21 June 2014

Discovering: Antonia Burrell Skin & Antonia Burrell


"There's only 3 types of skin."

*explosion noise* 

As I sat in the slightly darkened and steamy room in the Urban Bliss spa on Portobello Road, I couldn't decide if I was very sceptical or whether my mind was blown - but renowned facialist, Antonia Burrell, seemed pretty confident.. after all, she's the expert with years of experience, and a skincare product line which launched after 2 years of R&D in 2010.

The three types of skin are dry, oily and normal, and these are genetic make ups that you cannot change. Anything on top of that - whether those are spots, dehydration, redness, sensitivity, are all temporary conditions rather than skintypes. So Antonia has made her products to tackle these conditions, and bring you back to your core skintype, at which point you can then focus on reaching 'equilibrium' - or a balance of sebum and water content in your skin. Even without her German 10 billion times magnifying machine, she could tell my skin was of the oily variety. Good news gals, it seems the whole thing that oily-skinned people age slower is true (phew).

Antonia's main approach to skincare is through plants and a holistic approach to solving problems - for example not just the spots themselves, but the itching, the redness, the scarring etc.,. Over the years, I have gone on and off on plant power. It's not that I question whether they have healing properties, but how often have I bought 'natural' products just to realise they aren't natural at all, or that they don't even work? Really, the only other truly plant-based brand that I've loved and believe in, is Bodhi.

Surprisingly enough, Antonia and Bodhi have something in common that explains everything - the Violett Glas storage. These glasses were used centuries ago to store perfumes and beauty products for royalty, and this is because it preserves whatever is inside. You can see a test they ran with chives after 2 months in this photo here.

And off she started, on the Antonia Burrell Bespoke Facial, explaining and applying each of the following products to tackle my skin:

Natural Glow Cleansing Oil
You guys know my love for cleansing oils, but I heard glass shatter when Antonia said using mineral oil-based oil cleansers can have really negative effects even if it's just to wash off your make-up. This AB oil is luxurious and smells divine, but I also popped to Boots to check out the Una Brennan one, which would be a good budget option, at less than half the price.

Luminous Light Polishing Powder
This product excites me to no end, and I'm so glad to have a tub to try out in the next few weeks. This is basically a powder with teensy bits of tea tree leaves and other plants to really gently exfoliate your skin daily. In fact, it's so mild that you wouldn't think it was polishing, but it actually it is - you can feel the difference! It also foams into a glorious lather, which means it's very gentle.. and surprise, surprise, it smells AMAZING.

Pure Therapy Facial Serum
I have to be honest, Antonia and I didn't talk about this serum too much but it's an anti-blemish serum. I don't generally tend to go for anti-blemish products in fear that they'll dry me out, but Antonia assured me that this, nor any of her products will do this because of the holistic approach of solving blemishes. I am a massive serum lover, and am pleased to find a blemish treatment that isn't just burning your skin off!

Forest Dew Skin Conditioner
Antonia describes this as a liquid conditioner that softens your skin, and acts like a conditioner for your hair. I'm not 100% sure how I feel about that, because I wonder if that's what moisturisers are meant to do. It's something more along the lines of a facial mist, I think!

Cream Supreme Facial Moisturiser
The first thing I noticed about this was how gorgeous it smelt! It smelt earthy like all the other products, but with a bit more musk. It was super luxurious and felt nice on my skin. I did feel like my skin was a bit dewy at the end though so maybe it's something I'd use for the nighttime - it's definitely more on the heavier side of creams.

After that routine, some extraction, customised masks and scrubs, and some galvanic electrotherapy (I wondered if I might get shocked and wake up like Frankenstein, but all is fine.. I promise), my skin feels great. It's looking brighter and softer, and Antonia assured me there will be even more effects in the next 2 or 3 days.. yay! You can see the rest of her facials on her Treatments page.

One thing she did say that I was not expecting was some insane congestion on my skin. I'm considering going for relatively regular treatments in the lead up to the wedding (not that we know when that is), as she said it might solve my overall breakout problems.. now wouldn't that be the dream?!

I had such a good time speaking to Antonia and learning about the products from her - I think the first four that I mentioned above are really promising products! It's really pulled me back into using products with good ingredients - especially when she said my cleansing routine with cleansing mineral oils was probably what was causing all the congestion! Gross.

The Luminous Light Polishing Powder will be thoroughly tried and tested over the next few weeks so watch this space for further thoughts on Antonia's products :) Until then, you can check them out on the Antonia Burrell Skin website.

Yu

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