If you’re into skincare, then the chances are that you’ll already have heard of Linda Meredith. The original, and many would say best, facialist in London has been in the beauty industry for over 40 years. I was fortunate to experience a facial with Linda, who shared her top tips on how to get perfect skin. These days, Linda focuses on the business side of her company leaving patients in the very capable hands of her expertly trained team, so it was a great privilege to receive a facial from the lady herself. I’d previously met Linda at a lunch and been impressed by her down-to-earth attitude – she’s a fellow Northerner! At the time she had debunked quite a few skincare myths, for example:
Drinking more water won’t necessarily help your skin
However, it’s essential to keep skin moisturized, so a hydrating mist is highly recommended. Water based moisturizers also work well, and don’t hesitate to reapply if you feel that your skin needs it. When taking an aspirin or antibiotics, your skin may be more dehydrated, so keep an eye on it.
Linda also told me that alcohol in moderation is not the worst enemy of skin, which was rather a relief ;-). Even sunlight is alright in small doses, just remember to:
Reapply sun cream every couple of hours to avoid burning
Before visiting, my skin was somewhat uneven and blotchy with congestion around the nose and chin and dry patches on my forehead. Linda really had her work cut out! Her salon is located in one of the most exclusive areas in Knightsbridge, Beauchamp Place.
It’s a pretty street with some very upmarket boutiques and restaurants. Linda opened the salon to help clients whose skin is affected by modern day life. Preservatives, chemicals and hormones have taken their toll on skin. Most existing skincare products don’t help all that much, focusing as they do on dry, combination or oily skin. That’s not to say that overall skincare types don’t exist but a client may have a range of issues at any given time. For this reason, it’s important to:
Vary your skin care according to your skin’s needs
Don’t use the same cream, day in day out. Depending on its needs, adapt the products that you use. A fish oil supplement may be helpful in Winter if you suffer from dry skin.
Linda developed an alternative skincare method, addressing skin problems rather than types. It involves layering, so each product in her range can overlap, increasing effectiveness. I was pleased to find out that unnecessary chemicals like parabens have been removed.
Discreetly housed above an optician, that suits the clientele, many of whom are celebrities. I didn’t bump into Sienna Miller, Rosamund Pike, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Colin Firth or Penelope Cruz, but they are all reputed to have graced the doors here. Celebrities are in the public eye and scrutinised from all angles. The clinic doesn’t do agressive treatments such as very strong peels and lasers, or heavy fillers. The reason is that they can damage capillaries and tissues. Similarly, retinol may thin the top layers of your skin.
Don’t get too worried about one line or spot
Since if you do, you may resort to extreme methods to get rid of it when in fact, a spot may disappear if you leave it, and you can plump out fine lines with increased hydration. As for expression lines, they’re not related to ageing and can add character to a face.
Once upstairs, you’ll find a light and airy reception. The staff were charming and made me feel right at home. After filling in a questionnaire about my skin condition and desired outcome, I was whisked to a treatment room for the Haute Couture bespoke facial. Tailored to your skin’s needs, it has a range of options including firming, resurfacing, anti-ageing and more. The deep cleansing is the most popular, in fact, Linda recommends:
Double cleanse your skin
After my double cleansing, she thoroughly examined my skin to assess my skin problems. I asked her about a transparent raised area on my forehead, about the size of a small spot. I’ve had it for years and never been able to get rid of it. Linda calls these doughnuts and apparently they are easily treated at her salon by a short electrolysis diathermy session with a specialist who visits the clinic once a month. I only wish that I’d known years ago!
She then applied a plumping product and I was then treated to five minutes of steaming, to open my pores. Another advantage of Linda’s clinic is that it’s one of the rare places that still does extraction. She explained that most therapists are no longer trained in it, but if done gently it’s really effective in improving your skin’s appearance. Next, a micro-glycolic serum was applied to remove dead cells and lessen fine lines. A light layer of glycolic was applied to my sensitive skin, however it’s left on longer for those with less sensitive skin. I have mild rosacea and for those with similar issues, Linda says to be wary of prescription steroid creams which may thin your skin and destroy collagen. She recommends her Amazon and NET-45 creams to deal with the issues with no side effects. It’s also worth trying relaxation methods as the cheeks are related to the lungs and any emotional or respiratory stress may accentuate your problems. For general redness, it may be genetic or a result of broken capillaries. Both cases can be treated with Linda’s Phyto 4 product, and capillaries can also be helped by diathermy electrolysis. Many of Linda’s clients have issues with dairy products, and she suggests that if your skin is oily, avoid dairy as much as possible. It’s also worth bearing in mind that:
Eating excessive amounts of fruit can cause breakouts, particularly in the chin area
Berries in particular can be culprits so try cutting them out or reducing the amount that you consume for a week, to see if it makes any difference. The glycolic peel was followed by a relaxing but effective massage, then a mask using personalized products. I don’t normally post a photo of myself after a facial because I’m not that confident about my skin and it usually takes a day or two to settle down. However, the results were astonishing – feels like I’m wearing foundation! Excuse my strange expression, I’m not a dab hand at selfies 😉
Of course, it’s best to have regular facials and to carry on the good work at home, so Linda shared some tips for how to feed your skin at home…
Home skincare tips
Make sure to use a water soluble cleanser that won’t leave a barrier on the skin. Health food stores can be a good source, and ask for samples if possible. Linda herself sells a complete range of products for home use, including her famous oxygen mask, which is discreet enough to be worn on flights, and her V-Tox natural alternative to Botox.
Linda Meredith facials are available at her salon in Knightsbridge, and at a range of other locations worldwide including The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, Chewton Glen and the Akaryn Samui Spa in Thailand.
Linda Meredith, 36 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, London, SW3 1NU
What are your tips for how to get perfect skin?