Facials. They can either be fluff pieces that amount to a lackluster scrub and a mask or intense pore purging, face-peeling endeavors. But what if we treated our skincare routine like our exercise regime? That’s what I had in mind when I visited Melanie Grant in Sydney’s Double Bay. Well that and the lure of her work as seen on Instagram, which features the post-facial mega-watt glows of Nicole Trunfio, Lara Worthington and Shanina Shaik. Grant is a pioneer in the trend towards next-level facials. An antidote to cosmetic enhancements, they prove that results can come from high-grade ingredients, products and manual techniques that naturally enhance the face, just as clean eating and smart exercise can transform the body.
Grant offers all kinds of high performance treatments, from clinical facials to light therapy and facials incorporating IPL, ultrasound, laser and collagen stimulation. One of her signature techniques is facial massage, which sets her treatments apart from the usual buff and polish or steam ‘n’ squeeze. It’s an invigorating experience that feels a little like Pilates for the visage, and works to energise the skin, making the Organic Radiance Facial I tried a go-to treatment for her pre-runway and red carpet clients (or for everyone else, weddings and special events or post-party when skin is in need of a boost). We chatted with Grant about achieving her signature skin in and out of the salon.
Melanie, you have a very unique and specialised approach to facial treatments. How would you describe what you do?
We believe in innovating and thinking differently. Our goal is beautiful, dewy, and natural skin. We combine what we believe are the best treatments and products and constantly searching new ways to combine them for the best results for our clients. We call it ‘Clinical Beauty’: beauty with real results.
Your treatments are a bit like a skin gym. Why is a firm touch important in your treatments?
The therapeutic benefits of massage works on a number of levels. A good facial massage has many benefits such as detoxifying and decongesting by stimulating blood flow, de-puffing by stimulating lymphatic flow and a lifting effect from stimulating and waking up the facial muscles. Stimulating the blood flow also produces an amazing glow! As well as massage, I also love to use active ingredients to stimulate and wake up the skin as well as lots of light therapy.
What products do you like to work with?
I love to work with ingredients such as alpha-hydroxy acids, retinol, pure high quality botanicals, plant stem cells and human growth factors alongside amazing proven technology. I don’t favour any one particular brand; I work across dozens of brands and constantly change and update products.
How would you recommend incorporating results-driven facials into a self-care routine alongside exercise and nutrition?
Results facials fit really well into the idea of skin maintenance. Clients usually have a good understanding about corrective treatments and what’s required to ‘fix problems.’ These can be expensive and problems often return when you return to your old ways. I live by the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Even done just a couple of times a year, clinical facial treatments give you results you just can’t get by yourself at home, and there is great benefit to looking at them as part of a complete skincare regime.
You have a holistic approach to skincare, stressing the importance of sun protection, sleep and good nutrition…could you share a little about your overall philosophy for great skin?
Great skin starts from the inside. Whenever we see clients, we are always asking questions. Not all are directly skin-related: whatever the issue we are always looking to help clients with the cause, not just treat the symptom. For a clinic that solely specialises in treatments for the skin, it means we have a wide network of practitioners in specialist fields that we can work with for our clients, including nutritionists, dieticians, dermatologists, naturopaths and endocrinologists.
If we only have a small amount of time morning or evening, what is the most effective thing we can do to boost our skin’s radiance?
Use a vitamin C brightening serum in the morning to brighten your skin tone, boost radiance and protect from free radicals. At night use a retinol serum to smooth and polish your skin as well as stimulate the production of collagen. Don’t forget to finish with a sunscreen during the day and a hydrating night cream in the evening.