Aphrodite mentioned in weekend blather that we were taking ourselves off to Akina in Temple Bar for some much needed pampering on Saturday. And pampering was what we got. Oh boy, were we pampered, and good.
Going to salon or a spa and really enjoying and getting benefit from it is far more than just the treatment you get - it really is the sum of the environment, the staff and the products. They need to add up to an experience that's relaxing and of course, effective.
Akina has all this in spades - a fantastic city centre location, an airy and beautifully designed space (think lots of white walls, luxe thick chocolate carpet, limed wooden floors, and contemporary wallpaper used in accent areas), welcoming, knowledgeable staff and a great product range. The signs were good the second we stepped in the door.
I was booked in for a prescription facial - a much needed one as it happened. My skin has been very badly behaved recently and it was in need of urgent attention. My lovely therapist firstly showed me into the treatment room which was equally as nice as the reception area, with music playing softly through integrated and discreet speakers - truly this place is bespoke and built for relaxation. There were flowers in the room, and a special mention goes to the extra attention to detail here too - Akina don't merely do towels on their beds - no, there was an arrangement of chocolate and turquoise throws and fabrics that was unusual and nice.
My skin was cleansed and then the examination part began. Oh I like this bit - because it usually precedes lots of lovely extractions. And I wasn't disappointed - 'areas of congestion', (as we politely call them at beaut.ie) were firmly and swiftly dealt with, much to my delight. I was also treated to a gorgeous facial massage with Vitamin A oil, which involved lots of lovely relaxing movements, tapping and drumming on my skin - and it was glowing and oh, so soft afterwards.
That wasn't all though - this facial is nothing if not thorough. A special masque was applied all over my face - eyes and mouth too, leaving only nostrils uncovered for breathing. It was allowed to dry while I lay back and relaxed, and then peeled back off. Finally skin was moisturised and I was good to go.
Akina are very much a results based salon, and their product range reflects this. They use Environ products, a South African range which uses vitamin A to achieve excellent results. Vitamin A is actually a skin normalizer, so it can be used to solve a lot of skin complaints (Akina specialise in the treatment of Rosacea, for example) and it's also the only ingredient that can reverse skin damage and pigmentation. So it makes a lot of sense to use it in skincare, and I can vouch that the products they used on me made my skin feel wonderful.
So, the results - were they good? Yes, I can honestly say they were. I've had many facials that were lovely, relaxing and which used gorgeous products - but I really saw no difference in my skin afterwards. I think that's essential, especially if you're paying a lot of money. My skin felt smooth and soft, really hydrated and also completely clean.
The prescription facial is really a great treatment for anyone - whether you just have some queries as to what you should be using for your skin type; if you've been suffering redness or breakouts, or you just want a really effective treatment that gives results, you'll be delighted with the results you get.
Prescription facials at Akina cost â‚¬75 and take an hour. To book, call 01 6708794 or email [email protected]