Chapped lips, crusty face and sallow skin: attributes usually associated with the darkest depths of bitter winters, rather than mid-spring.
But, as I sprang into March with as much flexibility as an arthritic lamb, my face still rather worse for wear, I decided it was time to finally lose my facial virginity.
After bumbling around the backstreets of Marylebone, I eventually stumbled across Courthouse Clinics on 30B Wimpole Street (even though the entrance is actually on New Cavendish Street).
I filled in the usual questionnaire, and was then led meekly up the stairs by a fresh-faced beautician, who promised to banish my blemishes with a CoffeeBerry enzyme peel. Promising "brightening benefits", the peel combines with an Omnilux Revive Red Light treatment (don't ask - all shall be revealed later), to rejuvenate dull, tired looking skin.
As my face has been battered by bitter blustering winds and not seen the sun for several months, the enzyme peel was just what the doctor ordered.
Having never had a facial before, I had high hopes for my treatment room; soothing whale music, scented candles and ambient lighting. Unfortunately this was a barren bare room and rather stuffy.
I clambered onto the treatment bed and my bushy mane was enveloped in a turban. On went a variety of lotions and my chubby cheeks were then kneaded like dough by my beautician Natalia.
According to my facialist, (is that a word?) the CoffeeBerry enzyme peel is perfect for those with sensitive skin, as well as eczema sufferers. As I have been plagued with eczema throughout my relatively short life, it was a reassurance my delicate face wouldn't suddenly morph into the elephant man like it did on my 23rd birthday after dabbling with some cheap hairspray.
Although the peel felt soothing as it was smeared across my face, I did get rather alarmed when it started burning. I was quickly reassured by the beautician that some tingling was normal, so I grinned and bore it, and the burning sensation eventually subsided.
Next I was told I would be put under a bright light for 10 minutes, which stimulates cell motion and leaves "tired skin aglow".
A dashing pair of blue googles stuffed with cotton wool were placed over my eyes as she asked me "Are you claustrophobic?". I am, but obviously I said no as I was sure the treatment wouldn't be involving me being trapped in a small dark cave.
"Now, don't panic," she continued in her dulcet Russian tones. "There will be a bright light, but after a minute, you will get used to it. Some people panic and don't like it, but it's not that bad - it will be fine."
A bright light, I thought, pah! How bright could it be?
Put it this way: I know now how it feels to eyeball the sun. As the contraption was lowered onto my face and the light switched on, my eyeballs scrambled around in their sockets to try and escape the glare.
Bright was an understatement. Despite the goggles, cotton wool and my eyelids, I felt I was staring directly at the sun and couldn't escape the light. "Don't panic," I repeated in my head. And, after a few minutes, my eyes did adjust and I was even able to open them a slit.
In fact, after about five minutes, the glare felt rather nice, almost as if I were lying on a tropical beach, feeling the sun on my face. I wasn't of course, but it was nice to feel warm again - it's been a while.
After my 10 minutes was up, the peel was removed and I was sent on my way. That evening and the next day my face felt as soft as a baby's bottom and my skin certainly looked vibrant. But on day three the texture became extremely dry and I have since been slathering on the moisturiser, which I usually don't have to do.
I was told by a friend I should be "moisturising the s**t out of your face after a facial", but having not had one before, and being given no instructions to do so, I failed to do so.
For my first facial experience, it certainly wasn't bad, and beats shining a lamp in my face just to feel a blast of heat although I'd begrudge forking out £110 a pop for the pleasure. But if you've got cash to flash, and you don't have time for a holiday, this is certainly one to try.
Skin Peel prices start from £65 at Courthouse ClinicsSuggest a correction