Until recently I haven’t ventured out of London (within the UK) to have treatments unless I was going on a holiday but when Andy (aka Pampered Prince) and Jessica (aka Spoilt Face), founders of Samsara Skin natural clinic and proficient beauty bloggers invited me to Birmingham, to visit their new creative professional venture, I just couldnt’t resist and succumbed to entertaining my curiosity.
I met Andy and Jessica initially on Twitter and a few months ago we met in person, at Wholefooods market, where a fascinating discussion about beauty ensued over generous helpings of sushi and green tea. Both Andy and Jessica were in town for a three-day course on face peels-very intriguing in itself. They might seem like the opposites, Andy a little shy at first, more reflective while Jessica is always a sparkly, bubbly self with firm views and opinions that she shares openly and wholeheartedly and yet they are like two arms, left and right. Both of them are incredibly likable but more importantly, they clearly love what they do and compliment each others talents and knowledge thus truly presenting a untied front of yin and yang.
Samsara Skin is a heavenly oasis of calm, within a short walking distance (there is a story on the subject of distance coming up further below) of Birmingham’s New Street train station. It is situated in the calming hub of Custard Factory and as you approach Samsara you can’t help but feel drawn to its window.
I got quite a greeting at the train station, as my ‘meeting committee’ consisted of beauty bloggers Danni aka Holistic Green Beauty and Ana aka Ana Goes Green blog as well as Elijah Choo, founder and creative mastermind behind Bodhi ( Jen, aka Bare faced Chic, joined us a little later). The last time I was in Birmingham I was 16 and my recollections of the city were quite vague to say the least, so having a group of friends come and meet you was a big reassuring treat in itself. Not pausing for breath in our conversation covering a multitude of subjects, we made our way straight towards Samsara Skin.
As you enter Samsara you feel curiosity mixed with serenity as everything about this place exudes calm. No small detail was overlooked by Jessica and Andy, from stocking a meticulous edit of beauty brands like Balmology, Pai, Bodhi and CosMedix (the latter being the brand I haven’t come across before but it’s peel certainly made me sit up and take notice!) to supplements from Viridian and Collagen Shots (this supplement delivers what it promises, unlike many other supplements that have the word collagen in its title) as well as delicious variety of We Are Teas. Every product and shelf looks perfect, every bottle presteen (testers look meticulous with no drop or residue in sight), every display combination drawing your eye in.
Andy and Jessica have set up this first natural clinic in Midlands because they think that every person is unique and their skin deserves a tailor-made approach. Whether a man or a woman, we have different skin types, needs or problems. Some might be inherited, like eczema, some might be hormonal, some issue relate to our stress and environmental factors exposure. Whatever you skin grievance or concern you can trust those two therapists to examine your face, to talk to you in detail and to help you address your skin needs on a very individual basis by holistic means in that moment in time. They will customise your treatment and recommend skincare and supplements appropriate to you. From natural and organic brands to peels and Omnilux lap (I have yet to try this but if Jessica’s and Andy’s complexions are to judge by-an absolute must!) those two beauty therapist wonders will have every eventuality covered.
I have spent several hours that day deep in conversation with my friends at the Spa, the tea flowed and so did the advice and laughter. Eventually Jess led me to the treatment room at the back and gave me one of the most detailed assessments I have ever experienced. From possible medical conditions to examining my skin and asking me about my diet and skincare routine-nothing was going to escape Jessica’s attention. After cleansing my face Jess proceeded to give me a CosMedix peel. Ok, to be honest, while I have had peels in the past, I am not the one to have them on a regular basis. There is still plenty of stigma of rawness and redness attached to the treatment that is a chemical peel or in simpler terms, an intense acid-based exfoliant. However, done by the full trained professional, peels can address a multitude of skin issues, from discoloration to pigmentation, from dull skin to sun damage. It can even be useful for someone who has acne.
Peels used to be quite aggressive in their composition of strong single acids aimed at resurfacing our skin, getting rid of the dead skin top layer and revealing a more radiant skin underneath. In the past, when having a peel, you could expect skin peeling for a few days after it. New peels on the market are gentler and are designed to get your skin glowing. When Jessica asked me what I wanted from a treatment that day, I said that I wanted a radiant complexion and as Jessica put on gloves and started applying the peel (I will be honest, it doesn’t smell nice) I held my breath, just a tiny bit.
Now, I don’t know what kind of acids my particular peel contained on the day but generally you can have a peel containing AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) like glycolic and citric that help to brighten tired looking skin and reduce fine lines, while lactic acid helps to address acne by helping to cleanse the pores by killing bacteria. There is also TCA (trichloroaceteric acid) that helps with spot prone skin.
After the peel was done Jessica misted by face with a moisturiser-yes, you heard right, a moisturizer that is a mist and applied a CosMedix eye cream that has a feel of the balm (Jessica says it is unlike any other eye care product and I will have to agree with her-my under-eye area felt moisturised even the next morning) and I was allowed to glance my face in the mirror. Now, and I am being hones there, what I saw was truly amazing-beautiful, glowing skin that looked at least five years younger. Soft, plump and vibrant, like a newly painted canvas- yet I had no make-up on. I went out of the treatment room and we started taking photos. On this occasion I was quite happy to stand next to Danny, who has perfect skin and who is ten years younger than I am. And that’s the beauty of Samsara Skin-when you come in for a treatment or skincare advice, you will feel the sense of lightness mixed with meaningfulness, because beauty is truly skin deep. For some people beauty stands in the same equation with vanity but Samsara skin and its founders stand for changes that will bring you meanful, long-term benefits. A regular facial benefits you and your skin, as is the advice from the experienced therapist who doesn’t want to sell you the most expensive product. Instead you will leave with a tailor-made skincare and supplement prescription and feeling happy about yourself. In my case, Jessica also enclosed a sample of Balmology and a supplement from Viridian and told me that my skin is perfect-well, almost .)
If you ask me what makes Samsara Skin different from any other spa or skin clinic, I would say it’s the fact that both founders are truly passionate about what they do and they are not just constantly expanding their already extensive knowledge but they test everything on themselves so when they tell you about the product or treatment, you can rest assured that they know it from inside out. There will be no pretence but honest holistic advice and a very enjoyable dialogue.
My visit and the company on the day was so good, I nearly missed my train. So if you saw a glowing woman dashing like a Mad Hatter towards the train station, asking for directions, well, it was me. I was sad to depart but I can honestly say that a trip from London to Birmingham just to visit Samsara Skin is so worth the train fare and your time.
To find out more about Samsara Skin Reborn, visit the website: www.samsaraskin.com