My new guilty pleasure – having a facial at The Door W4

Image above: The Door W4 entrance

Never have I ever …

I had never had a facial before. On the basis that there have been whole radio and TV series predicated on the idea of people describing an experience which is new to them, but a pretty common experience for most of their audience, here goes …

It is one of the treatments offered by The Door W4, Chiswick’s new(ish) clinic, which opened alongside the Hogarth Centre last year. I had wondered why they chose to call it ‘The Door’ but that question was quickly settled on arrival. The entrance is through a very distinctive door at the end of the car park, with carvings of fig leaves and grape vines entwined.

It does rather give the impression you are stepping into another realm – a portal into a light and airy space, with more interesting carvings and an atmosphere which immediately conveys that you will be pampered and looked after.

Image above – The Door W4 reception area

In the capable hands of Victoria Voysey

Victoria Voysey, who did my facial, has been in the skincare and aesthetic industry for more than 20 years and clearly knew what she was about. She started as a beauty therapist at Champneys spa chain, worked at the Sanctuary in Covent Garden, the first day spa just for women, now sadly closed, and ran her own beauty salon before going off travelling.

Since then, she has trained beauty therapists and aestheticians and worked for the French beauty brand Clarins, so really there is nothing much about the business she does not know.

The reason I have never had a facial before is partly cost, but also that I have never quite seen the point. Victoria told me she had also worked at the International Institute for Anti-Ageing, a concept that I find intrinsically self-defeating.

Fair enough, human-kind has always sought eternal youth, but it is a battle we have always ultimately lost, so should we not just give it up and age gracefully, with acceptance?

It is a term that has become unfashionable, Victoria agrees. ‘Pro-ageing’ is now the fashionable term in the industry, by which she means not setting out to change people’s faces, but making people look their best at any age.

Image above: Victoria Voysey, aestheticist

In Victoria’s hands that means a facial massage, exfoliating, tightening and hydrating the skin. She offers “hands on skin solutions’ rather than the more hard core injectables.

Having established we were on the same wavelength, we turned to the wave sounds. White noise is supposed to empty your mind and aid relaxation. In her treatment room, you lay down, close your eyes and listen to the sound of waves crashing on the shoreline.

Hardly her fault that I had just watched the most recent episode of Vera, the one in which the Northumberland detective is sent to investigate a body washed up on the beach.

“That’s not quite what I was going for” she says ruefully, with a laugh. Thank goodness, she is not at aesthetician who takes herself too seriously.

Her clients tend to be loyal, they come back and see her again. She has several who are well-known, including TV presenter Nicki Chapman and one of the directors of Vogue.

Image above: Victoria with a client

She does not see as many men as women. Probably 20% her clients are men.

“They tend to come in for a specific procedure” she says, “but then they come back. They are loyal and they tend to listen more than women do.”

She now has one more returnee. I bought some products, made another appointment, and left with my face lifted, hydrated and tightened. A cursory glance in the mirror showed at least one less double chin, I swear!

Image above: The Door W4 treatment room

Range of treatments on offer from a number of specialists

Victoria is one of a number of specialists at The Door W4, who offer a range of treatments, including advanced aesthetics, laser, life coaching and mental health support, a private GP, health screenings, surgical consultations and advanced dentistry.

Amongst the services they offer is a Menopause Clinic, with three doctors – Dr Houda Ounnas, Dr Awfa Paulina and Dr Vivek Nama. Houda is a Psychotherapy trained GP, Awfa an aesthetic practitioner and Vivek a gynaecologist.

Services for men include testicular ultrasound, ECG with a Cardiologist Interpretation and STD screening.

Cancer care is another of their specialisms:

‘Our greatest satisfaction is the knowledge that cancer patients will experience a remarkable improvement in their appearance, with younger, healthier and more radiant looking skin.”

The Door W4 is at the far end of the car park at the Hogarth Club, Airedale Avenue, Chiswick London W4 2NW.

For the full range of treatments go to their website

Image above: Victoria with The Chiswick Calendar’s editor Bridget Osborne

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