Things To Do in Barnes, Battersea, Cheam, Clapham, Epsom, Fulham, Kingston, Putney, Surbiton, Sutton, Wandsworth, Wimbledon

Long Term Beauty

When the kids go back to school and life gets back to normal after London 2012 many of the health and beauty regimes we’ve picked up over the course of the year will no doubt be forgotten.

After the last minute panics of hair removal or whatever it takes to get ready for those summer holiday or wedding photos it’s tempting to breathe a sigh of relief, cover up and forget all about it until the next panic hits. But if you’re sick of those last minute moments now is the perfect time to look for longer-term solutions to radically change an area of your life.

We all have our health and beauty weak spots – whether it’s slightly too much hair in the wrong places, that old back pain or, like me, feet that could use a serious make over or, at the very least, several hours of emergency buffing in the bathroom before they’re ready to be exposed in sandals. So, now you have a couple of months to work with as opposed to just a couple of hours, it’s the perfect time to look at what you can do to remedy those problems.

Take my feet for example. One of the treatments I’m tempted to try on a long-term basis is the slightly controversial garra rufa fish pedicure that’s now available in Wimbledon. I’ve tried one short, taster treatment, but the benefits of having your feet nibbled by these young fish supposedly build up over time. One visit was nice but the mini foot massage and cream applied at the end had more of an effect so I’d love to try this over six to eight weeks and see if it can actually resolve the issue I have with the dry skin on my feet.

A few years ago I decided to try out facial rejuvenation massage in the same way, with a course of treatments over six weeks. The effects of a one-hour treatment are dramatic; lines reduce and even my eyebrows shifted upwards (luckily not in that frozen, surprised way you might imagine) but sadly after a few days it seemed to wear off. The good news is that each week the effects were greater and took longer to wear off. The other factor in this type of treatment (aside from the effect on lines and wrinkles which is the Holy Grail of beauty treatments for many) is that it actually works to balance your skin type. For example I used to suffer from very dry skin, and so for a few weeks in the middle of the six-week treatment I actually had very greasy skin (and more than a few spots). It’s common when treating imbalances for the situation to swing over to the other end of the scale before settling at the optimum level. So you can see why this is a great treatment to try when you have a few weeks available.

At the end of six weeks my skin was healthy; neither dry nor greasy and many really deepset lines had disappeared. Once the initial six weeks is over you can go back once a month or whenever you need a boost, so you can get an extra glow before a big event with a simple facial massage rather than more drastic and costly treatments.

With many spas and beauty salons developing holistic solutions aiming to treat the causes of problems, rather than just the symptoms, now is the time to look at all the options available. Whatever your problem area, consider where you’d like to be in three months, or even by next summer; with strong, healthy nails, relaxed but toned muscles - or maybe just beautiful feet that aren’t afraid of a pair of strappy sandals.

Hair a bit dry after all that sun and swimming?

The Original Moroccanoil® Oil Treatment which you can just leave in. Amazing, especially on the ends of very dry hair. It may be a little expensive but lasts for ages - I discovered argan oil in a spa in Morocco a few years ago and since then it’s been added to just about every product you can imagine.
Local suggestions: Life Hair, Battersea

Feeling sluggish?

Maintain your summer exercise regime. As well as helping you stay in shape for the whole year, regular exercise works wonders for your state of mind (plus it’s a lot easier than starting again in January!)
Local suggestions: The Pilates Practice, Battersea; Dolphin Square Fitness Club, Pimlico

Need a holiday to recover from the holiday?

Steal away for an extra day of Moroccan luxury at The Spa at Dolphin Square. Opened in October 2011, this is the first spa to bring the traditional Moroccan spa experience to London and does so spectacularly. I managed to squeeze in a brief visit to the salt steam room on a busy weekend for just £15, but I will definitely be going back for more.
Local suggestions: Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel & Spa; The Chelsea Club; River Wellbeing Spa at The Hotel Rafayel, Battersea

Youthful glow a bit faded?

A six-week course of facial rejuvenation massage. The effects of a one-hour treatment are dramatic; lines reduce and even eyebrows shift upwards. And you can go back whenever you need a boost, so you can get an extra glow before a big event without resorting to invasive measures.
Local suggestions: Life Hair, Battersea

Eyelashes looking a bit pale after all that sunshine?

Eyelash tinting. Pearl’s products: MAC Opulash mascara – the best I’ve found; it doesn’t come off when I’m sweating buckets but does come off easily with cleanser.
Local suggestions: Fab Fish and Beauty Spa, Fulham

Feeling stiff or stressed?

Whether it’s long flights, doing the holiday washing or just getting back to work… Facial rejuvenation massage, my number one stress relieving massage. I find it works to relax my whole body… in fact I think I need to go for one right now.
Local suggestions: Neville Hair & Beauty, Belgravia

Feeling a bit down as autumn rolls in?

Buy a daylight bulb - one of my best ever investments - and get out! One of the reasons we feel so good during holidays is spending more time outside. Try to work this into your regular routine by walking or cycling to work (or at least part of the way) and trying to get outside for coffee or lunch breaks if you work in an office. Make it a habit now and winter won’t feel so long.
Local suggestions: Ben’s Canteen, Battersea; Lavish Habit, Balham

Pearl Howie runs a website devoted to finding safe, easy and affordable wellbeing escapes including holidays and spa treatments. Her latest Spa Breaks and Spa Treatments guides are available now. She also teaches Zumba Fitness in Wimbledon, Mitcham and Putney.

Spa treatmentPearl HowieGarra Rufa fish pedicure