This Skin Essence Is Part of a Super-Expensive Facial

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NYDG’s Medical Triad Facial is memorable in more ways than one – the label’s Skin Essence offers low-key results at home

From the niche new beauty brands doing something different, to the industry’s evergreen icons, Sophie Bew opens up AnOther’s dream vanity in a new series...

  1. Who should use it? Moisture fiends.
  2. How long until I love it? By the time you’ve finished your make-up.
  3. How planet-/people-friendly is it? Short answer please! It comes in minimal plastic packaging but lasts a good while.
  4. How do I use it? Just splash onto skin before any other topical.

NYDG’s Luminizing Skin Essence – a delicious jelly-like juice to splash onto cleansed skin before serum or moisturiser – is a key ingredient of a somewhat memorable facial that can be found on the fourth floor of Harrods, at its palatial Wellness Clinic. Loaded with probiotics, jojoba oil, willowherb and rose, it’s designed to soothe, plump and prep the skin, priming it with wetness so that any tinctures applied on top will penetrate quicker and deeper, without wasting time focusing on your dried-out upper layers. A marked dewiness is instantly noticeable – not least when applied after NYDG’s world-renowned Medical Triad Facial, which costs £800. 

The facial is, in a word, startling. This is especially true if your idea of a luxury treatment is tinged with a contented, idealistic image of self-care – but then again, the clue is in the title: it’s a medical facial. The process can begin with a 3D face scan (it’s optional), using the same technology Madame Tussaud’s employs in the creation of its wax models and will promptly render your poor face from some quite brutal, hitherto unseen angles. It can only be recommended if you have a hardy sense of self-esteem or you’re OK with the notion of Botox as a solution to every symmetry “issue” you may have inherited – which of course, many people are. But not me. It’s not a space for body positivity so best skipped if neither of the above apply. It is, however, truly illuminating. I discovered all kinds of droopy or too-muscular portions of my face I’d never seen before. “At least I know what my good side is now!” I exclaimed. “I wouldn’t say good,” the blunt but impeccably dressed Dr Costas Papageorgiou, NYDG’s UK medical director replied. 

While our conversation was hilarious, the facial itself was seriously good – but not vaguely relaxing. 20 minutes of microdermabrasion sand-blasted my dead skin cells to reveal tingling newness; 20 minutes of laser toning followed (it feels like that crisping moment on the beach when the SPF has given up) to even pigmentation and traumatise your cells into producing more collagen; a quick chemical peel and 20 final minutes under the LED phototherapy lamp follow. It resembles a UV-lit coffin and, left alone in it for the duration, it may have been the longest 20 minutes of my life. I emerged only slightly pink but genuinely glowing, with the promise that my skin would continue to improve over the following weeks with its new surge of collagen. Regaling friends with my less-than-mindful route to dewiness later in the week, I was waiting for responses of shock, horror and awe. And while my ‘good side’ bit got a laugh – most responses were: “Where was it though? You look great!” With two friends following up by email for its exact name. My anti-Botox, Goop-troop, soap-box moment went unheard; the glow outshone it, I guess?