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I got my face plastered in 24k gold foil for a ‘casual’ facial

TextIris Rosindo-Chalangeas

London-based spa centre michaeljohn offers the luxurious 20-minute treatment to plumpen and brighten your skin

Hello ’tis I, Irisback again to unveil and review more eccentric beauty. In the spirit of Christmas and my habitual extravagance, I decided to review the 24K Gold Leaf Facial, which consists of getting facially mummified using 24k gold foil. I was having trouble not being a grinch on such a gloomy and rainy day in London but I decided it was high time I kicked myself out of my cave and straight into beauty Whoville.

Before delving headfirst into my Goldmember fantasy, I did my research, looking up the reasoning behind this seemingly audacious practice. What I discovered was a myriad of benefits from fighting free radicals to improving elasticity and ridding your beloved face from the pollution of the big city.

Following this, I was on my merry way to the michaeljohn spa centre in Sloane Square. It’s renowned for setting the gold standard for what a London beauty spa should be – refined yet relaxed, giving an air of luxury without ever making you feel intimidated. Michael Rasser and John Isaacs founded the spa in 1967, which offers a plethora of scientifically-backed beauty treatments, and has since cemented itself as a beauty staple on London’s high rolling landscape.

I began my trek to billion-dollar beauty on the District line and got a green juice to enhance my impersonation of Primrose Hill yummy mummy. Before I could even take the first sip of my kale, banana, strawberry, and CBD oil smoothie, I was welcomed by the stellar Negin Erfani, my skin specialist (and soothsayer) for the next hour. Now, Erfani is not your run-of-the-mill beauty specialist, with a background in tech and science having worked in the heart of Silicon Valley for many years. Her understanding of dermatology, and the data that comes with it, runs deep. 

After a quick analysis, she proposes that I prep my skin with a nanocurrent pre-treatment and then follow up with the gold extravaganza which, surprisingly, only takes 20 minutes. I gleefully agree as her soothing voice guides me through the ins and outs of beautifying journey.

First up is the nanocurrent, a technique Erfani discovered via a dermatology journal and boasts a slew of magical benefits. The Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels of our cells reduce over time causing the skin to age. But charging your skin and muscle tissue with nanocurrent increases ATP levels, allowing your skin to renew quicker, she explains. But, what makes this machine one-of-a-kind is that, unlike its competitors in the electric current facial sector, it automatically monitors, reprograms and adjusts its output frequency 16 times a second to mimic my own unique frequency. 

“Once the gold was put on my face, I lay for approximately 15 minutes soaking up the whimsical benefits of my Klimt-esque treatment. During this moment of golden serenity, she breezed through the different benefits of gold, which include locking in moisture and being antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant”

Post-pre-treatment, it was time for the pièce de résistance, the 24k gold facial. I felt like a Roman statue on the cusp of being restored for my unveiling at the Louvre. Contrary to popular belief (and the stock photos if you Google search the term), your face shouldn’t actually be fully covered by the 24k gold foil, which might sound disappointing (at least to me, the megalomaniac) but also makes obvious sense. Erfani explains that your body shouldn’t be absorbing excessive amounts of any metal via the dermis, as there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. 

Once the gold was put on my face, I lay for approximately 15 minutes soaking up the whimsical benefits of my Klimt-esque treatment. During this moment of golden serenity, she breezed through the different benefits of gold, which include locking in moisture and being antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. In addition to this, she also pointed out that metals like silver, provide similar benefits, which left me thinking: is it high time Tiffany & Co. crossed over into the skincare industry?

Afterwards, she gently massaged the metal seamlessly into my dermis, elevating my net worth from £2.42 to £102.62. Then followed up with a warm towel, to remove any pesky residue, and a vitamin B12 serum she recommended to me (which wasn’t worth an extortionate amount. Negin believes that we deem the quality of a product based on its price too many times in consumer skincare). So there I was, plump and cheery, ready to tackle the rest of my otherwise pretty dull day.

In all honesty, I’ve never been a facial convert. For the most part, I thought most treatments were just phantasmagoric ways of elevating the face rub. While some remain within the realm of artifice over actual substance, often inflicting breakouts and more on their way, the 24k gold facial and nanocurrent pre-treatment are nothing short of sorcery. Somehow making my already relatively plump skin plumper was mystifying and addictive. In other words: the benefits of them are so noticeable for how little time it takes, making it an easy buy (if you can afford it).

Obviously, I’m not assuming everyone has upwards of £300 to spend on a facial (or some really unfortunate looking lip fillers *sips tea*). But if you do have some disposable income, or wish to treat yourself this Christmas, michaeljohn is the place to be and Negin Erfani is the facialist to meet.

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