Natura Bisse

We try out the trendiest facial on the spa circuit

The spa

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 promise

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.

Step-by-step

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.

Pros

• 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.

Cons

• 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.

3/5
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)

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