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The facial report

From: Treatwell Expert Panel ,

The facial report

Remember when facials consisted of a cleanse, a spot-squeeze, a mask and a goodbye? Those days are (thankfully) long gone from any reputable salon. Now the emphasis is on truly bespoke, personalised skincare that bridges the gap between a cosmetic doctor’s appointment and a traditional spa treatment. 2012 saw several new trends making it big:

The Oxygen Facial

And breathe. The biggest facial of 2012 at London medispa and celebrity hangout BeautyWorksWest was the Intraceuticals Oxygen Facial. A favourite of supermodel Miranda Kerr and singer Katherine Jenkins, it involves using oxygen under pressure to infuse serums and hyaluronic acid into the skin.

There are three different facials to deal with different skin woes - from acne to wrinkles - but each leaves skin bright, firm and lifted. Susie Rogers, founder of BeautyWorksWest says: "This facial was the runaway success of the year, because it gives great, immediate results and has zero downtime. Our clients have busy work and social lives and don’t want to look red or have breakouts.” (Intraceuticals from £135 for 50 minutes)

High-tech Bespoke Facials

In 2012 we went hardcore. Dermaroller? Lasers? IPL? Bring ‘em on, often in the same facial, but always designed specifically for your own skin's needs.

The Endymed Pro-3 Deep Skin Tightening Treatment has been the big hit of 2012 at the Jill Zander salon in Esher, Surrey. This treatment uses radio frequency to send heat into the skin via a small wand and causes collagen to tighten for an instant facelift (£300 per session).

These superfacials are only safe in really experienced hands, such as those of star facialist Debbie Thomas or Michaeljohn Medispa’s head therapist Umay Suleyman, whose 75 minute Super Facial involves a full consultation, followed by one of the year’s hottest skin transformers: mesotherapy (hydrating and refreshing), photo rejuvenation (using light energy to plump and clear skin) or lymphatic massage plus steam, clean, extraction and mask. The effects of this kind of facial will carry on improving your skin for weeks, even months, meaning your complexion will look de-puffed, lifted and luminous – and amazingly – not red (Michaeljohn Medispa Super Facial, £300 for 75 minutes at

Peels and Polishing

The trend for peels to reveal bright new skin isn’t going away until all the pollution does! But the days of being red and visibly peeling are pretty much over. Instead, soft but powerful exfoliation is in. I love vitamin C peels at Destinationskin and the Cosmalan peel at EF Medispa was, says founder Esther Fieldgrass, “a huge success in lifting pigmentation (even hormonal pigmentation) and helping with sun damage."

One of the hottest high-tech exfoliators of 2012 was the Hydrafacial. It is so effective, it even became the facial of choice at a new clinic run by plastic surgeons, The Waterhouse Young Clinic. HydraFacial is a gentler, improved version of microdermabrasion, which exfoliates and resurfaces while also pushing hydrating, collagen-building skin serums deep into the skin. Red light therapy then reduces any redness and speed collagen renewal. A single treatment leaves skin super-clean, removing blackheads and congestion for a shining, clear complexion. A course is proven to soften lines and wrinkles, reduce hyperpigmention and improve acne (Hydrafacial, £200 at

Gold and Diamonds

Recession? What recession. Suddenly we went all precious about our skin. Star performers included The Omorovicza Gold Hydrating Facial, which starts with a peel, then a serum of 24-carat gold (£175 for 80 minutes at the Four Seasons, London W1), and the Carita Diamond Beauty Treatment, which includes skin polishing with diamond particles for sparkling skin (£185 for 1 hour 45 minutes at Richard Ward Metrospa)

And what’s new for 2013?

While the trend for high-tech facials isn’t going anywhere, as we get more stressed, we are craving a proper human touch. This means and we’re going to want some proper old-school, hands-on pampering plus a sense that our treatment is special, individual and not one-size-fits all.

Fieldgrass, says: “I’ve been working with skin for over thirty five years and I’ve never seen so many people with skin issues that are directly linked to stress before. We’re living in a very fast paced, high stress world and people’s skin is reacting to that. To help combat these issues, EF Medispa is using a combination of more traditional techniques with advanced technology and scientific know-how. 2013 facial treatments will be all about a personalised and bespoke service, concentrating both on the external and internal causes of skin issues. We’re calling it ‘back to the future’ beauty.”

The trends

Facial massage undoes that knots caused by frowns and clenched teeth, giving a noticeable facelift and soothing the soul at the same time. Geniuses at this include Nichola Joss and the amazing celebrity-magnet Paulo Lai at Neville Hair and Beauty, whose intuitive facial reflexology and face lifting massage is so relaxing he’s never yet had a non-sleeping client (£120 for 90 minutes). Perfect for the super-stressed, you also look five years younger after your ‘nap’. For 2013 he plans to introduce a new facial treatment based on holistic principles.

A new trend for 2013 is a combination of highly active bespoke natural skincare – often from France - with old-fashioned facial massage. In a technological age, this gives us the make the connnection with nature we crave, satisfies our need for a human touch and also releases ageing muscle tension in the face. The Biologique Biologique Recherche at EF Medispa use advanced natural products from France with personalised highly active plant and marine extracts and combines them with a sculpting massage technique (from £1,300). The new Cosmetics 27 Sculpt and Lift Facial Treatment (£160 at BeautyWorksWest) also firms and brightens the skin through massage, lymphatic drainage and natural, eco-friendly French skincare.

"More stress means more reactive and sensitive skins," says star facialist Debbie Thomas.“Due to a rise in reactive and sensitive skin types I wanted to develop a treatment which would really help strengthen the skin.” Her SkinCeuticals Delicate Skin facial was developed to be able to “significantly reduce redness and visibly calm the skin.” (SkinCeuticals Delicate Skin Repair & Strengthening Treatment from £135, Also, watch out for a new Skinceuticals product, Redness Neutraliser, which is being launched at the end of 2012.

Another developing trend is using advanced technology for skin analysis, which helps your therapist choose the right, ultra-personalised products for your skin, but also allows you to see how a course of treatments has improved your skin – proof that skincare specialists are more confident than ever that their potions really work! The Keraskin Derma Morphose Facial starts with a high tech skin analysis, which uses a special camera which can enhance your skin to 20x magnification. Then a bespoke blend of powerful serums are used to make a real difference to your complexion – with that all important massage too (£70.00 for 75 minutes,

Facialist Marie Reynolds who works out of Four London, says: “I think there will be a growth in trans-dermal absorption facials which use technical procedures such as skin needling to allow active ingredients to penetrate the skin for antiageing."

“In the latter part of 2012, photo-rejuvenation has become more popular," explains Thomas. "And with new safer lasers the treatment results just continue to improve. This trend for laser rejuvenation will continue next year and is evolving into stronger peels as people understand and trust lasers more.”

She adds, “For me one thing stands out is that my clients increasingly expect to be treated as an individual. Whether we are having an holistic facial or an advanced medical treatment, the day of paint by numbers facials are coming to an end."

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