The Chelsea-Based Facialist By The Luxury Channel

Sarah Chapman gives The Luxury Channel the perfect antidote for guilt-ridden sun exposure this Summer….

Chelsea Facialist

Sarah Chapman, the Chelsea-based facialist, is well established in London with innovative techniques earning her a top celebrity clientele and many appearances on TV makeover programmes. Inspired as a teen by living in extreme climates and their effect on their skin, Chapman has always been aware of the importance of good skincare in beauty regimes. “I always had to use plenty of moisturiser to counteract the effects of hot sun or cold wind,” she explains.

Chapman belongs to a new generation of skincare specialists and her brand, Skinesis, reflects this. She believes that the age where plant-based products dominated the traditional French cosmetic houses such as Lancôme and Estée Lauder is over. Are the Brits now catching up then? “A lot of niche British brands are thinking out of the box, rejecting plant-based products, and aren’t afraid of new ingredients such as peptides.” Chapman identifies this new era in skincare as a direct result of the medically-based treatments and products available. It seems today’s consumer (especially since the recession crept up on us) is only satisfied if the money spent is directly seen in the results. Bonus points to the brand if they can give a scientific explanation and add ‘‘doctor’’ to its figurehead’s name.

Chapman herself is the antithesis of traditional techniques by marketing departments to add attractive, yet totally ineffective, ingredients. “I’ve spent a lot of time working on understanding formulas; the ingredients in a product are only effective if the correct percentages and proportions are used.” Such a practical attitude certainly takes us back to school chemistry lessons.

Even the “cleanse, tone, moisturise” mantra is no longer de rigueur for those in the know. “Serums have now taken the place of toner, as their low molecular weight ensures greater efficiency in absorbing products into the skin.” But don’t skimp on the cleanser, as “one of the most important steps is to cleanse properly as it prevents the skin looking tired or grey.” Chapman favours oil-based products for gently clearing the skin of impurities.

It’s no real surprise that Chapman’s essential for youthful, healthy skin is good UV protection, but she also believes that today’s consumer is becoming increasingly sun savvy. “Many women, however, complain that if they are using a daily anti-aging cream with SPF 15 then they won’t go brown. Your skin will still colour in the sun, only the damage will be minimised.” It is clear that a lot of groundwork in good skincare should be made before we reach our early thirties, when Chapman says someone should start considering an anti-aging routine. By a person’s late thirties, use of a heavier duty serum becomes more beneficial.

An area of Chapman’s work in her Skinesis clinic highlights the negative effects of the sun on skin. “A lot more women are considering corrective surgery to deal with skin damage that occurred when they were younger.” The clinic now offers innovative laser treatments to correct hyper-pigmentation, and the non-invasive method is definitely preferred by many customers dreaming of youthful skin. “One treatment which isn’t new but is experiencing a revival is red light therapy; for example Omnilux, which stimulates collagen production in the skin.” The non-invasive, non-surgical technique offered at Skinesis and similar clinics has created a more accessible, attractive and natural way to looking good. Perhaps stretched, face-lifted cheeks and frozen, botoxed foreheads are fast becoming a fad of the naughties.

It’s not just the scientific advances that have changed the way the industry operates. “One of the fastest growing areas is more convenient, home-based products where the customer can carry out treatment at home.” The Skinesis Facialift Sculpting Facial Massager offers a chance to reap the rewards of Chapman’s famous facials in the comfort of your own bathroom, and at £24 is certainly a more purse-friendly option (but just be careful it’s not being nicked by your other half!). Chapman has also seen a dramatic rise, not only in the number of men breaking taboos and stereotypes by caring for their skin, but also the number of skin care products aimed exclusively at the male consumer.

When this clinical approach starts to feel worlds away from the cosiness of our old rose-scented moisturiser, Chapman’s goal has been to “bring luxury back to performance skin care.” She reveals that “we wanted to avoid trips to our salon being too similar to visiting a doctor, so we created a luxurious environment with soft furnishings, chandeliers and a luxurious service.” The perfect antidote for guilt-ridden sun exposure this summer!