A facial that pampers
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.
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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