From oily patches and blackheads to hormonal volcanos, we all know that periods can make you spotty as heck - but can anything actually help with PMS skin? This week, PP booked in for an aromatherapy facial to see if essential oils were the key to busting blemishes…
What’s the hype?
Madhavi, aromatherapist and founder of skin clinic Rishi Veda, believes essential oils are brimming with therapeutic benefits that can help with the physical and emotional symptoms of PMS – including skin breakouts. She blends botanicals together to create bespoke oils for each of her clients, so you feel as special as you do relaxed (which is A LOT). Plus, it’s about a hundred times better than picking at your spots in the bathroom mirror…
The PP experience:
Emotional and spotty: the two words that perfectly sum up my period. I don’t really get angry or tired and I even manage to muster up the energy to carry on exercising, but guaranteed about a week before my flow I get spots – or, to be more accurate, massive boils filled with watery grossness that aren’t even satisfying to pop. Not only am I covered in said boils (usually on my chin) but I am emotional, too. So the process of slathering on thick layers of concealer until my bulbous pimples become cakey, orange mountains usually ends in tears. This month however, I decided to tackle the problem head on.
Rishi Veda – a cosy, calming studio in the heart of London’s Mayfair – is run by facialist and aromatherapist Madhavi. With 17 years' experience, she has an impressive wealth of skincare knowledge and a treatment room to match. The aromatic haven was filled with candles and sumptuous scents from sweet marjoram and lavender to geranium, a serene place to enjoy my first ever facial.
First, we had a 15-minute consultation in which she gathered in-depth information about my skincare routine, my problem areas (before and during my period) and even my favourite fragrances to curate the perfect concoction of spot-busting oils.
Madhavi then began with a purifying skin cleanse to remove any dirt and residue. Even this first stage was heavenly! The warm oil balm – a blend of jojoba and plum kernel oil infused with May Chang – seeped into my skin as she firmly massaged my cheeks, my chin, my forehead and my temples. Within about 10 seconds I had become a face massage convert and what followed only got better.
She applied her signature yellow clay face mask (which she gave me a little pot of to take home) under a warm lavender steam that swept away impurities and made my skin super-smooth. And yes it was as amazing as it sounds. The mask contained salicylic acid, lactic acid and vitamin C to brighten, smooth and scoop out impurities.
Next came the part that I wish someone had filmed: the extractions. Softly, Madhavi worked away at my blackheads, my whiteheads and every pesky pimple in between. Five minutes of squeezing away at my skin and I literally felt lighter. How is that possible? Maybe blackheads contribute to weight. That’s my excuse for Slimming World anyway...
Following the squeezing session, she turned her hands back to massage (yay) and used a face oil of sandalwood, rose and geranium to tackle all the knots in my shoulders, followed by my face, my neck and my scalp. As if I wasn’t already super-relaxed, the mix of deep tissue, Swedish and lymphatic drainage sent me even further into the depths of bliss.
Lastly, she painted on a face mask that had once again been tailored to battle my problem areas, and as the flower waters, oats, aloe vera and hyaluronic acid set, the massage continued. The treatment finally ended with a spritz of flower mist, a serum and a rose and peppermint lip butter - a rather delish little touch.
Once it was all over (sob) I opened my eyes and stroked my dewy skin. I was invigorated, refreshed and floating on air. I returned to the office and into a barrage of compliments about how full and youthful my complexion looked. I actually felt I looked tighter and brighter and over the next few days my spots simply faded into the background. Had it achieved what I had hoped for? Absolutely.
The face massage. Seriously, it was unreal. If only face massages were compulsory in life I would be supremely relaxed and look about 12 years old. I genuinely think that’s what gave me my radiant glow and I’d highly recommend it, even if you end up doing it yourself in bed with a high-street face oil. Oh, and also the scents. Everyone loves to smell gorgeous.
Worth a mention:
The best way to cure a problem is to avoid the problem altogether, right? Sure, facials aren’t cheap but they’re a fantastic way to care for your skin. Try culling those daily coffees and save the money for something truly special at the end of the month.
5/5 - Because who doesn’t want to be pampered and pimple-free on the run up to their period?
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