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Claudia Connell (photo left) tested a selection of low-tech and chemistry-free treatments in the Still London beauty salon in East London
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From the packaging of our food to the carbon footprint that we create when we go on vacation, we are now much more aware of the impact our choices have on the environment.

But when it comes to beauty salons, it's fair to say that there is still a long way to go.

The boom of the nail bar means that you can now have a manicure on every High Street, with many outlets dealing in a toxic mix of polishing and gluing chemicals.

It is therefore no wonder that the demand for so-called "clean beauty" (vegan and environmentally friendly treatments) is increasing.

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But now that we have become so used to high-tech treatments, is it possible to achieve the same results without them?

Claudia Connell (photo left) tested a selection of low-tech and chemistry-free treatments in the Still London beauty salon in East London

Claudia Connell (photo left) tested a selection of low-tech and chemistry-free treatments in the Still London beauty salon in East London

Yet London is the brainchild of Shelly Ellson, who worked in interior design before opening her salon in East London. She wanted to create a "quiet and zen-like" space for her customers, with a focus on natural and cruelty-free products. (Shelly, of course, walks to work.)

The login details of the salon are clear from the moment I enter. It is tastefully decorated in a Scandi-cool atmosphere: stripped wooden floors and oversized glass ceiling hangers.

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New Age trinkets, including selenite crystals (£ 18), are designed to free your home from negative energy and for £ 5.50 a box of "spell candles" to attract happiness. There is even a therapist who calls her spiritual name Wolf Sister, although she is not there on the day I visit.

On this occasion I decide to disregard sorcery and go for a manicure, pedicure and something called The Goddess Facial.

Yazmin does my hands and feet – a treatment in the Icelandic Arctic Ocean followed by a gel manicure in both cases.

It immerses my feet in a seaweed foot bath, perfumed with natural lavender and geranium – a mixture of essential oils and salt, with no added nasties. My feet are then treated with a moss-salt scrub to remove dead skin.

Both soaking and washing are from Angan, an Icelandic company that makes all its products in small batches with hand-picked ingredients.

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Everything is free from parabens, synthetic chemical compounds, silicones and sodium laureth sulfate (the detergent and foaming agent that is often used in soap and shampoo).

Claudia received a 90-minute massage, £ 50 that made her feet feel luxurious, she says that the scent of essential oils proved their high quality

Claudia received a 90-minute massage, £ 50 that made her feet feel luxurious, she says that the scent of essential oils proved their high quality

Claudia received a 90-minute massage, £ 50 that made her feet feel luxurious, she says that the scent of essential oils proved their high quality

After I formed my nails, they were painted with 12-free products from Orly – so called because they were formulated without the 12 ingredients you usually find in nail polish, including the toxic trio: the chemical compound formaldehyde, toluene (a paint thinner) and dibutyl phthalate (a plasticizer). Exposure to this can lead to skin and eye irritation, while formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.

Concerns about chemicals in nail polish have led to an increase in safer brands such as Nailberry, Kure Bazaar, Zoya and Butter London.

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These non-toxic polishes are also vegan. You could imagine that all nail polish is vegan, but some pearl finishes contain guanine, derived from fish scales, while many red hues are achieved using carmine red made from crushed insects.

My 90-minute treatment of £ 50 ends with a massage to hydrate my feet, with rosehip, red clover and sea buckthorn botanical oils. The same regime is used for my 60-minute £ 45 manicure. Both treatments feel luxurious and you can tell by the beautiful scents of the essential oils that they are of high quality.

I end my session with The Goddess Facial. My therapist, Daisy, starts my transformation with two purifications, while some Palo Santo (a shamanic "sacred wood") burns at the same time, to clean & # 39; clean & # 39 ;.

Claudia had a 20-minute massage that put pressure on the acupuncture points in her face

Claudia had a 20-minute massage that put pressure on the acupuncture points in her face

Claudia had a 20-minute massage that put pressure on the acupuncture points in her face

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Daisy then massages my face with empress oil, by a company called Wilding. The oil contains Gilead Balm (alarming for anyone looking at The Handmaid & # 39; s Tale), which apparently stimulates the lymph nodes to cleanse and clear the skin.

It is also crystal-soaked with sunstone to promote a positive mindset and increase self-esteem.

The massage lasts 20 minutes, during which time Daisy puts pressure on the acupuncture points in my face.

An exfoliator is followed by a pineapple mask that stays on for 20 minutes while Daisy does some crystal healing and applies the stones to my main chakras.

She explains that she works instinctively and selects the crystals that feel good at that moment.

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Cupping in the face (suction cups to stimulate the skin and muscles) are used in the procedure to improve blood flow, but unlike the type made famous by lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow, no stains are left on the skin , because the cups are small and soft.

We end the 75-minute £ 70 treatment with a hyaluronal serum and eye cream perfumed with rose water.

Claudia says she fell asleep during her facial treatment, the treatment left her skin noticeably less swollen and dewy enough not to wear a foundation

Claudia says she fell asleep during her facial treatment, the treatment left her skin noticeably less swollen and dewy enough not to wear a foundation

Claudia says she fell asleep during her facial treatment, the treatment left her skin noticeably less swollen and dewy enough not to wear a foundation

The facial treatment was incredibly relaxing. I know this because I doze off and woke myself up with my own snoring: always embarrassing in a salon with other customers.

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The low-tech procedure intentionally does not have high-tech anti-aging tricks, so it will not work the same way for years as a chemical peel or lasers.

But the next day my skin is noticeably less swollen and dewy enough to go out without wearing foundation.

But what about the chemical-free nails? Is & # 39; clean & # 39; varnish resistant to control?

I can report that after two weeks my fingernails and toenails were not chipped. The color is not faded and they are still as shiny as when they were first finished.

So you can achieve the same professional finish without using toxic ingredients.

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OK, so I didn't go from Medusa to Aphrodite – but for those who like their beauty & # 39; clean & # 39; and of course want to keep and like to know what's going on in their pores, it's a way to get pampered without worrying about chemical damage.

And that is certainly something to celebrate.

5 & ​​# 39; clean beauty & # 39; treats

still-london.com

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