The Best Facial in London, and Why You Should Go Check It Out

A couple of weeks ago I had one of those truly life altering experiences. As a Makeup Artist that spends a good proportion of my life talking about the skincare needs of others based on their requirements I found myself stuck as to what to do with my own.

mortar and milk sensitive congested skin facial review

A little background. I’m 32 in June this year. I’m obviously going through some hormonal skin/ body changes. I love my coffee, booze and sugary treats. My scheduling/ sleep/ work life is all over the place. I try to stay hydrated but at times it does slip my mind. I eat very well 90% of the time, but let’s face it, some days my diet is eating total utter shit that’s super bad for you { read: burgers, ribs, chips, basically any form of delicious American food } . I’m only human and if you can see your life in any of this, chances are you are too. Congratulations!

Sad case of Before affairs, right?

That’s when through trawling various well known blogs about what to do with my skin, I found Mortar and Milk. Mortar and Milk is a beautiful little shop space in Fulham that offers the most in depth facial treatments, boutique shopping experience and gut health advice. I emailed the team and within 24 hours I’d set up a consultation and facial with Pamela, Co Founder and Clinical Aesthetician of Mortar and Milk.

mortar and milk sensitive congested skin facial review

I arrived to a chilled but attentive vibes. Immediately greeted by beautiful hound Blitz and Pamela, I was checked in and invited to check out the products or take a comfy seat- it’s ALWAYS lovely when the CEO of a company personally introduces themselves and checks you in without waiting for the foot-staff to do it in an airy fashion- you know?

Pamela and I had a super lengthy chat. Almost 2 hours. Our chat involved talking about our respective careers and lives as beauty professionals as well as what I’d actually paid for. My face and body health. Pamela asked about my gut health- how smelly my farts were, how often, how often my bowel movements were. All the glamour, right? We also talked about my skincare routine so far and why I thought it might not be working for me. Pamela then proceeded to educate me about how the skin, our pores and gut work together and operate and what we need to do to help them do their jobs properly.

mortar and milk sensitive congested skin facial review

Photographs of my skin: Pamela took some super flattering photos of my skin using Observ520, this was to test the oil levels in my face, the redness, surface and any distress, sun damage and dehydration levels. The good news was that where I’d been a good girl and used SPF when necessary I had very minimal sun damage and very minimal skin ageing. Excess oil in various areas was spotted, as was dehydration. One thing I LOVED straightaway about our consultation was Pamela immediately noticing just how sensitive my complexion was to not only product but temperature. She watched my face change from various shades of pink, beetroot and red as we were CHATTING { nothing strenuous needs to be going on for my face to do this }and set about prescribing what she would do to help my concerns.

My concerns and how she helped them: After listening to the various ingredients I’m allergic to, Pamela cleansed my face with Oskia’s Renaissance Cleansing Gel which is infused with Vitamin C- it turns out my sensitive skin CAN take vitamin C. In small doses and at the right stages { see further down }. It actually feels more like a balm than a gel. She explained that whilst I love to feel super clean, I should refrain from buffing and excessive massage as this stresses my skin out and isn’t necessary for my sensitive complexion. She then cleansed with Exuviance’s Gentle Cleansing Cream ( containing botanicals and Poly Hydroxy Acid ( a pretty essential exfoliating acid for sensitive skin)), soft strokes and light massage over my face. Finishing all these steps with a hot flannel wipe. Pamela then exfoliated my face with a tailor made mixture of Poly Hydroxy Acids, Lactic and Glycolic. I was then treated to some extractions. I will now note that since exfoliating with the right kind of acid, my face feels more soothed, calmed and cleaner than it ever has with a grainy exfoliator. I thought I’d miss a scrub, I don’t, which is huge for me. She finished this part with an Alkaline spritz to even the PH of my skin and a swipe of Clinisept { a total God send for anyone that suffers Viral herpes breakouts }.

Post flannel Pamela infused my skin with possibly the most uncomfortable part of any facial I’ve ever had. Anti Oxidants. Unlike a serum which I’ve used in the past, Pamela’s version makes your skin feel ‘ Like champagne bubbles’. I must say it felt like furry arachnids were running all over my face. I hated it. Every single bit of it made me anxious and I had to ask if I could open my eyes at this point to prove little furry creatures weren’t having a party on my face. She saw it was making me super uncomfortable and massaged the foamy texture into my face which calmed the bubbling, and me, down. She then super chilled me out with a dose of Vitamin C massaged lightly into my skin. It was super cooling and soothing. Amazing. The last part of the facial I can’t actually remember. There were serums to protect and soothe and hydrate. I can’t remember what they were. I think I was so pleased with that dose of Vitamin C I failed to care.

mortar and milk sensitive congested skin facial review

What I’m doing to help my skin based on Pamela’s advice:

I’m cleaning more efficiently for a start. The genius about the session is that Pamela doesn’t up sell during or after. Instead of giving me a shopping list she encouraged me to go home and see how I felt about my skin, to keep using what I already had and to notice any changes and let her know what was going on and how she could help. The first change was noticing how easily congested my face actually gets without products my skin so desperately needs. I asked for a cleansing and exfoliating product list of which I bought the Oskia gelExuviance Gentle Cleansing CreamExuviance Bionic Tonic Exfoliating pads which are rich in PHA’s and Clinisept. Pamela told me to wait until my Lush Dream Cream had run out- I’m using it as a day and night cream. I separately treated myself to Caudalie’s Vine Activ Overnight Detox Oil for nights where I feel my face needs a little rescuing. I layer with the dream cream if I feel the need to. So now I alternate between cleansers depending on how I’m feeling and what I think I’ll need, sometimes I double up. I’m not longer buffing like crazy at my face, I sweep gently and I’ve cut the amount of brisk massaging I do considerably. It’s so far looking a lot more refreshed, calmer and clearer.

I’m also taking a regular probiotic, I take Udo’s Choice Super 8 Hi Count, which again has got the Pamela seal of approval. I’ve noticed my tummy feels happier, and smells it.

This isn’t a sponsored post. I went to see Pamela of my own free will and paid full price. The initial consultation I had that took place directly before the facial itself was £100. The facial was completely bespoke and was £125. Please note that the above products were recommended based on MY body, MY face and requirements. Please research these products and get in touch with Pamela for more information as she is a fully licensed Clinical Aesthetician and Professional chit chatterer. I am only the former and super enthusiastic about skincare. Do let me know how you get on.

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