The run-up to the end of the year traces a gradual increase in anticipation of Christmas, the New Year, and finally Lunar New Year – whether it’s for the relief of the holidays; the excitement of the parties; the long-awaited reconnection with
family; or all of the above.
If you’re anywhere north of the equator, you could be embarking on a hectic Amazing Race-style hustle of social engagements, work celebrations and condensed deadlines set against increasingly chilly and dry conditions. The results? Fatigued complexions and dehydrated, textured skin that threatens to show your age, and at a time when you need to look gorgeously effervescent.
Read on for the best advice on how Macao’s spas can spruce your complexion back up for that effortless radiant, red carpet glow.
“Weather has a huge effect on our skin,” says Ayu Desak, spa assistant manager at the Four Seasons Macao. “The winter months bring harsh, cold wind that irritates the delicate skin on our face and hands. Winter also brings dry conditions that strip skin of its natural moisture. Having a facial treatment will help keep the skin moisturised and protected.”
She recommends the Four Seasons Diamond Brightening facial by Natura Bissé, renowned for its trifecta of renewal, depigmentation and lightening qualities. It also says that it delivers a triple exfoliating system (nicknamed CP3), which includes glycolic acid claimed to stimulate cell renewal, and Alpha Hydroxy
Acids (chemical exfoliants) combined with carboxitherapy (the use of CO2). It’s the mother of all brightening facials and evens tone, clears congestion and moisturises and protects the skin.
Conrad Macao’s Bodhi Spa’s Aroma Radiance Lift Facial delivers multiple courses of nourishment post enzyme peel via Aromatherapy Associates rose actives and vitamin skin boosters. Then the magic kicks in: gentle electric microcurrent stimulation helps the ingredients properly penetrate for maximum glow.
Over at the Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel’s Shine Spa, your facial will be preceded by a massage – did you even realise how exhausted the rest of your body was too? Deep-tissue techniques help loosen knots and ease aches, simultaneously boosting the circulation while profoundly relaxing every molecule.
Don’t move a muscle (as if you could), as next up is the Live Native Nourishing Facial straight from Bonnie Scotland. This collection uses the limitless goodness of seaweed to deliver what feels like a year’s worth of Scotland’s pure rain via moisturisation. Breathe in and you’ll feel as if you’re on the rugged shores of a misty loch; breathe out and admire your newly plumped and dewy complexion (against the background of Cotai’s cacophonous casinos). What’s more, you walk away with two SoyLites candles, ideal as gifts.
For hi-tech, outer-space wizardry to go with your festivities, head over to The Parisian’s Le SPA’tique for its ultra-innovative facials. The skincare brand is Ling,
and the technology sounds as if it belongs on a rocket ship hurtling through space. Plump for the Ling 02 Jet Facial and you’ll experience supersonic jet propulsion up close. The technology mixes saline water and oxygen into a
gas-liquid jet that powers away dead skin cells and the day’s (the week’s, maybe even the year’s) impurities.
The new skin revealed is instantly nourished with the Oxygen Plasma Potion by Ling, sprayed in a gentle mist over the face, allowing the skin to soak up the active ingredients.
Alternatively, the Ultrasonic Serum Infusion Facial goes a step further, bringing in ultrasonic waves that are claimed to exfoliate, stimulate the circulation, detoxify the skin via lymphatic drainage and boost collagen and elastin production. Ling serums, chosen according to your skin type, are again misted over the skin, then a massage and mask are applied. Finally, a Firming Eye Contour Ultrasound treatment gets to work on dark circles and wrinkles. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.
The St Regis Macao’s spa director Kittipitch Watnoi has
some final words of ‘radiance-under-festive-pressure’ advice:
• Cold weather harms our skin, so above all avoid dehydrating. This includes avoiding overly hot tubs, baths and showers. After cleansing in warm water, immediately apply lotion and moisturise your skin.
• Watch what you eat and drink – as far as possible. Hydrate your skin from the inside out by drinking plenty of warm water during the day. Avoid drinking too much alcohol as it slow down collagen production, reduces skin elasticity and adds more lines and wrinkles.
• Avoid sugar in food and soft drinks. Too much sugar causes a decrease in skin elasticity and an increase in wrinkles.
• Avoid smoking. Apart from being bad for our health, smoking causes skin ageing.
• Avoid poor sleeping habits. A lack of sleep speeds up signs of ageing and prevents our skin from regenerating fully overnight.