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A beauty first with BIOEFFECT at Hartwell House Spa

Icelandic skincare brand BIOEffect has chosen Hartwell House in Aylesbury as its first hotel partner - cue stampede to the Spa's new facial. In true Muddy style, I've wangled the first review.

I’m as keen on a facial as the next wrinkly middle-aged woman (no botox ever having perked up the Muddy visage). Even keener when it’s a new brand. And now I’m adding mustard (metaphorically, becuase that’s how keen I am) because rather than trudging into London or off to the sticks to try it, it can be found mere miles from Muddy HQ at Hartwell House Spa, near Aylesbury.

I’ve written about Hartwell House in the past, the gorgeous National Trust heritage hotel where I held an extraordinarily boozy 40th birthday (btw, the Octagon Room is one of the most stunnning private spaces you’ll ever come across for a dinner if you’re on the search).

The hotel’s spa has a gorgeous Palladian-style swimming pool and a relaxed cafe-style dining space overlooking it, plus five treatment rooms dispensing joy from the likes of Aromatherapy Associates and Jessica nails, and now,  in a first for a hotel in the UK, BIOEFFECT products.

The Icelandic company launched its serum in 2010, and was the first skin care product to contain cellular activators made in plants with barley grown in volcanic pumice and fed by glacial water (how ommm is that?) that exactly replicate the epidermal growth factors (EGFs) in human skin.

The barley ‘field’ and white-labbed ‘farmer’

Within a year, it was used by 25% of Icelandic women (the possible explanation as to why Bjork still looks 18).  Since then BIOEFFECT has expanded into the usual gamut of exfoliators and moisturisers and is now sold in the likes of Liberty, Harrods, Net-a-Porter and Selfridges, a tiny clutch of London salons, and now Hartwell House!

I tested out the Bioeffect Ultimate Experience – an 85 minute treatment that threw cleansing milk, tonic, exfoliator, face serum, eye serum, day serum and massage serum at my greedily dry face. There’s no scent to speak of in the products, and the eye serum in particular is very pure, with only 7 products used, so it’s definitely a product that’s less about the PR fluff and more about the science. That’s what I want from my products these days – some goddam measurable results!

My therapist was Jessica, who was in her early twenties but had the kind of beauty confidence that suggested she’d been performing facials since primary school. I’d definitely recommend her. The Hartwell Spa rooms are attractive, in keeping with the heritage vibe of the hotel – here was my little space of joy.

And this was me after the treatment…

… much less wrinkly I think, but if you’re a regular Muddy reader you’ve probably been put through enough photos of me over the years to be the better judge!

Hartwell House Spa

The Spa, located in this sun-drenched corner of the Coach House

The Bioeffect Experience comes as a package – £150 Mon-Thurs or £160 Fri-Sun, with the 85 minute treatment, plus full use of spa facilities, the bijou gym (my advice – don’t waste precious jacussi time at the treadmill) and a two course lunch. I’d think of it on par with a normal Spa Day, but with a specially turbo-charged treatment.

I can definitely recommend the products and treatment particularly for older skin like (*sob*) mine, but please do let me know what you think of it if you go yourself. Knowledge is power, let’s share it!

Hartwell House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa, Oxford Road, Nr Aylesbury, Bucks HP17 8NR. Spa reservations:

01296 746500.

See my review of Hartwell Houses private dining

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