2 years ago

A Facial With A Difference: Why This Unusual French Treatment Stands Out From The Crowd


If your skin needs rather more than a SPRING CLEAN, here’s a facial that goes beyond the usual cleanse-and-mask routine …

Andrew Gn SS18

Fluffy facial or proper face pummelling? I’d always go for a facial that’s going to actually make your skin look better, rather than some languid laying on of cream while you lie listening to panpipes. I could do that at home. With a facial, I think you always want to learn something new or illuminating about your skin and how best to look after it, along with having a bit of a skin overhaul. Otherwise, you’d just go out and buy a new cleanser. But good advice isn’t as common as you’d think. More often than not, you just get told that your skin is sensitive and dry, and that you should drink more water.

This month I tried out a Biologique Recherche facial at Dun Laoghaire’s The Greenhouse, and found several points of difference. The Greenhouse is a little green haven of wellbeing, offering pilates and yoga classes as well as face and body treatments. Biologique Recherche is an intriguing French brand; it’s not well known in Ireland, beyond treatments by excellent facialist Olga in Donnybrook (www.skinbyolga.ie), a destination for several fashion insiders, including the eternally fresh-faced Marija from Parfumarija. In fact, the skincare – particularly the cult P50 Lotion, a liquid exfoliator – is often mentioned by celebs with glowing skin, too, including muse/musician Charlotte Gainsbourg.


At The Greenhouse, ask for Megan, who is the national trainer for the brand in Ireland – she is passionate about skin, and particularly about treating problem skin. She has great faith in – and has seen excellent results with – Biologique for treating acne, whether teen or adult. The facial is different from others you’ve tried, and entirely tailored to your own skin needs: for example cool rather than warm or hot water is used to remove masks and exfoliators; the products smell weird, and a little earthy, rather than perfumed; and your face is treated one half at a time, rather than all at once, so the therapist can see visible differences. Megan rues the teen tendency to wear layers of make-up, hiding and congesting their beautiful skin, and admits to being slightly dismayed when clients pile on make-up straight after she has worked wonders cleansing and hydrating it.


I loved the calm surroundings of this spot (head up to the top floor for the best harbour views), and the treatment convinced me to return to P50 as an excellent skin-balancer, in spite of its off-putting smell (that’s the apple cider vinegar in there, to boost skin’s exfoliation process). Rather than scrubbing at your skin to exfoliate, this uses AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) to exfoliate; there are different levels of P50, and you start off slowly (and always use an additional SPF). Opt to have a Skin Instant Lab assessment first to really focus on what your skin needs in your treatment.

Current introductory offer €90, 60-minute facial (normally €115); course of six €575.

The Greenhouse, 19 George’s Street Lower, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, 01 214 0222; www.thegreenhouseproject.ie.


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