The Real Knightsbridge

Seth Rowden reviews the Men’s Express Facial offered by skincare therapist Peter Juniper, owner of Ginger & Juniper, at the award-winning Motcomb Street Michaeljohn Beauty & Medispa in Belgravia. Is this 30 minute facial the perfect lunch time treatment?

Peter Juniper is a leading skincare specialist practicing a range of natural anti-ageing and relaxation techniques. His Men’s Express Facial promises to have you in and out within 30 minutes, leaving you feeling energised and refreshed. Could this be the perfect lunch time treatment for men?

Peter is best known for his signature treatment — a natural uplifting facial massage that is designed to give a natural, instant facelift by using specialist massage techniques, as well as rebalancing the skin’s PH levels and the acid mantle of the face. This treatment is extremely popular with his private clientele — models, actresses and residents of Belgravia to whom he offers discreet home visits.

His new range of men’s treatments are designed to do similar things, but with a focus on simplicity and efficiency. The Men’s Express Facial costs £45 and concentrates on essential skincare maintenance using gentle massage techniques to enhance the flow of oxygen to the skin and help with lymphatic drainage. The idea is that, as well as leaving you looking younger and feeling relaxed, it is also good for your overall health.

On Sundays, Peter is based at the award-winning Michaeljohn Beauty & Medispa tucked away at the end of Motcomb Street. This small, chic spa was where I met Peter for my Men’s Express Facial. I settled in one of the private treatment rooms downstairs as Peter dimmed the lights and set to work.

Peter is a devotee of Neal’s Yard Remedies, an English brand of organic products containing only the finest ingredients. He said he uses Neal’s Yard products because their values — a strong emphasis on quality — reflect his own values as a skincare professional. The range he was using for my treatment had been specifically designed for men, with some of the products having a particularly woody and masculine scent.

He started off with an invigorating back, shoulder and neck rub, which he explained helps to quickly relax my muscles, many of which are linked to facial muscles and can be a source of tension in the face. This heavy-handed massage technique quickly relaxed me I felt like most of the tension in my body had completely disappeared by the time I was invited to roll over onto my back for the facial.

A Purifying Face Wash was applied first. This gently foaming wash contains an antioxidant rooibos herbal infusion to cleanse and strengthen the skin. In contrast to the face wash, Peter then applied a Revitalising Face Scrub which is a gritty clay product designed to remove dulling skin. This felt great when applied to my skin, and was probably a long overdue necessity.

Just as I thought that I couldn’t possibly feel more relaxed, Peter began the facial massage. For this he used Ginger & Juniper massage oil, which he gently massaged into my face and neck. He then asked if I minded him using a touch of massage oil to give me a light head massage, and began to work the tension from my head and neck.

Just as I was on the brink of nodding off, he ended the face massage by applying hot towels to my face — specifically to the muscles around my jaw — to really take away any remaining tension. To rehydrate my face, he lightly applied a Rejuvenating Moisturiser and a dab of Rejuvenating Eye Gel to soothe the skin around my eyes.

I was so blissfully unaware of the time that I hadn’t realised my 30 minutes were up. It hadn’t felt rushed or hurried at all — instead it was an express service, a ‘does what it says on the tin’ approach to skincare. I liked it.

When I looked in the mirror, I was surprised to see that not only did I feel different but that I also looked different. My skin now had a youthful glow to it and had lost the tired look I had brought in with me.

I stepped back out onto Motcomb Street in a meditative trance and realised that I wanted one of these before every business meeting, after every Knightsbridge shopping trip and on every Sunday afternoon.

And taking only 30 minutes, I still had plenty of time before I needed to head home. Feeling relaxed and carefree, I thought I would keep on treating myself and make this the perfect Sunday — and so I headed across the road to the Pantechnicon.

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