signature facials

A great skin care at home can do a lot, but for that extra or when you’re skin is in distress, there are aesthetician’s or beauty therapists that can be savours. You floss and brush your teeth twice a day but you still need to see the dentist to maintain good dental health, same goes for your skin. By now most of us have bathroom cabinets filled with products, so many that we don’t know which one to use when. This is also a reason why your skin would benefit from the attention of a trained beauty therapist. They can help you understand your skin, why it reacts to different environmental and internal factors and how to best care for your skin.

One can feel confused and even intimidated trying to figure out which facial to go for. There are so many different kinds with different names. What you will have heard and read the most about is signature facials. So what exactly is a signature facial and what can be achieved by hand, or is it better to go for a machine?

What is a signature facial?

There are facialists, and then there are ‘signature facialists’- or those who strive to gain the maximum benefit for their clients by creating bespoke techniques and using specific products for the exact needs of their clients skin rather than following a mere facial protocol or standard facial.

The main difference a signature facialists provides is that their treatments are sometimes not the most relaxing, as it is more results driven and therefore the techniques used may not be the usual gentle massage to create a limited glow.

Signature facialists work on the premise of how the muscles in the face are structured and then provide the correct stimuli to get those muscles into shape again. If the muscles of the face are maintained, being stimulated on a regular basis, there is a visible long term ‘lifting’ of the face. Some signature facialists use machines such as  CACI or Environ, in conjunction with their manual techniques to gain more long term and visible benefits for the client. 

Environ was developed by Dr. Fernandes in Johannesburg in 1983 and works on the ethos of delivering products and technology with proven efficacy at cost-effective price points. The Environ facial is part of this ethos and uses sounds waves along with electrical pulses to deliver nutrients deep into the derma of the skin. 

CACI has had expertise in the beauty industry spanning over two decades, and is one of the world’s first providers of a non surgical facelift system. Originally developed to help patients of Bells Palsy, CACI utilises the unique combination of specific waveforms and ultra low frequencies that work alongside the body’s own bio-electrical field, transmitting tiny electrical pulses and signals to stimulate muscle tone and the enhancement of skin tissue. Before its recent popularity, CACI was a best kept beauty secret of the late, Princess Diana, and today is an essential part of beauty regimens of A-list stars such as Jennifer Lopez and Madonna. 

What can you achieve with a signature facial by hand vs by machine?

If you are going to visit a signature facialist for the first time it is important to be 100 percent honest regarding the history of your skin. This includes lifestyle habits such eating, drinking, whether you have or are smoking and how much you have worshipped the sun. By doing so and providing a history, the signature facialist can determine how far the muscles of your face have gone (down) and how far they need to go (up). We’ve done our homework and asked a few of the top signature facialists in London about what can be achieved through their facials, and which makes the bigger difference, hands or machines? 

Tine Hagelquist: “My signature facials can be thought of as a ‘workout for the face’, and I strive to give my clients a restoration to the structure of the face that goes beyond a three day glow or feel good treat on the day.”

You will often find that experts like Tine have extended knowledge of nutrition and can provide valuable advice and requirements to heal and aid skin conditions like acne and even menopause too. Adhering to the nutritional advice is also part of the signature program and experience to gain results (as in any health regime). 

Cosmetic designer, well respected skin specialist and a signature facialist in her own right, Alexandra Soveral, best describes the pros and cons of hands versus machines: “The use of machines in a facial is useful if not essential for when there’s a lack of technique on the therapist’s behalf or the facial lacks a specialised massage. Machines such as CACI work by activating muscle contraction and it is believed that this will result in better toned muscles, however machines are not able to feel the state of the facial tissues. They cannot feel if muscles are relaxed or tense, if the skin is elastic or flaccid and most importantly if and how the tissues are responding to the treatment. Only an experienced and specialised facialist can effectively work the facial tissues to produce results that are significant enough and that are not going to damage the skin in the long term. In my opinion machine facials can be useful as a muscular stimulus to keep facial muscles toned but only when in conjunction with manual facials that detoxify and regenerate the facial tissues.”

Upon visiting Christina Coelho of Wimpole Therapeutics on Wimpole Street, we have trialled CACI, and the Environ facial. With Environ the results were an overall visible difference while CACI seems to be better for targeted areas such as jowls or brows. Coelho believes that machines are a valuable tool for any signature facialist, as it gives extra value upon the expertise of the facialist, in the promotion of nonsurgical solutions in anti-aging. 

How and where do you find signature facialist?

As signature facialist are few and far between, the key to differentiating them is if they promote a manual technique or nonsurgical facelift techniques. Often they also call themselves ‘bespoke facialists’ or are known to be experts in their field. Many who go to a signature facialist will recommend friends and you may hear about them through word of mouth. NUIT recommends the signature facialists interviewed in this article: 

Alexandra Soveral

Christina Coelho

Tine Hagelquist

 Text by Lillian Gusto.

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