In my 20s I pretty much ignored my skin. I regularly slept in makeup, and it always just bounced back. I turn 35 this year, and through my blog I've become a little bit skincare obsessed. Being sent products to review has given me the opportunity to try items I wouldn't have bought, and at price points I'd have been nervous about. I have learned that skincare matters (if you care about that sort of thing of course) and that it makes a difference. Expensive isn't always best (there are some cheaper brands that use ingredients I still love) but you do often get a higher concentration or quality of ingredient when you spend a little more.
I share on social media about my self-diagnosed rosacea cheek, which I've found has responded very well to the hylauronic acids and retanoid creams I've been using, but I've never actually asked for any treatment for it. It's very visable without make up, but my makeup covers it well enough that I tend to just shrug it off and live with it.
I was offered the opportunity to review a facial from Skin Aspirations, and thought it was the perfect opportunity to have an expert look at my cheek and see if my self-diagnosis rang true. So off I popped to the posher end of London (Chelsea darling) to see what spending £180 on your face could offer. This treatment was given to me free of charge, but all views and words are all my own.
What struck me immediately that this is a medicinial experience, rather than a spa-based facial which is much more about the relaxing experience. This was much more like visiting a private doctor, and being prescribed a treatment.
My therapist Simona completed my consultation, and after hopping onto the bed, she studied my skin under the bright light. She confirmed my rosacea, and we chatted about the cause being unknown, but the range of treatments available. She made me consider that I really wanted to ensure it didn't get worse, and that perhaps ignoring it will bite me on the arse one day! Ha.
The products are from a brand called DMK (Danné Montague-King), an American skin company that uses botanical-based paramedical products and methodologies. I'd not heard of them before, but I'm not someone who's had a lot of spa treatments so that didn't surprise me!
After a cleanse, I had a the Quick Peel - "a cinnamon and cassia based peel used effectively on inflamed acne, and sluggish skin. Its antibacterial ingredients help flush stagnant capillaries, working on rosacea and pigmented areas as well as acne." I was warned it would get hot, and handed an extra fan to help my skin cool. I had memories of Samantha from Sex in the City flashing through my mind, and yes it got hot! All good though, no actual peeling. The ice cube that was rubbed on my face afterwards was joyous!
I enjoyed how scientific it all felt. Powders and lotions were made for my skin, and it was a million miles away from the relaxing facial massages I've had. This definitely felt like I was doing something to treat my skin.
There were a few more stages, including some Vitamin C powder carefully placed onto the skin, but it wasn't long before the mask. This stuff was nuts!
The enzyme mask is designed to stimulate blood and lymph circulation, bringing nutrients and oxygen to the skin, and by gosh it gets tight. I could feel my heart pumping through my skin, and as the mask contracted, it pulled my face down - giving my eyes a fascinating droop. I couldn't move anything, it was so weird to be 'stuck' under it all! I feel like I now know what I'd look like at an open casket!
The mask was left on for 45 minutes, and I could browse my phone and nap. I definitely snored a little due to the odd position of my neck!
This is after the mask was removed with 3 or 4 cleanses. Firstly you can see my rosacea patch much more clearly on the picture on the right. That red area never really goes away, and a flare up involves it erupting into little spots, like acne. It's pretty flat at the moment, which is when its most happiest.
Secondly, you can see what DMK call the plasmatic effect. See those red lines on my nose, forehead and cheek? They're the capillaries opening up, allowing more oxygen, blood and nutrients to the skin.
The total treatment lasted just under 2 hours, and contained 18 steps. It would have cost £180, or £150 without the peel.
I loved how bespoke the treatment felt, and it didn't trigger a rosacea flare up, which is always a fear with new skin treatements. I left feeling like I'd never had such a sparkling clean face, and that my skin had definitely had something done to it. Elements of the treament weren't pleasant, but in a weird way I really liked that aspect of it, as it really felt like we were doing something, rather than just a standard facial oil being rubbed into my skin. However, I was completely able to walk out, and not look like I'd just peeled my face off! The redness settled by the time I was out of the door, and my face felt plump and healthy.
The whole treatment definitely felt like a treatment, rather than simply a relaxing treat, but it was still relaxing! I think taking time out to focus on yourself always feels luxurious.
This is me, all finished. You can see a few of the open capillaries on my shoulder, but my face is definitely public-ready. I think my skin looks pretty darn fresh and fabulous! It looks calm and happy, which considering everything that happened to it, must prove the anti inflammatory properties of the steps nearer the end.
Thanks again to Skin Aspirations for letting me review this treatment, and let me know....what's the most you've spent on your skin?