Spa beauty treatments are no longer a mere mani-pedi throne at the end of your spa day. Todays spas tend to have an extensive beauty treatment menu along with the traditional facials and massages, keeping up to date with science and technology, and offering state-of-the-art aesthetics. A few exclusive spas have expert facialists in residence, for example Linda Meredith at the Mandarin Oriental: some, such as The Spa At Bedford Lodge (below), have an aesthetic clinic attached.
Why not simply go to a beauty clinic? At a spa, the worlds of beauty and wellness collide. You can escape the pressures of daily life for a few hours, take time to relax after your treatments instead of jumping in a car and heading back to the office. Increasingly, spas are becoming high tech one-stop beauty destinations in which to not only rebalance your mind, body and soul, but achieve immediate and longer lasting results.
Beauty treatments in spas are advancing as fast as the worlds of technology and science. From anti-ageing facials to brows, nails and lashes, here are some popular beauty treatments available at some of the Good Spa Guide’s favourite spas.
There’s a reason why the likes of Suki Waterhouse, Melanie Sykes and Abbey Clancy swear by the red carpet of all facials, the HydraFacial; it’s like getting six face treatments in one simple, yet highly effective multi-step programme.
A HydraFacial has six procedures in one – detox, cleansing, exfoliating, extracting, hydrating and antioxidant protection. Super-hydrating and resurfacing serums are infused into the skin with a pen-like device called a Hyrdapeel Tip . A non-invasive therapy, but one that must be performed by a qualified facialist, it gives immediate long-term results. That it doesn’t cause irritation or the need for healing time makes it perfect for that special event, birthday or anniversary treat.
At South Lodge, the Aesthetics Collective HydraFacial is tailored to cater to your specific skin concerns, from anti-aging to acne. The Illuminating C includes a Hungarian facial massage – developed to oxygenate and wake up the face muscles – and uses Omorovicza products.
This more invasive but effective method of resurfacing the skin has moved on in leaps and bounds in recent years. Peels work best for people experiencing hyper-pigmentation, discolouration, acne scarring and sun damage. While home peels (more gentle masks) can yield good results, a spa chemical peel will penetrate deeper. The chemical solution applied to the skin breaks down the top layers to diminish fine lines, uneven skin tone and wrinkles, resulting in the appearance of smoother and younger looking skin. Usually, a few days of healing are required following treatment.
Chiefly, chemical peels aim to achieve the following:
Reducing scarring and pigmentation
Reducing sun damage and ageing spots
Treating acne and residual scar tissue
Reducing or erasing fine lines
Producing a plump, youthful glow
Try the AlumierMD chemical peel at Pennyhill Park to experience the next generation in clinical exfoliation. Their variety of peels contain a unique combination of ingredients which can be customized for your skin type.
This mildly invasive procedure aims to refresh and renew skin tone and texture. Advantages are that it is painless, low risk and the skin recovers quickly. The treatment uses a hand-held device that uses tiny crystals or diamonds to gently rub away the outer layer of skin, then vacuums it all up. It usually requires a course of treatments.
Microdermabrasion is most effective for treating:
Early sun damage
Hydradermabrasion is a more advanced method and less abrasive, using jets of oxygen and water rather than crystals to exfoliate, stimulating blood flow to your skin and maximise collagen production. Exfoliation creates brighter, fresher and tighter skin and the effects can last up to two months.
The Spa at Bedford Lodge offers microdermabrasion as well as a Microdermabrasion and Light Refresh Skin Peel dual treatment which increases collagen and elastin formation, producing noticeable results after just one treatment.
Laser treatments clean deep into the pores, improving skin condition, boosting collagen and brightness and correcting the appearance of red veins, pigmentation and inflamed skin. This technique directs brief, intensive pulsating beams of light to remove skin layer by layer with precision.
Sequoia Spa at The Grove offers a BYONIK Pulse-Triggered Laser Facial to counteract the natural process of skin cell ageing by releasing a blend of hyaluronic acid and pulse-triggered laser energy into the skin, pushing antioxidants into the cells to create a tighter, more voluminous and defined appearance.
Semi-permanent make up
There’s nothing quite like full, well-tweaked and ultimately natural looking brows - no-one wants to look like they’ve just been at the black marker pens. But as we age, our brows can start looking less fulsome and honed than we’d like.
If natural yet nuanced is your aim, Suzanne Martin at The Lanesborough Club and Spa is the woman to see. A former professional make-up artist at Dior, Suzanne created ‘The Couture Brow’, a flattering and natural enhancement of what you already have that will alter the way you look at your face.
Hot Tip:A tint will require a patch test 24 – 48 hours before treatment.
Curled, extended, lifted or deeply dyed, lashes instantly enhance our look in a way few other features can do. Whether you’re after a pared back dewy daytime look or a smoky-eyed nightclub vibe, The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village has a wide menu of looks; from volume lashes, strip lashes and cluster lashes – which last up to a week – through to lash lifts, express lashes, individual lash extensions or a simple eyelash tint.
Few treatments spell glamour quite like an immaculate, beautifully finished nail, glossed and polished to perfection in an eye-catching jewel tone. But increasingly, less is becoming more in nailcare and the latest rage, thanks to pedicure king Bastien Gonzalez, is for a highly buffed natural nail which screams health, vitality and simplicity.
On the plus side, buffing will give your nails a natural shine without needing polish, but it can weaken them if they are buffed too often. Benefits include increased blood circulation to the nail bed and a smoother nail surface which gives off an attractive sheen.
Lifehouse Spa is the flagship spa for OPI. Their decadent Prosecco and Nail Suite does what it says on the tin, offering a hedonistic manicure or pedicure experience with a glass of chilled bubbles in hand.
Meanwhile, Weavers’ House Spa has express pedis where you can opt for a cuticle tidy, heel buff and nourishing moisturise (with or without polish). They have similar for the hands, substituting the heel buff for a hand massage for that ‘au naturel’ appearance.