People who go swimming in icy lakes in the dead of winter may seem crazy, but they're actually ahead of the curve when it comes to this beauty and wellness trend. The health benefits of cold therapy, also known as Cryotherapy, can include everything from treating joint pain to skin conditions and migraines. But while Cryotherapy has been around for years (think athletes sitting in ice baths), it’s relatively knew to the beauty world. By exposing your face to cold conditions, it can help to improve circulation, enrich your blood with oxygen, tighten your pores and leave you with an overall glow that all brides-to-be want on their wedding day.
What it involves: While the old-fashioned DIY version of Cyrotherpy involves dunking your face in ice (Joan Crawford is said to have done this), today’s beauty technology means the experience can be much more pleasurable. 111CRYO in Harvey Nichols offers Cryotherpy facials that apply -30C temperatures to your face to boost circulation (you can also try a 3 minute session in their Cryotherpy chamber for a full-body wellness treatment). For a take home version, Young LDN’s Cryoball is a handheld device that’s used similarly to a jade roller, apply freezing cold temperatures (it's kept in the freezer) directly to your skin.
Our verdict: To get the best out of the treatment, Young Ldn recommended I held my own DIY spa session by putting on a sheet mask and then applying the Cryoball. Needless to say I looked completely insane, but I did really enjoy how the Cryoball and how the sculpting motions felt on my skin. And the results were noticeable, especially around my cheekbones and jawline. If you’re at risk of waking up with a puffy face on your wedding morning and would like a boost, this could be a great tool to add to your morning skincare routine.
Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is extracted from hemp and has been used as a herbal remedy for decades. Within the last year or so, the beauty and wellness industry has begun to harness the ingredient, using CBD oil to help improve everything from skin problems like eczema, to digestion, anxiety, and even to improve your hair condition. Ideal to try before your wedding day, CBD oil hair treatments can help make your hair look glossier, smoother and more bouncy, as well as improving scalp health.
What it involves: In London, Hari’s hairdressers has embraced the natural benefits of CBD to relax clients at the same time as making their hair healthy and happy. The treatment begins with your stylist dousing your tresses in raw, 100% organic CBD oil that the salon has developed with CBD experts from Spirit of Hemp. They then cover your head with a cap and pop you under heat (the same as when you dye your hair). To bring about even more relaxation, while you wait you'll be treated to some hemp tea, given a couple of drops of CBD oil under the tongue, as well as a hand massage with another CBD oil. When the timer is up your hair is washed, followed by a head massage and a fabulous blow-dry (definitely book yourself in when you’re looking to impress).
Needless to say, I was pretty relaxed afterwards and my hair was very, very glossy, bouncy and shiny. Absolutely no doubt about the immediate effect. Plus, I loved my blow-dry. Over the next week, my hair remained really velvety, with people even commenting on it! N.B. The oil does smell a little like marijuana (hemp), so if you’re not into earthy scents and expect something perfumey, it might not be for you. The products that they used for my wash and dry were beautifully floral, so that’s what my locks smelled like for the rest of the day.
Brides who are fans of acupuncture will be delighted to hear about the rise in facial acupuncture. Lauded as a natural and safer alternative to cosmetic surgery, facial acupuncture is said to help encourage muscles to tighten thereby reducing fine lines and wrinkles, loss of elasticity and acne scarring.
What it involves:
Offered at the stylish Waterhouse Young Clinic, the treatment combines cosmetic acupuncture and auriculotherapy (ear acupuncture) together with other natural lifting massage techniques to give an all-over body and face rejuvenation. After completing a lifestyle questionnaire, the treatment is carried out by Anna (a qualified nurse), who inserts small, fine needles into any problem areas of the face and ears to stimulate muscle activity and nutrient-rich blood flow. A nourishing collagen mask is then applied to the face and also your hands. While relaxing under the restorative and hydrating mask, a jade roller is gently used to further stimulate energy and encourage blood flow and collagen growth. Finally, a little facial cupping gives skin a natural lift.
I enjoyed the treatment, having previously had good results from acupuncture to relieve a stiff shoulder, and found the mask element soothing and relaxing. I found my skin looked brighter and more glowing following the facial and it calmed down a red eczema patch of inflammation. Personally, I found the treatment painless, but perhaps not one for anyone scared of needles or the super-squeamish.
Golden cocktail facials
If you're guilty of watching the Kardashians or other similar reality ilk, then you might have already heard of this famed facial. Commonly known as the 'Golden Cocktail Facial' the treatment involves AQUAGOLD FINE touch 24ct gold-plated needles injecting a bespoke cocktail of ingredients (such as micro-botox, hyaluronic acid, vitamins and bio-active compounds) deep into the skin. Depending on the cocktail that's concocted for you, the facial can tighten, plump and brighten, as well as improve texture, tone, pigmentation, redness, pores and even acne scarring.
What it involves:
Taking place at the Life Plus clinic, the AQUAGOLD facial begins with a thorough consultation to address my skin concerns (fine lines, enlarged pores, dullness) so that the therapist can create the ideal cocktail of ingredients. After a double cleanse and light customised chemical peel to rejuvenate and prepare my skin for the delivery of nutrients, the patented 24ct gold-plated needle 'stamp' system is then applied. You'll be interested to know it's not as scary as it sounds - each hollow needle is thinner than a human hair and doesn't penetrate deeper than the top layer of skin (so nowhere near as extreme as botox, which targets the muscles). The micro-needling, combined with a spiral-spray design technology that releases product from the vial with each stamp, helps to deeply channel and infuse the bespoke cocktail into the skin. The speedy 30-minute treatment ends with a relaxing hand massage and blast under the 'HealLight 2' red light to help soothe, calm and heal my skin after the micro-channelling. There's also the option to try an at-home micro-infusion stamp and top-up treatments to use every couple of weeks for a deep dose of hydration – perfect to use in the run up to your wedding day.
Though not entirely painless (the brow bone and lip area brought a slight tear to my eye) I did get used to the feeling of being repeatedly stamped by miniature needles and I'm pleased to report it was all worth it. The next morning my skin felt plump and ultra-hydrated, and four days later my skin is looking noticeably smoother, more glowy, and one thing I really notice is that my makeup doesn't settle into the fine lines around my mouth and eyes like it usually does. I'm now weirdly excited to whip out my gold-plated stamp and give myself another dose at home!
My tip: Don't do a Kim K and get this the night before your big day. For best results, book the treatment a week before your wedding for maximum glow potential.