A state-of-the-art natural facial in the hands of a skilled aesthetician can work wonders to smooth lines and wrinkles, de-puff the eye area, perk up tired skin and lift your sagging spirit
Caneel Bay Resort, St. John, US VI
Set on protected land purchased by Laurance Rockefeller and turned into the Virgin Islands National Park, Caneel Bay is a perfect slice of paradise. The secluded property features seven beaches (Hawksnest Beach is great for turtle-watching), the ruins of an old sugar mill, golf, donkeys (they helped with construction when the property was built and never left), a gifted chef who sources from a local organic farm, and an amazing sushi bar. The Caneel Bay “Green Team” ensures the property is doing the best it can to protect the environment, from greywater irrigation to battery-powered carts to kitchen oil that is picked up to fuel local fishing boats. Every room on the property has a water view.
And then there is the spa: three tiny spa cabanas, on a private strip of beach, where you are caressed by the ocean breeze, breathe in the fresh salt air and are lulled by the sound of the waves. “It’s not necessary to embellish what is already here—an incredibly nurturing environment,” says Spa Manager Judit Child.
The Bee-utiful Facial features local honey from “Wayne the Honey Guy,” who lives on the east side of St. John. Jennie, my aesthetician, recommended the Eminence vitamin K cream and arnica mask for my sensitive, sun-warmed skin. Her calm presence, gentle hands and the unique location left me with smooth, unfurrowed skin, and a memory of one of the most relaxing spa treatments ever. caneelbay.com
Richmond Nua Wellness Spa, Lake Sapanca, Turkey
Only 90 minutes from Istanbul, the beautiful Richmond Nua Spa, founded by wellness visionary Belgin Aksoy, is a perfect place to relax by the lake, hike in the forest, bring balance to your mind and body, and nurture your skin, with more than 100 spa treatments to choose from.
The intensely therapeutic water course at Richmond Nua is one of the most comprehensive we’ve seen: a salt and a freshwater jacuzzi, four steam rooms (herbal, salt inhalation, Laconium and traditional), a two-level loft sauna, rainforest shower, ice grotto and three relaxation rooms (with heated water beds, lounge chairs and a roof of simulated stars). After a few rotations of heat and cold, your skin will glow even before the Anti-Aging Facial begins.
The Facial, featuring Kerstin Florian products, is customized according to your skin type. My lovely Balinese aesthetician had a beautiful soothing presence. A nourishing peel-off mask was applied to my skin, and she used chilled rollers (“beauty globes”) to calm inflammation and drive nutrients from the Chinese herbs and serums into the skin. Chilled marble stones around the eyes soothe and de-puff the area.
The facial featured acupressure which, according to Charlene Florian, chief creative officer at Kerstin Florian International, “is designed to rebalance the energy for muscle imbalances, and can lift the skin.”
Top it off with the best cup of ginger tea you’ve ever had and an organic juice shot from the Vital Bar. richmondnua.com
Eco Luxe Custom Facial
Travaasa, Austin, TX
At the Travaasa Spa in Austin, you’ll find three signature treatments that could not be more locally inspired: On the Road Again Massage, with hemp oil, inspired by Willie Nelson; The Rose, with rose oil, an homage to Janis Joplin; and Double Trouble, a couples massage in tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan. During your treatment, you’ll hear music by the appropriate artist, because, “People don’t always want to hear spa music,” says Senior Director of Spas Maggie Wagner.
I was lucky enough to experience my Eco Luxe Facial in the special room set aside for men (and the Willie Nelson treatment), with handsome reclaimed wood paneling, no-VOC paint and a fiber optic replica of the Texas night sky imprinted on the ceiling. The dreamy custom facial featured a thorough cleansing, a tightening mask from Primavera that was loaded with phytonutrients, and vitamin C extracted from organic and wild-crafted botanicals. I went on my way, lifted, firmed and ready to head off “On the Road Again.” travaasa.com
The Acupuncture Lift As more women look for alternatives to cosmetic surgery and other invasive procedures, the Acupuncture Facial is gaining popularity. In a recent study conducted by The International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture, 270 out of 300 people saw a noticeable decrease of facial wrinkles after just one treatment. The skin felt firmer to the touch and elasticity was improved.
“The face is a reflection of your internal health and the health of all the organ systems,” says Jenise Parris, New York City-based Master of Chinese Medicine and licensed acupuncturist. “For example, if the patient feels anxious and the face is pale and lacks luster, I would look to enhance circulation and choose acupuncture points on the heart meridian that will calm the mind as well as restore circulation to the face,” she continues.
“These local acupuncture points stimulate blood flow and collagen production, encourage lymph drainage (when the face is puffy), and ease muscle tension and holding patterns of the facial muscles (clenching the jaw, pursing the lips) that help decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The points at the neck and shoulders encourage deeper breathing, bringing more oxygen to all the tissues.”