I’ve had some pretty freaky facials in my time (microdermabrasion which took away far too much skin for my liking, and painful laser treatments) all in pursuit of perfect skin (what us girls will put ourselves through eh?) but I’ve always been underwhelmed with the results.
But recently I’ve had the good fortune of meeting Dr Jack – one of London’s top aesthetic doctor’s – and I trust his judgement. So when he said an Egyptian facial would work wonders for me, I immediately signed up for it. However, once in the chair, Dr Jack started to talk about using a scalpel to remove my dead skin cells… I started to think I may have been too hasty…
Dr Jack explained that shaving or dermaplaning is a technique which has been around for centuries. It is believed that Cleopatra maintained her even complexion by regular milk and fruit acid peels combined with face shaving. This doesn’t do much to boost my confidence. Have we not improved the technique in the last 2,000 years I ask?
‘The ancient Egyptians used milk and fruit to first soften the skin,’ Dr Jack says. ‘We prefer to use mandelic and glycolic acid, which are both derived from fruit, while milk is replaced with salicylic and lactic acid.’ These acidic treatments melt the glue that holds together cells in the top layer of skin, loosening it, ready to be removed. It’s then scraped away with a sterile surgical blade.
The perceived benefits are, first: dead skin cells are removed, so the new, brighter layer below is exposed. Second: active products such as vitamin C in creams applied to the skin are more able to penetrate and do their job. Third: cell turnover is improved, which brightens skin.The treatment also helps lessen pigmentation, lines become less obvious and the fine hairs on the face (vellus hairs) are removed.
Dr. Jack has reintroduced this ancient technique in his private Harley Street clinic as a means of resurfacing and refining the skin of the face and neck. Recently, it’s also become popular in the U.S., especially among the wealthy of New York and LA. This treatment, takes around 30-45 minutes and is completely pain-free. It involves the use of a fruit based glycolic acid peel, combined with salycylic and mandelic acid, which stays on for about six-and-a-half minutes before Dr Jack neutralises the acid by squirting water over my face (this is a little messy.)
This facial is recommended once every skin cycle (approximately 6 weeks). I’ll definitely be back for my pre-Christmas party glow.