Face Place, Rosewood Hotel: ‘No pampering facial but based more on results than flim flam’

Face Place at The Rosewood

Face Place at The Rosewood - Credit: Archant

BRIDGET GALTON tries a Hollywood facial that involves wearing a scary looking mask then being hooked up to an electric current

I’m lying on a table in a fabulous spa in a luxury hotel yet I look like I’m being tortured or treated for severe burns.

A mask of soft cotton wadding soaked in zinc encases my face. Another of a stiff material is lowered on, and hooked up to an electric current.

I’m feeling claustrophobic, there’s a salt-sting sensation from the conductive plate under my shoulders and a metallic taste in my mouth. And yet I’m luxuriating on a warm padded bed, and the therapist is giving me a relaxing arm massage…it’s not altogether unpleasant.

Welcome to the weird world of the Face Place’s signature treatment.


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Created in 1972 for Hollywood’s A list elite it started as a man thing before wives and girlfriends noticed their fresher-faced partners and to paraphrase Nora Ephron said: “I’ll have what he’s having.”

Holborn’s Rosewood Hotel is the first place in the UK to offer it.

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Let’s be clear, it’s not one of those pampering facials where someone rubs a succession of unguents onto your cheeks as you listen to whale music. But banish all thoughts of Hannibal Lecter, or the ICU because the hotel’s subterranean Sense Spa is hardly Abu Ghraib.

Pad along thick carpets and push past a black laquered door and you’ll be ushered into a low-lit circular relaxation room with gold pillars and comfy beds that’s as zen and calming as the womb.

Once in the treatment room you are cleansed with yukka root extract and your face is heat steamed under a conical mask that’s not unlike the ones dogs wear to stop them licking themselves.

My therapist delivered a very good neck and shoulder massage that banished threatened waves of claustrophobia, then vacuumed my face to pop out all my blemishes before thoroughly extracting the nasties.

This is hard core deep pore, but not really painful.

Then there’s that 10-15 minute galvanic current treatment which pushes the zinc and vit C solution into the skin, tones, tightens, lifts and stimulates cell renewal and collagen creation.

In terms of products this is a low level facial. There’s no snake oil, perfume or wondercream and you don’t feel all sticky afterwards.

It’s hardly surprising that a treatment developed for men is based more on results than flim flam. As a woman in my 40s I was obviously hoping to attack lines, wrinkles and sallow skin.

But really any aged group would welcome the radiant plumped skin I walked out with.

Face Place signature treatment costs £140 for 70 minutes bookings on rosewoodhotel.com.

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