An Edinburgh facial treatment that’s more than skin deep

Validation Facial
Validation Facial

This relaxing facial adds another component – a blast of self confidence, writes Gaby Soutar

The treatment

The Validation Facial, £85 for 60 minutes plus 30 minutes’ consultation time at Lush Spa, Edinburgh.

Why go?

Made a resolution to be positive in 2016? Then this facial, which was designed with the help of a behavioural therapist, has been created to help you feel good about yourself, rather than give you more neuroses about wrinkles, spots, saggy bits and pores.

Our spy says

Once I’m downstairs in Lush’s sound-proofed spa, which is decorated like a snug farmhouse kitchen, I’m asked to come up with two words to describe how I want my skin to look and how I want to feel post treatment.

I go for radiant and confident (well, it’s more realistic than supermodel and high as a kite).

However, before you can escape permanently into the downstairs spa, this experience begins with some shopping in the ground floor branch of Lush.

My therapist, Chris, leads me around the retail area, pointing out skin-suitable products and I choose what I want him to use after a sniff of each. He puts a blob of my choices onto a round slate palette, alongside a few obligatory lotions that are essential parts of the treatment, like Ultrabland Cleanser (with honey and almond, based on an ancient Greek recipe) and Dreamtime Temple Balm.

Among other potions, I opt for Dark Angels Facial Scrub with Black Sugar and Charcoal, Popcorn Lip Scrub, a Tea Tree Toner Tab, the Full of Grace Serum Bar, Enchanted Eye Cream and a fresh Love Lettuce Mask with Seaweed. Once we’ve harvested our products, it’s back downstairs and into the treatment room, where Chris pours water over dry-ice to unleash a cloud of fruity scented smoke to “cleanse the room” before we start.

When I’m lying on my back with a hair band on, the treatment commences. Music playing is the soundtrack of being rowed out to sea, then snippets of conversation about positivity and self image.

Chris cleanses, scrubs and anoints my skin with gentle and gorgeous smelling unguents, using massage strokes like waves and utilising hot towels to gently blot off whatever mask or scrub he’s using.

As well as a hand and arm massage, towards the end of the treatment, my knees are bent, and there is some deep tissue work on my shoulders to improve my posture and, thus, general confidence.

It ends (so sad), when I sit up and Chris squeezes me a fresh orange juice.

The results

My complexion looks great, but more than that, I feel happy in the skin I’m in. That’s a proper result.

• Lush Spa, 115 Princes Street, Edinburgh (0131-225 4688,