Located on the third floor of the Address Dubai Mall, the hotel’s spa offers a little sanctuary of calm amid the mania of Downtown Dubai’s insane road system and the purchase-hungry shoppers next door. Candelit and spacious, the centre has nine treatment rooms, hydrotherapy facilities, steam rooms, a sauna, a hair and nail studio and relaxation areas – plus, most importantly, it has big changing rooms with lots of full-length mirrors, perfect for leisurely post-treatment dressing.
The Cure 60-minute facial sets out its aim in the name: to improve any complexion within an hour. Natura Bissé, the brand itself, has a bit of a cult following, with diamond and O2 tents among its box of tricks. This treatment, meanwhile, promises to ‘deep cleanse via cutting-edge thermo-active enzymatic detoxification: enzymatic heat that opens and softens the pores, while refreshing botanical elements close and purify them.’ Hmmm.
After a cold flannel, a zingy health shooter and a full brief, my therapist removes my make-up with The Cure all-in-one cleanser and toner, while massaging and ‘aligning my body’. The cleansing then continues with a special enzymatic cleanser: so far, so relaxing, and I have to force myself not to drift off to sleep. However, I am then sharply awoken when a mask is applied to help remove dead skin cells. Perhaps aware that it’s their last hurrah, the said skin cells tingle and itch, especially around areas where I have slight blemishes. Forcing myself not to scratch it off, the slight burn slowly fades. Yet sleep is still not an option, as I am then wafted with steam, before a thorough and rather painful extraction process is administered across my face.
The nasty part over, I’m rewarded with a decongesting massage and post-extraction mask, plus a hydrogel toner and moisturising cream. Once I manage to get vertical again, I’m informed that I have very dry skin in certain areas (despite moisturising religiously twice a day) and that, unusually, it’s fine to apply make-up straight after the treatment. Off to the relaxation room I go for a soothing Moroccan mint tea and a few grapes and dates. My skin, on inspection, is certainly soft and, despite all the squeezing and scrubbing, bears no tell-tale blotches.
• I learned a little about my skin, and adapted my skincare regime according to the therapist’s advice.
• Rather than the straightforward application of creams and lotions, the extraction, uncomfortable as it was, made my skin feel as though it had been really cleansed.
• The spa itself is luxurious, comfortable and friendly.
• I haven’t noticed a long-term change in my skin, and would need to have the treatment more than once for a real difference.
• It’s on the expensive side.
• The tingles and the pain. But then you know that phrase about gain.
For the feedback, the extraction and the overall vibe of the spa.
Dhs490 for 60 minutes. The Address Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (04 438 8888)