Obsessions

Karl Plewka Sees The Light — Part 3. Cosmic Beauty

The Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci’s obsession with musculature, biology and human proportion might seen a bizarre beginning to a piece about a facial treatment, but bear with me…

Words KARL PLEWKA
Photography
SERENA BECKER
Beauty
PATRICK GLATTHAAR

Da Vinci was, as many creatives are today, a polymath and his Instagram bio might have listed; drawing, painting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, literature, geology, astronomy and anatomy. But aside from the qualities that made Leonardo unique, like his innovative techniques of laying on paint and his groundbreaking use of the human form in figurative composition was his interest in physiognomy and the way humans register emotion in facial expression, especially visible in his most famous painted works; Mona Lisa, the Last Supper, and the Virgin of the Rocks.

Now I’m no Mona Lisa, my face gives away too much, but remembering da Vinci’s feather-light approach to the subtleties of facial gestures got me thinking about the medical aesthetics I have been utilising, like Botox and fillers, and what potential such procedures have to erase, dull, perhaps even alter how others perceive our emotions. Therefore, in terms of my Beauty Papers Odyssey, which some of you may be following, was it time to avoid the chemicals, the acids, the lasers, even the fractional radio frequency (watch this space) and go for something altogether more, ahem, holistic?

Cut too I’m in the chair of celebrated acupuncturist and doctor of traditional Chinese medicine Dr. John Tsagaris at the Harrods Wellness Clinic. I’m here to experience Advanced Cosmetic Acupuncture with LED Light Therapy and, although no stranger to a cosmetic procedure, I am quite nervous of the myriad needles I’m about to be peppered with.  On a side note, apparently ‘needle play’, a term used to describe using needles to ‘get off’ is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of kink in the BDSM world, despite that, however, my journeys into the heady domains of S+M have, sadly, been few and far between—unless you count the time a Wall Street banker offered to be my foot stool at The Vault Club in New York, but, alas, I couldn’t get into the eight inch stilettos. I digress but I do understand there is a sweet spot between pleasure and pain which just doesn’t ignite my fires of desire, having said that Dr. John is no kink facilitator, he is in fact a pioneer who originally brought the concept of cosmetic acupuncture to the UK, is the leading authority on facial acupuncture and whose client list includes supermodels, A-list celebrities and, well, me now too.

Acupuncture as a facial treatment is actually quite a revelation as it totally embraces the skin’s own potential to regenerate itself by using its own healing responses. 

This is a bespoke treatment that Dr. John tailors to each patient’s requirements and he begins with a preparation of the skin via cleansing, exfoliation and a mask. Once the needles are inserted into certain areas of my body, but mostly the face, it feels profoundly restful and I float away on the opioids which are naturally released by the needles as Dr. John gets to work at remodelling and re-energising my skin. He then complements the treatment with twenty minutes of LED light therapy to activate skin cells and enhance the effects of the treatment and concludes with lymphatic massage and hydration of the skin for a ‘piece de resistance’ healthy glow.

Acupuncture as a facial treatment is actually quite a revelation as it totally embraces the skin’s own potential to regenerate itself by using its own healing responses.  This treatment remodels the structure of the skin, enhances collagen production and stimulates repairing and renewing from within the dermis resulting in a noticeably invigorated and youthful appearance.  Past clients have noticed a definite improvement in skin texture, increased elasticity and a remarkable reduction in fine lines and wrinkles.

Immediately following the treatment my face looks sublimely younger, firmer, plumper, more sculpted and with my refreshed visage—and possibly the neuro-chemical responses the needles have created in my brain—I am reborn, like a Renaissance man, like Vitruvian Man, and, like Leonardo, my beauty obsession continues.


Beauty: Patrick Glatthaar
Model: Hanna @kyrasophie
Casting: Kyra Wilhelmseder @kyrasophie
Advanced Cosmetic Acupuncture with LED Light Therapy
Dr. John Tsagaris @drjohntsagaris