Happy faces: The best radiance-boosting facial treatments
We turn to Hong Kong’s top spas and skincare brands in hopes of restoring our inner glow
ALGOBLANC BRIGHTENING REVOLUTION TREATMENT
The treatment: The 85-minute facial (HK$1,600) is created to combat the effects of pollution and ageing. It uses Algotherm antipollution and whitening products to nourish and protect skin while ensuring optimal cell oxygenation for a healthier, more youthful appearance. The facial also includes a massage with amethyst stones.
The review: Flawless spa is conveniently located on Wyndham Street, making it ideal for postwork relaxation or a pre-party touch-up. Guests walk into an airy waiting area, part of an open layout styled like a New York loft.
For our facial, we were taken to a private treatment room. We weren’t sure about the music selection, which leaned towards trendy rather than tranquil, but we honestly didn’t notice it after a few minutes. The facial began with a gentle cleansing followed by exfoliation using Microdermabrasion Clarifying Cream.
The massage that came next was one of the more enjoyable and relaxing that we’ve had. The therapist used Dien’Cham Vietnamese facial reflexology techniques as well as a detoxifying massage with two amethyst stone discs.
The peel-off mask that followed was cold but refreshing – though a bit claustrophobic, as it covered the eyes. While the mask did its work, the therapist gave our hands a bit of TLC. When the mask came off, our skin felt renewed and supple, and it looked even better in the days that followed. Jacqueline Tsang
2869 5868, www.flawless.hk.com
SODASHI MARINE SKIN BOOSTING EXPERIENCE
The treatment: This three-hour, full-body experience (HK$3,000 Monday-Thursday, HK$3,200 Friday-Sunday) uses chemical-free, Ayurvedic-inspired Sodashi products to relieve tension, revitalise tired skin and reshape the body.
It combines an exfoliation, anti-cellulite wrap, oil massage and illuminating facial – all using powerful marine extracts and pure essential oils.
The review: From its serene lobby to its inviting vitality pools and relaxation room, the Oriental Spa offers a true escape. We sampled a 90-minute version of the Sodashi experience but would have happily stayed for the full three hours.
The treatment kicked off with inhalations of an essential oil and a gentle exfoliation of the back with finely ground pumice and volcanic clay, followed by the first of two showers. It continued with a detoxifying wrap and blissful scalp massage, after which we enjoyed a full-body rub with warm marine-scented lotion.
The Pure Illuminating Facial was one of the most gentle we’ve had, without harsh scrubs or extractions. The mild exfoliation, mask and massage managed to leave our face lifted and brighter. Sodashi promotes the use of natural ingredients and therapeutic oils to relieve emotional and physical tension, and this treatment delivered on both fronts. Tama Lung
2132 0011, www.mandarinoriental.com/landmark
PURE GOLD RADIANCE FACIAL
The treatment: La Prairie’s first standalone Art of Beauty centre caters to VIP clients from its Harbour City store. Its radiance-boosting treatment (HK$1,700) features Cellular Radiance Concentrate Pure Gold and a blend of masks and serums to lift, brighten and energise the skin.
The review: Thanks to a warm bed, soothing rainforest soundtrack and one of the best facial massages we’ve had, this 90-minute treatment seemed to last forever – in a good way. After a relaxing 10-minute back massage, the therapist cleaned and examined our face to customise the various serums and masks that followed.
Given our sensitivity, she skipped the exfoliation and extractions and applied a layer of Cellular Power Infusion serum to cool the skin before the Pure Gold serum went to work. La Prairie prides itself on the quality of its products, and has developed a special massage technique rather than resort to machines.
Using a blend of moisturisers, our therapist gently stroked the skin around the forehead, eyes, jawline and down to the décolleté. The sleepinducing massage helped drain excess fluid and boost absorption of the products. When we finally peeled ourselves off the bed after the final mask, our skin looked and felt rested, firmer and more radiant. Tama Lung
2111 9294, www.laprairie.com
The treatment: Le Spa EviDenS’ sought-after treatment (HK$1,980) uses all EviDenS de Beaute products that feature trademarked brightening and anti-ageing technologies. The 75-minute facial includes mild exfoliation, extraction, massage and a mask to reduce skin dullness and activate microcirculation.
The review: Conveniently located in the heart of Causeway Bay, EviDenS is an oasis of zen amid the city’s hustle and bustle. Managed by socialite Helen Ma, the spa showcases her impeccable taste in the utmost luxury. Everything from towels to combs and other amenities are ordered from overseas and can be purchased through the spa.
In an extra touch of hospitality, we were handed a device upon arrival which, at a push of a button, notified the therapist when we were ready for the treatment.
If you want unclogged pores but are not a fan of intense extraction, this facial is right up your alley. Our therapist first used a gel-like cleanser on our skin. The extraction that followed was effective yet pain-free, leaving few red spots afterwards. We also liked the fact that brightening lotion, instead of warm water, was used to clean up the massage oil and mask residue. After the application of the sheet brightening mask, our skin looked hydrated and radiant from the inside out.
Homemade lemongrass tea and a fresh fruit platter provided a perfect end to the soothing treatment. Jacqueline Tsang
8227 8228, www.evidens.asia
If the occasional spa visit doesn't cut it for you, but you're not yet ready for a membership programme, check out MiraSpa's new series packages. Available until the end of this month, the three packages start at HK$6,000 and offer savings of up to 42 per cent.
For example, a HK$43,000 package can be purchased for HK$25,000 and used within 24 months. It includes an additional HK$12,000 treatment credit, 12 day passes to the pool and gym facilities, and a weekday lunch for two at Yamm.
Guests who book two or more treatments on the same day (from the package) also receive two hours of free parking. 2315 5500, www.themirahotel.com.
Local day spa chain Sense of Touch has expanded its anti-ageing and body-shaping services with the recent opening of the Sense of Touch Medi Spa. The medical aesthetics centre offers everything from Botox and Restylane to chemical peels and Murad skin treatments.
The latest body treatment on offer is the Vaser Shape, which uses ultrasound and massage therapy to reduce fat and cellulite. It's available for a trial price of HK$2,888 (originally HK$3,880) until November 30. 2861 1800, www.sotmedi.com.