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“There are no ugly women, only lazy ones.” – Helena Rubenstein
While the beauty maverick’s sentiments may have aged badly, our enduring pursuit for innovation in beauty and skincare highlights that we are anything but lazy.
We’ve trotted the globe to pinpoint some of the world’s wildest and most respected beauty treatments around – we’ve bathed in a French vineyard, shivered in Mayfair and endured radiance shots in Seoul. Trust us, these four are worth the airfare.
Beauty treatments worth the journey…
1. Targeted skin treatments in Seoul, South Korea
Ever since South Korea introduced the world to BB creams back 2011, we’ve been looking to the Far East for beauty guidance and skincare innovations. A dermatology destination – not to mention the plastic surgery capital of the world – Seoul is striding ahead in the skincare stakes. Known for their flawless complexions and extensive skincare routines – taking care of your skin is something you’re taught as a child in Korea – Seoulites are skipping tired one- or two-step regimens in favour of targeted skin treatments, acne laser therapy and radiance shots. With many clinics now offering English-speaking consultants to cater to a growing overseas clientele, it’s time to swot up on the latest skin science – the ultramodern Sulwhasoo Spa is a great starting point – and book your flights ASAP.
2. Seaweed Baths in Sligo, Ireland
Immerse yourself in a bath of seaweed, hand-harvested from the unspoilt Atlantic coast of Ireland. Hundreds of seaweed baths once populated the Irish coast, but now only a handful remain – two of which are in County Sligo. One is in Enniscrone, the other in Strandhill. The latter – a hipster village where surfers flock to the giant Atlantic waves – is home to VOYA Seaweed Baths; despite its modest appearance, treatments here are highly effective. Post morning surf session, float in a tranquil state and reap the benefits of thalassotherapy (the use of seawater and ocean products). Organic seaweed treatments claim a multitude of health benefits including softer skin, improved circulation and diminished cellulite. We’re checking a case for our return journey and stocking up on VOYA’s range of seaweed-rich shower gels, facemasks and scrubbers.
3. Cryotherapy in London, UK
Invented in Japan in 1978 as a remedy for rheumatoid arthritis, cryotherapy – Greek for “cold cure” – has surged in popularity in the last decade. Mile-a-minute London – and West London in particular – is the unsurprising vanguard of the treatment, which promises to kick-start your body’s homeostatic mechanisms and burn between 500-800 calories in the process. 111CRYO, the UK’s first electrically cooled cryotherapy chamber founded by Harley Street plastic surgeon Dr. Yannis Alexandrides, is an invigorating, rather than relaxing treatment. While paying top dollar to freeze in subzero temperatures for three minutes a session may seem an unusual way to spend your leisure time in London, the beauty benefits are plentiful: tightening, toning and smoothing skin as well as stimulating circulation and boosting collagen. You will also get a major release of endorphins as a result of the cold treatment. Plus, if you opt for a chamber plotted at Harvey Nichols, a post-treatment shopping spree seems like the only logical thing to do.
4. Vinothérapie in Bordeaux, France
While Bordeaux is known for its abundant wineries, it’s the vineyards of Château Smith Haut Lafitte that most appeal. At the family-owned wine country inn, Les Sources de Caudalie, we’re soaking up the goodness of the grape – literally. Visiting the Vinothérapie Spa – the birthplace of Caudalie’s world-famous, grape-based beauty products – we’re signing up for a signature “Barrel Bath” on arrival. For some neck-to-toe skin scrubbing, opt for the “Crushed Cabernet Scrub” which combines honey, brown sugar and cabernet grape seeds. Don’t be fooled by the spa’s luxurious woodshack look, treatments here are high-tech with many infusing grape pomace and red wine extracts, known for their exfoliating effects.
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