Skincare becomes science: my day with Donna Glazer at Face It

the beauty spot

Are you doing anything special with skincare in the run up to your big day? I have never been much of a skincare expert, so I headed to Highgate’s acclaimed Face It clinic to meet expert Donna Glazer and steal her skincare secrets… 

Review based on a PR sample

I’m the first to admit I have a lousy skincare routine. It consists of occasionally washing my face with an oil-based cleanser (or whatever I have lying around) and, when I remember to, slapping on some moisturiser. I’m twenty five, so far my skin has been pretty good to me. But I’ve always felt I should be doing more to protect and preserve it, after all, I only have one face!

So when I got the chance to go and meet one of London’s top skincare experts, Donna Glazer at the multi-award-winning clinic, Face It, I knew I would be a fool not to jump at it – this would be a chance to covertly steal some skincare secrets from the best of the best and perhaps my skin would ultimately forgive me for years of neglect.

Before I set off I was genuinely apprehensive. I feel this way before I go for any beauty treatment, which is perhaps why I let things lapse for so long. Too often I’ve had hairdressers, therapists, even dentists give me the once over and tut disapprovingly “ooh you haven’t been taking very good care of yourself have you?” I feared my skin, resilient as it is, would be the subject of judgemental clucks and mockery.

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Walking into Face It in my favourite little spot in London, Highgate, I was instantly greeted with a warm smile and a glass of cold water, which was very much appreciated on such a sweltering summer’s day. When Donna emerged from treating another client, I was instantly put at ease. Donna exercises the perfect blend of professionalism and friendliness, just enough to relax her clients, while instilling confidence that Face It is the real deal.

The first thing I noticed, though, was Donna’s own skin. I don’t usually comment on the personal appearance of people I meet, but if anyone is a convincing face of their own brand, it’s Donna. All I could think was “I want skin like that.”

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We retreated to the comfortably cool treatment room, where Donna explained in detail how the skin cells at different layers communicate with one another, and how her treatments impact the way that the skin regenerates. I was absolutely fascinated. I have a very low tolerance for pseudo-science when it comes to beauty treatments, adverts with some seemingly made-up-in-a-marketing-meeting jargon, new “technology” that never does what it promises. However, Donna’s explanation of how her treatments work was truly scientific. Face It is all about the science of the skin – “I really need to get to know my clients’ skin to tailor their treatments to their specific needs.”

Donna walked me through a consultation, first finding out what issues her clients have with their skin and then what their long-term goals are. “My job is to manage expectations with the time that we have,” said Donna. “There’s very little I can do for a bride a week before her wedding, but a few months beforehand, even with just a consultation, I can give her the tools to make improvements at home.”

“Skincare starts on the inside,” she continued. “I always say that brides should try to take time out and relax as much as possible. Drinking plenty of water is a must, and it’s helpful for them to do yoga, meditation and to really take care of themselves.”

I explained my skincare routine and asked what I could do at home to improve my own skin. “Less is always more,” she answered. “Avoid products with lots of harsh chemicals, and don’t pile on too many things.”

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After our chat, I lay on Donna’s indescribably comfortable treatment table to try out one of these marvellous facials myself. I had laid out what I considered to be my own skincare problems, dry patches and wide, clogged pores. Rather than reprimand me over my lack of diligence when it came to my skin, Donna was extremely gentle, both in the treatment and in her approach. It actually really helped me to open up about how my skin had suffered from harsh red frown lines since I had lost my dad, and was extremely therapeutic on an emotional level too. I realised just how much stress had impacted the last year of my life. For the first time in almost a year, I relaxed and cut myself some slack.

While my skin didn’t have any major problems, I asked Donna to be brutal and let me know exactly what could be improved. She very kindly observed that my own assessment was pretty much accurate but that nothing drastic needed to be done.

However, after five minutes under the spell of a heavenly face massage, I knew that I was going to be coming back as a client, rather than a journalist.

After the treatment, I immediately booked my next and decided I would document changes to my skin over six months. I was completely sold on and hooked by the treatments and products, and decided to give them their best shot at making long-term changes.

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Donna packed me up with some samples for my skin to try over the next month and I have been dutifully sticking to my routine in anticipation of the next wonderful facial.

Before I left, though, floating blissfully into the afternoon sun, Donna had a few last words of advice for brides: “The most important thing is not to get fixated on blemishes, or stress out that your skin might not be perfect on the day,” she advised. “The best thing you can do is take care of yourself and prepare your skin with a simple routine that’s suited to you long in advance. That way, even if you have a blemish on the day, your make up will cover it much more smoothly and last a lot longer.”

Review based on a PR sample. 

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