Nothing bar illness or a major catastrophe would stop me from keeping my appointments at her Beauty Boutique in Frant, an oasis of calm in the beautiful Kent countryside.
Except... I was feeling more than a touch wobbly about my last visit to her salon. Emma had two reps from the International Institute for Anti-Ageing (iiAA) visiting, and they were bringing their Visia Complexion Skin Analysis Machine with them. Emma had invited me along for a skin probing session!
Now, I have taken good care of my skin over the years and it has paid me back. Apart from the odd breakout here and there, and my current hiccup with hyperpigmentation (read post), I have had very few problems..
But the thought of something probing below the surface, and analysing what’s lurking deep down, had got me in a spin. To my naked eye my skin seems pretty OK, but is it really? I don’t know the answer to that, truthfully - but the Visia does!
What is Visia?
The Visia uses different light exposures to take digital and UV pictures of your face to examine things like wrinkles, skin texture, pore depth, capillary structure, hydration levels, UV damage and bacteria count (nice!).The results are used to create a personalised treatment plan, designed to address the skin issues that the Visia has picked up.
The iiAA’s Kelly Johnson carried out my skin analysis. First, she asked me to talk her through my skincare routine. Three A4 pages later (I exaggerate – but only a little!), I popped my head inside the Visia, which looks exactly like an optician’s eye test booth.
I was told to close my eyes and wait for a flash of light. I can’t remember how many flashes exactly, but there was at least one. All done, Kelly then sat me down next to her computer screen, which was displaying various images of my face with dots and lines superimposed on the top.
These rather disturbing markings show the areas on my skin where I have lines, dryness, large pores and so on. My main areas to ‘work on’ (I’ll speak very briefly here as these results are individual and so perhaps not relevant to you) are hydration levels, my skin is particularly dry around the eye area, and pigmentation - tell me about it!
The iiAA’s treatment plan incorporates products from 3 brands, each approaching skin health from a different aspect: Environ skincare; Advanced Nutrition Programme supplements; and Jane Iredale mineral make-up.
Environ is not a brand I have used at home, but Emma swears by it for her facials and I’ve always left her salon delighted with how hydrated my skin feels. It’s a step-up anti-ageing system, based around a cocktail of vitamins and anti-oxidants.
This time around I left for home having bought an Environ Starter Kit (above), costing £75.60 (including a 10% event discount). It includes Environ C-Quence Eye Gel and starter AVST 1 Moisturiser (full sizes), and mini sizes of a cleanser, toner, body oil, body lotion and sunscreen. Basically, you are paying for just the full size products.
If you fancy the sound of the skin analysis, the iiAA runs them at various locations around the country. They are totally free, and you can go back every three months to have another one, enabling you to track progress and update your treatment plan, if necessary. What’s more, you also get a mini Environ facial (above), which incorporates electrical current and sound wave treatment to boost topical skincare penetration. More information here.
I’m due back for my second analysis in February. Wish me luck!