I don’t really know where I am anymore. There are so many bottles, gadgets, powders and paints. Tracking down the Cavendish Clinic required a couple of laps around Origins and Chanel but I eventually found it tucked into the corner, on the right as you enter on the second floor.
It’s a London brand, with four in W1 postcodes, like Fitzrovia, and there’s also one in Glasgow. Their specialty is cosmetic treatments like Coolsculpting and Dermapen.
I’m here to try their classic 60-minute HydraFacial, which they’re recommending as a spring clean for your face. This isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve experienced this facial before, but they’ve recently upgraded it, with new movements and boosters available, such as the Murad Retinol Booster, as well as Perk, which is another add on.
At the Cavendish Clinic, they have an eye or lip version of this. I choose the eye version, to combat my murder of crow’s feet, until my therapist tells me that lots of people have been going for lips, to freshen them up and make them “juicy” after months of chapping.
Easily suggestible, I go for that instead.
After filling out all the prerequisite forms, we begin with a bit of lymphatic massage, using a sucking gadget, which pops when it lifts off the skin. It’s smoothed across my cheeks in an outwards motion, and downwards, towards my neck, to de-puff. Then we’re onto the sloughing section, where, according to the therapist, three layers of the five that incorporate the epidermis are exfoliated. It feels like I’m moulting. There’s a scratching nib, and layers of glycolic and lactic acid are applied. This tingles, but is bearable.
This is neutralized, before moisturizing hyaluronic acid goes on, then the roll-on Perk lips potion, which smells minty and has a watery texture that’s easily absorbed. I hope I’m not going to look like the Joker. Now the goggles go on, along with a mask device that emits red light, for its anti-aging ability, apparently. Even with my eyes covered, it’s extremely bright, though my peppers adjust quite quickly.
This is on for 15 minutes, before it’s wheeled away and I’m anointed with special creams and the all-important SPF 30.
My therapist proudly shows me the gunk, or skin soup, that was sucked and rinsed off my face. It’s peachy-coloured, with black bits in the mix. Grim.
I get to take away the remainder of the Lip Perk solution, which I love, since it does seem to plump up my withered beak. Aside from this, I remember from previous HydraFacials that there’s an instant brightening, but that the best effects come a few days after. And they do. I look brand new and juicy, spring has sprung at last.
HydraFacial, £120, and an extra £40 for the Perk Lip Treatment. Cavendish Clinic (John Lewis, Floor 2, 60 Leith Street, Edinburgh, 0131 609 0260, www.cavendishclinic.co.uk)
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.