As we finalise preparations for our new therapy room, we wanted to introduce Abi Titterington Lough, our in-house aromatherapist and holistic facialist. Abi will be offering services that use a combination of natural skin care, innovative facial techniques, and personalised oils blended with specific plants that soothe the mind and body whilst elevating and enhancing a sense of beauty and wellbeing.
In addition to her signature facial treatments and bespoke product creation, Abi hosts multi-sensory aromatherapy and wellbeing workshops, courses and experiences within London and across the UK & Europe. She is also the founder of 20A Aromatherapy and co-founder of àile holistic. Treatments with Abi focus on the health of the skin, while recalibrating the emotional equilibrium of the individual, to restore inner and outer radiance.
We took a moment with Abi to discover more about her background and unique approach to facials that she will be bringing to Glasshouse.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and what led you to your work?
I grew up above a Chinese medical centre and we always had lodgers from all over the world live with us. It was at home I first learned about aromatherapy, acupuncture and all sorts that were called “alternative” back then - craniosacral therapy, meditation, tarot, herbs, reiki, etc. After school I moved to London and got started in beauty; dabbling in all sorts from makeup artistry to production to copywriting and everything in between. I got quite burnt out and began returning to the herbs and remedies of my childhood. Now I think of it, my very first facials were for my flatmates at the time, who requested them regularly. I decided to go freelance and my first client was Aqua Oleum. I went full circle back to what I’d deemed hippy dippy in my youth and qualified as an aromatherapist, followed by facial training. I got totally immersed and have been ever since; I worked freelance for others including lovely local Hackney Herbal, before starting 20A (named after the house I grew up in) in 2018, and more recently co-founding àile (which means scent; air; atmosphere in Scots Gaelic).
What are the ways in which you work?
I work in a variety of ways; with clients individually through treatments and consultation, in addition to creating bespoke scents and products. I also work with brands and businesses to deliver workplace wellbeing sessions and compose scents for spaces. Lastly, I host aromatherapy workshops and multi-sensory experiences and retreats in London and beyond.
How do your signature treatments differ from ‘traditional’ facials?
Typically, facials - certainly in the past - had a one routine fits all approach with a generic cleanse, tone, moisturise sequence and usually more layers of unnecessary products without much manual manipulation of the skin or considering the individual holistically. Personally I experienced a lot of discomfort, sensitivity and even actual pain at times (hello extractions!) and I was often made to feel like there were countless problems to fix from the viewpoint of the therapist, and sometimes left feeling worse about my skin than when I arrived.
I will never critique my client’s skin, and the aim is always to nurture and support you in however you feel and whatever your needs may be. A personalised skin blend is created for you and combined with plenty of massage; the entire experience is focused on regulation and relaxation. Using hands and incorporating therapeutic tools such as gua sha, jade rollers, hot and cold stones and facial cupping to release tension and stagnation and reinstate vitality and vibrancy. In every treatment, I blend a bespoke facial oil (not necessarily with essential oils) and in my 90 minute treatment, we personalise things further with a tailored herbal foot soak and bespoke facial masque. Ultimately, my treatments focus on the health of the skin, while reinstating emotional equilibrium; tending to you holistically and uniquely.
Why is it important for you to blend your own facial oil rather than use something pre blended?
From both a psychological and physiological point of view, no two clients will ever be the same, and creating a tailored prescription means the most suitable ingredients are selected in order to yield the best results for the individual. Our state of mind, skin and stress levels fluctuate too, so blending something bespoke ensures it can address one’s specific needs at that particular time. Ultimately this means you will get the best possible results because everything has been created especially for you, just like how something made to measure or clothes that have been altered to your particulars is going to fit better.
Why do you choose to work with organic and natural products?
From a personal perspective, when I worked in beauty previously and used lots of chemicals and far too many products, my skin was at its worst. Simplicity is key for me and I prefer to work with only a few ingredients at a time to discover what they’re capable of. I also care about how we care for our amazing planet and respect nature in all her wonder. From a therapeutic standpoint, there’s no comparison when it comes to synthetic scents and natural essential oils in terms of how they can help and support our body in its innate healing mechanisms. Synthetic lavender isn’t going to relieve aches and pains, synthetic rose won’t treat inflammation or tonify the heart and synthetic clove would not provide a natural analgesic. It’s important to say that just because something is completely natural doesn’t make it completely safe, and there are lots of ways essential oils can be unsafe, particularly if overused or ingested. How would you describe the benefits of aromatherapy?
There are so many ways to answer this question! First and foremost, essential oils are precious and potent essences that are often referred to as being the ‘soul’ of a plant. As such, they interact with us to address any imbalances and restore harmony; be it physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or otherwise. Each plant possesses their own unique medicinal properties, qualities, energies and frequencies that will resonate with each of us differently, making it a beautifully personal and powerful practice for the skin, mind, body and spirit. For me, aromatherapy is the ideal way to connect and collaborate with nature for health, wellbeing and self care. The idea of sensory nourishment is something I feel strongly about and aromatherapy can elevate even the simplest things, like breathing or washing our face.
Abi will be offering the following services from February 2023; please email us email@example.com or call 0208 533 4206 for more information. Bookings can be made online by clicking here.
This unique 60 minute treatment is designed to elevate and uplift your skin and senses. You will be guided on an experiential journey using scent, sound, touch and temperature to ground and regulate the nervous system as well as restore vitality and vibrancy to your complexion. Abi will blend a bespoke facial oil to suit your individual needs, alongside using aromatherapy based àile holistic and complementary products from our curated range of natural and organic brands. Enjoy an indulgent facial massage incorporating tailored therapeutic techniques and tools, with care given to the neck and chest, winding down with a relaxing scalp massage and crystal combing to stimulate hair growth and initiate healthy blood flow to the scalp. Leave feeling relaxed and nurtured.
Immersive aromatherapy facial (90 minutes) £120 This extended 90 minute immersion is entirely bespoke and designed to nurture and recalibrate body, mind and skin. Once again utilising scent, sound, temperature and touch to replenish, restore and revitalise — this treatment begins with a personalised herbal foot soak to ground and release, followed by a guided body scan to quieten the mind before tending to your skin. Abi will blend a bespoke treatment masque and hydrating facial oil to address your specific concerns and unique complexion. Enjoy a luxurious neck, chest and face massage incorporating tailored therapeutic techniques and tools. Finishing with a scalp massage and crystal combing to stimulate hair growth and initiate healthy blood flow to the scalp. Leave feeling tranquil, balanced and restored.
This prescriptive 30ml treatment oil is hand blended and tailored to your skin, the season, and your specific needs. Carefully formulated by Abi using organic, natural, meticulously sourced and superior quality ingredients, your bespoke oil blend can be taken home and used as part of your daily ritual, uniquely created to support both the body and the mind. This service may be particularly beneficial for those with skin concerns such as dry or congestion prone skin, eczema or psoriasis, or just in support of your day to day beauty and wellness routine. To address your individual requirements this service Includes a discovery questionnaire and 15 minute consultation with Abi in person (or online if required). For optimum results, this can be added onto any facial appointment with Abi, or as a standalone service.
Add-ons 15 minute LED £25 30 minute LED £45