Locally Sourced – Sarah Nicolson, Orchard Facial Procedures

As part of my Locally Sourced interviews, I often meet with mums who are setting up their own businesses and are somehow juggling it all with the pulls of family life.  This month, was no different as I met with the very lovely Sarah who has her own skincare business, Orchard Facial Procedures, located in Ewenny in the Vale of Glamorgan.  Not only that but she has three young children and still works part time as an NHS nurse.

We met and talked childcare, what it’s like to take the leap into setting up your own business and about her mission of encouraging others to look after their skin.  Sarah offers a range of treatments and products aimed at enhancing her clients skin to give natural looking results.  Her moto is ‘Fresh not Fake’ and she is very passionate about everyone looking the best version of themselves.

When I met with Sarah she showed me her own before and after pictures.  The results after a year of really looking after her own skin and using the botanical organic creams she uses at Orchard Facial Procedures were very clear.  I have to say her skin looked incredible.  Clearly I wanted to know more so I booked in for a facial too.  You can read all about the Fire and Ice facial I tried below.

Orchard Facial Procedures - Sarah Nicolson
An Interview with Sarah Nicolson from Orchard Facial Procedures

So Sarah, what sort of treatments do you provide at Orchard Facial Procedures?

I offer treatments that will improve or prevent skin damage.  All my treatments are about trying to make everyone look the best version of themselves.  Every one of my facials use botanical products, so there are no paraffins, perfumes or preservatives.  Everything is natural.  That means that the brands I use are expensive, and as they are not cosmetic brands they can only be administered by healthcare professionals such as nurses or doctors.  I also offer botox, but again, I ensure this is only to achieve a very natural look.


So what is the secret of great looking skin?

The first thing is a healthy lifestyle, as keeping fit and eating well really does shine through.  A good skin care routine is also a must.  Always give your skin a treat, like a lovely cleanser, then hydrate and finally always protect with a sunscreen.  I personally swear by (incapsulated) Retinol which has transformed my own skin. But everyones skin is different so its a good idea to get a consultation so you can be advised on the best products and routine for your own skin.  Regular treatments such as facials are also fantastic for working your skin, especially after the age of 35 to keep your skin looking youthful.


What would you say to those of us who may be nervous about treatments?

Make sure you choose someone who is credible and fully qualified.  Those that are qualified should also have full insurance.  They can only be insured if they are fully qualified and they should be happy to show their certificates if you ask to see them.  Then start off with something like a medical facial to ease yourself in.  Talk to your practitioner about any concerns you have and they should be ale to reassure you.


What made you decide on launching Orchard Facial Procedures?

My first ambition was to be a make-up artist, but I’m not really creative enough. When I was little I  grew up on a farm and worked with horses and even show jumped on the circuit, but I decided I wanted a change and went into nursing, which I’ve been now for 12 years.

I absolutely love my job as a nurse and I know I will always be a nurse, as I just love it too much to give it up.  I really enjoy it and get so much reward from working for the NHS and being part of a team.  But I also have the ties of a family and the opportunity to work to work from home was a big pull.  That combined with my love of face care and looking after your skin.

Setting up the business, whilst being hard work, has also meant that I can have more of a work life balance than I could achieve by working full time as a nurse on shifts.  As well as work life balance, it also gives me the chance to focus on two types of work that I really enjoy.


What advice would you give to other women looking to set up their own business?

It sounds cliched but I would say ‘Go For It’.  My saying is make sure “you step out of the boat”.  The first step you take from taking it from an initial idea to launching it will be by far the hardest step you take.  But then it gets easier and you can start to take each day as it comes.

Sometimes it may feel tough, you may have quiet days and you may wonder whether its worth doing, but it in the early days when you’ve taken the first step you just have to take it one day at a time and persevere.


Who is your ultimate female icon and why?

I do love Natalie Portman, as she is an amazing actress who also looks natural and real!

So as you know, Welsh Cakes and Wellies is all about getting out and about, so where so you venture in the area?

When I was younger I used to live in Margam, my parents had a farm between Margam and Pyle.  I used to look out of my window with views of port talbot which at night I used to think looked like New York on my left and the country side views on the right.  Such a contrast between the two.  I still love going back to Margam Park with the kids and my husband now.  Its great for bike rides, walks and the adventure park is amazing.  I have such a familiarity with the place and I just love heading back there whenever I can.

Margam Park Whats on Half Term
Margam Park, Port Talbot

If we’re eating out as a family, I will always pick Arboreal in Cowbridge.  Its just great for an easy family dinner and the pizzas are fantastic.


The Fire and Ice Facial at Orchard Facial Procedures

Following my interview with Sarah I was keen to know more.  I’ve had facials before and try to look after my skin but I’ve never tried a medical facial.   To be honest didn’t really have a clue what they were all about.  As Sarah was so passionate about the benefits I booked in for a Fire and Ice facial (£70.00).

Orchard Facial Procedures - 2
The Treatment Room at Orchard Facial Procedures

I arrived at Sarah’s practice which is based in her home in Ewenny.  As she’s away from the main road, it’s all very private.  Which is ideal if you were booking in for something more invasive and you wanted to keep it a secret or just don’t want to emerge from a clinic and walk through town with a post treatment pink face!  She took me through to her lovely treatment room which was light and airy.

As I was a little nervous, Sarah talked me through the procedure, explaining that it would be an intensive facial designed to rapidly and safely resurface the skin.  She first prepped my skin with an exfoliate and a cleanser and used a steamer to open my pores.  This was surprisingly very relaxing.  She then applied a  resurfacing masque, which she explained some find rather hot (hence the Fire).  This included Retinol, sugar cane extract and vitamin B3.  She only left it on for a couple of minutes as it was my first facial.  Apparently you can only leave it on for a maximin of five minutes.  I felt a slight tingle with it, but no discomfort and not much heat.

Sarah then took the masque off gently and neutralised my skin before the “Ice” went on.  This was the rejuvenating masque with aloe vera, green tea and rosemary which hydrates and nourishes.  I was then treated to an arm massage which really relaxed.  Sarah then finished by applying a lightly tinted sunscreen.  That way I could leave with a touch of make-up on and be ready to head off straight to the school run.

I have to say that in the evening my skin felt as soft as anything.  In fact for the next couple of days I really did notice a difference in how my skin felt and looked.  So much so that I will be booking in again for another facial next month.


To find out more about the treatments available visit the Orchard Facial Procedures website:  www.orchardfacialprocedures.com

You can also follow Sarah on Instagram www.instagram.com/orchardfacialprocedures/

And on Facebook HERE















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