t cut it in the relaxing stakes for you, this will more than make up for it. Once the time is up, the mask comes off and the facial is finished off with a gentle slick of moisturiser.

Verdict: At £90, the Aromatherapy Associates Aroma Radiance facial doesn’t come cheap, so it’s lucky that it gives you a decent bang for your buck. You’ll certainly leave relaxed and refreshed, but what really impressed me was that I actually noticed a difference. I should add here, that at 27, it’s not often I see plainly visible results, not yet having many wrinkles to fix. But after this facial, I really did. My skin looked brighter, fresher and dare I say it, more youthful. It looked as if I’d crammed a week’s worth of sleep into 90 minutes. OK, so the electric prods did leave my skin a bit tingly but I’ll take that if it means I get amazing – no make-up – skin as a trade off. Either way, it’s abundantly clear that Aromatherapy Associates anti-ageing arsenal is packed with naturals that really work. Time to say goodbye to Botox.

The Aromatherapy Associates Aroma Radiance Facial is available at the Aromatherapy Associates Boutique and Treatment Rooms (020 7838 1117) and at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, (020 7838 9888). Prices start from £90.00. For more information, see


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