What is a facial, though… really? Facials now come in so many guises, with the professional skincare industry currently undergoing the same radical rethink as the hair world did 10 years ago, when it was reinvented with blow-dry bars, styling menus and “destination” salons opened by charismatic big-name stylists.

I’m sceptical about the cult of the facial. In fact, I was open to the idea of having teeny weeny drops of anti-aging protein called Youth Savant injected into my skin but was not keen on putting my skin through an hour of facial therapy. I‘ve always considered myself a woman of science and prided myself on not falling prey to dubious claims or wacky therapies.

That was until I read a piece on how NASA inspired a red light therapy to be created that enhanced the skin’s ability to heal and rejuvenate. Imagine a light you can sit under and then come out looking more glowing? Sounds too good to be true, isn’t it? Or is it?

That was when I had my very first Deep Red facial with my facialist Ethel, from SW1 spa, a zen-looking lady who allayed my doubts and made me an instant convert. Now a dozen Deep Red facials later, I consider myself somewhat of an expert on cutting through the bullshit surrounding facials, an authority in identifying the most effective facials for your skin type. Here are some of my top 3 recommendations for what to look for in a facial if you want to heal skin that has been ravaged by sun, peels or just simply, time.

painted-heart-vector-3651023.jpgLED RED


This low level light therapy provides skin healing benefit by recharging the skin using a specific wavelength of light. Look for clinical grade LED Red with enough luminescence to effect real change on your skin. Home devices are too low powered for any visible results to be apparent. This is best done after your skin is thoroughly cleansed and exfoliated as dead cells can obstruct the effects of the treatment. Try this in Deep Red facial which includes a host of other skin pick-me-up perks from exfoliation, cell renewal and glow-inducing vitamins.


oxygen therapy oxyshot

There is oxygen in the air, just not enough of it and not in a pure state. When pure oxygen is delivered directly into the skin, it revives skin cells so a cascade of changes happen instantly—from better circulation to improved skin healing. Comes in two forms — either as a mask where oxygen is infused to the surface of the skin within the mask or as oxyshot where high doses of pressured oxygen is applied to the skin in a series of little pulses. The latter being more intense and more effective, in my opinion for quicker results. Works well with a hydrating facial which helps to reform the skin’s natural barrier and rebalance the skin’s pH. Found in O2 Blush facial, a multi-tasking facial that heels, soothes and rejuvenates all skin types.


vitamin therapy

Vitamins are the building blocks of essential components of our skin, vital for skin formation and healing processes to take place. This explains why a chronic smoker, whose skin is depleted of vitamins and antioxidants may experience poor healing. Oral vitamins while good for the entire individual, may not appear in high enough concentrations in the skin itself to effect any changes. Applying vitamins onto the skin is also a skill. Mere topical application may be hampered by the penetration of the ingredients, hence using a modality like iontophoresis or sonophoresis may amplify the results. Vitamin Therapy is a vitamin-centric treatment with the aim to boost skin healing. Of course optimal vitamin levels also mean glowing and younger-looking skin, making this a very much sought after treatment for many who desire both skin healing and overall complexion enhancements.

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