Springtime. My favourite time of year in London. We creep out of the winter, bleary-eyed and muscles stiff, stretch and look around. As quick as they came before, bitter mornings have made way for hazy lemonade sunrises of hot pinks and warm yellows. Magnolia trees bloom on the street edges, tulips burst from the curbsides, and parks are freshening their greens.
With this first seasonal turn of the year comes many things, be that the pep in your step after finally feeling a decent dose of natural vitamin D, the craving to make changes to your daily drill after the long winter, or an overall spring clean of the home, mind or body. It’s the latter I’m after today, and a change to my routine, skincare that is, guided by Environ at the pleasure of Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge.
Their business manager, Terri, greets me at the counter, and we get straight into talking about their treatment options. I feel this time of year, more than any other, an in-depth conversation before treatment is oh-so-important. Has the cold weather had you feeling drier than usual? Overall, could you be feeling run down? Might your skin be dull, drab and suffering more blemishes from this lovely combination of external and internal factors? For me, it was a yes to all of the above.
The consensus was that we would be focusing on deep-cleansing to hit the reset button. Their Essential Radiance Reveal programme offers just this, improving skin texture and clarity. Hydration was a secondary yet no less intense focus, applying aspects of their Essential Moisture Boost treatment, targeting dehydrated areas to plump and nourish. And today, using alongside their potent products, of course, would be Environ’s innovative Dual Electro-Sonic DF Technology.
Having already spent 20 years in the industry, Terri has spent the last four at Environ. Her previous positions have been across all the household names, from Clarins and Clinique, Liz Earle to Elizabeth Arden. Whilst always having always worked with skincare, she explains that Environ’s four weeks of training blows all others out of the water, and she also proudly shares that Environ gives the best results of any brand she’s worked with.
I relax in the warm and welcoming beauty room as the routine starts with a deep cleanse using their Skin EssentiA – Dual Action Pre-Cleansing Oil. This Jojoba-based oil removes any makeup, dirt, debris and pollution, but it’s here that Terri explains how Environ will never compromise the skin’s barrier to create results. Each product used today will maintain my skin’s acid mantle and pH, and fortify it for overall for healthy, resilient skin.
Next, their Hydrating Clay Masque is applied directly over the pre-cleansing oil and briskly massaged into the skin, lifting dead skin cells without forcing exfoliation by any tool or abrasion. As the product breaks and pills, it’s time to remove it. As a take-home, twice weekly, it’s the most gentle depilation, leaving my skin feeling soft, smooth, and stress-free, even when replicated by me with a slightly less skilled technique in massage. Yet, this is a nimble little product, soothing the skin and gently wicking away excess oil when applied alternatively as a mask.
For even better results at home, Focus Care Youth+ Tri BioBotanical Revival Masque is a must-have. Its blend of AHAs (specifically, asiatic, lactic and mandelic acids) gently resurface, regenerate, hydrate and heal, and hold anti-inflammatory properties. Building up its use in your routine, start once or twice a week and leave for 10 to 15 minutes. After a week or so you can evolve the routine to two to three hours with each sitting, two to three times a week and even up to overnight two to three times a week, depending on your skin’s tolerance. It’s touted as the brand’s ‘facelift in a jar’ by Dr Des Fernandes, leading aesthetic surgeon and founder of Environ Skin Care.
Always a lover of the double cleanse, their Low Foam Cleansing Gel removes any last traces of the pre-cleansing products and further calms the skin with the addition of Hydrolyzed Oats to the formula. Next, hand-picked from the range, their Youth EssentiA – Vita Peptide Toner swept over to remove any last traces of cleanser and further prep skin for every product following.
The next stage is found only in their professional treatments, using Environs Alpha-Hydroxy Micro-Exfoliating Gel. A secondary exfoliant helping to minimise uneven skin tone and assisting in natural exfoliation. Whilst protecting the acid mantle of the skin, visibly rough skin is refined over the five-minute application. It’s all part of the bigger picture, but secretly, I think this is the key to the effectiveness of this fantastically deep-cleansing facial.
We move next to hydration and the first of the more intensive and tailored aspects of the experience. Sonophoresis (sound waves) and Iontophoresis (electrical current) probes are used to suffuse lashings of Focus Care Moisture+ – HA Intensive Hydrating Serum into the dermis level of the skin. All you feel is a cool tool and a little light pressure, yet no topical products can reach this without this application.
It’s the deepest penetrating technology to target areas for repair and rejuvenation, equivalent to 77 hours of hands-on massage. The movement of the waves creates cavities and a consistent hammering effect to further push in skincare over 20 minutes, to reach the deepest layers of the skin. Here, Terri focuses on targeted areas. For me, dehydration areas are the upper lip and forehead, showing the more… trying of my years, with fine lines and wrinkles waiting for a little encouragement to take a backseat on this drive.
Whilst we are talking about reaching the deeper levels of the skin, it’s important to remember another angle to skincare – nutrition. Their sister company, Advanced Nutrition Programme works to nourish from the inside out, boosting skin and treating concerns with their dedicated Skin Range.
Take their Skin Antioxidant for example, with bilberry fruit and beta-carotene. Not only will it be the prettiest supplement you take today with its beautifully rich purple colour, it contains seven plant-based nutrients to up your antioxidant intake, helping to protect your skin from UV and free radicals. Even better, May ‘22 sees an updated formula roll out, with added selenium.
But it’s their newest addition to the range is a real game-changer in the nutrition sphere, as Skin Collagen Synergy introduces the first collagen-free, yet collagen-increasing supplement. Imagine, how can you make your own collagen synthesis more efficient? Well, formulated with the building blocks you need in abundance, this vegan-friendly wonder supplement – my words, not theirs – holds 32 exclusive ingredients to increase your personal collagen production. Now, a month in, I can notice that my skin is tighter and plumper, and my skin tone is more even. And don’t forget, supplements are full-body active, scars from a bump and tumble on a run last winter have faded away over the last weeks, after stubbornly sticking around for months.
After our time is done with the probes, a further application of HA Intensive Hydrating Serum is applied. We are all familiar with hyaluronic acid for its hydrating ability, but the facts are slightly lesser-known. With the ability to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, it’s actually naturally occurring in the body, replenishing the hydration levels to leave skin plump, fresh and comforted.
Another product just for professional treatments in salons, their Vita-Antioxidant Treatment Gel, tops our serum with low-level vitamin A, C and antioxidants to radically improve the skin’s overall appearance. Working hand in hand, the vitamin A in the treatment gel causes an ionizing reaction with the Hydrating Serum to draw the active ingredients to the deeper layers of the skin. Layered further with Vitamin A, C and E Oil, it’s the perfect cocktail to quench the skin.
We head back over into the technology territory again, as Terri applies an alginate, personally one of my favourite aspects of a facial when included. A seaweed-based mask sets over the face, soothing and cooling skin, suitable to go right over the eyes and mouth. It creates a gateway for these layered products, stopping evaporation whilst its weight pushes products into the skin. But here is the super-clever bit, it can be used as a conductor for some more time with Iontophoresis, just by clipping electrodes to the mask edge. The electric current might create a little visual disturbance as you lie with closed eyes, gentle flashes, waves like dreams on the cusp of sleep. A hypnotically pleasant (and totally safe) side effect whilst you enjoy a neck, shoulders and arms massage.
Being pure hydration, none of these products needs to be removed, and the final flourish of the treatment is to add a moisturiser to seal everything in and protectant SPF to face the day. Overall, I left feeling pampered, relaxed and glowing, and better informed about how to better use the Environ products already in my repertoire. It’s everything you aim for after a treatment really, but don’t forget that bounce back glow around seven days later when the initial micro-circulation has kick-started cell renewal. Without any purge, my skin was visibly glowing, and even as I write, over three weeks later I can still see the benefits of better clarity and hydration with their tailored follow-up routine.
But two main take-away products remain, the brand new Focus Care Youth+ Frown serum is their potent topical alternative to botox. Its three key ingredients, argireline, leuphasyl and vialox peptides reduce muscle activity to smooth fine wrinkles and frown lines. Try it across the forehead and around the upper cheekbone to the eyes or top lip, and in a month you will be looking in the mirror and wondering how you look so fresh after a heavy work schedule. True story. It’s a great topical to add in alongside botox too, if you so choose, to lengthen the time between treatments and support facial muscles externally.
Likewise, used in alliance with Focus Care Youth+ 3DSynergé Filler Cream, after seven years of scientific research we visibly ‘reinflate’ the skin, counteracting the loss of the structural lipid layers in the skin as we age. Smaller, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid particles, deeper reaching and more bioavailable to the skin, and jojoba and olive botanical extracts offer exceptional hydration, and hexapeptides counteract the loss of volume from collagen decline. Try it out across the whole visage and decolletage too, to target those pesky crepé lines that seem to just appear out of nowhere.
Overall, we have an intense treatment with the perfect post-practice lustre to have you looking your best for any event. With Environ’s comprehensive guided routine and aftercare, this is a facial to rebook, again and again, supporting your skin health and keeping that glow as a permanent fixture.