Seven beauty treatments to get your body summer ready

A chocolate and tamarind body scrub, a bee sting facial, laser and light therapy, a fix for frizzy hair – you name it, we tried it

A chocolate and tamarind body scrub, a bee sting facial, laser and light therapy, a fix for frizzy hair – you name it, we tried it

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 June, 2017, 5:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 June, 2017, 5:53pm

Looking gorgeous in the sweltering heat of summer can be a challenge. Here are seven beauty and wellness treatments to get you ready for the season – we’ve got you covered from head to toe.

ALMOND SILHOUETTE RESHAPE

This treatment (60 minutes/HK$$900) from Spa L’Occitane is useful for those who need to get in shape before hitting the beach or if your legs feel bloated from long hours sitting or standing at work. While it is a full-body massage, its focus is on areas prone to cellulite and fat gain, such as the legs, waist and rear.

The masseur uses a combination of different techniques – hacking, pinching and wringing – and slowly increases the pressure. Some massage movements can be quite painful and I feel a slight burning sensation. But no pain, no gain. Don’t expect your muffin top to miraculously disappear. But the areas mentioned before do feel tightened and my skin gives off a refreshing scent from the almond oil.

I am advised not to eat soon after the massage, as it stimulates blood flow and the body absorbs nutrients better afterwards. To eat during this period would simply defeat the purpose of a slimming treatment. Rachel Cheung

Spa L’Occitane, various locations. Inquiries: 2143 6288

PHILIP KINGSLEY HAIR AND SCALP TREATMENT

Philip Kingsley, a leading hair expert who died last year, used to serve celebrities and royalty at his clinics in London. His signature elasticiser was first formulated for actress Audrey Hepburn, who was suffering from hair loss.

The treatment(from HK$940) starts off with an inspection from a certified trichologist, a hair and scalp specialist. “All hair problems can be rectified as long as the root causes are identified,” says Philip Kingsley artistic director Andrea Clark.

My main concern is dry and damaged hair, which, Clark explains, is a result of overprocessing. It’s frizzy because the hair cuticles are trying to absorb moisture from the air.

To fix that, she recommends the stimulating scalp mask. Separating my hair into parts, she rubs the cool minty mask into my scalp and brushes the elasticiser onto each strand of hair. After 20 minutes of steaming, which helps the cuticles absorb the moisture and minerals, my hair is washed and my head massaged while I lie watching the TV on the ceiling. My rough, straw-like hair becomes a lot softer and gains a natural shine. Rachel Cheung

The Mandarin Salon, 5 Connaught Road Central. Inquiries: 2825 4800

THE COMFORTER?

Lush’s three-storey spa centre is on Lyndhurst Terrace in Central. Instead of the sterile design most beauty centres adopt, the interior is designed to look like a traditional English cottage, invoking a cosy ambience.

The Comforter? (60 minutes/HK$1,350) is a body scrub, using melted chocolate with tamarind and ground adzuki beans, which act as a natural exfoliant.

After applying the buttery mixture, the therapist rubs it in over the sheets using a technique called rolling massage. The therapist then wipes off the scrub with hot towels, leaving behind some bit of the gritty granules.

The scrub is followed by a back massage using a melted chunk of rose serum mixed with argan oil and lime leaf oil, leaving my skin smooth and soft.

Beauty treatments offered by Lush reflect the whimsical personality of its founder, Mark Constantine. The Comforter? has a soundtrack recorded specifically for the treatment – a remix of songs such as Singing in the Rain and Moon River. Also, there are surprises throughout the treatment, such as moving stars projected on the ceiling, soap bubbles floating through the air and a cotton candy cocktail that greets me at the end of the treatment. Rachel Cheung

Lush, Soho Square, 21A-21B Lyndhurst Terrace, Central. Inquiries: https://hk.lush.com/

PORTRAIT OF CALM

Elevatione’s newly opened Galleria de Gala in Times Square, Causeway Bay, defies the norm by adopting a surrealist decor of red bricks, royal purple walls and playful furniture. The Israeli brand is well known for its anti-ageing products and Portrait of Calm (45mins/HK$1,480) is one of four treatments in its signature Treasure Your Youth series.

It uses the 3D Capsules Kit, which can be bought at the store for HK$9,800, starting off with the Diamond Nutrient Facial Scrub to exfoliate the skin. The beautician then removes dead skin cells on the outer layer with a vibrating piece of stainless steel.

This is followed by a facial massage to get the blood flowing, and a neck and shoulder massage while I wait for the mask – Golden Leave On Mask mixed with the Rose Stem Cell Hydro Night Gel – to dry.

All the products contain fancy ingredients, such as 24-carat gold and stem cells of Swiss alpine rose, which soothe and nourish the skin.

It is a very relaxing treatment and even the massage is quite gentle. I drift off to sleep halfway through the treatment, and by the time I wake up, my skin is supple and smooth, and the redness from irritation and heat is all gone. Rachel Cheung

Uni 1702B, Tower 1, Times Square, Causeway Bay. Inquiries: https://elevatione.com/

BEE STING FACIAL

Looking for natural Botox for your face? Chuan Body + Soul at the Langham Hong Kong in Tsim Sha Tsui has recently been renovated, and offers an intriguing new treatment developed by award-winning aesthetician Deborah Mitchell. It doesn’t involve being stung per se, but uses bee venom extract called Abeetoxin in a facial that promises to restore elastin production in the skin and even out skin tone.

The treatment (75 minutes/HK$1,380) isn’t just focused on the face, but also the neck and shoulders. It starts with cleansing the skin, followed by the application of a honey-scented exfoliant to remove dead skin cells.

After hydrogel is applied to the skin, the therapist liberally spreads on the mask made of bee venom, deftly massaging the face at the same time. The mask feels cooling to the skin and stays on for 20 minutes. During that time the therapist massages the neck, shoulders, arms, hands, calves and feet for an even more relaxing experience.

Afterwards the mask is carefully removed, and moisturiser, eye cream and BB cream applied to the skin. Immediately afterwards I can see my skin tone has evened out, and thanks to the facial massage, my skin feels firmer too. Bernice Chan

Chuan Body + Soul, 15/F, Langham Hong Kong, 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2132 7880

LASER & LIGHT FACIAL

This facial treatment (15 minutes/HK$550) by Skin Laundry is for those who want quick results rather than a lengthy pampering session. It is a deep cleanse that removes pollutants on the skin and restores its balance.

I first remove my facial make-up with a face wipe, then lie down on the bed with my eyes covered by goggles. The treatment begins with two rounds of laser treatment, which are quite tingly. There is a burning smell, caused by the laser removing dead skin cells.

The beautician then applies a layer of hydrogel and runs an intense pulsed light across my face. The light treats acne by killing bacteria and reduces redness by removing broken capillaries.

There isn’t a very drastic immediate effect. The pores look smaller and my face seems clearer, but my acne scars remain (the beautician explains it will take several sessions to remove them and recommends weekly sessions) and so do most blackheads.

However, when I apply a hydration mask later that evening, as I am advised to, I find that my skin absorbs the moisture better and faster. My skin also secretes less oil for the following week. Rachel Cheung

Skin Laundry, various locations. Inquiries: https://www.skinlaundry.com/

THE SKIN ENERGISER

Stay fresh and moisturised with the Skin Energiser (90 minutes/HK$1,250), a treatment which Plateau Spa at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong tailor-made for summer. It begins with a body scrub using sea salt, which sloughs away any dead skin cells as well as gets your blood circulation going again. It also has the effect of lulling one into a good 30-minute nap.

After a quick shower, the masseuse returns and massages the body using an essential-oil blend of juniper berries, orange and grapefruit that is lightly scented and easily absorbed into the skin.

The massage technique used is strongly reminiscent of Swedish massage (think moves that rely on the forearms). It is combined with deep tissue pressure to effectively detoxify the body and reduce water retention. The treatment leaves one feeling cleansed and rejuvenated. Lim Li Ying

Plateau Spa, 11/F Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road. Inquiries: 2584 7688