Antonia Burrell is a clean and green beauty pioneer. Her knowledge of aromatherapy, botany and chemistry, coupled with her extensive experience as a facialist, makes Antonia one of the most sought-after skincare experts in the UK.
Our resident beauty writer, Jenni Retourné speaks to Antonia Burrell about the benefits of facials, treating sensitive skin and the power of nature’s ingredients.
How do facials benefit the skin?
Facials balance, condition, treat, detoxify, plump, deeply exfoliate and hydrate the skin. They reduce wrinkles, improve the quality of the skin and therefore, by default, improve the person’s self-esteem and quality of life. Facials should also address primary, secondary and third priority skin conditions; how they have occurred and why, and the treatment that can be administered to correct, reduce and eliminate them.
You specialise in skin sensitivity – what are your top tips for treating sensitive skin?
To treat sensitive skin or to avoid skin becoming sensitised, MAINTAIN THE PH BALANCE OF YOUR SKIN. This is SO CRUCIAL. Do this by using cleansers that do not strip the acid mantle or protective barrier of the skin.
I believe that sensitivity is a condition as opposed to an actual skin type, developed and compounded through the client’s work/play lifestyle. Sensitive skin, in my view, is the common word used for the skin type 'permanent diffused redness'. Someone can be born with a predisposition to have redness in their skin; this skin type is not necessarily reactive, but it can be. The skin has become sensitised for a reason and the reason needs to be understood to be able to eliminate the sensitivity successfully. If not, the skin could develop conditions like acne, rosacea or eczema, which are not fun.
I know the outcome, look and feel I want to achieve for the skin when using my products. I utilise my vast understanding, knowledge and experience of skin physiology and my deep understanding of the importance of such things as gylcosaminoglycans, elastin resiliency and vascular conditions, for example. I see how different treatments I conduct in the clinic work on the skin and the results that make a huge difference.
What are the skin benefits of natural ingredients over synthetics?
For me, no one can beat the chemistry of nature - it needs to be respected! Nature is alive, it's complex and yet it's still very much underestimated and seen as gimmicky. I always ask the question: 'If you had a choice of an ethical and truly natural product or a synthetic product and were guaranteed the same results, which one would you choose?'
Sure, generally you can't expect a bit of lavender in almond oil to give breath-taking results, but there are hundreds of clinical trials based on plant bio activity that are allowing natural ingredients to break some amazing barriers.
How important is nutrition to skin health?
It's absolutely crucial; you are what you eat. The two go hand in hand. One of my biggest mantras is #beautyinsideout. I'm constantly harping on to my clients about eating an alkaline-forming diet as much as possible.
Is fitness important to you?
Very much so. Fitness maintains good oxygen levels in the blood and is an amazing way to get rid of stress (a major factor for many skin conditions), it relaxes the body and releases endorphins known as the happy hormone. I've recently added Kung Fu to my regular walking and running routine. I love it! I'm asthmatic too and, having spent most of my childhood in hospital with asthma, I enjoy keeping my lungs in particular healthy and full of oxygen.
Do you manage to achieve a work/life balance and if so, what’s your secret?
I work six days a week and very often 14-16 hour days/nights, but I dedicate one day every week to myself, friends, family and God. I don't think about work, I relax, I switch off. It's psychologically and physiologically fabulous for me.
To find out more about the Antonia Burrell Holistic Skincare range, click here.
Article by resident beauty writer Jenni Retourné of Style with Substance. With a career in the beauty industry spanning almost a decade, Jenni has a huge interest in health and nutrition, believing that everything you eat has an effect both on the outside and inside.