Let me start with this tale by telling you I’ve had one facial my whole time on earth and it didn’t end very well. My skin basically broke out the day after, right before I was due to go on holiday aka the time where you usually go makeup free, and as I was queueing to get on the plane I was sure they were going to charge me an extra seat for the friend on my chin. Hence the reason I’ve always opted for a massage or pedicure when I’ve been to a spa previously.
So when the team at Liz Earle invited me to their Leeds store to try their Purifying Facial, based in the beautiful Victoria Quarter, I was a little dubious to say the least. Liz Earle, for those that are unfamiliar, was founded in 1995 and is a British beauty brand with years of botanical expertise. Established on the Isle of Wight, the brand is probably most famous for its Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and there’s a reason why. This little number is iconic, dubbed the “ultimate in rich, yet gentle cleansing power.” OK, Liz Earle certainly has credentials, but that meant nothing to me until I’d tried the products for myself.
On arrival I couldn’t believe how beautiful the decor of the store was – think light fresh tones, driftwood and pebbles reminiscent of the Isle of White beaches and dedicated areas for consultations, to makeup tutorials, to complimentary hand and arm massages. It was basically a beauty lovers paradise. I also couldn’t believe how big the store was. Set over three floors, I was led up to the treatment rooms where I was greeted by Kate who began by asking me some questions about my lifestyle and my skin type.
I have combination skin, and often get blemishes on my skin and cheeks – partly hormonal, partly due to stress and partly due to my digestive system. As I made my way to the treatment room, Kate explained the 45 minute Purifying Facial is a naturally active choice for a thorough skin detox, combining traditional hands-on techniques with advanced pore-cleansing technologies to purify and reduce congestion. Skin is left smoother in texture, with improved tone and a more even appearance. Exactly what my face was calling out for.
Under the heat of the super cozy treatment bed, Kate started with a deep cleanse including a scrub, removing my eye make-up and using essential oils to allow me to relax into the pillow. I’m constantly stressed, thinking of my next move, what I’ve got to do for work, or tweets and blog comments I need to reply to, so taking time out like this for myself was blissful.
With a clean canvas, sweet almond oil was massaged into my skin and decolletage, before a vacuum suction was used to work alongside the lymphatic system to detoxify the skin. The only warning I’d have about this is, if you’re ticklish like I am around the neck, you might have to stifle your giggles.
Next, Kate wiped around the almond oil and added fresh cooling pads to my eyes, before using a high frequency tool which is anti-inflammatory and helps control the oil. This was used all over my face and feels like tiny shocks to the skin but doesn’t hurt – it’s just a slightly weird sensation.
Under a microscope, the therapist was actually able to see my skin was really hydrated (I don’t drink tea, coffee or alcohol) and even though I had scarring and red marks from previous spots, there wasn’t anything that couldn’t be solved with a good skincare routine.
Kate then brought a steamer above the bed which did pretty much what it says on the tin – it added a light layer of steam across my face to open my pours, after which she set to work unclogging blackheads on my nose (sorry, gross I know) and getting rid of some smaller spots she could see forming on my chin. The was the most painful bit, but when I say painful it’s only like when you try to squeeze your own spots. Don’t pretend you haven’t.
A detoxifying mask was added to my nose, whilst a radiance mask was added everywhere else. I’d never really considered using different masks for different parts of my face, but now I definitely will. Whilst that was working its magic, Kate gave me a deep tissue neck and shoulder massage which was a-mazing. Having a treatment which lasts 45 minutes is pure luxury in my opinion, so I cleared my mind and de-stressed completely.
Once the masks dried and were subsequently washed off, Kate brought me some iced water in and ran through some lifestyle hints and tips she thought would work to getting my skin back to its very best again.
- Use draining massage moves when putting on moisturiser and always work downwards and outwards to draw the toxins out of your skin.
- Try to drink lemon water on a morning as it has a detoxifying effect on the body and aids digestion.
- Consider Vitamin A as this is amazing for blemish prone skin, and can be taken in a vitamin form or in coloured vegetables.
Although the treatment was amazing, and felt like such a treat, the real test for me would be in the days afterwards to see how my skin reacted. I couldn’t have been happier to see that the blemishes I had prior to going dried up completely, my skin felt soft to the touch, but not oily, and I’ve not had any spots develop since. It really is something worth considering if you’re looking to treat yourself, or perhaps your mum or sister for her birthday, with flagship stores in Leeds, Isle of White, Guildford and London.
Thank you to the team at Liz Earle for such a relaxing and indulgent experience. For more information you can visit the brand online by clicking here.