Murad Facials Sooth With Science
A pioneering skin treatment from Murad comes to Devon
Californian dermatologist-to-the-stars Doctor Howard Murad is renowned in the US for his pioneering skincare preparations and treatments. Celebrity devotees at his Los Angeles clinic include Beyoncé, Uma Thurman, Lindsay Lohan and Brooke Shields.
Doctor Murad is also the best-selling author of a number of books, including The Cellulite Solution, recently serialised in The 'Sunday Times'.
Previously available in only a handful of places in this country, including the Urban Retreat Spa at Harrods, Murad has now made it to Devon and the Teresa Knight salon in Totnes.
The Murad range is interesting because it offers a three-dimensional approach to skincare, combining the latest scientific advances in skincare with natural ingredients, plus feeding the complexion from within through different combinations of vitamins and minerals to suit each skin type and condition.
In 1989, Doctor Murad was the first dermatologist to launch his own patented formulations. He also claims to be the first clinician to combine natural ingredients such as pomegranate and goji berries, with AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids or 'fruit acids') and antioxidants.
Using the 'water principle'
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A key element of the Murad 'optimum health strategy' is what's known as the 'water principle', which centres on the belief that the retention of water in the walls of our skin is a fundamental indicator of health. Therefore, the prescribed treatment will depend partly on moisture levels, while also addressing specific problems, such as acne and redness.
Another key difference is the Murad approach to wrinkles. Usually, this comes under the blanket term of anti-ageing, but with this regime, it's broken down into specific areas: genetic (in your 20s, which seems a bit depressing!), environmental (at age 25+) and hormonal (in your 40s).
I am relieved that my therapist, Victoria, is tactful and doesn't place my complexion in any of the above categories. But after taking my medical history, she recommends a 60-minute anti-redness facial, which is fine with me. I'm told that this treatment is good either for those unfortunate people who suffer from Rosacea or for those, like me, whose skin gets pink and blotchy when under stress, or after a couple of glasses of red wine.
Peppermint, Moroccan chamomile and geranium are just some of the soothing ingredients used in this treatment, which also has the luxurious bonus of two facemasks.
Experiencing the treatment
Victoria begins by cleansing my face, neck and décolleté with a gel cleanser. She then applies some lip balm, an unusual touch at this stage in the proceedings, but nevertheless very welcome.
This is followed by the first of the masks, a redness reduction treatment, with a high level of Vitamin C. In previous facials, I have often felt a tightening of the skin when the mask is applied, but this does not happen here. The preparation feels pleasantly cool, and while it gets to work I enjoy a hand and arm massage.
After the mask is removed, a recovery treatment gel is applied, followed by a seaweed mask. This is put on over gauze soaked with cold water (but only after the therapist checks that I don't suffer from claustrophobia!). In fact, the gauze is a very good idea as it prevents too much of the product sinking into a thirsty skin and clogging the pores, plus there are strategic gaps so that you can breathe, and the very pleasant distraction of a neck, chest and shoulder massage - an essential part of any facial. After all, there's little point in having a glowing complexion if your shoulders are up around your ears. It's also more relaxing when you know your therapist hasn't sloped off to have a cup of tea, leaving you with gunk all over your face and a slight nagging feeling that she might forget all about you and the mask will have to be chiselled off!
The applications of serum, moisturiser, eye cream and more of the lip balm signals the end of the treatment.
I am very pleased with the results, which are instantly noticeable. The slight red patches around my nose have disappeared and my skin feels plumped out and rejuvenated.
The effects prove long-lasting and I am delighted when Victoria sends me some products to continue the treatment at home. The Redness Recovery Treatment Gel and the Correcting Moisturiser, with a Sun Protection Factor of 15, are both highly effective, but I am particularly impressed with the Soothing Gel Cleanser. This makes it possible for me to wash my face twice a day without it resembling sandpaper afterwards.
For more information contact the Teresa Knight salon on 01803 866897. The treatment is also available at the Oxenham Arms, South Zeal, tel 01837 840244, H2O, Exeter, tel 01392 430400 and the Beauty Sanctuary, Sidmouth, tel 01395 577770.