Health, Beauty & Fitness: Exfoliate, exfoliate

Tardis-like, this face mask could take you back in time

On the bottom shelf of my fridge there's currently a pale green ectoplasm-like facemask, which resembles a cyborg's face. This strange item, however, isn't anything to do with the Timelord, but is courtesy of another doctor – Dr Sebagh, the plastic surgeon beloved by many a Hollywood celeb.

My boyfriend can't wait to throw this odd-looking item away. I'm determined, however, to hold on to it – partly because it's reusable up to six times, but also as it's a reminder of a special beauty therapy that's only recently become available in Edinburgh.

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Up until recently, Dr Sebagh's Anti-Ageing Facial (which claims to increase skin hydration by up to 60 per cent) was a treatment only available at top London salons. However, Cari from local salon, Aspen, has just trained in this therapy and is now offering it at this lovely beauty spa, which also boasts a new branch on Dundonald Street in Edinburgh.

The products used as part of this treatment are all super hi-tech – the medicinal red, white and black packaging is testament to that. They don't, however, feature the sort of solvent-y scents that you might expect. Instead, as Cari massages my face with a rich oil, the relaxing smell of camomile tea wafts into the air while the Soothing Relax Mood Enhancer, which she applies at the start of the treatment, features the soporific aroma of lavender and clary sage.

This pampering session also includes all the cleansing and exfoliating that one might expect from a facial (plus the application of some "super potions", such as Dr Sebagh's Extreme Maintenance serum, which retails at over 200), but there are a few differences. For one, there's also a focus on the back of your hands and decolletage – areas that usually get wrinkly and age-spotted before anywhere else.

Then there's the aforementioned jelly-like Natragel mask, which contains aloe and green tea. This feels icy cold when applied to your skin (giving the sensation of an instant "brain freeze") but, while it gradually warms up to body temperature, a hand and arm massage from Cari works as a suitably lovely distraction.

When it's lifted off, a little of Dr Sebagh's Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream and a dab of the Essential Glow foundation base is applied. You then have the option of having your skin dusted with some of Cari's Lilly Lolo mineral make-up, which is perfect for post-treatment skin.

After all this pampering, my skin had an even tone and felt taut and smooth. What a result. I hadn't jumped into the Tardis and re-wound time, but it wasn't too far off.

Dr Sebagh Anti-Ageing Facial 80 for 75 minutes, Aspen (3 Lady Road, Edinburgh, 0131–667 4787, www.aspentherapies. com) and Aspen North (7 Dundonald Street, Edinburgh, 0131-558 1855).

Fab facts for a beautiful life


Eat to the full

Waistband feeling tight? The boffins at the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health have been working with Marks & Spencer on its range of Simply Fuller Longer meals. The selection, which includes chargrilled chicken noodles and butternut squash risotto (3.79 each), contains higher levels of protein, which they claim will help you stave off hunger pangs. Plus they've devised an accompanying menu planner, which you can view online.



The right blend

If you've resolved to switch to natural cosmetics, then bareMinerals' new Mini Refillable Buffing Brush is a great investment tool. Although mineral powder foundations work brilliantly, you need the help of a dense brush when it comes to pressing the product on to your skin. This version, which has a chunky handle for a decent grip, and a compartment for your mineral powder, fits the bill perfectly. Now, you just need to remember the golden rule – blend, blend, blend.

bareMinerals Mini Refillable Buffing Brush, 18 (0870 850 6655,


You can count on it

Forget the wii fit. The Ki Fit is the next big thing. This calorie-counting armband gives a meticulous readout of your daily habits, from metabolic rate to steps taken. Wear it day and night and it can measure how long you've slept for, the quality of your sleep, plus any calories that you've burnt while doing the housework, as well as general exercise. According to the makers, this could help you make the kind of simple lifestyle changes that yield real results.

Ki Fit, 99.99,

• This article was first published in The Scotsman on 23 January, 2010