A few weeks ago I was invite to The Nail & Body Boutique in Reigate to have a skin analysis and an Active Vitamin facial with Environ.
Obviously, there was no question in me accepting the invite because, even now, at 36, I am still suffering with spots and hormonal acne on my chin as well as starting to get (starting! ha!) fine lines and wrinkles everywhere else. Kick a girl while she’s down eh?
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a facial – I can’t actually remember the last time, which, considering I write about beauty, is surprising. I have heard of iiaa, (International Institute for Anti Ageing) before, from my role as social media manager, but I’d never actually used any Environ products myself. The key principle in the Environ range is Vitamin A – which is such an important nutrient for your skin. It’s needed to rejuvenate skin and keep it healthy, it evens tone, reduces pigmentation spots, thickens skin, reduces the effects of scarring, lessens lines and wrinkles and give a healthy radiant glow. Hello? Yes please and thank you.
When I arrived at The Nail & Body Boutique, I was greeted by Anna, who explained what was going to happen over the next 90 minutes (90 minutes of relaxation!). First of all there was a form to fill in, asking questions about my health, skin and what concerns I have, then she had to remove my make up, probably not the best move, but I couldn’t do the school run bare faced at that time of the morning! So, make up removed, we made our way over to the Visia advanced image scanner, which, looked a lot scarier than it actually was. I just had to rest my chin on the stand, close my eyes and wait for the flashes, where it took several photos of my skin.
The images were transferred to the iPad and I was shown various views of my face and skin. It showed where my oiliest areas are, wrinkles, skin texture, open pores, UV damage, spots and red areas, all with a percentage level, that can be used to track improvement over the course of the 100 days.
I was really shocked to see how much UV damage I actually have. Being a redhead, I never, ever, go out in the sun without factor 50, everywhere. But, I’ve never bothered with SPF during the colder, less sunnier months, and, I had no idea that ultraviolet lights from laptops, TV’s, phones can all cause damage to the skin! Considering how I spend my entire week – it’s not surprising how much damage there was. I will now be using an SPF15 every single day, regardless of the weather. And, apologies for so many images of my face up close!
I also found out that I have very little collagen around my eye area, which isn’t so much of a problem now, but in a few years it will be. I’ve already established I’m a frowner and squinter, neither of which will help the wrinkles around the eyes, so I should be using an eye cream, morning and evening, and probably should have been doing so for the last 10 years. Ooops.
Had I not had the skin analysis, I wouldn’t have known about these things until they were obvious, so I’m really hoping I’ve found out with enough time to slow down the effects, and stop anything else happening. You can’t erase the damage already caused, but you can prevent anymore from happening!
After the consultation, it was time for the facial. I stripped off my top and shoes, lay down on the bed and got cosy under warm towels. The lights were dimmed, music was playing and the room smelt amazing.
A cocktail of vitamins A, C & E were applied to my skin and then activated (hence the name of the facial) with a probe, which uses sound waves to penetrate the Environ products deep into the layers of the skin. The facial is the equivalent to 70 hands on hours of facial, in just 90 minutes, which is incredible!
It’s quite a strange sensation, Anna warned me that areas that were more damaged or sensitive would feel the waves of the probe more, and I certainly felt it around my eyes and nose! It’s kind of like tiny little needs pricking your skin at high speed, but then, on other areas I felt absolutely nothing. There is an occasional high pitched sound (which only you can hear) and a few flashing lights – it’s very, very high tech!
The probe is gently moved across the face, focusing on the areas that you’re most concerned about, for me, that was my T-Zone, and around my eyes – it’s so relaxing and cooling, and considering how deep it penetrates the product, you barely notice it’s happening.
Once that stage is complete, an alginate mask is applied all over the face, and I mean all over, eyes & mouth are covered. If you’re claustrophobic I think you can leave the eyes or the mouth uncovered, whichever makes you feel more uncomfortable, but for me, not having to speak or open my eyes for 10-15 minutes is a blessing. My kids never shut up.
Of course, the nose is left uncovered, you’re allowed to breathe during the process.
It feels very strange when it’s being applied, like it’s going to go everywhere, and it’s freezing, but it kind of sets once it’s on the skin, imagine moulds being taken for waxworks, it’s that kind of mask. Little clips are applied to the mask, which then allows the current to travel through, pushing the vitamins and products right down into the deeper layers of skin.
And, during this 20 minute relaxathon, you’re given a hand and arm massage. I mean. This facial could not get any better.
The mask is then removed, it gets peeled off in one go, leaving no residue and my skin felt unbelievably soft, even my lips felt like they had been moisturised.
I then had some AVST1 Moisturiser and RAD SPF15, both from the Environ range, applied and I was good to go. Totally relaxed, zenned and with glowing healthy looking skin. Could totally get used to that.
The Active Vitamin facial has got to be one of the best facials I’ve had. Because of the probe and sound waves, you know that your skin is getting as much of the product as possible, rather than it just being about the top layer.
The facial was the first step in the Environ #100DayReset challenge that I am now taking, which will involve a three pronged attack, feed, fortify and finish. I was given a cleanser, toner, eye cream and AVST1 moisturiser, plus two tubs of supplements from their sister company, The Advanced Nutrition Programme, mine are the Vitamin A and the Skin Antioxidant ranges, which contain Vitamin A, D, bilberry, tumeric, green tea and grape seed extract to help with the maintenance of normal, healthy skin. I also need to drink a shed load more water which will help my skin no end! I actually can’t wait to see what happens to my skin at the end of the 100 days!