Everyone’s saying that 2016 has been a real shit year, and lately it has certainly felt like the universe is working against us. Blah blah earthquakes, flooding, Brexit, Donald Trump, mental illness… this isn’t a place where I’m going to get hugely into politics but whatever your reason for feeling less than 100%, a dope-as facial will help.
I was invited to the Wellington Apothecary for an holistic facial with Stephanie Malcolm a few weeks ago. What’s an holistic facial? It’s basically as relaxing an experience as you can get, short of a full-body massage. I’d say it’s more on the wellness and relaxation end of the scale, if targeted active skincare treatment is at the other end, although all the products used are lovely.
Stephanie is a Holistic Facialist and Nutrition Health Coach, whose work is based at Wellington Apothecary and she offers holistic facials there on Thursdays and Fridays. I went in after work on a Friday, and I can say that’s definitely a wise choice, especially if you’ve had a big week—it’s a very relaxing way to start a weekend.
You start with a consultation about your skin but also your wellbeing in general. While I’m not into spiritualism and being all-natural, I can certainly acknowledge the impact that a treatment like a relaxing facial will have beyond your skin, even if it is just to chill you out a bit.
The facial itself includes all the requisite components: cleansing, toning, a scrub, a mask, and plenty of massage (as an only occasional facial-haver, it’s always a nice surprise to remember that facials usually include neck, hand and arm massage too).
Stephanie’s treatment also started with a very, very relaxing brush massage. Not a Clarisonic-style powered brush deal, nor an aggressive dry-brushing go-over; this is like someone’s gently stroking your face with two kitten paws. I don’t understand quite how it can be so relaxing, but it is—like the touch version of ASMR.
We finished with the Sun, Wind and Sea Facial Serum*, a delightfully yellow serum with a kawakawa hydrosol and sea buckthorn oil base (also known as seaberry). It smells lovely and is surprisingly light on the skin—not a bad thing when you’re oily like me. It retails for $49, putting it on par with something like Antipodes, and the Wellington Apothecary make very short batches of their products, so any product you buy will have been made in the past 2–3 weeks!
I find December is always a bit of a nightmare for me, mental-health-wise, so I’ve got half a mind to book for another holistic facial soon. If you’ve got stressed people to buy Christmas gifts for, a voucher for Stephanie’s facials certainly wouldn’t go amiss.
Where’s your favourite place to go for a facial?