When colleagues book beauty treatments under their own steam, I'm always really interested in what they have to say about it because their experience is always 100 per cent genuine without any 'industry' favouritism or biased opinion. Victoria Hunter, our head of promotions, went to see John Tsagaris, a beauty 'acupuncturist' famous for non-surgical facelifts. Here's her feedback: "When I heard about John's Beauty Acupuncture Treatment as the best natural alternative to Botox I couldn't sign up quickly enough. My skin is showing signs of aging but I don't want to go down the needle-full-of-poison route because I know I'd feel embarrassed if anyone noticed.
John, a Doctor of Chinese Medicine is known as 'the man with the magic hands'. My first visit was for the SKINPOETRY treatment, where he combines firm facial shiatsu with his own brand of Hyaluronic Acid.
He asked me about my lifestyle, general health and skincare routine. I was intrigued when he said not to use a moisturiser with an SPF - our skin needs vitamin D and the UK sun isn't strong enough to do it damage first thing, and the SPF will have worn off by lunch. Interesting theory. Whether it was because I was so relaxed I was putty in his hands (it really was one of the most relaxing things I've ever had done) but the explanation to his approach, diagnosis and treatment makes perfect sense. But ultimately it's results I want to see, and whilst my skin was definitely glowing and plumped up when I left (it's perfect for a pre-wedding day boost) I thought I needed something a little more hardcore.
John recommended the facial acupuncture. The theory is that the needles stimulate the body's ability to regenerate by accelerating blood flow and making it work harder to heal itself. A few needles were painful but bearable, and I was very relieved when everything was removed and John resumed his relaxing acupressure. Although I did look like a pin-cushion at first, my skin was undoubtedly plumped up, and it improved over the next few days. It looked stronger and healthier and I think some of the lines are less obvious.
One thing I wasn't expecting was the sight of bruising when I went to bed that night, but thankfully they subsided quickly. I was told this was rare and that I had very sensitive skin, but I wouldn't advise making big plans the same evening in case you react in a similar way.
Will I try it again? Yes. Is it as effective as Botox? I'm not sure. Apparently if you spend as much a year on acupuncture as you would on Botox then yes, but I think the effects would be more subtle. And ultimately it's actually good for you, not pumping you full of toxins. With a bit of massage by John's magic hands the acupuncture is definitely worth a try, or if you haven't yet hit your thirties try the SKINPOETRY for a relaxing treatment and immediate skin pick-me-up." John Tsagaris is based at 59 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RA. Visit www.JohnTsagaris.co.uk for more information.