Serious skincare in St Albans
Eve and Adam Spa, who’ve been on Catherine Street for years now, is a real find for me – and the Environ facials they offer are the same. They’re just so different, in lots of ways, and I am seriously noticing the difference in my skin.
Environ is a range of skincare products, treatments and supplements developed by a plastic surgeon, Dr Des Fernandes, who drew on his experience helping skin cancer patients heal their damaged skin. He developed a formulation that focuses on the regenerative benefits of vitamin A and various antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, to work on healing the skin – and, with the cosmeceutical (my new favourite word) benefits of dealing with skin problems like acne, scarring or (and here’s where I come in) ageing.
Of course, Eve and Adam offers all sorts of other goodies — deliciously pampering Elemis facials, all sorts of massage, OPI nails, waxing and so on. You can also book out the whole place for you and a group of friends — think, girls’ night out — or book your little lovelies in for a birthday party (all very sparkly and fun).
Steph, who is the Environ expert at Eve and Adam, certainly knows her onions. She spent a long time with me, patiently talking through my current skincare routine (er, pretty much one step up from soap and water), explaining the ways in which Environ is different and how the facials work by pushing the serum deeper into your epidermis (that’s your skin, right?), strengthening it from the inside-out with the supplements working alongside the products themselves.
And she should know. Steph has stunning skin – so when she showed me the photos of her face before starting to use the products herself, I nearly fell over.
Seriously. She started using the skincare and taking the supplements and it sorted out her acne completely. And now, even the slight scarring you can see in the ‘after’ photos is virtually gone.
The facial wasn’t relaxing. I mean, it was in some ways – and Steph did a wicked shoulder massage while the mask was on – but was the focus was much more on the process as treatment, rather than pampering. There was the pre-cleanse, then cleansing, and then a non-abrasive, lactic acid based, exfoliation. All very relaxing so far.
Then Steph started in on the serious part of the process. Using sonophoresis (that’s sound waves to you and me) and iontophoresis (a pulsating galvanic current, which is… er…), she worked the serum deep into the skin. The hour-long facial tends to focus on three areas at a time – so, for me, that was across my forehead and over and around my nose. There’s a longer version, too, that covers the whole face, the neck, and your décolletage (actually, this is my new favourite word).
And this bit wasn’t as relaxing as your regular facial. It was a bit prickly – for want of a better word – and I could hear a high-pitched whine when she went near my ears or (strangely) to my hairline. But it wasn’t really uncomfortable – and it definitely wasn’t painful. I am a consummate wimp (ask anyone) so I was probably more freaked out before she started using the machine, and I was perfectly fine with it after about, oh, thirty seconds.
It all finishes up, though, with a much more relaxing kaolin mask, which is a bit cold going on but ends up being very soothing and – combined with the shoulder massage – had me feeling much more relaxed and, if not pampered, then looked after.
And did it work? Hell, yes. My skin felt absolutely amazing afterwards. Smooth, taut, plump-and-lovely. And, my daughter rather sweetly informed me after a cuddle, really soft. I’ve been using the products since, too, and I’m already a bit of a convert.
The cleansing lotion is gorgeous – and even just a tiny bit every day is doing a grand job on my eldest’s first sprinkling of nearly-teenage spottiness (yes, I’m sharing). The hydrating oil capsules are divine, and the moisturiser is very lovely too. I’ve not tried the eye gel yet – but I’m assured it’s addictive.
Yes, it’s a bit more ‘clinical’ than a regular facial – and it doesn’t really fall into the category of ‘pampering.’ But it definitely counts as looking after yourself – whether it’s dealing with specific damage or addressing the inevitable evidence of a life lived large (which is how I like to think of my crows’ feet).