This week's beauty-guinea-piggy-trial review comes from Brides' Tory Kingdon, who's not engaged herself but has a string of weddings to attend this month so she wants to look her best! I sent her off to the Ark Skincare Centre in Putney, Southwest London, to trial their new Age Aware Skin Response Facial.
"For most of my life my skin has been reasonably unproblematic, partly from luck, partly from having a mother who was militant about us looking after it. But now, in my late twenties, I'm starting to notice the unavoidable changes of the ageing process: more dehydration, fine lines and sun damage. Perfect timing then for this facial!
The appointment began with a detailed assessment of the condition of my skin where I was quite literally put under the microscope. My therapist noted the early signs of sun damage and suggested I should be wearing a factor 30 sun cream daily, rather than just my usual SPF15 moisturiser or foundation. She also noticed (rather worryingly!) that I stop my skincare routine at my jaw line instead of bringing it right down to my décolletage, a common mistake apparently. I did get some brownie points for drinking a lot of water! It helps keep my skin clear and gives it a natural glow; she suggested a good way to maintain this was to spritz a hydrating toner on my face throughout the day.
The facial started with a deep cleansing and steam treatment, followed by exfoliation, extractions and a nourishing masque, all using Ark's natural skincare range targeted to my age group. An arm, neck and shoulder massage got rid of any built up tension and was followed by a precise massage to the face and scalp which stimulated the skin and muscles and encouraged detoxification.
Afterwards my skin was bright and even, from the offset - no post-facial redness - and I was quite content with just a dash of mascara for the few days following."
This new facial lasts 75mins and cost £70, which isn't bad at all considering it includes a thorough assessment, deep cleansing with extractions and a scalp massage. Ark have two other skincare centres in Fulham and Wimbledon, and use their own Ark products that are rich in active ingredients.
I was really happy to see such a comprehensive and educational explanation of how skin ages and how their products work on their website. There are some brilliant geeky factoids in there so if you want to learn more about your skin's physiology and ageing process, click onto www.arkskincare.com, go to the Age Aware Skincare option at the top of the homepage and select the 'How it Works' box. Fascinating stuff!