re:lax Bespoke Facial Review: Healthy Skin that Glows from Within
THE RE:LAX PREMISE – SKINCARE BENEATH THE SURFACE
A community of containers that’s quickly becoming Hackney’s holistic hub, The Gossamer City Project is the perfect location for a fresh-thinking and ethically-focused Skin Studio like re:lax. My facial was with senior therapist, Katie White – a qualified nutritional therapist (mBANT), holistic therapist, and skin coach (BABTAC) – who founded re:lax in 2016 after her own bout of bad skin lead her to question the actual effectiveness of the harsh treatments and chemical-based skincare that are so often promoted as the ultimate skin solutions.
Aiming to help people achieve happy and healthy skin in the most natural way possible, the team at re:lax use a three-pronged approach of topical treatments, lifestyle considerations, and nutritional therapy, where the focus is placed firmly on the importance of maintaining healthy skin from the inside-out. Fusing together the worlds of skincare and gut-health, a facial at re:lax swaps product-centric and impersonal treatments, for a totally bespoke experience in a cosy studio, where – armed with a mug of green tea – Katie will unpick any potential interior issues, and select topical treatments and holistic therapies to directly target them.
THE RE:LAX SECRET – IT ALL TAKES GUTS
Guess what? Your gut is most likely playing a part in your skin troubles. Although not yet a recognised medical diagnosis, “leaky gut syndrome” is a proposed digestive condition caused by issues like nutritional deficiencies, the over-consumption of high-sugar foods, and facets of modern like high stress levels, not getting enough sleep, and the over-use of antibiotics and medications. Damaging and irritating the mucosal barrier between the inside of the gut and the rest of the body, bacteria and toxins are able to “leak” through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream and immune system – resulting in widespread inflammation issues like bloating, food sensitivities, fatigue, digestive issues and skin problems.
Taking into consideration all of the information about your lifestyle, gut health, and general wellbeing learnt from the consultation, you can safely leave your skin in the gentle (and, quite frankly, magical) hands of re:lax – who promise to provide no quick fixes and fads, just in-depth holistic support for your skin and health.
THE RE:LAX CONSULTATION – IN NEED OF TUMMY TLC
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Although we only chatted for about twenty minutes, we really covered a lot – starting off with me explaining that in recent months my skin had really deteriorated, and I was particularly struggling with congestion on my forehead. Covering off all lifestyle bases, we talked through my relatively non-stop daily routine, and frequent stomach problems – as well as taking note of any recent significant life changes – before moving onto specific details about my current skincare regime, and the stimulant medications and anti-depressants I currently take everyday for my ADHD. Giving her verdict on any potential lifestyle factors that could be causing my stomach problems – and in turn, flaring up my skin – Katie identified that my high stress levels and intensive exercise regime, coupled with the big fat dose of stimulants that I’ve been knocking back with my breakfast everyday for the last four years, were most likely leaving me with a wound-up and leaky gut. Prescribing a metaphorical chill pill, she suggested that taking the time to slow down, breathe, and incorporate some calming activities could give my highly-strung tum the respite it’s craving.
Moving over to nutritional therapy, we discussed my vegan diet, and concluded that although I seem to be getting along fine with my protein intake, it might be worth looking into taking some iron supplements, and ensuring I’m always getting a daily dose of B12. To help mend any potential gut damage caused by toxins and stress, Katie recommended upping my intake of fermented foods and cruciferous greens – so from now on, you can expect to find me snacking solely on freshly boiled broccoli, washed down with a shot of kefir. Delicious!
THE RE:LAX FACIAL – EVICTING ALL TOXINS
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Keen for my skin to soak up some natural antioxidants, Katie used products that are rich in vitamin C, such as the Oilixia Gummy Cleanser – enriched with one of the best natural sources of vitamin C, Australia’s Kakadu Plum extract – and the inflammation reducing and skin brightening Lena Wild Harmony Rescue Mask, which was the Beauty Shortlist 2019 Award Winner in the Best Face Mask – Detox category.
With the aim of sending unwelcome toxins on their merry way, I chilled out and enjoyed the massage sensation of Katie carrying out Lymphatic Drainage and Foot Reflexology, so as to stimulate the body’s healing process, flush out waste products, and encourage circulation. Shown to improves microcirculation by up to 400%, Katie also gave me an intense Gua Sha facial using a Bian stone – which are known for their ability to boost collagen and promote antioxidant effects – before using Acupressure techniques to apply physical pressure to acupuncture points, with the aim of clearing internal blockages. I’m telling you – after all that – never have my chubby cheeks felt so plump.
Finally, to tackle my congested forehead, Katie used high frequency to stimulate cell renewal, before opening my pores up with a good old steam – an ideal way to soothe and hydrate the skin, as well as release any dead skin cells, trapped oils, or bacterias. No pore strips or chemical peels – just a little bit of encouragement, and a nice old cleanse.
THE RE:LAX VERDICT – SKINCARE SOLUTIONS FOR A LIFETIME
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| SKIN SCHOOL | ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 6 weeks till the next Skin School and I can not wait! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I created skin school because I feel that facials courses only look at the skin and products without going deeper. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In this accredited course we look at the body as a whole, we explore how nutrition, lifestyle, pharmaceuticals and skincare can impact or improve skin. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In the practical we learn how to tailor the treatment to a client and the final day is spent learning all about natural products, how to get started and build your business. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There is no other facials course like this. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Next course: 19th – 21st July Price: £500 Accreditation: BABTAC Prerequisite: none necessary
If you haven’t guessed already, I’m officially a big fan. Taking it back to the basics of nutrition, routine, and plant-based skincare, re:lax provides the ultimate support system for all skin-types. Sure, a trip to see Katie is going to cost you a reasonable amount more than the chemical-filled skin solutions you might find in the pharmacy, but so much more than just a quick remedy for that particular flare up, re:lax will encourage you to get to know what makes your skin tick.
An all-encompassing experience, re:lax veterans can benefit from the specialist nutritional knowledge available to them, as well as plenty of workshops and opportunities to learn how to correctly carry out their own facials – and even train as a facialist! Taking the power away from the ‘quick fix’ beauty industry, Katie White is giving us the tools we need to be the captain of our own skincare ships – and I, for one, am here for it.