Never one for spas and facial treatments, Anu Prabhakar heads to Jharna Shah's salon and spa to check out the signature facial treatment and leaves properly wooed
I have always steered clear of spa treatments. To me, a spa is an intimidating place filled with therapists who love to indulge in torturous small talk about how I should have started using a night cream years ago. Or that my hair could have been shinier, if only I had paid more attention to it. Add to this the fact that past therapists have always kneaded my flesh with a kind of love and strength that you usually reserve for your chappati dough, and no one can really blame me for resolutely sticking to my decision.
Representation picture only
So it was with a strong sense of trepidation that I head to Jharna Shah's Makeup & Hair Academy Boutique Salon Spa in Juhu. Once there, I am led into the dimly-lit treatment room, whose interiors are decidedly Turkish. Shah tells me that the spa attracts brides in droves, whose skin and hair are analysed before charting out a beauty regime, complete with a diet plan. I choose Shah's special facial and face spa treatment and she proceeds to introduce me to my therapist, the no-nonsense Aruna.
Once inside a smaller treatment room, Aruna analyses my skin for a few minutes before asking me to change into something more comfortable. Later, when I settle down on the massage table, she delivers the verdict which, unfortunately for my ego, is bang on — I don't drink enough water, tend to skip or have delayed meals and don't include green leafy vegetables in my diet. She suggests a few tips to rectify my diet and asks me to lie down and relax for the treatment.
As I have combination skin, Aruna cleans my face with a foam-based cleanser. Next, using a treatment called D-ten, Aruna applies a facial cream which works on lighting my tan and pigmentation marks. She then proceeds to scrub my face with a fruity, apricot-rich mixture, which effectively removes white heads and black heads. The scrub is soothing, and I instinctively relax and snuggle deeper into the thick towel wrapped around me.
The next step is a face peel, rich in Vitamin E, which works on lightening the pigmented areas of the skin. As Aruna applies the peel on my face, I wince slightly due to a burning sensation. She assures me that it won't last for long and sure enough, it disappears after a few seconds.
She, then, steams my face for a few minutes and proceeds to the painful task of extracting blackheads and whiteheads using a comedone extractor. Minutes later, she applies a protein-rich serum, to lend a special sheen to the face and uses an ultrasonic machine to tighten the skin.
What follows is a 20-minute long face, back and leg massage, which is, without doubt, the best part of the treatment. The massage is calm, soothing and targets the sore points of my body. I can feel the tension ebb away as Aruna skillfully massages my neck, shoulder blades and back. This is pure bliss.
She then applies a skin whitening mask rich in Vitamin C and later another one rich in Vitamin E to make the skin glow. And finally, at the end of nearly two hours, Aruna finishes the treatment by applying a dab of SPF cream as sunscreen.
I study my reflection in the mirror and am pleasantly surprised. The tan, black spots and pigmentation marks are noticeably lighter. My skin has an unmistakable sheen and glow, and I am impressed as I run a finger along the curve of my smooth nose and chin. The effects of the treatment are dramatic and very visible — my cheeks look radiant and my skin, healthy.
Before I leave, Aruna reminds me that I need to stick to a healthier diet for great, healthy skin that lasts long and I promise to fix my lifestyle. And why wouldn't I? I have just been properly wooed.
Where: Jharna Shah Makeup & Hair Academy Boutique Salon Spa, first floor, Siddhi Building, North South third road, Juhu
Price: Rs 3000