Treatments we love: Katherine Jackson
Sarah reports on a lifting, smoothing, plumping experience with Katherine Jackson 'Clients fly in from Europe to see this legendary facialist who started her career over 37 years ago in nursing then added qualifications in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, shiatsu and reflexology. So her bespoke facials incorporate a bit of this, a bit of that and, in my case, kicked off - after cleansing with her own product - some cool laser – ‘hmmm, can’t hurt’ she murmured. Then asked if I had any aches and pains on my body (oh yes indeed, the usual writer’s problem of neck and shoulders) as the Cold Laser Machine was good for those too. And indeed it was.
Really fabulous massage followed, both for face and body, a peel-off mask of her own devising (she is a member of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists) and ultra sound to help her ‘magical serum’ penetrate more deeply, boosting the skin’s plumpness and bounceback. She makes no apology for loving high-tech both in terms of ingredients and also machines: ‘my beloved IPL machine,’ she says fondly, patting her Intense Pulsed Light gizmo.
All this is accompanied with nuggets about skin care: she has found for instance that dimethicone, a commonly used silicon polymer that gives spreadability in skincare products, is really not good for people with acne. (Probably because it forms an artificial barrier on the skin that traps everything including bacteria, sebum and impurities underneath it – so pores are clogged-up, which can lead to more breakouts and blackheads.) She says too that while acupuncture is hugely effective, she doesn't like it on the face because it can bruise fragile skin.
Unlike some facials, there is absolutely nothing tingly or painful about the machines she uses. Indeed the whole process is so soothing that it is impossible not to relax. The last thing is reflexology (one of my favourite therapies) and then – I am handed a mirror… And it’s truly an "Oh Wow!" moment. My complexion is even-toned, and notably smoother with all the fine lines ironed out, and significantly plumper. I am delighted. (The effects last too, I am writing this over a week later and I can still see the difference.)
Having said all that, new clients do have to get over the factory-like surroundings, which are not salubrious. When I got to the peeling building, I thought I must have come to the wrong place but no. Make your way through the cars to the side door and Katherine is tucked away on the ground floor at the corner. Once you’re inside her crowded room, it’s fine – just don't expect scented candles and soft lights. (And the loos are, as she warned me, "rough and ready – but clean".) It depends what you want, but certainly in terms of a facial, it’s up there with the best.'
Katherine Jackson, Capital House, 2 Michael Road, London SW6 2AD/07515-929780