Facing Facts

Facing Facts

Move over regular facial, now we’re all looking for the power facials with real results…

Visit any spa and you’ll be presented with a menu of facial treatments. It used to be the case that you’d select one, lie back and spend an hour having your skin slathered in something lavender scented. Relaxing? Yes. But now, women want more from their facials – it’s not enough to just leave the salon with a glow, they want to be radiant for days and weeks afterwards.

Enter the new power facial – these treatments are more intense, but what you lose in napping time on the treatment table, you gain in an enhanced complexion. We sent two members of the SO team to local salons to experience the ultimate facials.

Tried and tested by So Editor, Charlie Bond

I’m getting married next month, and in a bid to prep my skin for the big day, I wanted to up my regime by having regular facials. I must admit – in the past I haven’t always seen the benefit of facials – but wedding stress was playing havoc with my skin and I was suffering a lot of breakouts as a result, so I began searching for something different.

Environ, a skincare brand created and developed by surgeon Dr. Desmond Brian Fernandes, uses Vitamin A to address the effects of UV radiation, pollution, stress and free radical damage, and after reading about the benefits of their facials, I was keen to give them a go.

I head to Beautellies in Tenterden, who specialise in Environ treatments, and speak to Ellie, the manager, who explains some of the benefits. “Environ Facials are a great choice for brides, they’re a scientific facial with results,” she tells me. “You’ll have glowing, dewy skin, less breakouts and thicker skin.”

She doesn’t need to tell me much more – I’m sold, and sign up for a course of six Active Vitamin Treatments – a facial that targets three specific areas uses soundwaves and electrical pulses to drive the products into the deeper layers of the skin.

Lying in the therapy room a week later, with soft music playing and the scent of aromatherapy wafting in the air, it begins like any normal facial. My therapist, Angelica starts by cleansing and tone my skin, and then applies the active serum to three areas I want to specifically target – my forehead, around my eyes and around my mouth.

“This might tingle,” she warns. That’s where the ‘normal’ facial ends and the powerful treatment begins. Using Iontophoresis (an electrical current) and Sonophoresis (sound waves) my whole face buzzes as a probe is used to push the products deep into the skin. “Iontophersis pushes the product 400% deeper into the skin than applying topically and sonophersis creates pathways to further penetrate by 4000%,” Angelica explains. Within a few minutes, I become used to the high pitched sound, and even began to relax.

The next stage is an Aliginate Mask, which is applied all over the face – including the mouth, then Iontophoresis works with a serum to hydrate and refresh the skin. At first having the mask covering my eyes and mouth is a little unnerving, but I soon remember to breathe through my nose, and within a minute or so I’m quite enjoying the experience. As the machine buzzes, Angelica gives me a hand and arm massage, which instantly distracts me from my breathing woes.

Once the mask’s removed, the treatment ends with moisturiser, eye cream and an SPF product. I leave, quite literally glowing and already looking forward to my next treatment. I’m also keen to keep up the good work in-between treatments, so on Angelica’s recommendation I stock up on a few of the Environ hero products – an AVST moisturiser, the C-Quence eye gel and the Colostrum Gel which all promise to keep my skin hydrated, youthful and radiant.

I’ve now almost completed my course of Environ facials, and am so impressed with the results. My breakouts have disappeared, and my skin is definitely more hydrated and firm. I now swear by the Environ products too and use them daily – I’ve upped my level on the moisturiser and have begun using a cleanser and toner, plus a mask. If you’re looking for a facial and skincare brand that really delivers, then I couldn’t recommend Environ enough. I might not be ready for my wedding, but at least my skin is!


Environ Collagen Power Facial

Tried and tested by Commercial Manager, Vikki Hyder

When deciding what the best treatment is for your skin type, where do you start? I’m a great fan of having a monthly facial that massages, smooths and moisturises the skin, but how effective are those ‘feel good facials’ compared to trying a more results driven course of alternative options like the CACI Non-Surgical Facial?

I set out to learn how firming and toning the skin with a less invasive version of a face lift treatment would work and whether I could see myself swapping all the relaxation of my regular treatment.

It’s Saturday morning a few weeks before I head off to Barbados and I want my skin to look its best, so I head to Great Hairdressing in Hoopers for my first CACI Facial. Not knowing what to expect I wait in anticipation for the beautician to call me through.

Ashleigh comes to greet me, and takes me through to a lovely room where she asks a few questions and explains what will happen throughout the process. She takes a picture of my face and uses an infrared light to show me where the dry and sun damaged areas are – it’s not nice to see but I definitely expected worse.

Following that is a cleanse and tone of the skin surface and then the first stage of the treatment called ‘re-educate the muscle’ – this is done by holding two prongs along the muscles of the face and sending a microcurrent to them which helps to tighten and prevent the ageing process. I originally thought this would be uncomfortable, but it’s actually quite soothing and glides over the skin nicely. As it goes over the contours of the face I can feel a slight tingle from the current working into the area.

The second stage concentrates on the ‘repair’ of any scarring or blemishes by placing pads on the desired area to encourage white blood cells to rush to the area and heal it. Much the same as the first stage, this sends a microcurrent to the surface and can give a tingle to the skin.

The third phase uses the same process as the first, but quicker movements to ‘remind’ the muscle where it should be for a more youthful look.

Now feeling really relaxed, the last stage of this 60 minute treatment is to ‘rehydrate’ any areas that showed to be dry at the beginning under the red lamp, such as the eye area. An eye gel, collagen revival serum and hydro moisturising cream are applied to soften any lines and wrinkles. This leaves my skin feeling soft and glowing with no signs of redness, which is perfect if you’re always busy and don’t have time to deal with the dreaded ‘down time’ from some more abrasive treatments.

CACI Ultimate

I can definitely see and feel how this would improve my skin tone over time and would look into completing a full course of the recommended 10 treatments. For the best results it is advised you carry out two every week for five weeks, followed by monthly maintenance. The price is very reasonable at around the same cost of my regular facial, so I’m all for giving it a go to hold on to a fresh and young looking face!