Best places for a facial in Dubai
Has she gone mad? Where’s the food? Let me explain…. When I started this blog I didn’t think anyone would want to hear about what went on in Dubai. With over two decades of living in the Middle East the odd post slipped in, based on things people kept asking me about my current dwelling place. These have turned out to be some of the most visited and popular on my whole blog including where to get a massage. So if you are visiting Dubai and want a recommendation for a place to go for a facial, or if you just wonder why anyone would ever want to have this kind of treatment, here’s the low-down.
Why have a facial?
Recently, when I’ve seen pictures of myself, I don’t really recognise the person there. Age is a weird thing and I don’t feel any different inside to a score of years ago or longer. My achey shoulders means a massage is a fairly regular occurrence, and living in sandals for most of the time makes demands on your feet so a pedicure is more of a necessity. I hadn’t had a facial for years though thinking it would be an expensive waste of time as the treatment was only skin deep. I also get a bit bored with someone fussing around my mug and can’t wait to get off the couch. When the opportunity to try some out arose I accepted as I’m not immune to the lure of recapturing some of the bloom of my former youth however transient. And here’s what happened…
Natural, organic but with surprising results
If I had realised that Dr Hauschka Treatment Rooms were actually inside the Organic Foods and Cafe supermarket I might not have come. But once inside the door, the contrast of light, bright airy rooms and tranquility was quite astounding and while I was having my treatment there was a gently hum of distant sounds from the shop which was not at all intrusive. My treatment was a signature facial and lasted for a whole two hours. Gasp! Again I was worried that my inability to switch off (or be separated from my iPhone) would leave me begging for mercy, but the gentle strokings and pattings combined with the calming aromas from the organic Dr Hauschka products made me drift off very pleasantly. My feet, legs, hands and neck were also massaged which was a relaxing bonus. It was all so gentle that at the end when my therapist said “Your skin looks amazing” I was pretty dubious. She was right though – my face looked smooth and my jaw-line taught. There was no hint of redness or puffiness and when I went out later that evening, my make-up glided on and looked fantastic. Veggie teen commented on how good my skin looked. It seemed to last quite well too – the firmness for few days or more. I tried out the cleanser and toner from Dr Hauschka too and will definitely start changing to this regime. They are mainly organic and biodynamic, fairtrade products which smell amazing – a joy to use.
Dr Hauschka Treatment Room, Organic Foods & Café, The Greens, Dubai. Tel: 056 499 2856 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Best for a total de-stress
The InterContinental Dubai Marina has the feel of a contemporary art gallery and the spa is all clean lines, subtle lighting, hushed Zen and seductive shadows. After the usual meet and greet with a hibiscus drink I had a tour of the jacuzzi, sauna and steam areas which you can use when you come for a treatment. The room itself was a calming oasis of comfort. There was a foot washing ritual to unwind then I slipped onto the bed which was covered in a smooth sheet and had a bed warmer. This is perfect as the room can remain cool but you stay comfortable. The hour-long facial using Espa products included cleansing, steaming, massage and a mask. The expertise and dedicated attention of the therapist really set this apart from the standard treatment and a scalp massage while the mask was on total heaven. At the end she joked ‘another hour?’ and I could have easily acquiesced. My skin looked bright and nourished at the end, if slightly pink. I had the option to leave the residual oil on which I did, drove home and collapsed for the evening in a totally relaxed and blissful state.
The spa, InterContinental Dubai Marina, Bay Central, Al Sufouh road, Dubai. Tel: +9714 466 6643
Hi-tech and long-lasting
Ahasees means feelings and sensation in Arabic and the eponymous spa is as grand as its situation inside the Grand Hyatt. As well as a steam and jacuzzi area you can use the very attractive pool when you book a treatment. I chose from a range of teas for after my treatment and could even select the background music. There is a changing room and bathroom adjacent to the treatment room for absolute privacy and after a foot bathing ritual I hopped onto the bed next to a brightly lit machine for the Hydrafacial MD. Lymphatic draining – a gentle hoovering – came after a cleanse. Then a quite alarming feeling of hoovering and scraping while something was pumped onto my skin was applied with many stages. I was completely worried that my skin would have big red stripes all over it and at one point asked for the pressure to be reduced slightly. It was the least pleasant experience of all the facials and I concentrated on the light jazz soundtrack I had chosen. There was no facial massage but one on the scalp at the end. I was led to the relaxation area and peered gingerly into the mirror. The results were amazing – my skin super clean, toned and smooth with not a hint of redness. It felt like there was a layer of something silky on my skin which latest for a couple of days. The smoothness, and cleanliness of my pores continued for weeks; well worth a slight discomfort.
Ahasees Spa and Club, Grand Hyatt Dubai. Tel: +971 4 317 2333 or email email@example.com
Speedy and effective
When I found out that the Elemis Biotec facial that I was booked for lasted for just 30 minutes I was super dubious and a little disappointed. How on earth would I feel relaxed in just half an hour and surely this wouldn’t have much impact on my skin? However this was long-term favourite spa Sensasia so my whole demeanour changed as soon as I stepped through the door and inhaled their signature scent. As usual attention to detail is paramount with this place, so after filling in my consultation form I was taken directly into a special room designed for people having this facial (there is no need to go into the changing room). I lay back on the supremely comfortable bed/chair full clothed and swathed in protective layers over my garments and hair before a push-button recline. Feeling relaxed already, a cleanse and massage prepared my skin. The therapist asked which issues I wanted to concentrate on – firming, wrinkles or skin tone; this was a tough one as I wanted all of these things, but I plumped for firming (pun intended).
A potion of different active ingredients were smoothed onto my face (including circulation stimulating arjuna, gardenia stem cells – plant based – and alaria esculenta seaweed). Then some rounded prongs were slowly pulled over my skin with a very faint tingling sensation of galvanic current. Total relaxation means that I’m a bit hazy about the details of the whole facial – it involved light at one point plus a heavenly massage – but it was really enjoyable. Afterwards I was given the option of chilling in the lounging area with some ginger tea and crunchy crudites; of course I said yes. My skin felt great and definitely looked firmer – pretty miraculous for a 30 minute treatment. The Biotec Line Eraser and Skin Resurfacer both appeal too and there are versions for calming sensitive skin and reducing pigmentation.
While not cheap, the reduced time means that the price for this facial is a lot less than other similar hi-tec facials. I was given some Elemis product samples to take home too. Hands down best quick fix for your skin.
With so many spas in this city this is just the tip of the ice-burg. Where is your favourite?
I was invited to review these venues; opinions my own.