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Archive for the ‘Spas’ Category

posted by on Pampering, Rituals, Spa, Spas

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I like Rituals. I especially like the last two collections, the Laughing Buddha and Indian Summer, but I think this time Rituals has outdone itself with a makeover of their Hammam collection*. I’m not familiar with the original but the new collection is nothing short of divine and it’s right up my street as I bloody love hammams.

To me a hammam is the ultimate cleansing and beautifying treatment. It’s a tradition that has stood the test of time, centuries old yet undisputed and thankfully still part of local culture in countries like Turkey and Morocco (which I am envious of).

Fortunately Rituals’ new look Hammam collection brings a taste of a hammam to your private bathroom. The Hot Scrub is now available in a bigger, transparent jar to keep skin smoother and softer for longer, while the Hammam Body Mud has been reformulated with mineral-rich Rhassoul Clay, to nourish and revitalise.

There are nine products in the range of which I’ve been indulging in four. Hammam Olive Secret (£8.50/150ml) is a shower paste that is the same colour and consistency of Vicks Vapour Rub but that it cleanses and prepares the skin for exfoliation. It contains eucalyptus so be weary if you’re not keen on the smell. I love it and it’s just what is needed as the days are getting colder.

The Hammam Hot Scrub (£19.50/250ml) is a favourite of mine as I love a good scrub and this certainly lives up to my expectations.  It contains natural purifying sea salt, warming ginger and eucalyptus. The scrub is quite potent, allowing the scent to boost your mood and unblock your sinuses if you have a cold but it’s also of a gritty texture which makes for an effective treatment.

There is also a foaming shower gel courtesy of Hammam Delight (£8.50/200ml), which is enriched with eucalyptus (yep, that again) and rosemary, and Spark of Hammam, a nourishing body lotion (£12.50/250ml).

I am keen to try some other bits from the vast range such as the scented candle, fragrance sticks, bath oil and the body mud, so I will be hot-footing it down to my nearest Rituals shop and filling my basket.

The renewed Hammam collection is out now at Rituals stores and online as well as selected House of Fraser and John Lewis stores.

posted by on Spa, Spas

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If there’s an ideal day to indulge in a spa treatment, then I vote for Sunday. It is when most of us unwind before gearing up for the dreaded working week and after the hectic Saturday I had had cleaning and prepping for a dinner party, I had definitely played my cards right with booking a facial with Re:SPA at London’s Canary Wharf.

During the week Canary Wharf is a busy business district, home to some of the biggest financial corporations and frantically crawling with the suited and booted but away from the frenzy, a sanctuary of peace and relaxation exists. This is Re:SPA, located within the Reebok Sports Club inside One Canada Square, the second tallest skyscraper in the country.

It’s late morning when I squeeze into a lift (and suck my stomach in) with a bunch of gym bunnies ready to hit the treadmill. While they sprinted off to the high-tech machinery of Reebok’s epic gym, I trotted up to reception looking like a pretentious z-list celebrity wearing my sunglasses.  The truth is, I had such terrible dark circles under my eyes from three hours sleep from the night before (a case of some guests overstaying their welcome past 1am combined with heart burn – waaaaa!).

Re:SPA has a tempting range of beauty treatments, complementary therapies, sports rehabilitation and massages on offer. There are eight treatment rooms, an express treatment bar, as well as a relaxation area, which apart from the occasional rumble from the Jubilee line, is a blissful corner to hide away in. Nothing but the finest products are used in their treatments which include Guinot, Aromatherapy Associates and Murad.

I had chosen Guinot’s exclusive Hydradermie 2 Facial, which I knew nothing about. The word ‘hydra’ leapt out and I figured this would be perfect for my dehydrated skin. It’s only when my therapist Ellie explained in detail that she would be using roller electrodes on my face that I shifted a little uneasily in my seat.

We then had a brief chat about my skin concerns, my daily routine and what products I use before I was left alone to disrobe and pop myself under the soft, luxurious towels. Ellie returned shortly after but before she could begin the treatment, scrutinised my skin closely. She confirmed my skin was dehydrated in places, mostly the forehead and at the sides. The forehead may have something to do with the fact my fringe covers it thus me missing that area in my skincare routine.


The Hydradermie 2 Facial goes beyond where most facials stop. Its purpose is to make skin youthful and radiant, from the very first treatment. The fun starts with the skin being cleansed to remove any make-up and creams. I turned up slap-free, which made Ellie’s job quick and easy.

A second cleanse follows before the skin is exfoliated. So far, it’s like a typical facial. Then the Guinot machine is switched on and I’m told I may hear a faint buzzing sound as Ellie performs a ‘double ionisation’ whereby negative and positive charges from the rollers rapidly penetrate the epidermis with ionised treatment ingredients to remove impurities and toxins. Actually I don’t feel a thing yet the rollers gently kneading my skin is very relaxing and therapeutic.

The next part of the treatment is a familiar one: the extraction. It’s the least comfortable part yet immensely satisfying (particularly for the therapist) as blackheads are removed. Fortunately this part didn’t hurt a great deal.

Once the impurities had been expelled, Ellie took the massaging rollers up a few notches and swept them across the face to oxygenate and boost cells. This brightens the complexion by stimulating skin cell oxygenation and microcirculation. The sound of the current is like a mosquito buzzing around and even though it’s a high frequency, it doesn’t hurt at all.

Finally a massage follows, with a mask to cool things down. I’m left feeling utterly in awe of how relaxing the Hydradermie 2 Facial is and crucially, the end result. My face instantly looked brighter and more radiant, and I was proud to spend the rest of the day out and about without a splodge of make-up on. Two weeks on and my skin has never looked so good.

It’s a deep-cleansing treatment suitable for all skin types and is customised accordingly whether you’re dehydrated, mature, oily, sensitive or pigmented. If you’re nervous about having a reaction to facials from past bad experiences or getting married and want to look your absolute best, you needn’t have any fears with the Hydradermie.

Unlike other facials which use products, Guinot’s Hydradermie 2 Faicla largely depends on the effective and penetrating rollers and only those experienced beauty therapists who have been rigorously trained are qualified to carry out these facials. Make-up artist Daniel Sandler is a fan and I think I am one too. I wouldn’t think twice about booking this treatment again especially ahead of a special occasion.

Guinot’s Hydradermie 2 Facial costs £84 for non-members and £80 for members, and lasts one hour and 10 minutes. For more information on this and other treatments at Re:SPA or to make a booking, visit

*I was a guest at Re:SPA and received the treatment as complimentary.