My skin has never exactly been my pride and joy. I know we all go through a stage of our lives, usually as teenagers, when we want to hide our skin under make up and never see ourselves without it. It seems that this stage has carried on into my adulthood, so when I was invited for a treatment at The Face and Body Clinic in London, I jumped at the chance.
As I have struggled with acne scarring for most of my adult life, I opted for a treatment that was designed to treat this: the GeneO+ Super Facial.
It was a dull and miserable day in London, and I was drenched from head to toe by the time I arrived, but the clinic was warm and friendly. I was greeted by Shenaz Shariff, the founder of the Face and Body Clinic, who would be giving me the treatment herself.
After a quick consultation to double check my suitability for the treatment, it was time to get started. I was lead into a little room off the main office that was softly lit with candles in, and told to take off my shirt and lie under the sheet.
The first step was to remove my makeup. This is one of the favourite parts of my day, but it was nice to have someone else do it for me!
The second step was exfoliation. Now we all know that this is good for you, as it helps to life dirt, oil and other nasties out of the pores in your skin. But the exfoliation stage here was on a whole other level. Shenaz first pasted a lotion onto my skin, and used a wand attached to a machine (which you can just about see on the image above...) which had little, what can only be described as, bumps on the bottom. These vibrated and Shenaz used the wand to gently massage my skin.
As she did so, it felt as if the lotion she had used on my skin had become gritty - like when you use a normal exfoliating product - but this coupled with the movement of the wand, I really felt like it was getting into the pores like never before. When she was done (I actually started to lose track of time!) my face got a wipe down and I never felt cleaner in my life!
The above image is after stage one, and I do apologise for the terrible angle but I was too relaxed to sit up!
But it wasn't done there; the next step was to use another 'magic' wand on the machine to get the next product deep into the pores of the skin. Using the wand, Shenaz gently massaged my skin (I almost fell asleep here because it was so relaxing) to gently heat up my skin and give it the deepest treatment possible.
Part two: my skin was starting to feel better and cleaner already!
Once that part was over - and I'm not going to lie, I really didn't want it to be - that was normally the treatment over. But Shenaz decided to show me a second part - Light Refinement.
Ordinarily, she said, this treatment is referred for more mature customers as it is primarily used to treat fine lines and wrinkles. But I was happy to give it a bash as a preventative treatment!
Shenaz coated my face in glycerin, which was without a doubt the stickiest substance in the world, and it was slathered across my cheeks, forehead and nose. But it was all a means to an end. She then used the first 'magic' wand along with infrared lights, which the skin is forced to absorb. This helps to stimulate collagen and elastin production, both of which are known for reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
Ultimately, I was in the room for a good 2 hours - much longer than I expect but it was a damn good treatment. I couldn't help check out my skin in the mirror before I left and it looked cleaner, brighter, fresher and already as though the appearance of my acne scars had been reduced.
It's now been around two weeks since my treatment, and I have had numerous comments from those closest to me (who know my qualms about my skin) about how much it has improved. I do feel a little more confident going with a full face of make up, and have definitely been motivated to take better care of my skin, thanks to Shenaz. Who, by the way, is more than happy to discuss your facial cleansing routine and give her expert opinion.
I'll definitely be back; and I've already got my eye on another treatment! So I'll leave you now with this glorious morning selfie which I hope, despite the terrible quality, gives a little indication of the improvements. Gosh that morning hair really is terrible.
By Megan Crehan