Beauty Editor Anna Bok tested Aesop’s facials at their Hamburg store. In September, there will be an exclusive treatment for hey woman! followers
The timing for my Aesop treatment couldn’t have been better: My move from Hamburg to Berlin was coming up fast, countless to-dos were buzzing through my head, and I had spent the previous few days just packing up moving boxes. No wonder that my skin was starting to resemble a grab bag: From a foggy pallor and dry spots all the way to red patches, there was a bit of everything.
But on this Friday morning, it was time to leave the stress behind and dive into some relaxation. The Hamburg Aesop store is so far the only one of their locations in Germany that offers facial appointments. So that was one more reason to test it out before I left the Hanseatic city behind.
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What I always notice when I walk into the store from the hubbub of the inner city is the indescribable calm that wraps around you there, like a warm cocoon. It smells like essential oils and the oak shelves suit the Australian brand’s neatly arranged dark brown bottles. However, there’s no time for any extended browsing: Sylke, my personal Aesop facial therapist, is ready and we start by speaking in detail about my skin and its needs, whether it’s sensitive to certain ingredients, and whether I use the brand’s products (hands up!). I follow her to the treatment room, quickly exchange my sweater for a hand towel in the bathroom next door, and slip under the warm cover on the table. But that last description isn’t quite right – it’s more like a gigantic, superbly comfortable daybed. And just like at the front of the store, your mind doesn’t get distracted thanks to the puristic design concept. Everything is aimed at total relaxation.
Aesop offers six different facial treatments and Sylke selects the Detox Anew treatment for me: Tired, irritated, and uneven skin is brought back into balance with deep cleansing, various plant-based active ingredients, a deep tissue massage, and a detoxifying mask. I’m excited and close my eyes, which I won’t open again for the next hour.
Sylke begins the treatment with the cleansing and uses the Fabulous Face Cleanser. I immediately think of Los Angeles when I smell the bitter, herby scent of rosemary, bergamot, and green tea: I lived there for a while four years ago and bought exactly this cleanser back then.
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I got frantic for a moment over the next keyword: exfoliation. My sensitive skin has often reacted to exfoliating with redness. My worries are unfounded: Sylke explains to me that the Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste is very mild due to fine river-bed quartz and lactic acid. Lactic acid occurs naturally in your skin’s acid protective layer and is therefore more easily tolerated than fruit acid. It actually doesn’t burn or pull when she massages the exfoliator into my skin, finally washing it off with a warm, damp towel. I doze off listening to the classical music playing in the background and feel more deeply relaxed than I have in a long time.
Now the central element of the treatment is painted on: A special active ingredient complex that is freshly mixed according to your skin’s needs and therefore can’t be purchased. For me, skin-boosting vitamin C, licorice root, and green tea are used for their antioxidant and detoxifying properties. Sylke adds some ylang-ylang and Aloe Vera to calm down my stressed out skin and provide it with a lot of moisture. The gel feels pleasantly cool and fresh. After a few minutes, another warm towel is laid over my face, followed by the alcohol-fee B & Tea Balancing Toner, which is a firm component of my beauty routine.
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In the case that there’s still a glimmer of stress hanging around in your head, the oil massage that finishes the treatment will definitely do away with it. It worked even better thanks to Sylke’s guided breathing exercise – something we neglect all too often in day to day life. While I was concentrated on that, Sylke worked in swift movements from my hands to my arms, over my décolleté, and back to my face and scalp. I secretly hoped that this massage would never end.
A final deep cleansing followed to complete the detoxification program: Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque was painted onto my face, which is rich in vitamin E, various powerful botanical ingredients, as well as pore-clarifying clay. My skin is so firm and well-nourished afterwards that the Lightweight Facial Hydrating Serum is enough for a day cream.
Sylke tapped Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Eye Cream around my eye area, put a dab of Rosehip Seed Lip Cream on my lips, and the treatment finished with a fine rose mist around my face. I stayed lying on the warm daybed a few minutes longer, chasing away all the to-do lists that wanted to pop into my head and spontaneously deciding to take the afternoon off. The moving boxes could wait a day.
Aesop offers regular appointments for 60-minute facials (105 euros) and 75-minute facials (135 euros). September special for our hey woman! readers: Book a shorter 35-minute facial for the exclusive price of 45 euros.
The available dates:
Friday Sept. 8, 2017 at 2:30pm and 5pm
Saturday Sept. 9, 2017 at 11am, 2pm, and 4:30pm
To register please send an email with your preferred time slot to Aesop facial therapist Sylke: Sylke.Medger@aesop.com. First come, first served!
Anna Bok was born and raised in Berlin. After stops in Freiburg and Florence, she made her way to Hamburg in 2007 to study journalism and art history – where she stayed and worked as a freelance journalist with various publications including Harper’s Bazaar, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Blonde. She’s now returned to Berlin after nearly 10 years in the Hanseatic City. When Anna isn’t writing about beauty, fashion, or traveling, you’ll often find her on her yoga mat (recommendations for studios in Berlin welcome!).