Good as gold
Facials were created to improve the texture, tone and firmness of skin - to plump it up, remove dead skin cells and impurities, unblock oily pores and temporarily smooth fine lines.
Beauty therapists throughout the ages have used a vast range of substances and unguents in an attempt to achieve the desired effects. They have included a variety of foods such as avocado, egg white, honey and even caviar, and a plethora of nature's mineral-rich ingredients including clay, mud and seaweed.
Science and technology, combined with natural, herbal and organic substances, are a feature of most salon treatments today, with plant stem-cell technology at the forefront of the beauty industry.
The latest 'natural' beauty therapy to arrive in Hong Kong is absurdly luxurious. It's gold. Yes, real gold: 24 carat, to be precise. The idea comes from India, where it has been used in ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years.
Called the Gold Stem Anti-wrinkle Facial, the treatment involves several applications of plant substances and starts with a thorough cleansing, using a natural plant-based product. Next is a gentle exfoliation, to buff away dead skin cells, followed by a mask containing mint, which leaves a tingling sensation. Next, a soothing serum is applied via lymphatic drainage massage, which is believed to encourage the elimination of toxins. Finally, a mask containing the 24-carat gold and soothing unguents, such as aloe vera and wheat germ oil, is applied.
The result is the appearance of lifted, firmer and brighter skin, and fewer fine lines. As any woman of a certain age knows, that's worth its weight in gold of any carat.
The Gold Stem Anti-wrinkle Facial treatment costs HK$1,500 at Allure Beauty & Health, 22 Fuk Man Road, Sai Kung (tel: 2792 2123) and Prosper Centre, 29 Sau Fu Street, Yuen Long (tel: 2470 6088).