Sunday Night Spa by Lou Dartford

Sunday Night Spa by Lou Dartford

Louise Dartford is a make up artist, beauty writer and blogger and she’s a renowned expert in green beauty. She is one of our amazing experts coming to Detox Health Beauty day at Archerfield Walled Garden. She talks here about how to create the perfect Sunday night spa...

Sunday night is officially the night of the DIY facial but why not go the whole hog and indulge yourself in a DIY spa. Let’s face it, not many of us get the chance to visit a real one that often. The cold weather and hunkering down in January are also pretty good reasons to partake in some pampering. Whether you’ve got 10 minutes or an hour, there is definitely some 'you time' to be had.

However much time you have, first things first, it’s time to melt away the day’s make up and daily grime. I love to use an oil or an oily balm as the first step in my cleansing routine. I’m currently loving Mono’s Rose & Cucumber Cleansing Oil. Take the time to really massage it into your skin for at least a couple of minutes. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a trained beauty therapist, just trust what feels good. In general we’re trying to lift up, so avoid any dragging movements. Remove with a muslin cloth or flannel – I tend to use cotton pads around my eyes to avoid a quickly greying cloth!

Even if you’re not a make up wearer, daily grime will accrue so this first cleanse will dissolve anything on the surface and your second cleanse can get down into the pores. Use this ritual to wash away any stresses and negativity from your day too. It’s fine to use the same product for your second cleanse but also nice to use something with different properties. I like to use a wash off one with a konjac sponge to really deep clean.

Exfoliation is the next step, sloughing away dead skin cells will help to add radiance to your skin but will also allow your other products to work better. Choose according to your skin type and how it feels that day. I’m a big fan of Pai’s Kukui & Jojoba Bead Exfoliator, which is very gentle and suitable for sensitive skins. Gentle is the key word here. Whatever product you’re using - no scrubbing, just small slow circular motions.

Now your skin should be in a great place to reap the benefits of a mask. There are so many amazing masks out there and something to suit every skin and situation. They’re also something that you can get more of an instant effect with and can switch about and play with a bit more; serums and moisturisers tend to be more of a cumulative effect.

The powder clay masks are great as you can really customise them to suit how your skin is feeling. Mix them in with honey, yoghurt or an oil for example, to add extra nourishment. If you’re not up for mixing, I’m a big fan of Oskia’s Renaissance Mask. This does contain natural fruit acids, so if you’re sensitive be wary if you’ve already exfoliated. I personally love to do both as it makes my skin super smooth but this mask is also a great two in one if you’re short on time. Now either lay in the bath or relax somewhere (maybe with organic red wine in hand – think antioxidants ;)… your spa… your call).

Our eyes are the first place to show everything, so give them a treat too. Good old cucumber or cooled chamomile tea bags will help calm and de-puff. 100% Pure’s Bright Eyes Mask will deliver a little more and help boost this delicate area - these are actually fab before and after a night out.

Once your mask has done its work and your skin is lovely and cleansed and smooth, it’s time to nourish, feed and recharge. Glorious plant oils know just what to do here and your skin knows just how to receive them. During time of cold weather, rather than just one thick heavy cream, layering products is a great way to look after your skin. Different products will work on different levels too – serums will get further down into your skin taking nutrients with them, while creams will hydrate and protect the more superficial layers. At the moment BYBI Beauty’s Supercharge Serum is a firm favourite, I’m also a big fan of the Nourish serums too. Therapi’s Ultra Radiance cream is a real treat for weather worn skin; it is a very rich cream so not suited to all everyday but a definite winter skin tonic.

Lips are another tell-tail place so ensure they get their hydration fix with a good balm. Twelve Beauty’s Hyaluroil Lip Treatment is the perfect finishing touch to your now glowing complexion.

If you are going the whole hog, then now give your body some attention. If you’re like me and forget you have skin below your neck in the colder months, then this will be very welcomed by parched skin. Odylique do an amazing Coconut Candy Scrub that will get your skin glowing, I love to use it on my feet too. Next start that layering again, first an oil to help reach the deeper layers of the skin, Bodhi and Birch’s Sicilian Rose Body Oil is beautiful. Gently massage it in everywhere, then lock it in with a richer cream or body butter. Evolve’s Tropical Blossom Body Butter, will nourish the driest skin and might just whip you away to a sunnier place even if just for a second or two..

You see, who needs a spa when you’ve got your own bathroom…?

For more information about Lou Dartford and for links to the products she mentions in this article, please see below:



Sheena Skinner