BEAUTY THERAPY: At-home facial products from the pros who know

Here’s some skincare food for thought: could 2019 be the year of the facialist brand?

I suspect it could. In a sea of labels created by doctors, derms, marketeers and already successful formulators, it seems that those with facialist founders are doing very well at Net-a-Porter, where sales of their wares have increased by 57 per cent in the past year and account for nearly a quarter of all skincare purchases on the site.

‘Our customers are constantly on the lookout for something new and that often comes from facialist brands, such as Joanna Vargas, Mimi Luzon, Sarah Chapman and Teresa Tarmey,’ explains Newby Hands, Net-a-Porter’s beauty director. ‘There is also a real trust that these facialists know exactly what women want for their skin today.’

‘Facialist brands are developed to re-create clinical facial effects at home,’ says Sarah Chapman, whose Skinesis line is renowned for its excellence. ‘When I’m in the treatment room I’m actually researching,’ says facecare guru Alexandra Soveral, whose Angel Balm cleanser is one of my all-time favourites. ‘I can feel how the products work on the skin, and I make mental notes on ways I could improve them.’

Molly Manning

She sees the products work over long periods of time. ‘Most of my clients have been with me right from the start, 15 years ago. I have seen their skin change, age and yet remain supple, firm and beautiful. They have been my equivalent of clinical trials; they are also my hardest critics.’

‘I think what sets us apart is we are “real” people with a profile in the beauty world,’ says Frances Prescott, a facialist, make-up artist and former nurse, whose Tri-Balm 3 in 1 cleanser, exfoliator and moisturiser became an almost instant classic when it launched two years ago. ‘Consumers feel a sense of trust in the brand because they see a person behind it who offers information on their product choices.’ 

‘Customers are expecting more from their skincare investment,’ says Jane Scrivner, who has her own eponymous label. ‘If you talk to any facialist they will agree that formulating their own range was a must. I put my hands on the skin first and reach for the products second, mixing, blending and layering. I need my own products in order to deliver. It would be like a painter only being able to use primary colours – you get results when the alchemy of blending happens.’ 

It isn’t just for treatment rooms. As Sarah Chapman says, ‘Due to geography or cost, not everyone can get a regular facial, but they want to replicate the salon experience at home. Facialists bottle their knowledge for you to be able to use it.’

Nor does it have to be expensive: Super Facialist was founded as a partnership between facialist Una Brennan (now Michaella Bolder works with the brand) and a team of specialists. Its aim: ‘to empower you to be an expert of your skin in your own right’.

The best at-home facial products

Soveral Angel Balm Cleanser, £55,

Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Facial Scrub, £8.99,

Frances Prescott Tri-Balm, £46,

Jane Scrivner Bioluronic Buzz Smoothing Hyaluronic Hydrator, £32,

Feature by Edwina-Ings Chambers. Beauty assistant Alice Robertson