I've never been one to indulge in facials, pedicures or manicures. At the time when teenage girls are stereotyped to be worrying about whether they're wearing the latest fashions, I was more concerned about my CD collection and whether my black boots were grunge enough.
Since teenage-dom the lure of beautician's treatment room has never managed to tempt me, my current daily 'skin' routine consists of some hot water and a bit of soap, and I manage to get a few brush strokes through my hair before running out the door each morning.
So it was with some apprehension I took my first facial, all in the name of treating what I imagined was my heavily sun-damaged skin. The Murad 'sun undone' facial at Harrod's Urban Spa promises to detect hidden sun damage - in my case inflicted by years spent lying on scorching Australian beaches - and to help reverse the signs of ageing.
Gingerly treading into the salon, the plush purple couches, expensive perfumery and impressive looking clientele swanning around, did not exactly calm my nerves.
But it wasn't long before Natasha, my beautician for the afternoon, whisked me into the spa and took down my details.
After I shamefully told about my lack of knowledge of skincare and abysmal record of sunbathing, I was left to slink into a deliciously comfortable heated bed, then given a relaxing massage before the facial began.
The 'sun undone' facial works by a Vitamin C infusion, containing ascorbic acid and other antioxidants, which help prevent damage and repair the skin by stimulating the formation of collagen.
Once my skin had been cleared of the day's grime, Natasha shone a bright light over my face to detect signs of damage.
This was the moment, I imagined, when she would tell me the worst. 'You have really ruined your skin,' I had envisaged her saying 'you have the skin of a 60-year-old'. Incredibly, the harsh Aussie sun has done little to damage the surface layers of my face, leaving only a few sun spots on my nose.
After this confidence-boosting piece of information, she went on to massage the Vitamin C treatment into my face, neck and decollete, and the backs of my hands. While the mask soaked into my pores, Natasha massaged my shoulders and neck, a brilliant way to end a long stressful week.
Once the mask was off, a soothing moisturiser was applied, including eye cream and lip gloss. Back out in the corridor, I was able to take a glimpse of the results. Expecting to see a slightly tired face in the mirror I was shocked when I appeared relatively radiant and refreshed. It wasn't just the Harrods mirrors either, I received unprompted compliments for the next three days.
Sun-damage reversal may not be at the top of your list right now, given the weather, but the Vitamin C treatment also works on damage caused by stress, pollution, drinking and smoking. And I can guarantee it will lift the winter blues in the midst of this freezing Spring.Suggest a correction