Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Don't Open the Door in This; Health and Fitness

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Don't Open the Door in This; Health and Fitness

Article excerpt

Byline: ALICE HART-DAVIS

ANOTHER dab of red clay on the nose,and I 'm ready for my close-up.I might look like an amateur 's stab at face-painting,but I 'm in the process of acquiring harmony.

Really.That 's why I look so serene.

This isn 't just a face mask;it 's a whole-body treatment.

The La Phyto treatment looks outlandish and its pedigree French, but based on the laws of Chinese medicine,with a dash of colour therapy thrown in is off the wall.But then,facials come in all manner of weird and wondrous forms these days.It 's no good expecting a simple deep cleanse and a face mask when everything from the latest laser-science to the ancient practices of Ayurveda is being roped in to serve the timeless quest for better, younger-looking skin.

All the same,the full complexity of the theory behind La Phyto is too much for the average mind to grasp in the first session.For starters,I 'm having a problem with the idea that my date and time of birth is relevant (because it has dictated my skin type,and hence the products that are appropriate).It 's not just because the machine that computed my details came up with the succinct putdown:"egotistic ".It went on to say that I was a "rigorous person one can count on "(that 's better),susceptible to "lymphatic and venous problems "(not so far).Whatever,it meant I needed "Tertonic "clays, which are for physical problems, rather than the "Climargil "clays, which promote emotional balance.

I love the idea that if you have a spot,Chinese medicine says it 's not because you left your makeup on overnight;it 's an indication of disharmony in the body,as are wrinkles.But surely,I grumbled,people born on the same day can have wildly different skins?

Tracey Smith,the therapist responsible for introducing La Phyto to the UK,wouldn 't budge.It 's something she finds holds true,she insists patiently.Regular use of the right clays,left on for precisely 16 minutes,has sorted out the internal problems from which she had always suffered. …

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