The Spa Spy blog

Lifted by a Lava Shells Thermal facial

Remember back in April when we told you that the Lava Shell treatments would be branching out into a thermal facial? Well, it's here! I tried the treatment last week and was looking forward to seeing if this facial delivered its promised "triple-lift" -- lifting tension from my face and eyes, lifting my facial muscles and complexion, and finally by lifting my spirits and mood.

The Lava Shell facial begins with a "welcome massage". The warm shells are smoothed around your shoulders, neck and décolleté. I'd arrived for my facial feeling thoroughly stressed. A late bus, a wrong turn, and a steamingly-hot day all conspired to make me feel flustered and tense, but oh! those shells... I love the way that the heat just makes your muscles melt. Beneficial heat, too: blood rushes to the surface of your skin, increasing the flow of oxygen and nutrients, which encourages collagen production.

Spa Find products are used in the thermal facial as they, like the active ingredients in the shells, are mineral-based. The heat used in the treatment is said to help the products penetrate your skin.

The Lava Shell facial uses smaller shells than the body treatments, which are designed to skim along the curves and contours of your face. Ally, from Shared Beauty Secrets, told me that the massage uses both pressure point and marma point moves. We love nothing more than a great massage and one of our favourite things is a facial massage. This treatment focuses for a good 20 minutes on your face -- our idea of bliss.

If you have sensitive skin, don't worry, the shells are warm, not hot, as a different composition of self-heating minerals is used in the facial than with the body treatment blend. I have seriously sensitive skin, which flushes up at, well, almost anything, but the lava shells didn't cause a problem at all. The contours of the shell work with your face. Ally ran the thin edges gently around my eyes and nose, and used the flat surface to smooth over my cheeks and forehead. The nuts and bolts of the facial? A double-cleanse, spritz of cooling toner, gentle exfoliation and then a mask while Ally used shells to massage my scalp.

My treatment ended with more of the refreshing toning spritz and a light dab of moisturiser. I'd assumed this would not be a results facial. Shells equal relaxation, I thought, but boy, was I wrong. I'd staggered into the treatment room scarlet-faced and looking pretty grim. The woman gazing back at me in the mirror, was clear-skinned, bright-eyed, smiling, and looked rather like she'd enjoyed a l-o-n-g sleep. Result!

Lava Shell treatments use eco-friendly products and materials, and best of all, deliver more than they promise: a rare and wonderful thing in spa-world.

The Lava Shells facial will be available nationwide at Bannatyne Spas and select Handpicked Hotels from August 2010. The Lava Shells Thermal Facial will be a 60-minute treatment with prices starting from £45. Call 01869 338890 for more details.

Lava Shell