Tried and tested: City Skin Facial by Murad

By Lucy Douglas, assistant editor

They say that the condition of your skin is 30% genetics, 70% environment and the products you treat it with. OK, those figures may not exactly be watertight, but there’s no doubt that your everyday surroundings have a big impact on your skin.

Working in this industry, I have listened to the advice of enough highly experienced beauty professionals to know what my skincare regime should involve. Cleanse morning and night, use a serum to treat, moisturise after cleansing, using an SPF at the start of the day, and exfoliate a couple of times a week. I know broadly what ingredients to look for: vitamin C for sun protection and collagen production, vitamin E to nourish and soothe, and – in a few years’ time – vitamin A to for lines and wrinkles.

However, no matter how rigorous I am about sticking to my skincare routine, I still live in a city that is pretty anti-social to skin. In London, I sit on the Tube for a minimum of half an hour to and from work, five days a week. I go running along the pavements past the jammed traffic, cars and buses pumping out exhaust, which mingles in my pores with sweat, aggravating my breakout-prone skin. And this summer’s gorgeous weather has meant eight hours of air conditioning in the office every day, followed by intense UV beaming down on me the rest of the time.

So when the team at Murad invited me to come and try the brand’s new City Skin Facial, I jumped at the chance. The treatment is exclusive to Murad’s Beauty Room in House of Fraser on Oxford Street.

It’s basically a one-stop treatment to help restore skin from the stressors of living in the city. It cleans out clogged pores, helps rehydrate the skin and brighten the complexion, as well giving you a good dose of actives designed to fight lines and wrinkles and pigmentation. After a double cleanse, my therapist did a steam extraction of my blocked pores, followed by masks and massage to deliver the active ingredients into the skin. Those key actives as osmolytes, for rehydration, and ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C) for anti-ageing and pigmentation.

It’s not common to get a treatment that both feels indulgent and relaxing, and yields visible results. My main skincare concern is purifying and targeting the breakouts that still plague me on the wrong side of 25, and this treatment worked wonders on my congested nose and chin areas. Plus the massage elements – working on the neck and shoulders, as well as the arms and hands – had me gently drifting off to sleep.

The treatment is £70 for one hour.