They had achieved the impossible; placated me into a state of calm that I thought only tranquilisers could achieve and boy was I in heaven. It all began one crisp summers day, the clouds were settling and the traffic was in motion and as I came towards my destination of ‘facial truth’ I felt an incredible calm aura wash over me like holy water from a fountain. As I took my seat a delicious caffeine free tisane of ‘Amachazuru’ was offered to me in greeting, blending a delicious combination of herbs and licorice to taste. Known as the ‘Immortality Grass’, it was no hyperbole to state that I could feel the blood pumping through my veins, very much reminding me that I was alive and kicking. Not that I had forgotten of course but the immune boosting properties did trigger bouts of energy that had lay dormant for so long and paired with the sweet/salt binary flavours of the mini yam cookies, it was a delectable combination that would make even the ‘gods’ jealous. As I sipped on my revitalizing brew I was ushered out of reception into the next room where I met Justyna my ‘facial expert’ for the day and social media whizz Claire who turned out to be big fans of Faded Spring. In all honesty it is a rarity that brands who wish to collaborate actually engage with your content or even promote your post that ‘promotes them’ simply because that is the way that the blogging industry seems to work. Yet both J & C stated that they loved reading my posts because they felt ‘real and authentic’ and in short very different to the majority of posts that they had come across before which made my heart swell with pride. To be told that they love my blog for its ‘content’ as well as its photography is quite honestly the greatest compliment you could give me and rest assured Acumedic/Sinensis Skincare/China Life will be remembered in my ‘much loved brands list’. After talking me through the facial treatment process and establishing what I could and couldn’t use I was offered another delicious tea tisane, this time with fragrant Roobibos, containing a sweet honey bush herb full of antioxidants and more delicious cookies ( I am not going to say no, they are super addictive!), while J prepared the room for the treatment. C turned out to be a year younger than me but she had already achieved so much at such a young age and I admired that she was so honest about starting a blog and then realizing it wasn’t for her, instead chasing after a dream that she captured and won in a heartbeat. It is wonderful when we can acknowledge that we have chosen a path that wasn’t meant to be and then go in pursuit of a dream that we should have had in the first place. J on the other hand had always been in the skincare sector and after landing a role in Acumedic’s clinic as a technician who specializes in ‘facial treatments ‘ she realized that she was ‘home’. After a short while I was taken into the ‘therapy room’ and asked to undress the upper half to prepare for the invigorating 60 minute facial treatment. Calm, melodic music played softly in the background and the dimly lit room solidified peace.I could almost feel myself being transported back into another world, where everything was more basic but the simplicity made life more enjoyable.The constant ding of notifications, the sharp jab of a keyboard and the harsh whirring of speeding trains were all but a distant spark in a future yet unwritten. And so my journey to discover my ‘facial truth’ began, one pore at a time.Because I am allergic to tea-tree oil, the treatment was tailored to ensure I would not suffer a reaction, so J tested all the creams/toners/ oils that she would be using during the treatment process on the inside of my arm and luckily all the products she had picked out did not contain tea tree oil. The first step involved using cleansing water and toner that specifically targeted oily and acne prone skin to balance out the oil production and leave me looking ‘youthful’ rather than ‘shiny’. As someone who from the age of 14 has had super oily skin it can be tough to find a toner that doesn’t make me look like an extra in ‘The Shiny Show’ or make me look like Violet Bubblegum’s body double ( due to my skins hypersensitivity). Yet the toner seemed to settle quite well into my skin and I felt myself beginning to lose a little of the anxiety and tension that I always seem to have even when I am relaxing. Next J used a facial massage that targeted my ‘acupuncture points’, by using the ‘open-closed book’ method, massaging cold pressed castor and sunflower oil into my acupuncture points. Once J had released some of the tension from the points, a cleansing face oil creamy in consistency was generously lathered onto my face, feeling like soft buttermilk upon my skin. At this point I found myself opening up to J about my past and how my insomnia, anxiety and depression was linked to events that had left me psychologically damaged from a young age. Unlike many people I had spoken to who seemed to fail to grasp the connection between the ‘psychological’ and the ‘physical’ which often manifests as physical symptoms i.e. lack of sleep, pain, tension, J completely understood and asked me if I was open minded to believing a few theories that she had. J believes that much of what we do, things that we go through that we push to the back of our minds will always manifest through physical activities. Thus if you are anxious you will often feel and possibly be sick, if you are angry you can develop a burning rash or feel a pain in your chest and so forth. It makes complete sense and the idea behind this sixty minute facial treatment is to ‘not just treat your face’ but also to comply with your emotional needs and evaluate the effects that it has on your skin. For example as an insomniac I constantly have dark circles under my eyes, have fine stress lines because of my anxiety and my depression and mood swings can cause me to have painful breakouts. As a result a mask became the next part of the step to draw out my emotional and hormonal imbalances . Originally the mask was to use tissue which would cover my face but because I am hugely claustrophobic I didn’t think that would be a good idea. J was happy to comply and I am glad that she took my phobias into account, especially as she is representing a brand that prides itself on being ’emotionally aware’ and ’emotionally charged’. Using a tisane of cold honey, water, Chinese herbs and rice flour J gave me an invigorating head massage, concentrating on releasing some of the tension that was particularly evident in my temples, often due to stress which leaves me with intense migraines. As she worked her way onto my neck and shoulders I could feel myself letting go a little bit and it was satisfying to see me feel ‘peace for once’. My mind is always so conflicted and whirring with ideas or worries so to feel a kind of emptiness that is not entirely unpleasant must be testament to J’s magic touch.Once the mask had been washed off with a cleanser, a toner was applied again before paying attention to the fine lines I had under my eyes and on my forehead. Using the royal jelly reducer wrinkle reducer mixed with salvia eye serum my eyes felt more alive than they had done in a while and I could almost feel an emotional connection between me and the product; it was holistic therapy at its best. After liberally applying Gonoderm serum, J used a pearl complexion cream to brighten the skin before finishing the treatment with jade roller therapy, designed as a therapeutic stress reliever. Because I get and feel stressed so easily J had a few suggestions for me that she said might help me deal with my emotions more effectively including craniosacrol therapy and autogenic training; craniosacrol uses a ‘gentle touch’ to relieve pain and tension whereas autogenic training is a form of relaxation therapy involving auto-suggestion. I was never open to the idea of alternative medicine before coming to London but London has made me open minded so it is worth a shot. To finish I was offered a delicious caffeine and alcohol free tea based cocktail ‘Queen Bee’, a delicate soothing Chrysanthemum tea perfumed with ginger, honey and fresh limes. It was the perfect end to the perfect treatment and in all honestly no other skincare experience has come anywhere close to Sinensis skincare. Not only did J carry out a meticulous treatment but she also became my therapist for the day and lauded me with advice and tips to help me out. Any request I had was listened to and as a bonus she reads my blog. In all honesty what more could you want? Have you ever had a facial that helped you feel better emotionally as well as physically?
*Disclaimer* I was given a complimentary treatment but this does not affect my opinions and all research is my own.