Change is in the air. And well, it’s the air. Gone are the heat and humidity of summer, and although few of us are likely to miss breaking a sweat by the time we walk to our cars, our skin might miss the wetter air. The cooler, drier air that comes with fall and winter can dry and irritate skin. To help prep it, plump it and protect it, several area hotel spas are offering specialized treatments.
“With less humidity and cooler temperatures, our skin and hair try to pull moisture from the air,” said Holly Edgin, director of the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner Day Spa. “Cooler and drier temperatures tend to dehydrate the skin, especially with constant exposure to heat, fireplaces, wind, rain and cold weather.”
Collagen Facial at Ritz-Carlton
Nestled between the heated pool and nail stations, just a hot stone’s throw from massage tables and a relaxation room stocked with cucumber water and hot tea, are two private facial areas. It’s in one of those spaces that aesthetician Badrieh Sheibeh combines massage with Borba skin products to administer the Collagen Facial, a 75-minute treatment that costs $185 at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner.
The idea is to exfoliate dead skin cells and encourage the production of new ones, Sheibeh said.
“Collagen is a protein that absorbs water and as we grow older, we lose that, so this treatment helps bring back the collagen into the skin,” she said.
Good for all skin types, the facial starts with cleansing and exfoliation, including steaming the skin and briefly wrapping the face in a hot towel. While the exfoliation cream sets, she massages your neck and shoulders. Next Sheibeh analyzes the skin for pimples and other problems and corrects them. Then she massages in the moisturizer and applies a mask to help it set in. While it does, she massages your arms and hands. She finishes the facial by reapplying the moisturizer and an eye cream.
Revitalizing Ritual at Mandarin Oriental
Mandarin Oriental spa concierge Sarah Ly recommends the Revitalizing Ritual — which costs $300 on weekdays and $330 on weekends and lasts for nearly two hours — because it leaves no skin cells unturned. It starts at the bottom of your feet and works its way up using products from Moroccanoil Body, which integrates argan oil, honey, lavender, vitamin E and apricot kernels.
“This time of the year is a popular time for our guests to frequent the spa, as they’re looking to recharge from the busy summer months and reinvigorate their mind and body for the upcoming holiday season,” Ly said. “Body exfoliation is a great way to revive skin that can look dull and lackluster as a result of exposure to the elements. The body buff helps to shed the dead skin cells to reveal new skin underneath, while the body quench will help maintain that fresh glow by sealing in moisture.”
First comes a foot cleanse followed by an orange peel-infused scrub, which is high in vitamin C and antioxidants to help strengthen the immune system and stimulates blood circulation, she said.
“The foot ritual stems from ancient tradition where visitors were treated to a foot cleanse upon entering their host’s home,” she said of Mandarin’s Zen-inspired approach. “For us, this tradition reflects our Oriental heritage, and thus, all our signature services begin with this foot ritual to welcome our guests to the spa. The therapist prepares a bowl with warm water and adds a foaming gel or bath oil.”
Next, the therapist exfoliates the entire body — minus the face — using Moroccanoil Body Buff, which contains orange peel, vitamin E and a blend of other oils. The Revitalizing Ritual, which has been available since March, ends with hot stones on your back and a full-body massage working in Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Treatment and Body Soufflé for moisture.
“The stones can help to generate energy and create a sense of balance and calm,” Ly said. “The heat from the stones also relaxes the muscles.”
Oxygen Infusion Facial at Willard
It “is a great treatment to have to prepare skin for the harsh and dry seasons ahead,” said Cornelia Zicu, global chief creative officer at Red Door Spa.
“The oxygen aspect of the facial is great for distressing, plumping and building the immune system to the cellular level and adding life and strength to the skin,” Zicu added. “Collagen is great for firming, adding elasticity, and keeping the skin hydrated.”
The treatment, which takes 50 minutes and costs $235, also coats the skin in minerals such as zinc, calcium and carbon. Calcium produces sebum, which gives skin a natural coating and helps it retain moisture. Zinc helps control oil production, reducing breakouts.
The facial starts with a thorough cleansing and analysis. Next an exfoliating scrub is massaged into your face, hands and arms while steam opens the pores. Then comes a facial, neck and décolleté massage before a collagen mask is applied. The final steps are the oxygen infusion treatment and application of a moisturizer and eye cream.
About the Author
Stephanie Kanowitz is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.