Luxury Darphin Facial At Spa Illuminata

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Before I went to Bali, I was stressed. Very stressed. And I read somewhere (or maybe made up) that it's bad to fly when you're stressed. So I booked into Spa Illuminata for simply the most wonderful hour of my life…

If you've not been to Spa Illuminata, it’s a day spa just off Park Lane, all Roman-esque pillars and large window fronting. The initial retail area feeds through to a marble waiting area, which in turn leads to a myriad of treatment rooms, accessed by marble staircase (obv). 

I had settled on a Darphin facial. I'm a big fan of Darphin – they seamlessly blend super hi-tech innovation with luxe botanicals, which equals an enjoyable and efficient experience. And that's surprisingly rare. Their most recent launch, Lumiere Essentielle, is a duo of serum and gel-cream that I'd been meaning to try, so was thrilled to find the facial would incorporate the two. 

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My therapist guided us into the room and briefly acclimatised me, pointing out such useful but commonly overlooked features, including fluffy robes and wardrobe space.

The products were super soft and lightweight. We started with the serum, which contains marine extracts, essential oils and botanicals. Next was the gel-cream, complete with skin-strengthening plant sugars (I asked) and more of the essential oils.

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By the end of the facial, I was so relaxed that I forgot my phone (true story), but more importantly, my skin had lost the slightly dull texture that I'd walked in with. It's a cliché to boast 'healthy glowy skin', but it's hard to think of another way to describe my revitalised pallor. To the touch, my skin was squishy and dewy – it had clearly benefited from the hour of intense hydration. 

Actually, there is a word for how I looked. I guess the clue was in the product names.

Darphin facials from £60 for 30 minutes

Words: Olivia Cox