As someone who might reasonably be described as ‘addicted to spas,’ the opportunity to write about my favourite spa treatments is like all my Christmases have come at once. It is a topic that I could happily go on about at great length, describing every pressure point massaged, every enzyme peeled, every oxygen shot blasted and every cell regenerated. When you’re talking about spending an hour or so being drained, pampered, buffed and beautified, emerging at the end looking (or at least feeling) half your age there are plenty of praises to sing. However, as I only have a limited amount of space (and I suspect most people would lose interest after a page) here is a potted summary of my favourite spa treatments.
The hot stone massage
Nothing beats this massage for pure relaxation. Treading that fine, spine tingling line between pleasure and pain, the pressure and heat of these warm volcanic stones is enough to smooth out even the most stubborn back kinks. The stones are usually heated up in water before being placed on the body, in key spots such as between your toes, in a line down your spine and in the palms of your hands. As they retain their warmth for some time the end result is like being massaged by about ten hands at once! Try an Aveda ‘Fusion Stone Massage’ to experience the soothing power of the stones, combined with flower and plant essences (http://www.pureaveda.co.uk).
The oxygen blast facial
Not the very latest spa technology, but new enough for it still to be a revelation to most, the oxygen blast facial is a great weapon in the battle against late nights, stress, bad food, lack of sleep or PMT. During the treatment, a range of oxygen infused cleansers, serums and moisturisers are applied, as well as the all important oxygen mask, which pumps pure hydrated oxygen into your skin, leaving it looking plump, healthy and full of life once again. If you are having a dull day or you just feel like your skin needs a bit of a boost then the oxygen blast facial will be a revelation. Bliss Spa does a particularly effective oxygen blast facial (http://www.blissworld.co.uk).
Perhaps not a spa ‘treatment’ as such but definitely one of the latest crazes to be sweeping the land of health and beauty. For those of us who get through a mascara a week, the idea of never having to use any seems laughable. However, eyelash tinting is basically the equivalent of applying a permanent mascara – except you don’t have to worry about it running in the rain, you don’t have to remember to take it off when you come home at night slightly tipsy and you won’t every find yourself caught short ‘without your slap on.’ Perfect for summer holidays and lazy girls, most tints will last at least three weeks. Try the eyelash tinting at the spa at Brown’s Hotel and leave feeling well defined (http://www.brownshotel.com).
Yes it does sound pretty painful but Microdermabrasion is one of the most effective spa treatments for anyone looking for healthier, younger looking skin. Basically, the outer layer of dead skin cells is removed from your face, leaving only the new, shiny layer underneath. After a Microdermabrasion session you might notice fine lines and wrinkles have been reduced and it can also help with pigment or photo damage. Either that or you are just so blinded by the gleam of your new skin that you won’t notice any imperfections. This is the one to make you feel like new again – perfect for big days or big nights (but do it far enough in advance so that any redness or irritation has disappeared). Try the Microdermabrasion Facial at The Sanctuary to feel renewed (http://www.thesanctuary.co.uk).
If you can only afford one treatment and you’re fretting over which one to go for then don’t, because frankly any treatment from a spa is likely to be a pleasurable experience as long as you choose the right spa. Go for somewhere you like the décor, that has had great reviews and where you won’t resent the price so much that it will ruin your treatment. And make sure you enjoy it – it’s amazing how quickly those 60 minutes can go…
Alexandra also writes about spa deals London for the Deal Zippy Blog.