I’ve already written about my marvellous Lime Wood Hotel mini-break (see here) but I promised that I’d talk more about their spa (The Herb House) and – more specifically – the gorgeous Pai Skincare facial that I was treated to.
I haven’t had a lot of facials in the past year (not enough time) and the last one I had, earlier in the summer, was a very high-tech-high-performance-results-driven job from the amazing Caroline Hirons. (I need to write a post on that, because so many of you have asked me probing questions about it, but I have a load of my own questions for Caroline before I can get started! I’ll move it to the top of my to-do list.) So it has been a while since I’ve had one of those “float away and go into a little trance” facials – one with lots of relaxing massage, whale-song music, etc etc.
That’s not to say that Pai’s Detox & Decongest treatment isn’t results-driven – my skin felt smooth and clear afterwards – but there was no heavy machinery involved, no intense tingling sensations, no protective goggles required. You get my drift, don’t you? There are a number of different “types” of facials – some of them you can sleep through, some of them you most definitely can’t. Some you can sleep through because they’re just rubbish (someone whispering at you as they apply one cold mask after another and then “leave you to relax” for twenty minutes as the “mask gets to work”) but others you can sleep through because they send you to sleep. A good, capable pair of massagey hands and the right atmosphere – ooh, it’s a treat when you get the perfect combination!
And doze off I did. But, as I said before, I saw clearer, fresher skin at the end and so it wasn’t merely the world’s most expensive snooze. And although I’ve no doubt that the products used by the therapist helped in getting my skin smoother and livelier, I’m almost positive that it was her skilful face-kneading techniques that did the most of the magic. Which is good – anyone can slather a mask on their own face and then take it off again – if you’re paying for a service, then you need it to be something special. Something you can’t do yourself. My therapist used acupressure massage as well as some sort of amazingly relaxing head and scalp-rubbing technique, a cold stone treatment and (I think she said) lymphatic drainage moves, and not only did my face feel less tired and sunken, my entire neck and head and shoulder area was completely relieved of tension.
Bravo. I think that the Himanthalia & Sea Fennel Decongesting Mask was probably the key product in the facial, which is a professional-use mask and not for sale, but having the facial did remind me how much I love Pai’s Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser for a soothing-but-effective cleanse. I use the brand’s Rosehip Oil and Echium Eye Cream on a regular basis (great if you are at all sensitive in the skin department) but it was nice to rekindle our little cleanser relationship. I’ve been thinking about doing a post on soothing cleansing creams and balms and this one will most definitely be in it…
Anyway, a great facial to go for if you find yourself in that neck of the (Lime) woods – and I’m sure that Pai will be in more locations soon. I hope so. The products really are so gentle and – combined with the skilled massaging – it’s the perfect treat for sensitive, congested, tense and all-round stressed-out skin.