Having been a fan of this homegrown skincare brand for years, I was excited to try their latest facial treatment using the Environ Ionzyme DF II Machine, a cutting-edge piece of equipment that helps to enhance the penetration of vitamins into the skin.
It uses pulsed electrical currents to create gaps between cells to improve the transfer of nutrients, as well as sound waves to transport larger molecules and peptides. Treatments are designed to stimulate the thickening of the skin, improve collagen and elastin production (key to a healthy and youthful appearance) and improve oxygenation and blood flow. They’re recommended for dealing with a myriad skincare concerns from thin skin, fine lines and wrinkles to uneven tone, sun damage, scarring and more.
And while not created to be pampering experiences (they’re results-driven, which is what good facials should be), I was pleasantly surprised to find myself in a complete state of calm and comfort throughout the experience. Real results and a healthy dose of relaxation to boot, all at a very reasonable price.
Environ DF Enhancing Vitamin Treatment (R440 for 1h to 1h15)
I met with skincare therapist Sarah to fill out a detailed consultation form before being showed to my treatment room, a large and cool, neutrally decorated room at Skin Symphony, located at the Renaissance Institute in Cape Town. We chatted about my skincare concerns and history, as well as the past and current products I was using (which in a beauty editor’s case is errr’thang – a blessing and a curse).
The facial begins with the application of steam (to soften make-up and open pores) and Environ Original Pre-Cleanser (R137), the first step in the cleansing routine to remove excess oil, product build-up and other debris. Environ Original Balancing Masque (R160) is then applied on top – a multi-tasking product with vitamin E and kaolin, which acts as a microfoliant and absorbs oil.
Tip The mask can be used on its own as a rinse-off product to improve hydration, as an exfoliator to remove excess oil and gently exfoliate the skin, or as an overnight treatment when applied and left on the skin.
Afterwards, Environ Original Foaming Gel Cleanser (R140) is used to remove all the product, dirt and oil before Environ Original Revitalising Toner (R134) is swept over skin as a final step in cleansing and to prep for the two-part treatment to follow.
Step 1: Sonophoresis
What is it? This involves the use of sound waves applied to targeted areas of the skin, which work to transport vitamins and molecules through the skin.
My skincare therapist Sarah chose to focus this part of the treatment on my forehead and chin, and applied Environ Intensive Colostrum Gel (R285) to these spots. The machine, which makes use of a metal applicator to deliver sound waves, is rolled onto skin and pressed to targeted areas for a few minutes at a time. There’s a slight buzzing sound and a tingling sensation, but nothing painful or uncomfortable.
Step 2: Iontophoresis
What is it? A machine is used to pass electrical currents through the skin via the application of electrodes in order to promote better penetration of vitamins through the dermal layers.
A cool Environ Aliginate Mask is then applied all over the face, including over the eyes (if you’re claustrophobic they will adapt the application for you). I was actually very concerned about the product irritating my contact lenses or causing my eyelashes to stick to it, but to my relief I experienced no such issues. The mask sets to a thick, silicone-like texture and acts as a conductor when electrodes are placed on the sides to generate the current. While the process worked, Sarah used a lotion to massage my arms and hands, further contributing to my feeling that this definitely was a relaxing treatment, despite being hailed primarily as results-driven one. But then put most over-worked women in a quiet, dark room on a warm bed with nothing to do but close their eyes and they’ll all tell you it was pure bliss.
Fifteen minutes of massage and quiet contemplation later, and the mask can be peeled away in one layer (with not a stray eyelash in sight). Your therapist will select a moisturiser for you depending on your skin type, concerns and the level of vitamin A therapy to which you are accustomed. Experienced Environ users can also choose to have serum treatments slotted into facials, which can include applications of Intensive Retinol 1-3, Ionzyme C-Quence 1-4, etc. I had Environ Original Debut Moisturiser (R259) applied to help nourish my skin. Lastly and very importantly, to protect skin from the sun Environ RAD SPF15 (R195) is applied to the face and neck. This is one of my favourite sun creams because, in addition to antioxidants, it uses both physical and chemical ingredients to protect skin from UV rays.
The Result My skin felt great after leaving Skin Symphony and although I didn’t notice much difference the following morning, the day after it was really looking wonderful – healthy, revitalised, smooth and practically luminous.
Renaissance Body Science Institute
2nd Floor, 183 Bree Street, Cape Town
Tel 021 422 5693