Conde Nast Traveler - LONDON'S BEST FACIALS
Gaylia Kristensen Deluxe Ultimate Firming Facial at SoSPA, Sofitel London St James
Best for: A digital-strain antidote and total reset
What we say: If the massage is your favourite part of a facial, head straight to the Sofitel St James spa for a new treatment with a tension-dissolving focus. Renowned for her natural skincare, and with a fanbase including Irene Forte, Australian beauty expert Gaylia Kristensen is bringing a super-charged facial showcasing her hero products to the hotel until May.
The idea is to allow the mind to recharge, as much as tired muscles, while botanical ingredients (rosella, aloe vera, Kakadu plum) get to work together with natural peptide and protein technologies to ping skin cells into collagen-producing action. The only choices you’ll need to make before letting go of decision-led thinking are room fragrance (coconut and lime for a Rio vibe), and music – the nature option has trickling water woven into melodies to lull you into a yoga-nidra-esque state. The therapist will firmly straighten out desk-hunched shoulders, then it’s a cleanse, spritz and application of delicate serums with evocative names (Utopia, White Magic).
Just when you thought the massage was over, there’s more; your head, neck, jaw, arms and hands are kneaded again and again, before and after a mask is applied. Crucially, this is alternated with light Emotional Freedom Technique-inspired tapping – the first time we’ve seen this incorporated in a facial – during which you are encouraged to think of something positive. Ninety minutes whizz by in no time, and you’ll emerge feeling replenished.
Take home product: The Gentle Orange Blossom Cleanser smells like a Moroccan garden, and the travel-size Heaven Hydrating Facial Mist is the perfect carry-on staple.
Top tip: Make an appointment for evening, rather than afternoon – you’ll feel happily dazed afterwards and ready for an early night.
Instant results: A peaceful sensation, much like after a meditation session.
Need to know: £160 for 90 minutes (available until May); Address: SoSPA at Sofitel London St James, London SW1Y 4AN (+44 20 7747 2204; sofitelstjames.com)
UTOPIA – Anti-Ageing Serum 50ml
Non-surgical Face Lifting & Sculpting
The ultimate anti-ageing serum which leaves the skin looking youthful & radiant.