I have mixed results when it comes to facials – not every single one suits me an I have had some treatments that have left with me burning red itchy skin for days, or ones that left me with little scars that have stayed for months. Therefore I don’t always get that excited at the prospect of the treatment.
That being said, I toddled along to North London a few weeks ago to see a therapist called Nataliya Robinson, who runs a private salon on the top floor of her (lovely) house for a facial, a sort of, let’s just see what your skin needs treatment rather than a set in stone facial.
Nataliya has experience in cosmetology in Russia and England and studied at The College of Naturopathic & Complimentary medicine, which shows as she talked to me about lifestyle choices which could be reasons why I have the skin problems I have. She also uses natural products with no perfumes, alcohol, mineral oil, lanolin; parabens; in other words she uses good quality products on your skin.
As I mentioned earlier Nataliya’s salon is in North London and easy enough to get to. It’s very well presented and chic, you don’t feel like you are in someone’s home but that you are in a swish high end salon. Nataliya herself has amazingly clear, smooth skin; important I think because if the therapist doesn’t have great skin then how are they supposed to help you achieve it?!
Now, the treatment. I didn’t have any preconceptions as to what it would entail, I was just going to go along with the recommendations. Nataliya decided on the following steps:
1. The first step was cleansing, followed by gentle manual exfoliation.
2. An enzyme peel was used which consisted of pineapple and papaya. These resolved any skin flaking and helped to prepare the skin for the rest of the procedures.
3. A steamer was used, followed by the extraction.
4. An astringent gel was applied to calm the skin. and then a high frequency machine. This enhances blood circulation, eliminates toxins and acne-causing bacteria, encourages lymphatic drainage, exfoliates dead skin cells and assists with improved skin care product absorption.
5. Then a special ampoule was used under a mask, the ampoule strengthens the immune system of the skin and relieves inflammation. Two masks were used, one on the congested areas and a gentle mask on the sensitive areas (ie. Cheeks) as my skin is quite thin in places.
6. Finally a cream with anti inflammatory properties was used to decrease redness and this was mixed with a blemish balm.
It all seems so easy when you see it in simple steps!
The whole treatment took about an hour and a half and it was one of the most – actually the most – thorough, cleansing but also relaxing facials I have ever had.
The treatment began like many other facials with the removal of make up and cleansing. The exfoliating and peel didn’t cause any kind of irritation to my skin, which is something I do worry about, although it was quite tingly.
The best part of this facial which made it really stand out for me was the extraction. Most facials I have there is no way the therapist is going to do any extraction and even when I have had it done, I am left with nail marks in my face or in one case of a very famous spa company, giant bruises from where they applied a ridiculous amount of force trying to get a blackhead out which just wasn’t ready.
Now – whilst extraction will NEVER be the most enjoyable thing in the world, Nataliya made is relatively painless and quick. I was having the worst skin and she worked on any blackheads I had around my forehead, cheeks, nose and also a terribly outbreak I was having around my jawline. The jawline outbreak had kept coming back no matter how much I tried to squeeze it and Nataliya could see some extremely deep and old spots so out came the needle (sterilized– she opens a fresh needle from a sealed packet in front of you).
I did cringe when the needle came out but she sort of swept it over the skin lightly and it was done! no pain!
It felt SO GOOD to have the spots and blackheads being taken out (yes quite gross) but I am telling you it is the best thing when done by a pro.
Another stand out procedure which I have never had before is the high frequency machine. A gel is applied first then the machine which can be a bit tingly in areas, is rolled over the skin. It helps kill bacteria on your skin and all sorts of other benefits. I was scared of it, I am a wimp as it has a metallic smell (which always reminds me of getting a filling at the dentist) but actually it didn’t hurt, it can tingle but that’s it. My skin felt very soothed after it.
After this and the face masks, Nataliya spent some time doing a massage of some sort – I was falling asleep by then so I don’t actually remember that much of it but there was a really nice smelling oil type product. What I really loved about this facial is that there is as much of the proper, hardcore stuff (cleansing and extraction) but also a really relaxing, soothing massage too. It basically combines everything you would ever want in a facial.
When this was done (and I woke up!) I was thinking I’d be walking around with a beaming red face all day because this is what happens to me when I have a facial not so. The BB cream and moisturiser, and Nataliya’s massage perhaps, had soothed my skin so much that I couldn’t see any redness at all, no evidence of the hard extraction that had gone on earlier. I was pretty much ready central London without any extra make up at all!
Crucially, my skin doesn’t necessarily look that much better in the long run after a facial, but after this one, my skin looked great – glowy and clear for at least a week. Also the deep cleansing has encouraged me to keep up a good cleansing and exfoliating routine because it was too good to waste.
This is basically, the best facial I have ever had!
The Nataliya Robinson Signature Facial – £120
This is a bespoke, intensive treatment tailored to your specific skincare needs. Lasting a luxurious hour and a half your skin will benefit from traditional skincare techniques including, lymphatic drainage and manual extraction, plus intensive sequenced massage from Nataliya’s magical hands.
Therapist: Nataliya Robinson, For more information and bookings tel number 07774544455.
Visit her website here as she has different treatments.