Love spas? Here’s how you can reap the maximum benefits of your facial and massage. By Dawn Chen
Oh, spas, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. For starters, there are the stress-melting massages and soothing facials. And don’t forget the absolute bliss of relaxing in a sanctuary where you’re safe from e-mails. Many women willingly shell out top dollar for these sessions, so I recently spoke to Jeff Matthews, president and COO of Mandara Spa Asia, on how to maximise one’s spa experience. Here’s what he has to share:
1) Schedule spa days for yourself.
Make a date with yourself and actually set aside time for a spa session every few months. Besides the usual benefits of facials and massages, they’re great ways to de-stress and reconnect with yourself, says Jeff. During the treatment, you’re disconnected with the outside world and this gives you a chance to be totally in tune with your body.
2) Go to a legit place.
This sounds obvious, but take some time to assess a spa before committing to a treatment. “The place should be well designed and spacious,” says Jeff. After all, you’re going there to relax, and you don’t want to be cooped up in a cramped area where you might feel claustrophobic. Spa staff must be well-trained too. “The best therapist is one who will tell you that your skin is not ready for a facial that day if it isn’t,” says Jeff. Good therapists will also ensure that they do a proper skin analysis for you before recommending any treatments. “If a therapist doesn’t bother to find out your skin type and concerns, don’t let her touch your face. Just get a body massage and leave,” says Jeff.
3) Communicate with your therapist.
Always tell your therapist the truth: if something hurts, say so! “While massages should stretch you, they shouldn’t hurt you,” says Jeff. “If you’re flinching or resisting the masseuse’s movements, she’s probably using too much force.” The same goes for facials. Some products and treatments can sting sensitive skin, so be sure to speak out if the tingling becomes unbearable.
4) Skincare starts young.
For Asians, Jeff suggests going for facials from the time you turn 18. While you don’t need to go for monthly treatments, think of it as investing in your skin. “Facials help the skin stay youthful,” he says. What’s more, many treatments now incorporate the use of machines to deliver better results instantly.
5) Wellness is a lifestyle.
There is no point spending hundreds on fancy treatments if you’re not adopting a healthy lifestyle overall. Just as how you’d be undoing the benefits of a facial if you spent hours in the sun without protection afterwards, looking and feeling good isn’t just about one-off facials or massages. Respect your body and treat it well by eating healthily and moving more, says Jeff. And after, reap the benefits of your well-deserved spa day.