I was feeling the harsh effects of seasonal change, and suffering from a touch of jet lag, when I visited Anthyllis in Edinburgh's west end to experience a one-hour Dr Hauschka facial designed to restore equilibrium (and moisture) to parched, sensitive complexions.
Salon founder Lorrie Mackie prepared a bowl of sage-scented warm water for a foot soak ahead of a detailed consultation on the state of my skin. She also outlined the science behind the Dr Hauschka brand, which was established in Germany in 1967, and is now one of the world's leading ranges of skin care products and treatments.
The therapies themselves use a holistic approach to support the skin's ability to heal itself. The idea is to restore harmony and balance to the skin, with the help of a range of products containing delicious smelling ingredients free of chemicals and synthetic fragrances.
Lorrie begins my facial with a warm, lavender-infused compress before deep cleansing with Dr Hauschka cleansing cream, which contains sweet almond oil and flower extracts. After applying eye balm, toner and lip balm she uses a soft brush and her feather-light fingertips to perform lymphatic sweeping, to help decongest the skin. Although it feels like pure indulgence, Lorrie believes that the products she uses are as much about preventative healthcare as they are pampering. At this time of year she chooses those filled with warming aromas, such as lavender, spruce and lemon, because she says they give us a lift, both physically and emotionally, and help boost the spirit as winter approaches. These ingredients are also supposed to help strengthen the skin and make it glow.
A nourishing mask, smoothed off with a lemon compress, and application of day care cream completes the treatment. I can't vouch for the medicinal value of Dr Hauschka products, but Lorrie's facial left my skin feeling refreshed and better cared for than it had in a while.
• Anthyllis (30 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, 0131-313 2001)