A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to have a treatment at Face Gym. The ethos of the brand is that the forty three muscles in your face need exercise as much as the muscles in your body do. Face Camp which was launched in January is a set of treatments which address different face issues. You can choose from the Sugar Face, Fat Face, Phone Face etc and I choose the Fat Face treatments because I felt they were the best fit.
- Round puffy face
- Double chin
- Saggy jowl
Face Gym is based in Selfridges’ Beauty Workshop. The treatments are carried out either on the shop floor on in a very warm treatment room. Thankfully I was in the treatment room itself and not on the shop floor which I appreciated (keep reading and you will understand why). Selfridges Beauty Workshop is a noisy place so despite the door being closed I did find my self getting a bit distracted by the noise. Face Gym therapists are dressed like they are going to go for a jog, wearing trainers and branded hoodies.
I arrived for my treatment early, with a full face of Marc Jacobs Re(Marc)able foundation on. I had been at work and had had meetings where I needed to put my best face forward. Re(Marc)able foundation is not the easiest to remove so my therapist had to do a double cleanse. To be honest, I am not convinced that she got all the product off. So, I am lying on the bed and she is massaging the cleanser into my skin and informs me that my face is “full of congestion”. At the time I had a very small pimple above my left eyebrow and a spot percolating under the skin on the right side of my chin. As far as I was concerned I was having a good skin day. So I asked her “what do you mean?” to which she replied “your face is full of spots – what products are you using for your spots”.
Ummmmmmmmm. I was just about to explain that …*the scars on my face are from old spots, they are not actual spots, and they do not add any texture to my skin. They post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and whilst I will be the first to say I have some congestion around the temples under my bottom lip and a bit around the nose, it is not an accurate assessment to say that my face is ‘full of spots’ based on one pimple and an under the skin spot that is related to my menstrual cycle*… Before I could get all that out, the therapist said that I would probably be a good candidate for the ‘Sugar Face’. Ummmmmmmmm…
Face Camp define the ‘Sugar Face’ as being:-
- bloated and puffy
- enlarged pores
- pronounced nasolabial lines
- creases around the cheeks, and
- dark circles.
Everybody and their dog sitter’s brother’s work colleague know that I eat a lot of sugar (#sugaraddict). Despite the fact that I am not a trained therapist, I do not agree that I have a ‘Sugar Face’ (as defined by Face Gym). The ‘Sugar Face’ treatment includes an advanced acne treatment. I don’t have acne. It involves laser treatment which I did not sign up for. So, I was about to say… *actually I would prefer to stick to the Fat Face treatment that I was booked in for*… but the therapist then decided that it was better to deal with my fat chin than my (ahem) ‘spots’.
Phew. Ok, we are back on track. Radio Frequency is not new in the world of aesthetics. It is a preventative treatment which is used to tighten the face (and body). It can be used on any skin tone and gives a warm sensation to the skin as the electrode is passed over the skin. As a result there are frequent breaks in the treatment while the therapist holds a thermometer near to the skin to check the temperature. The radio frequency passes through the epidermis to the dermis. The dermis is where collagen and elastin are. They are stimulated by the heat, and in the process of repairing / recovering from the blast of heat the skin tightens. I was advised before the treatment started that some people feel a greater heat/uncomfortable sensation under the chin and by ears. I was one of those people. Much to the displayed irritation of my therapist who clearly wanted to deal with my fat chin but had to turn the frequency down as I repeatedly felt a burning (as opposed to warm) sensation in the areas she mentioned. Despite what the thermometer showing that my skin was within the agreed temperature limits in those areas, the burning sensation caused me to flinch every time she passed the electrode over those areas. .Apart from being shouted at (literally) for not drinking enough water (err I wasn’t advised to drink water before I had the session and I am pretty good with the herbal tea) the treatment is not unpleasant (apart from under the chin and by the ears).
It is important to note that this was my first time having a radio frequency treatment. I had no idea of what to expect. Previously when I have had treatments the therapist always builds up the pressure / heat so I was surprised at the level of exasperation expressed by the therapist. Face Camp is described as boot camp for your face. It is a multi session treatment, so it should not be a problem to have a lower setting in your first session and build up.
After the heat of radio frequency, you get the cooling of the Pure Lift treatment. A cooling gel is applied to the face and an electrode with two metal balls on the end, are moved around the face to help sculpt and shape. Where the radio frequency was concentrated around my jaw, Pure Lift went up to my temples under my cheek bones and around the mouth. It was pleasant. Following that I had a few minutes of facial massage and the treatment was over.
As part of Face Camp you are given nutritional information to take away with you. Tips include, about adding lemon or cucumber to your water if you live in a hard water area to make it easier to digest. Information about the benefits of ginger and turmeric, foods to avoid and recipes for smoothies and two sachets of the Wellness .com Nourishing Protein Shake are also provided. Created by Elle McPherson (aka the body) it is a supplement that helps to neutralise the pH of a meat, dairy gluten rich diet.
So, after one treatment, was my fat chin gone? No, of course not! I had this fat chin four stone ago! I do feel that my jawline looked and felt tighter and my one dimple was a bit more obvious for a couple of days after the treatment. Would I do a full course of treatments? If I had a big event to prepare for, yes. The technologies used in the treatments are proven and over the course of a month I have no doubt that the face can be sculpted. If you follow the nutritional advice too it would be a double whammy. Would I recommend it? With the right therapist – yes. It is always beneficial to research the place where you are going to have a treatment in advance. I needed someone who had worked with women of colour before – scars and spots are not the same thing. The experience was interesting and I got to experience technologies that are new to me.
Face Gym is available from Selfridgess. Prices for Face Camp start from £345