The quality of products used is one of the defining factors in a spa treatment. You could be having the best massage of your life, but if the potions used are cheap and smell of chemicals, you won’t enjoy it as much. One way to ensure quality, gorgeous natural smells and healthy skin is to opt for organic treatments. Here are eight to try.
Organic credentials: The black soap features 100 per cent local olive oil, while the clay mask used is made from Dead Sea clay and rose oil. Pure Moroccan argan oil, which comes from a medicinal tree only found in semi-desert conditions, is applied after the treatment – it’s a fantastic moisturiser. Many hammams claim to be all-natural, but aren’t at all.
The process: Lying on a marble slab in a warm, wet room, we’re soaped up with rich black soap, then receive a good going over with an exfoliating mitt. The therapist literally takes our skin off – it’s bracing but fantastically good for you. After being hosed down, we’re left to bake in a clay mask, before getting a gentle steam to open our new pores, followed by more hosing and a liberal application of moisturising oil. We leave calm and glowing. 4/5 The hour-long scrub and cleanse costs Dhs150. SpaDunya Club, Shams 1, JBR (04 439 3669)
Soothing candle massage (men only)
Organic credentials: French brand Yon-Ka’s massage candles use 100 per cent organic essential oils: the Ambre candle infuses three oils (andiroba, rose and patchouli) with two butters (shea and mango) in order to create a warm, dripping cream – rather than a wax – which softens the skin.
The process: Having hot candle wax dripped onto our skin is not our idea of relaxation, so we’re a little wary. But to our surprise it’s extremely relaxing, and the warm candle wax being poured on our back is not at all painful. The hour of gentle but firm kneading allows us to leave the day’s stresses behind us, and after a shower in one of Man/Age’s notable showers our skin is fresh as a daisy. 4/5 The hour-long massage costs Dhs350. Man/Age Spa, various locations including Arjaan Rotana, Dubai Media City (04 437 0868)
Organic sugaring hair removal (ladies only)
Organic credentials: The product, Organic Sugar Pro, is manufactured in Canada, according to Zen Lounge’s friendly beauty technician, Fozia. It’s made using organic sugar, chamomile, lemon juice and rose essence. The process: Hair removal is rarely, if ever, a pain-free experience, but because it’s our first-ever forearm hair removal session, we’re particularly apprehensive. After a quick dusting of talcum powder and a smear of the warm sugar paste on arm number one, we clamp our eyes shut and wait for the inevitable rip. It would be a lie to say it doesn’t hurt a little, but it is without doubt far less painful than waxing – supposedly due to the sugar only clinging to your hairs, and not taking a layer of skin from your arm. It’s also far less sticky, and any leftover residue washes off in seconds. 5/5 Dhs45 for a half arm sugaring. Zen Beauty Lounge, Building 3, Discovery Gardens (04 434 3017)
Elche Natural Beauty Salon This spa uses the eponymous all-natural Hungarian brand. The two-hour Number One cleansing treatment uses a fruit enzyme peel, a hot paprika mask and involves a full-on extraction. Dhs795. Ladies only. Behind Jumeirah Plaza (04 349 4942)
N.A.I.L.S Organic Spa We love the Éminence range (also from Hungary) used here. The Chocolate Truffle Body Wrap, with cocoa, macadamia nut oil and vitamin E, leaves skin baby soft. Dhs400. Ladies only. Trident Tower, Dubai Marina (04 447 3688)
Shiffa Express Spa Local brand Shiffa is the UAE’s champion of organics – the products smell strongly of the natural ingredients used, and at Sephora in The Dubai Mall you can try 15-minute treats from anti-cellulite scrubs to facial cleanses, all of which cost Dhs100 (can be redeemed against purchases). Dhs100. Ladies only. Sephora, The Dubai Mall (04 339 9828)
Heaven facials at The Nail Spa Heaven by Deborah Mitchell is an organic range that has gained cult status (Danni Minogue is a huge fan). Try the Angel Face Lift, which uses a bee venom mask to perk up the skin. Dhs450. Ladies’ only. The Nail Spa, The Dubai Mall (04 339 9078)
The Spa at The Ritz Carlton This DIFC’s spa offers certified organic range ila – the Rainforest Rejuvenation facial, which involves lymphatic drainage and an Amazonian mud mask, is particularly gorgeous. Dhs450. Unisex. The Ritz Carlton, DIFC (04 372 2222)