(Published in the Cayman Compass Weekender, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016)
If you favor a more natural approach to skin care, then you’ll want to check out Halo Spa’s new lineup of Aveda spa treatments.
Located in Caymanian Village, George Town, Halo Spa is well-known as a hairdressing salon. Now the spa has branched out to offer a range of treatments, including a selection of facial treatments and massages that offer the very best of Mother Nature’s healing powers. Indeed, it is the first spa on island to offer Aveda’s signature spa treatments and is a must-try for those looking for a more gentle approach.
Founded in 1978, Aveda offers a wide range of plant-based products, including products for hair and skin, as well as makeup. All of Aveda’s products offer a holistic approach, harnessing the restorative power of ingredients that offer proven results to help treat a range of concerns.
Heading up the new spa at Halo is Aveda trained and licensed esthetician Lauren Marks. As a former professional model who has walked the catwalks in the world’s fashion capitals such as Paris, Milan, London and New York, Lauren is well-trained in the importance of a good skin-care regime.
“After working as a model for many years, the tolls of constant travel, different environments and having a barrage of makeup and products applied, quickly imparted to me the importance of maintaining a fully balanced skin-care regime,” Lauren says.
“Aveda applies over 25 years of acquired knowledge that combines lifestyle, massage, and skin care theories, rigorous science and proven techniques to help guests of all types and ages feel and look their very best.”
Lauren explains that the name Aveda is derived from the Sanskrit word Ayurveda, or “life knowledge,” the ancient healing tradition of India. Ayurveda focuses on identifying and treating an imbalance in what Aveda calls the “elemental nature” of an individual.
“Aveda’s facial and body treatments are for all skin types and appeal to anyone who wants to treat, correct or maintain healthy skin,” Lauren says. “They are especially ideal for those who have an interest in applying the diverse chemistry of natural plants and other holistic ingredients in achieving a perfect body balance state of being.”
Lauren invited me to try one of the spa’s signature facials – the “Elemental Nature Facial.” This 80-minute treatment is tailored to individual skin types and is designed to go above and beyond a typical facial, offering skin-care rejuvenation and total relaxation. It sounds like just the ticket.
Prior to the treatment, Lauren does a quick consultation to better understand my skin-care concerns as well as my overall health. Like many, my primary concern is aging, along with repairing existing sun damage – both of which Lauren explains can be targeted by selecting the right Aveda products. According to Lauren, my “elemental nature” is Infinity/Air. Armed with this information she will be able to carry out a tailored facial designed to meet my needs. She also offers me the choice of a scalp or foot massage during the treatment.
The experience starts off with a relaxing aromatic foot soak.
“The feet have a tendency to accumulate a lot of stress and tension and oftentimes don’t receive the kind of care and attention they really need to assist in the recovery process,” Lauren says, adding that the benefits of the foot soak include vasodilation, which helps to increase blood circulation and relaxation of the muscle tissue.
Aveda believes in a full sensory experience. Lauren offers me a selection of different aromatic oils to inhale while at the same time touching two chakra points on my head, which she explains helps the body to intuitively choose the aroma that will be the most balancing while practicing mediative breathing.
After a busy and stressful week, it was no surprise that I chose lavender, renowned for its ability to help calm and soothe the mind. Lauren incorporates this oil throughout the treatment, helping me to relax further and forget the worries of the day.
Feet cleansed and scent selected, the treatment moves on to Aveda’s “Body Balancing Movements,” including gentle stretching, deep breathing, compressions and pressure points.
“Aveda’s Body Balancing Movements integrates the philosophy, concepts and techniques of polarity therapy by helping to balance the positive and negative poles of the body resulting in lulling you into an increased deep state of relaxation, activating the body’s recovery systems, and improving circulation at the beginning of the treatment,” Lauren explains.
Indeed, we haven’t moved on to the treatment proper, but already I feel my muscles relax and the worries of the day slip away.
Next, Lauren carefully removes my makeup and cleanses my skin before applying a soothing aromatic steam towel. Heavenly! She then applies Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Skin Firming Toner to help balance my skin’s PH.
Elemental Nature facial
Following a thorough inspection of my skin (in pretty good shape, according to Lauren), she made up my treatment mask: a “Tourmaline Whip,” which included finely powdered tourmaline, a natural energizing mineral designed to help shed dull, lackluster surface cells, smooth the skin, reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines, while adding radiance to the skin.
Next came a deeply relaxing upper-body massage, designed to activate the respiratory, nervous and muscular systems, followed by another mask and a hand and arm massage. Utter bliss!
There are a selection of add-on treatments that can be incorporated into the facial. Lauren suggests the Restorative Eye Treatment to help tackle those pesky fine lines which are starting to creep in around my eyes.
The treatment includes the application of several Aveda products designed specifically for the delicate eye area, all packed with antioxidants to help boost collagen production and minimize the appearance of line, wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles. Also included is a relaxing eye massage using jade stones, renowned for their healing powers, to help further revitalize the skin around the eyes.
To finish, Lauren moisturizes my skin and applies a generous amount of sunscreen to protect my skin from the strong Caribbean sun. Some final deep breaths of lavender oil round out the treatment beautifully. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had to head back to reality, I could have easily nodded off for a few hours of blissful sleep.
Visit halo.ky, or call 945-5437. The Elemental Nature Facial is priced at $120.