Like many women, I'm easily intrigued (conned) by anything labelled 'detox'.
Whilst I'll never be swapping macrobiotic recipes with Gwynnie, I've grimly swilled my fair share of revolting pond water teas and been swindled into buying several 'miracle' supplements that just made me burp. A lot. So when I discovered there was a clinic in Glasgow that was the only place in Scotland to offer an 'Indiba Detox' I wanted to know more. After recently starting a health kick, I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough toxins in my system for a proper detox, so in the name of research I spent the night before sharing a Munchy Box with my other half (if you don't know what a Munchy Box is firstly, shame on you, but Google it). Turns out this treasure chest of deep fried complex carbohydrates is a full-on gastronomic assault, a war that my newly carb-free stomach could not win. I spent the morning of my treatment terrified that any pressure on my stomach would have cataclysmically embarrassing results.
Turns out I needn't have worried because La Belle Forme offer the Indiba treatment all over the body. As it is recommended for in courses of 6, 10 or 20 (depending on area), my specialist Caroline informed me that I'd see the best results from a one-off treatment on my face. We started by removing my make up with some deliciously scented CosMedix products. I wasn't aware of the brand before the treatment, but they are a US company that predominantly sells to aesthetic practitioners and have an excellent reputation amongst professionals. Caroline then turned off the lights, handed me a mirror and put a woodslamp (think purple UV light) over my face. This illuminated what my skin was like under the surface - there were small orange dots that showed where my skin was oily, and other discolouration where my skin was dry. Under my eyes were two worryingly dark circles - signifying that the skin was dehydrated. It was all very educational, but I was mostly concerned that when bathed in a purple glow, I looked awful. Like Lord Voldemort with two black eyes auditioning for a part in a Trainspotting remake.
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We kicked off the treatment. By massaging your face with two different electrodes, it creates bio-stimulation - which improves circulation and the metabolism of your skin cells. It also oxygenates the skin and removes toxins. The first electrode was 'capacitive' and it was meant to increase the circulation. It started off warm, graduating to a hot - but never painful - temperature. The second electrode was 'resistive'. It worked on the muscle tone. It's difficult to describe what this felt like, but I guess I'll have to have a go. You become acutely aware of all the components that make up your face. When it was rolled along my jaw I could feel all of my teeth, and when it was massaged around my eye I could feel my muscles 'twinkling' (pins and needles but pleasant). As strange as that sounds, it was never overly sore or too freaky. The clinic and its treatment rooms lend themselves to relaxation which helps - I'm a sucker for a dimly lit room and the soothing music that is the soundtrack to most beauty treatments, like it's the most relaxing Chinese restaurant in the world.
After around 45 minutes the treatment was over. With enthusiastic trepidation I let Caroline demonstrate what the treatment feels like on the stomach. You'll be glad to know I didn't disgrace myself. As well as the anti-aging and fat-removing benefits, the treatment is also effective in preparing or repairing the skin after surgery, so much so that La Belle Forme offer a complimentary Indiba Detox after the majority of their cosmetic surgery procedures to help with scar revision and healing. Caroline also told me that a facial course was popular with clients not ready for invasive or injectable treatments, but still looking for noticeable results. She applied some mineral make up to my face which made my newly-detoxed skin look fantastic, so I didn't have that 'rushing to the car' urgency that you'd normally have after a beauty treatment in a city centre on a Saturday. I didn't wear make up for the first few days after the Indiba Detox, which I normally try to do after any face treatments to let the skin breathe, but in this case I wasn't bothered because my skin looked great. The purple bags under my eyes were reduced and my skin looked clear and glowing.
The treatment wasn't painful, but I found it invigoratingly uncomfortable. The weird sensations of the warmth and then the deeper penetration (quiet you!) gave you the impression that they were really working right down into my skin and facial muscles, especially when compared to a normal facial, which now feels like it would only deal with the very top layers of the skin. My Fifty Shades of Facial may have discovered a dormant S&M aficionado inside of me, but there's no way I'll be putting a gimp mask over this newly-detoxed face.
The Indiba Detox costs £50 for a 45 minute face treatment and £100 for a 60 minute body treatment. A course of 6 treatments cost £250 for face and £500 for body. La Belle Forme, 0141 552 0828, www.labelleforme.co.uk