Salon review: ARK Holland Park

The ARK chain of health and beauty salons have a ten year history, with the Fulham branch being first to ‘set sail’ followed by a further three salons opening across various South West London locations including Holland Park, Putney, and Wimbledon.

I was lucky enough to be invited to visit the Holland Park branch to try out the signature ARK facial. The ARK is a 70 minute treatment using in-depth Dermalogica Skin mapping to tailor the treatment to the specific needs of your skin.

ARK therapist, Sheralynn ushered me into a lovely tranquil room, surrounded by ARK candles and playing soothing music. At the end of a long week, this soothing treat was just what the doctor ordered. Sheralynn explained exactly what would happen during the treatment, starting with a deep cleanse making sure my skin was squeaky clean and ready for it’s close up. At this point I was put under a bright light so each of the 12 sections of my face and neck, as defined by Dermalogica, can be closely examined and ‘diagnosed’ for its condition, and prescribed a solution.

I have always been tempted by Dermalogica facials, as a big fan of their products it always made sense that the treatments would be equally good. The only thing that has been a bit off-putting is the feeling that I might get told off for the condition of my skin. Despite writing about beauty and having an over-flowing bathroom stacked with products that promise solutions my skin is still somewhat lacking in perfection (hence the ongoing search for a perfect foundation to cover the flaws).

Luckily Sheralynn didn’t tell me off at all, but did enlighten me to the condition of my skin. I was surprised to learn that my forehead is actually de-hydrated, when I always thought it was oily- proof that you learn a new thing every day. I also took the opportunity to get some advice about a few of my problem areas that no amount of magic products seem to be able to help. I was advised that the lines around my eyes that I thought were either premature ageing, or hereditary are most likely caused by de-hydration, and using a good eye cream will help solve them.

Following the deep cleanse a strange bubbly concoction was applied to my nose and chin (problem areas for congestion) whilst a moisturising treatment was applied to my cheeks and forehead. During the mask treatments I was offered the choice of a arm and hand massage, or a neck and shoulder. I went for arm and hand.

After a facial massage with skin-boosting oil a further mask was applied, with two layers through a muslin cloth, one of which smelled quite strongly of oatmeal so I assume this was to soothe my sensitive cheeks. I was left to relax for a few moments whilst Sheralynn fetched some hot towels for the final stages of my pampering treat.

At the end of the treatment I was totally relaxed and my skin was feeling fantastic. The Dermalogica facial is a great starter facial to give you a really accurate idea of the condition of your skin, and to make sure that you are using the right products.

The ARK salon is a really welcoming and not at all pretentious salon with a really comfortable ambiance with a number of treatments and packages on offer, including a set of four Dermalogica facials that can be taken over a year, so you can have your skin analysed regularly enough to adapt your skin routine to suit different seasons.

The ARK signature facial costs £70 for 70 minutes.

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