Well perhaps not every day, but introducing massages and facials into your life can make a difference to your health, here are three we recommend, says Sadie Macleod
Having lived in Hong Kong, I took it for granted that out there that you don’t need to book months in advance to have a massage, facial or any other wellbeing related treatment for that matter. In fact, you needn’t book at all. Quite often I would wonder into the well-known spas and after being offered a green tea I would be whisked off for some of the best massages of my life. There was a no-fuss, no-frills approach to these treatments that sat really well with me as sometimes when you need a massage, you need it now. Coming back to the UK, I had forgotten that the only way to get a treatment like this was to either book two months in advance or be put on a waiting list and wait for a cancellation. I have once even been told that one particular spa was booked up till Christmas – I was calling in July – and their waiting list was full… And don’t even get me started on the prices. Since when was it ok to charge £3 a minute for a massage?
I truly believe that massages, facials, and other relaxation techniques are as important for the body as they are for the soul and contribute to our wellbeing in a big way. Hong Kong, and much of Asia, has known this for a long time. They see massage as a form of medicine (one with only good side-effects). And it seems that the UK is only just beginning to catch on… and it is about time to. Here are three of our top places to grab a beauty treatment on the go.
Spa and Massage
This trend is clearly evident in the emergence of Spa & Massage. With five spas across London, Spa & Massage a “no-appointment necessary” approach to massages. The spas are clean and fresh and each of the wonderful masseurs are knowledgeable, experienced and incredibly friendly. The range of treatments are extensive and the spas stay open until 11pm meaning that the after work massage is now possible. It is the perfect place for a post-work massage to wind down after a stressful day and has recently become my new Friday-night hangout! And the best part? It’s totally affordable. So not only are you making a much better decision for your body by going for a massage rather than heading to the bar but it is also the best choice for your wallet! www.spaandmassage.co.uk
Elemis Retail SpaPod Therapies
An innovative approach to beauty; mixing Spa with shopping, the brilliant Elemis have set up ‘SpaPod’s’ in some of the UK’s favourite shopping centres. Finding ourselves in Debenhams on Oxford street on this particular occasion, we were delighted with the prospect of being able to step off the shop floor, straight into a tranquil haven making us forget the hustle and bustle for a blissful 30 minutes. Before we were allowed across the threshold for our facial however, an expert therapist performed a procedure called ‘face mapping’ so that she could see exactly what part of the skin needed attention, whether that be too many open pores, not enough exfoliation or even too much sun damage so that she could recommend a cream with a high SPF to further protect skin in the future. This process, although slightly daunting at first, was fascinating and the bespoke ‘mapping’ immediately gives you absolute faith in both the therapist and the treatment to come. The pod itself is small but welcoming, and most importantly relaxing. You are placed into a massage chair for the duration of the treatment, now, we know that a massage chair can be wonderfully soothing for many people, however, we would recommend for this treatment that you forgo the massage function of the chair and just focus on the expertly performed facial – sometimes it can be hard to truly relax when you have too many things going on at once. At just 30 minutes per treatment, these really are perfect for a speedy pick me up while shopping or even in your lunch break. Choose the power boosting facial to help you look and feel re-energised and rejuvenated – ready to face the crowds. http://www.elemis.com/spatherapies/retailspapodtherapies.aspx HC
The Organic Pharmacy Purifying Urban Facial
This treatment from The Organic Pharmacy (a firm fave at the H&H headquarters) is the perfect post- work pick me up. Because its just 45 minutes long it means that you are unlikely to fall into a massage induced coma but it is still long enough to make you feel relaxed and like you have had a proper treatment. Starting with a double cleanse and then mask and exfoliator, the skin is cleaned at a much deeper level than achieved at home. The facial massage is a brilliant way to relieve any jaw tension to, and if you are anything like me, you’ll go a whole day clenching your jaw without realising it. Each if The Organic Pharmacy’s product are packed full of active natural ingredients that give off the most delicious scents and you’ll continue to smell like something good enough to eat long after the treatment has finished. I am not sure I’d want to go back to work after this facial as it would be a shame to out make up back on and I did somewhat glow (read shine) on my journey home praying I wasn’t going to bump into anyone I knew. But for the busy girl who wants who can’t find the time to shave her legs let alone take a whole hour for a facial this is the perfect antidote to a busy and sometimes stressful life. Book one of these a month and you’ll definitely save a wrinkle or two in the long run. www.theorganicpharmacy.com