Muddy review: Amy Gordon Skin Clinic and Beauty Boutique
Sun spots and wrinkles creeping in? Now’s the time to blitz them so you can ring Christmas in, blemish-free. I hit the Amy Gordon Skin Clinic in Colchester’s North Hill to test out its cutting edge Crystal Clear Elite Frozen Facial. Here’s the Muddy verdict.
Perched near the lower end of North Hill, within walking distance of Colchester’s bustling high street and Fenwick department store, Amy Gordon’s humble exterior belies its slick boutique hotel-style furnishings inside, which means it’s perfect for those discreet tweakments (yep, Emma Millam – a registered independent nurse practitioner is here at least once a month for Botox clinics). Driving? Nearby St Mary’s is convenient for parking if you don’t fancy trying your chances in the centre of town, or hop on a train: Colchester North station is just a 10-minute stroll away.
Housed in a handsome Tudor property, the interiors are seriously chic. Think characterful beams festooned with glittering chandeliers, heritage armchairs in a wash of striped linen and lashings of vintage mirrors for good measure. Decor aside though, the mood is super warm and friendly. During my visit, clinic owner Amy Gordon arranged to have dinner with one of her clients once restrictions lift and I got the distinct impression that if you become a regular, you’re welcomed into Gordon’s gang with open arms.
Keen to blast my fast-emerging sun spots, I was welcomed into the treatment room by Emma (above, with a client) – one of the clinic’s advanced skin specialists who has been delivering advanced, results-driven treatments for the past seven years. Now a senior member of the team, Emma has a calming aura about her – like your sensible mate who’s always been wise beyond her years but still has a fun twinkle in her eye (and the glowing skin of a 20-year-old). And she really knows her stuff. A self-confessed skincare nerd, she’s got the inside line on all the new emerging treatments and is a consummate professional – you know you’re in safe hands from the get-go.
First up, there’s the skin diagnostics. As with every customisable treatment offered at Amy Gordon, your face is first plugged into a machine to test its moisture levels, sun damage and elasticity. Thankfully, I score low on wrinkles (winning!), but high on sun damage (dire), so Emma prescribes the Crystal Clear Elite Frozen Facial, comprising microdermabrasion, intense microneedling and oxygen therapy, plus a Crystal Clear face mask for that glow-getting boost to finish.
Lying back on a heated blanket, my skin is cleansed and then deeply exfoliated using Crystal Clear Microdermabrasion – a high-tech piece of kit that essentially sprays tiny crystals onto your complexion to gently remove the outer layer before sucking everything back up – including all those dead skin cells you haven’t been able to budge with your usual arsenal. It doesn’t hurt a jot, but it is noisy, so forget any ‘relaxing facial’ notions you might have.
Next up, Emma uses Cryo Oxygen to reduce inflammation (which basically feels like she’s hoovering my face), then flexes her facial big guns with the Microchannelling Roller, which creates hundreds of microscopic channels in the skin’s epidermal/dermal junction (yep, with actual needles), allowing for a powerful rejuvenation serum to be driven deeper into the skin. This bit isn’t nearly as uncomfortable as it sounds. Yes, you can feel the roller’s needles crisscrossing your face – particularly when it comes to sun damaged areas, as these are the zones your therapist will really focus in on – but it’s not painful and you won’t leave looking like you’ve been in a fight with a porcupine, I promise. There are varying needle sizes, too (I opted for the maximum 1mm. No pain, no gain, right?), but if you have sensitive skin or are concerned about the comfort factor, make it known from the start and your therapist will ease you (and your complexion) in gently.
Once the puncture marks – sorry, I mean microneedling – part is complete, the facial moves into rejuvenation mode and a topical infusion of powerful ingredients is slathered on and left to soak in for a good 15 minutes. The Crystal Clear formula tightens like a mask and I’m told that it could become quite hot and start to sting, but I don’t feel anything more than a light tingle and after all that noise and needle work, I relish the chance to lie back and close my eyes for a bit.
To finish, Emma adds another layer of moisture and talks me through the aftercare products. Everyone leaves with samples of calming cleanser, moisturiser and hydration-boosting serum following the treatment so that you only use restorative products that won’t aggravate your newly buffed face. However, each pack is personalised to meet your skin’s own set of specific needs, so make sure you allow for time following your treatment to talk through the arsenal.
And the results? Well, it won’t be until the sun starts shining again or I (whisper it) go on holiday that I’ll truly be able to tell if it’s truly made a difference to my early signs of pigmentation. But while I left the clinic looking a little red, just hours later my skin was positively glowing. Now, three days on, it’s still looking bright and dewy, so it’s a bona fide hydration hero if nothing else.
Considering this a high-tech treatment that ploughs away dead skin cells, promotes new collagen growth and tackles pigmentation, the £98 price tag (plus £30 skin diagnostic) is surprisingly affordable. That said, to really see results, the clinic recommends you book a course of six, so chat to staff about payment options if you’re in it for the long haul as different prices apply according to whether you pay per treatment, up front, or via Direct Debit.
Amy Gordon, 22 North Hill, Colchester, Essex CO1 1EG. Tel: 01206 616064
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