For years my trusty concealer has never left my side. From being a staple in my makeup bag to the first thing I put in a clutch on a night out, my obsession with hiding any blemishes and immediately concealing it from view is the result of constant breakouts the day I turned 13. The horrid feeling of an oily t-zone and a bumpy face not only gave me low self esteem but also meant that I’ve constantly felt the need to cover up with tonnes of make-up.
For years I’ve scavenged the shelves of Boots for products that would give me the confidence to walk out the door with my face held high, rather than looking awkwardly at the floor. However, I’ve tried cleanser after cleanser, thousands of different scrubs, 3 step plans, nothing I’d tried had yet worked. And, to top it all off, moving from the fresh air of the countryside to the polluted fog of London made breakouts a daily and stressful occurrence.
So when I was approached by Body Boutique to have a go of their Acu Facial Treatment I was a little apprehensive but willing to give anything a try. Based in London Bridge, the boutique is hidden under a Fitness First and the beautiful decor immediately puts you at ease!
On the day of the first treatment, I was greeted by Cheryl, the beautician who carried out my six treatments. Although I was quite nervous on the first day of treatment, Cheryl and I simply couldn’t stop chatting. Whilst looking rather silly with an LED mask over my face, Cheryl and I would talk about celebrities, men we had dated and after six treatments, we’d pretty much recalled each other’s life stories. It really put me at ease to know I was in good hands and although I felt a little daft, Cheryl helped me to relax.
The treatment itself takes between 30 and 45 minutes and involves wearing an LED light covered mask, which it closes pores and tightens the face. Over a course of 8-12 treatments, skin will be clearer and redness will be dramatically reduced. The first couple of treatments left my face covered in spots and made me feel worse than I normally do. However I was assured that this was normal for the first initial treatment as everything is brought to the surface, in order to be cleared out – meaning that every single piece of dirt becomes a noticeable spot or blackhead. Although this is a little disheartening at first, the results only get better from here. The only negative aspect for me was coming in and out of the treatment room without any makeup which was a horrible experience for the first few sessions, especially when I had suffered a massive breakout.
Travelling from Canary Wharf to London Bridge isn’t the longest of journeys but with a face full of spots, the journey feel like forever. On the other hand, as I’ve previously said – each treatment was made easier by Cheryl who exchanged great tips on cleansing routines such as covering problem areas in a thick layer of Sudocream and sleeping in it overnight to leave skin soft and spots massively reduced (this does actually work! But make sure you rinse off the Sudocream in the morning!).
After the fourth treatment, I left my flat with no make-up and found myself looking up – instead of at the pavement – as my face felt tight, soft and almost spot free. By the time I had my final facial, I had been without makeup for the full day and the concealer was safely tucked away in a drawer rather than fastened into my handbag. The mask was left on for 45 minutes so it could have the full effect and the next morning my face was totally free of spots, blemishes and the ugly looking blackheads which once dominated my face were practically invisible.
Over the course of the next week, after my final treatment, my face was still clear and using the Sudocream overnight (even though it made my pillows turn white) meant that my face stayed this way. I can safely say that I think I have found my cure (or at least a way to manage it) and it is so refreshing to be able to leave the house without my face absolutely caked in make-up. For anybody that has gone through the same suffering and hiding their face with hair, the Acu facial is definitely one to try. As it uses no harsh chemicals (like some of the cleansers I have tried) the treatment is suitable for all skin types and won’t damage or burn skin in any way.
It’s been a couple of weeks now since I finished the course and my face is still glowing and fresh. I have the odd blemish but nothing along the lines of what I used to suffer from. Seeing as I have recently moved house in the last few weeks (which I count as a large stress contributor) and I have started back at University, I was amazed that only a few blemishes appeared, as normally I suffer from a huge breakout brought on by stress.
For me personally the treatment really does work and now I only carry concealer when I’m tired or on those days where I feel the need to cover up a little more (just out of force of habit!). My confidence to go out make-up free (which is something I never would have done before) has soared, meaning that I have boxes of foundations yet to be used and looking at the ground is only something I do if there’s something interesting down there!
A course of eight treatments will cost £200 or £250 for twelve. At first it may sound expensive, but looking back at how much I sed to spend on makeup, concealers, cleansers, scrubs, moisturisers that didn’t work, this is definitely worth the investment. It goes without saying that every skin type is different and what works on one skin type may not work on the other. I however, have combination/oily skin and it worked great on me.
A massive thanks to Lucy, Marilla and of course Cheryl who made my skin look great. And Cheryl the date went well – so thank you!
The treatment is available in London, Basingstoke, Guildford, Portsmouth and other clinics in the South East of England.
For more information and to book a treatment visit the Body Boutique site here.