Aesthetic spa treatments are more advanced, more subtle and more luxurious than ever before, and as they come to luxury spa and member of the Elysium Collection, The Spa at South Lodge in Sussex, Spa Operations Manager Sara Young discusses the new way to experience luxury aesthetic spa treatments…
How did you become passionate about luxury aesthetic spa treatments?
I used to work on cruise ships before coming to The Spa at South Lodge, where often, people wanted to leave the spa having achieved lasting results that topical skincare products couldn’t quite do.
Sometimes people wanted a little Botox, but many were put off by horror stories from the high street. When I came to South Lodge we wanted to bring something regulated to the luxury spa industry so people could experience the results they really wanted in a luxury environment, and knowing it was being delivered to an exceptional standard.
We started the clinic at The Grove in Hertfordshire, and then at South Lodge’s sister hotel, Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa in Surrey, and now at South Lodge itself. It’s great to work with the owner of the Exclusive Collection hotels to achieve something special with this to really add a new dimension to the spa experience.
What aesthetic spa treatments do you offer?
Treatments are overseen and delivered by Dr Catharine, who is a Harley Street GP who trains other medics to deliver injectable treatments. She’s very highly skilled and a lovely person too.
Under her watch, we offer anti-wrinkle injections (Botox), Dermal Fillers and Profhilo, which is another injectable anti-ageing treatment - those are all administered by her. We also have a highly trained therapy team who deliver HydraFacials (which use peptides and hyaluronic acid to feed the skin), AlumierMD peels and Byonik treatments (a pulse triggered laser, which has only been available in the UK for 12 months and is great for encouraging stronger, healthier skin and can reduce pigmentation, rosacea and fine lines).
How have treatments been received so far?
With the highly professional approach we are taking, and the luxury environment, we’re finding that people feel safer and more comfortable having these treatments, especially those like the HydraFacials. From a psychological point of view, people feel better informed. Historically, it would take people an average of seven years from noticing something they weren’t happy about with their skin, to having that first treatment.
For example, I used to have this line between my eyebrows which was never going to go away with just topical treatments. I want to get rid of the line but I didn’t want to have a frozen forehead. By having Botox while it was a still minor issue, I was able to take a much lighter approach, which is where prevention is easier than cure.
So we always ask clients to tell us what the problem is and then we will advise what we can do to help. We work with them on their concerns and Catharine will always look for the least invasive and least dramatic approach first. For example, we might look at a course of treatments to gradually address the issue. Catharine’s style is holistic and very much about less is more and working with skin health and she provides a follow up service to make the right results are achieved. We’re very much about going on a journey with our clients and getting them where they need to get to be rather than rushing it.
Is there anyone who can’t have luxury aesthetic spa treatments?
There’s something for everyone, but we always tailor treatments to the individual, so it’s impossible to give a completely sweeping answer. We have an online booking platform and every appointment starts with an online consultation form. So if you have any concerns or there are any potential problems then we can address them before you come and make treatment recommendations as a result.
For example, if you have an aspirin allergy then you can’t have a HydraFacial, but we would pick that up and recommend an alternative. With laser treatments the only real contraindication is epilepsy.
Are there any recommendations you would give to anyone considering these treatments?
A lot of what we do is preventative and the earlier you can start to consider getting the right skincare, the easier problem areas are to tackle. For anyone considering how you might want to care for your skin in the future, we’re your team.