Face value: Hong Kong's best spas and skincare centres
We take our quest for youthful-looking skin to Hong Kong's top spas and skincare centres
MELO SIGNATURE FACIAL
The treatment: Melo Spa’s signature 60-minute facial (HK$980) uses products from Hungarian organic skincare label Eminence. The products are infused with antioxidants, such as white, red and green tea extracts, combined with fresh fruit essences including papaya, citrus, pomegranate and grape seed to help protect skin from environmental toxins and promote a youthful glow.
The review: The moment our therapist arrived flaunting her baby bump, any suspicions we had about organic beauty products were chased away – the natural products are obviously safe for mum-to-be. The organic cleansing and peeling creams smelled deliciously sweet and were pleasantly effective.
As requested, the extractions weren’t done too rigorously. Our clogged pores, especially on the T-zone area, were left clean after the treatment without much redness. After examining our skin condition on the day, the therapist applied a cleansing gel on the T-zone area and a hydrating mask on the cheeks and chin. The facial massage that followed left our skin hydrated but not overly shiny.
Warm ginger tea was served at the end of the treatment, and with the clear view of the greenery surrounding the Hyatt Regency in Sha Tin, we certainly felt recharged at this rare oasis in the city. Vivian Chen
3723 7684, www.melospa.com
UP-LIFT GOLDEN FIRMING TREATMENT
The treatment: Designed to treat ageing and sagging skin, this 75-minute facial (HK$1,580) uses Bellefontaine spa products to lift and firm the muscles of the face. Botanical ingredients and gold particles balance hormones, restore structure and leave the skin radiant and lifted.
The review: With its spacious waiting area, white-and-gold décor and therapists dressed in starched white coats, Bellefontaine's Central spa looks like how we imagine a posh Swiss doctor's office would be.
After filling out a form detailing our skin concerns and offering the choice between a hand or machine treatment (we chose hand), we were led into a small but tidy treatment room. The facial began with a gentle cleansing and thorough exfoliation. The extractions that followed were the gentlest we'd ever experienced, and as an added bonus the therapist even tidied up our eyebrows. The anti-ageing portion of the treatment consisted of a series of masks and massages targeting the chin and cheek areas.
The extra-thick Nutri-Regeneration Mask was left on the longest, during which we enjoyed a pleasant nap. After the excess was removed and a bit of eye and face cream applied, we found our skin plump and hydrated. The next day, the fine lines that had been showing up on our cheeks of late were nowhere to be seen. Tama Lung
2801 4598, www.bellefontaine.hk/en
CARITA CINETIC LIFT EXPERT FIRMING AND ANTI-SAGGING FACIAL
The treatment: This 90-minute facial (HK$1,800) at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong's Plateau Spa is designed for tired and sagging skin. It uses special ingredients and top-of-the-line machinery to firm and lift the skin, and improve elasticity.
The review: We'd recommend this facial to frequent spa-goers familiar with beauty machinery, as it's not for the faint of heart. The results, nevertheless, are quite extraordinary.
It starts out like any standard facial, with an analysis and cleansing, while The Renovator exfoliation that follows uses essential oils, sea salt and roasted sunflower seeds, which take a year to prepare.
What really make this treatment stand apart, however, are the machines - a vibrating skin refiner that helps with deep cleansing, a pair of metal gloves that help lift the skin, and a light-therapy device that helps the products penetrate deeper.
We can't say they made for a particularly relaxing experience - the skin refiner emits a shrill whine, and the lamp's incredibly bright light can be unsettling. But what we can say is that the post-facial results were immediate, impressive and lasting. The bags under our eyes were completely gone and stayed away for weeks. Laugh lines were eradicated, while the skin was visibly tightened and took on an almost translucent quality. Jacqueline Tsang
2588 1234, hongkong.grand.hyatt.com
ORCHIDÉE IMPÉRIALE PRESTIGE TREATMENT
The treatment: Using Guerlain's full range of Orchidée Impériale products, this premium facial (HK$2,980) corrects signs of ageing and redefines facial contours through an exclusive massage technique. The most complete treatment offered at the Guerlain Institute is designed to leave skin nourished, supple and glowing.
The review: This decadent two-hour treatment is perfect for those looking for a blend of performance and pampering. It begins with a gentle leg and neck stretch before moving on to cleansing with soft brushes and warm towels. We especially enjoyed the "facial gymnastics massage" interspersed throughout the treatment - three sets of fairly vigorous tapping and kneading on the face, neck, shoulders and décolleté. Exfoliation was followed by extractions, which were painful at times but proved quite effective when combined with the pore-sanitising machine.
The two masks seemed to sink into our parched skin thanks to the massage strokes. While one absorbed, we enjoyed a hand and scalp rub along with a paraffin hand treatment. By the end of the final hour, we felt thoroughly relaxed by the delicately scented products and looked visibly lifted and rested. The next day, our face still retained some lift, and the usual puffiness around our eyes was gone. Tama Lung
2869 1552, www.guerlain.com