Treatment review: Haeckels deep cleansing seaweed facial

Local marine brand Haeckels creates hand-made seaweed-based products in Margate. We give its deep cleansing seaweed facial a try

The story: Founded in 2012, Margate-based natural skincare and fragrance brand Haeckels has one key ingredient across its line of handcrafted products – seaweed. Hand harvested from the Kent coastline, this algae is packed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids – making it a brilliant ingredient for healthy and youthful skin. 

Since its launch, the brand has developed a loyal following and is now stocked in retailers across the world. Its raft of products include traditional seaweed bath and exfoliating seaweed soap are also sold in its beautiful store which sits behind a stretch of Margate shore and features exposed brickwork and hanging pedant lights emphasising neatly arranged products on wooden and glass cabinets. Behind lies its treatment room which it opened two years ago, offering a short menu of massages, a detoxifying seaweed wrap, a seaweed, sea buckthorn and walnut body scrub, the deep cleansing facial and reflexology. Two additional treatment rooms upstairs are in the pipeline.

The experience: Slide into the wooden-based treatment room and its feel like you're transported to a sauna in Sweden. With the pounding rain outside (despite it being August), heading to Haeckels on an evening that feels like the middle of November feels quite fitting.

Before the 90-minute facial begins, I slip into a comfy robe and lie on the bed. Georgia, the head therapist and treatment designer, starts by cleansing my neck and face before gently exfoliating to help brighten my skin and ease congestion.

Once my skin is super clean, the steam-machine is turned on to help open up my pores. During this process, Georgia gives me a calming foot massage before performing extraction. After this she applies a thick layer of calming chalk and ground seaweed face mask and explains that this will “bring out any impurities and also has nourishing, calming and natural antibacterial elements.” Whilst this is doing its work, she gives me a tender scalp massage (which proves so relaxing that I'm almost snoozing away).

When the mask is removed, Georgia gives me a detoxifying lymphatic drainage massage across the chest, neck, shoulder, face in order to remove the toxins and to hydrate and help the skin glow. The treatment ends with an application of its facial oil followed by a layer of moisturiser.

Business boost: The unusual natural seaweed ingredient attracts people looking for plant-based and eco-friendly treatments (the brand is big on the environment). Many spas are currently seeking niche brands that aren't available at their local competitors, and one that focuses on locally sourced, British ingredients is  likely to have added appeal for eco-conscious millennial consumers. 

Tried by Suzanne Bearne

Haeckels deep cleansing seaweed facial is £80 and available in-house at Haeckels, Margate