Rewarding and relaxing: treat the skin for results

BEAUTY may only be skin deep but that doesn’t stop women pursuing the eternal quest for wonder products and treatments that will improve their appearance.

The abundance of beauticians in London alone proves this, as do the dozens if not hundreds of moisturisers, cleansers and masks that adorn shelves in chemists. Looking good is million-pound industry and shows no sign of slowing down.

And, as reported in this section of the Ham&High in June, the trend for non-surgical treatments means intensive skincare is more accessible – and affordable – than ever.

The Princess Soraya Salon in Finchley Road has led the way in this field, using the latest equipment and products to perform a series of groundbreaking treatments.

They are not just for women of a certain age either as modern developments and changing attitudes mean there are treatments for both men and women, young and old.

Naturally the biggest concern for people as they grow older is how to get rid of wrinkles.

At 32, it is hardly giving me restless nights but once you hit 30, there is definitely a subtle change, particularly around the eyes as the skin begins to get looser and sadly, a slick of under-eye concealer no longer disguises a late night. I visited Princess Soraya, owned by Firouzeh Ahari, to receive a skin assessment and treatment.

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The assessment is important here – she may not be a dermatologist but Ms Ahari and many other beauticians like her are consummate experts in their field. It’s no longer a matter of sticking on a face mask and seeing what happens.

During my consultation, Ms Ahari identifies my dark shadows and explains the possible causes (could be genetic, could be poor-functioning liver), and talks me through the science and techniques of her treatment. I learn about the effects that dehydration has on the skin at all ages and how to tackle it.

Ms Ahari has three unique facials on offer – for both women and men – the non-surgical lift, wrinkle filler and intense hydration. She also offers a professional eye lift which targets the fragile area around the eyes.

“All facials start with a deep cleanse, steam and exfoliation,” she said. “Only when the pores are open and the skin is clean, will the specialist products be absorbed by the skin.”

Although Ms Ahari tells me I am comparatively youthful, I experience the non-surgical lift facial which she believes will still be beneficial for me, particularly around the eyes.

It is not a quick process and Ms Ahari prides herself on taking her time with her clients to ensure they get the most out of it, that they relax and enjoy the experience.

Once the deep cleanse is complete – which makes the skin feel heavenly as it is – she gets to work on the nitty gritty of the treatment. First, she uses a specialist non-surgical lift machine which shapes the contours and lifts the muscles. She massages around my eyes over and over again with the machine, which is hugely relaxing and I find myself nodding off.

Then collagen and elastin serum is inserted under the skin by a galvanic current. Again this is completely non-invasive and relies on the currents to power their way through my skin. Then, fresh collagen is applied on the face and neck and freeze-dried collagen on the eyes. For people with particularly loose skin, this needs a few sessions after which the facial contours are lifted and the face regains its youthful appearance.

I came away from my two-hour facial utterly relaxed and with smooth and fresh skin which lasts for days.

The treatments at Princess Soraya are extensive and thorough yet they are much cheaper than its big-name rivals. For more information and for details of the latest offers visit or call 020-7794 2835.