REVIEW: QMS Facial by Esther Walker

“I had awful zits in my twenties and compared with the absolute hell of living with any sort of acne, having slightly dry or patchy or “dull” skin, noticing the odd line, the occasional dark circle or eye puffiness is nothing. It’s a walk in the park. You haven’t got spots! That’s all that matters! Plus, when you have lived with zits, you are such a master of make-up disguise that pretty much anything else can be disguised.

But recently I have noticed that my nose in general and also around my nostrils has gone red. I look like I’ve been drinking Super Tennants on a park bench for the last four years. I don’t especially want to wear the amount of make-up it would take to cover up the redness and none of the Pan-Pipe music, essential oil, superficial facials I’ve had in the last 18 months has had any good ideas of how to sort it out.

So I called in the big guns and went to the QMS Mediocosmetics Spa in Chelsea to see if they had any bright ideas.

“What is your skincare regime?” asked my therapist, Sylvia. She pretty much stifled a scream when I gave her the laundry list of random products I use, including Clearasil and Freederm facial gel cleansers to fight the odd hormonal zit break-out I’ve had since being pregnant again.

“Those are for TEENAGE skin,” she said, nearly in tears. “Please don’t use those. That’s what’s causing this patchy redness.”

I also confessed that since having a baby I often can’t be bothered to cleanse at night. I thought she might pass out at this news, but after the Freederm thing, it seemed she was unshockable.

“You MUST!” she said. “You must cleanse morning and night!” I nodded meekly.

My 75-minute facial was a sort of facial boot camp, with a fruit acid cleanser, a lot of zit extraction, some sort of application of collagen, a rubbery algae face mask, something with pure oxygen. It was pretty intense and I was quite lost on most of the technical aspects of it, but it felt nice. There was also a neck massage AND a hand and arm massage. I was mostly in a world of my own, daydreaming about going home and throwing away all my teen zit zappers.

At the end of the session I was given a lovely glossy booklet containing a product plan that promised me a new face but quite frankly, it all looked a bit overwhelming for me to commit to the whole thing.

Alas, as with most deep-cleanse facials, I left the spa looking like I’d been beaten up, but over the next few days my face calms down and the benefits of the deep cleanse are apparent as my skin is smoother and less congested where Sylvia went in for some deep extraction.

But best of all, Sylvia identified the cause of my red, alcoholic’s nose. I have chucked out all my teen cleansers and am now only using mild, grown-up products twice daily (no matter how tired I am). I am already, a week later, seeing the benefits. But, like all these things, I’m taking it one day at a time.”


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