The appliance of science

SARAH ROBERTS visits Spa Illuminata in an exclusive corner of London to experience the revolutionary 3D-skintech facial

Images: Courtesy Spa Illuminata


Spa Illuminata is tucked away in a quiet corner of Mayfair, the exclusive W1 postcode of central London.



Spread over several floors, the spa is deceptively large with eight individual treatment rooms, plus two scented steam rooms. If I had to choose one word to sum up the interior it would be ‘elegant’, due to its marble steps and stone lion head fountains which create a classical look.




However, in addition to offering the ‘classical’ range of treatments, this is a spa that prides itself on embracing the very latest procedures and hi-tech equipment. I was here to experience one of the 3D-skintech treatments, which is billed as “a revolution in the non-surgical aesthetic skincare”. Be prepared for some lengthy form filling, this is so that the therapist can tailor the treatment (and fine-tune the levels of heat and intensity administered by the equipment) to your specific requirements.




I was advised that my 3D-skintech facial might not be the most relaxing experience I’d ever had, rather the emphasis was on a “results-driven” approach – and this was sound advice. I have a tendency towards dry skin and was prescribed the Time Defence (anti-ageing) treatment, aimed at reducing fine lines and other visible signs of ageing. There are also two other ‘protocols’: a ‘lightening facial’ to improve pigmentation and uneven skin tone; and ‘clear skin’ for oily complexions or skin prone to acne.




Science Meets Nature at Spa Illuminata Danesfield House Hotel & Spa


My 3D-skintech facial consisted of three stages:




1. Micro-dermabrasion – this was a thorough exfoliation, with my therapist adjusting the levels of intensity administered by the hand-held device attached to the machine.




2. Radio frequency – after serum was applied, a different tool dispensed heat and induced a strong tingling sensation. Again my therapist checked the levels and adjusted the settings: while you want to get the maximum benefit, requesting hot and tingling skin feels slightly counterintuitive. This stage aims to tighten the skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.




3. Electro-mesotherapy – this felt quite peculiar, as if an electrical current was being pumped through the skin on my face and neck (which I think it was!) and nerve endings involuntarily twitching on my face and up into my scalp. This action is designed to encourage product penetration and increase hydration.




After the machine-based treatments, my therapist applied a facemask and I enjoyed a relaxing hand and arm massage, almost nodding off in the process.




I was then led into a neighbouring room for my 15 minutes of Beauty Angel light therapy, where you sit under a bank of panels emitting bright lights. This reminded me of relaxing in a deckchair on a sunny day in nearby Green Park. Except better for you, given the absence of harmful UV rays and the fact that the treatment claims to “stimulate the skin to naturally build collagen and elastin”.



For maximum results, the recommended course of treatment is to repeat the 3D-skintech facial every week for eight weeks, and thereafter have maintenance treatments every four to six weeks. After just one treatment, my skin appeared more plumped up and taut immediately afterwards, and I also felt the benefits of the thorough exfoliation throughout the following week.


If you’re looking for hi-tech treatments in elegant surroundings, Spa Illuminata is the place to go. And, unlike many city spas, where your senses are immediately bombarded by traffic and hordes of people upon departure, you retain a sense of serenity as you step back out into this tranquil central London spot.


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