Ancient Egyptian Facial reaches the UK after 2,000 years

Posted: 28/05/2015


The use of scalpels in cosmetic treatment typically involves surgery. But in an Ancient Egyptian Facial, a scalpel is scraped across the skin to remove dead cells rather than being used to cut it. 

The Ancient Egyptian Facial is so called because Queen Cleopatra, who was renowned for her beauty, was a fan. The procedure has been practised in the Middle East for 2,000 years and is still popular today.  

According to the Daily Mail, the procedure has become popular in the US and Dr David Jack, who worked as an NHS plastic surgeon before opening his London cosmetic medicine clinic, came across the technique during his training in America. He has now brought the procedure to the UK. Explaining how it works, he said: “The ancient Egyptians used milk and fruit to first soften the skin. We prefer to use mandelic and glycolic acid, which are both derived from fruit, while milk is replaced with salicylic and lactic acid.” 

It is understood that these acidic treatments loosen the dead cells in the top layer of skin. A very sharp sterile surgical blade is then used to scrape away the top layer of dead skin cells to reveal the younger and clearer looking skin beneath. 

Dr Jack believes that the Ancient Egyptian Facial is “an excellent way of exfoliating, and I think it’s better than microdermabrasion, an exfoliation technique that blasts skin with tiny particles, removing the top layer of cells.”

The price of an Ancient Egyptian Facial starts from £100 and involves the following steps:

  • Cleaning the face with an alcohol-based disinfectant to remove bacteria
  • Applying cleanser and an acid peel for about six minutes, until it is dry 
  • Neutralising the acid peel by wiping water over the face 
  • Applying vitamin C cream
  • Scraping away the top layer of skin with a scalpel
  • Applying serums with Retinol and Vitamin C to help improve wrinkles and pigmentation.

Apparently the acid peel causes stinging and when the peel is neutralised there is a burning sensation. Although it is not painful, the scraping with the scalpel can cause discomfort and unease. It is reported that, after the procedure, the skin looks pink with small pieces of skin flaking off. The exfoliation process continues for 48 hours after the procedure. 

So what are the reported benefits of this procedure? 

  • Dead skin cells are removed which exposes the new, fresher layer below
  • Active products such as vitamin C in creams that are applied to the skin are more able to penetrate and do their job
  • Cell turnover is improved, brightening skin
  • Helps reduce pigmentation
  • Lines become less obvious
  • Fine hairs on the face are removed.

Commenting on the procedure, Sarah Gubbins of the Penningtons Manches clinical negligence team, said: “Although this procedure is not yet widely available, skin clinics and beauty salons are likely to offer it if it becomes popular. Our advice to potential clients is that no procedure, surgical or otherwise, is risk free and you should ensure that anyone offering this procedure is doing it in a safe and controlled way. If this procedure was performed incorrectly by someone without training, there are risks of injury and infection from both the blade being dragged across the skin and burning and scarring from the acid peel.

“If this procedure appeals to you, we would advise you to attend a reputable clinic with therapists who have experience and training in technique. It is also important not to have this treatment more than once every three months because it has been documented that this can cause over-exfoliation, reversing the benefits of the procedure and causing dry, thin skin.”


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