Enzyme peel facial
The Peninsula Spa by ESPA is a grand affair. The marbled lobby branches off in every direction into quiet corridors offering every imaginable form of human beautification and maintenance. The sweetly scented air is filled with the sounds of trickling water and ethereal music. Before I am even led to a private treatment room for my Enzyme Peel Facial, the bustling business of the city outside is fading into a distant compartment of my mind. That is, until I lie down on the plump white sheets of the treatment bed and the blinds are lifted to reveal a spectacular view of Victoria Harbour. Our altitude and the thick floor-to-ceiling window eliminate all sound, so the magnificent sun-drenched skyline twitches and glistens in obedient silence.
The 60-minute Enzyme Peel Facial utilises a combination of natural peels derived from lactic, glycolic and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and marine extracts to remove layers of dead cells and give cell regeneration a kick-start. All the products used in the treatment are grown organically and harvested in a socially conscious and sustainable manner.
The first step in the treatment is a jarring realisation of the effects of an over-exuberant social life, pollution and stress, courtesy of a Woods lamp. The therapist gently points out areas of dehydration, sun damage, oiliness and ageing.
The skin is then thoroughly cleansed, and the peel solution containing active enzymes - AHAs and pumpkin and lactic acid - is applied (this is left on for about five minutes, depending on skin sensitivity) then neutralised to return the skin to its normal PH levels.
Next is the application of the Lifting and Smoothing Mask, which contains seaweed and larch extracts and menthol to tone and firm the skin, strengthen elasticity, and give a smooth plumped appearance to fine lines and wrinkles. There's a slight cooling tingle when it is applied, but the treatment is completely painless.
Then comes the heavenly rejuvenating face, shoulder, neck and head massage using oil and rose quartz crystal, followed by a final look in the dreaded Woods lamp.
Although the therapist cheerfully draws my attention to areas where oil has been banished and fine lines sufficiently plumped, it's hard to see a great deal of difference. Still, my skin does feel soft, supple and extraordinarily fresh.
Enzyme Peel Facial: HK$1,300 for 60 minutes, The Peninsula Spa by ESPA, The Peninsula, Salisbury Road, Kowloon. Inquiries: 2315 3322