Dry, slightly red and a million miles from glowing, my face has been in desperate need of a pick-me-up for months.
So, when I read about non-invasive mesotherapy -- a treatment that describes itself as the natural alternative to botox -- there was little light between my fingers and a phone.
Non-invasive mesotherapy was developed by a French cosmetic doctor called Dr Jules Nabet, after his clients requested a needle-less version of the original skin-boosting mesotherapy injection, first developed in France in the 1950s.
The treatment, which has been available at the Medical Rooms at The Royal Garden Hotel, since 2006 is intended to offer similar rejuvenating effects to Botox.
According to my therapist at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, the treatment has many devotees:
"We have women who pop in every week for just his face mask. They spend 30 minutes here and then head out to an event."
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As my body was warmed by a heated bed, I imagined becoming one of such women, for whom life's lumps and bumps are soothed by expensive spa treatments... rather than red wine from the corner shop on a Friday night.
The full mesotherapy treatment lasts for one hour, costs £100 and includes a deep cleanse, face peel, mask and mini-massage.
But, you might want to avoid asking how this treatment works, if you fancy a relaxing hour.
As my therapist began by tweaking blackheads from my nose (ouch), she launched into beauty science mode, offering pseudo, arbitrary and occasionally logical, explanations for why I'd be younger looking by the end.
And as talk of enzymes, molecules big and small, vitamin volume per treatment, fibroblast activity, free radicals melted my brain, I concluded that I'd decide whether it works, depending on how many compliments I get... before switching off.
After having my dead skin cells burned off with a glycolic acid peel, it was time for the most interesting part of the treatment: the face mask.
This ‘super mask’ in clinic dries 'hard' and lifts off in 'one' as a moulded clay mask.
Once it's on, I'm definitely not comfortable, but surely a procedure that prevent any facial movement for 15 mins must be beneficial for something?
As the mask is removed, a few more lovely smelling creams are rubbed in, including 'Zen Lotion', and I'm free to leave.
I look at myself curiously in a mirror on the way out. I've got a 'been to the gym, had a shower and left in a hurry' expression, but it's not yet clear that I'm £100 more good looking.
However, the next morning I take a peek and realise why rich women pop in for this facial boost once a week. I'm actually glowing.
The results lasted about four days, until I returned to pre-treatment levels of pasty. Still, it was lovely while it lasted.
For more details about mesotherapy, contact the Medical Rooms at The Royal Garden Hotel.Suggest a correction