The secret of The Mermaid’s Purse by Voya was first revealed to me at The Retreat, in Maidstone Kent
It was one of those days that I’d been so busy in town, dashing from meeting to meeting. It was such a relief to step on a train and escape the bustle of the city, knowing at the other end I would have some serious me time, in the shape of a facial. The treatment, known as The Mermaid’s Purse, is designed by Irish natural and organic beauty experts Voya. Many of Voya’s products utilise their certified organic seaweed, harvested from local shores, and all ingredients are produced in sustainable ways, many of them organic.
I made my way to The Retreat from the train station, getting caught in a rain shower on the way. On arrival, I was shown into a comfy, lounge area and offered a cup of herbal tea. Unfortunately, they did not have the Voya teas, which actually were the products that first introduced me to the brand at Appuru.
Nevertheless, I was most grateful for the chance to wind down, dry off and find a bit of stillness before heading up the stairs to the treatment room in the top of the building. The room was spacious and finished to a high spec, so many of the spa rooms you visit in London are on the small side. Although come to think of it, as long as you can lie down flat and the therapist can work her way around you, what does it really matter?!
Now, before we get down to details of the facial, I have to pass comment on the name. Am I the ONLY one who finds the name a little suggestive?! Or is it just my dirty mind working overtime?! Right, perverse thoughts aired, it’s time to look more in depth at The Mermaid’s Purse *muffles chuckles*. All joking aside, this facial was a real treat – effective and extreme relaxation experience. So extreme, that I fell asleep at one point!
The first stage of the facial was a deep double cleanse of my face, neck and décolleté with Voya’s Cleanse & Mend first, followed up with Totally Balmy. Cleanse and Mend is a cleansing crème designed to remove surface dirt and impurities, formulated with gentle organic lavender and chamomile to calm and soothe the skin. Totally Balmy is, as you might have guessed, a balm with anti-ageing properties and the power to deep-cleanse the skin. It contains unique algae extracts, ylang-ylang, bergamot, sweet almond and rose oils to leave skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. My skin felt soft and smooth after these first two steps, never mind the special three-step restorative facial treatment I was about to have.
First up, there was a Lymphatic Drainage Massage, carried out with Voya’s My Little Hero product. My Little Hero is a beautiful organic face serum, designed to give skin a boost, improving radiance and tone. The oil includes Fucus, or seaweed, extract to help protect against environmental damage. The massage was relaxing. I was really able to focus on the movements and switch off, leaving my mind free to think of not very much at all.
The next step was where my mind and body completely shut down – the Mermaid’s Purse Mask (ooh-eeerrr!) My face, neck and chest were completely enveloped in hand-harvested seaweed leaves before a hot compress was placed over the top. I was cocooned in a warm, dark place and my suprachiasmatic nucleus kicked in transmitting the message to my pineal gland to “release the melatonin!” And off to sleep I went. I’m not sure how long I was asleep for – it could have been 2 minutes, it could have been 20 minutes, but I only woke when the therapist began to remove the compress and the seaweed leaves.
The final step was geared to rebalance and moisturise the skin. Voya’s Me Time Moisturiser is a deeply nourishing cream which feeds the skin with Aloe Vera, soothes with Chamomile and a range of pro-collagen organic ingredients and seaweed extracts to help plump skin and offer long term moisturisation. Voya Bright Eyes helps soothe the delicate eye area whilst reducing puffiness and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles for an overall younger, fresher appearance.
Post-facial, once dressed I pootled downstairs where I enjoyed another cup of tea before checking my complexion in the light of day in the toilet. I looked extremely fresh-faced, all dewy and glowing. I then made my way back to the train station and as I was walking I noticed I felt lighter in spirit than on the way to the salon. All in all, a most pleasant experience. I wouldn’t normally travel so far for a facial, this one, however, was well worth it! I met a good friend for a drink at Victoria that evening, who commented on how radiant I was looking, and she had no clue I’d just been for a facial!