Winter refresher

The new Diamond Touch with Oxygen facial from Carol Joy London is an indulgent experience that delivers results 

WORDS NORA ELIAS 

My appointment at London’s The Dorchester Spa begins with a consultation with the therapist carrying out my treatment, Jo Givens, head of beauty at British skincare brand Carol Joy London.

Following a conversation about my skin concerns on that particular day – oily skin, always an issue, and dark circles under the eyes, a recent, unwelcome and no doubt age-related concern – it is decided that a new Carol Joy treatment, the 90-minute Diamond Touch with Oxygen facial, which launches officially in the summer, will be the most suitable option. 

The facial, designed for clients concerned with skin ageing and with the potentially detrimental effect of environmental factors on the complexion, begins with Jo asking me to take three deep breaths – to help me relax and get the treatment off to a great start.

This is followed by a thorough cleansing of the skin, using the Cleansing Cream. Like all Carol Joy products the cleanser comprises the brand’s hero product golden millet oil – to protect the skin and generate a fresh and healthy complexion. 

Jo then uses warm, gentle steam on my face, to further cleanse it and allow the products that will be applied during the facial to be absorbed deeper into the skin, with greater effectiveness.

The treatment also includes microdermabrasion, to revitalise the skin; exfoliating it and polishing away dead skin cells. This is carried out with a diamond head, the light touch of which is scarcely felt. 

The microdermabrasion is followed by extraction, an optional element added in reflection of my concerns about the blocked and oily nature of my skin.

While extrications are never the most enjoyable part of a facial, Jo’s experience and light touch ensures this stage of the treatment is also not painful. The extraction element concludes with the application of the anti-ageing Radiance Boosting Toner, created for a smooth and glowing complexion. 

A key step in the facial is the application of the Pure Collagen Mask. Said to have an energising effect on the skin and described by the brand as an “instant facelift,” the mask contains pro-vitamin B5 and plant ceramides to moisture and plump the skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

The mask is painted on to the skin, after the anti-aging Forevermore Serum has been applied to it, and sealed with the application of a water-based activator lotion with hyaluronic acid that serves to trigger the beneficial effects of the freeze-dried collagen in the mask. The activator is part of a new formulation for the mask, already available for professional use and set to launch for retail later in the year. 

The mask, which remained on for 20 minutes, would normally be applied to the entire face. However, in this case, the mouth and nostril area was left free, as I am slightly claustrophobic and dislike having my entire face covered. 

While the mask is on, Jo carries out a relaxing scalp massage and also gives me an acupressure massage. Like acupuncture, acupressure applies pressure to specific points on the body, but using the hands rather than needles.

Massages given during facials can sometimes feel rather token; something incorporated simply to pass the time, but these massage are in-depth and relaxing and quite clearly not just there because they have to be. 

Towards the end of the facial, Jo brings out the Oxyjet machine, for the oxygen blast stage of the treatment. The blasts of oxygen, which are akin to having as soft, if cool, wind blow across your face, are designed to soothe the skin, encourage cell renewal and create a smoother complexion. 

After the treatment, which also incorporates a firming, lifting and draining facial massage, my skin feels softer and looks clearer and brighter. I am also given thorough homecare advice, to help me maintain these results at home. Now all I need to do is follow it…

The Diamond Touch with Oxygen facial is priced from £225
www.caroljoylondon.com