AQUA SHEKO, the first salon dedicated solely to the exfoliating Garra Rufa fish pedicure, has just opened up in London’s salubrious High Street Kensington and by the looks of it is doing a roaring trade. The therapists say clients come for weekly, bi-weekly and monthly treatments and even daily for those suffering from psoriasis – apparently the fish release an enzyme which helps in the treatment of certain skin conditions and different parts of the body can be dipped into the small pools and treated. The fish were originally found in hot springs in Kangal, Turkey and apparently love nothing more than to feast on dry skin, making one of the charms of this treatments the symbiotic nature for all parties concerned.
How Was It?
I TOOK my sister along as a treat, courtesy of a fabulous discount from new health and beauty site Wahanda (if you don’t know about Wahanda, check it out, daily hefty discounts on every beauty treatment you could possibly want) – I paid £12 for what is usually a £30 25-minute treatment. The sleek black salon is small with an open shop- front window that draws the occasional inquisitive look from passers by. There are not more than about ten raised leather seats each with its own little pool of about 80-odd fish of differing sizes, the largest being a couple of inches long.
WE WERE welcomed and made to feel very much at home before having our feet thoroughly rinsed to ensure they were free from any oils and creams, which can cause the occasional fish death. We sat down side by side with tea and water (there’s room in between seats to put your handbag) and then slipped our feet out of our white towel slippers into the pools – best to wear leggings or trousers you can easily roll up to beneath your knee. Be warned, the fish do immediately swarm, but as promised it isn’t at all painful. Just a heavy tickly sensation as they get to work all over your feet. I could hardly feel them on my hardened heels and was fascinated watching them attach their sucker mouths to my cuticles. The only slightly unnerving bit was when the occasional fish went for the softer skin around the ankle, but that was fine too. After 25 minutes our time was up and a therapist helped us out and dried our feet.
OVERALL, I was pretty pleased. The harder bits on my big toe and heel were definitely more sanded down and the sole of my feet near my toes was extremely soft. I was very happy to slip back into my flip flops and parade my tootsies back out on the streets of London. However, as my feet are quite dry, I could have definitely benefited from a dollop of foot cream or oil as is offered in the Deluxe treatment – £45 for 30 minutes fish-time plus 15-minute foot massage. Ten days later my feet are a little bit tougher round the edges but still presentable.
Aqua Sheko, 14 Holland Street, High St Kensington, London W8 4LT (07837 539 325).
Written for beautywoome.com by contributor Julia Rebaudo.