Last Friday I had an appointment at the Cinq Mondes Spa while I was a guest at the Beau Rivage in Lausanne. I was offered the choice of a facial or a massage and, because I would usually choose a massage, I decided on stepping out of my comfort zone by confirming the facial. You might be wondering why this is out of the ordinary for me… well, I must confess: when it comes to my beauty regime, I don’t tend to bother too much with my face. I can almost hear your sharp inward take of breath! I know, I know; in today’s world of scientifically proven beauty products and non-surgical treatments, how can I not be completely obsessed?
I think the trouble is that there’s too much to choose from. The sheer volume of products on the market baffles me and rather than exciting me at the thought of younger, fuller skin, actually makes me want to bury my (almost) 32 year old head in the sand. I’ve been told that this is exactly the time in my life when I should be taking extra special care of my skin, but honestly, I wouldn’t even know where to begin! I’m a woman who uses easy wipes to remove my make-up and who moisturises twice a day. I’ve recently added eye cream to my regime and I’ve been pondering some sort of anti-aging lip product of late, but other than that, SPF and the odd mask/exfoliant, I really don’t spend much time or money on my face (discounting make-up). I’ve had approximately three facials in my lifetime, which I have enjoyed and following which I have noticed an immediate difference in my complexion, but I have to be honest – I just haven’t appreciated the value in a facial. Until last week.
I arrived at the Cinq Mondes Spa at Beau Rivage Palace in my dressing gown and slippers. When you book your appointment, the spa requests that you arrive fifteen minutes before you appointment in your gown. As someone who is fairly self-conscious in day-to-day life, this would have freaked me out if I hadn’t found a gown-clad couple in the lift on my first day at Beau Rivage. It was obviously the norm. So, down four floors I went in my white fluffy robe and slippers, to a serene reception area stocked with the Cinq Monde products. I was shown around the spa by a friendly receptionist and she explained that there was building work going on in the spa. Normally, this would surely mean the closure of a spa – can you imagine a relaxation room with a drill outside the window? But, in this case, it wasn’t necessary; if she hadn’t told me, I’d never have known as there was no evidence at all that the spa was undergoing construction work. How they achieved this, I do not know but one thing is for sure – by ensuring there was no disruption, it was clear that they value their guests’ needs and well being.
Once I had seen everything (I was told the outdoor pool would be open the following week) my therapist met me and took me to the treatment room. She asked me a few questions about what I wanted to achieve from the treatment and about my skin. I explained to her that my skin was quite dull following the Scottish winter (my Australia tan is long gone) and that I’d like to brighten the skin as well as feel relaxed. I was booked in for an anti-aging facial but after the brief consultation, my therapist advised me that she would be changing my facial to suit my requirements. She said I had very few wrinkles (YAHOOOOO!) but that my skin was dehydrated, especially around the eyes, so the facial she would give me was more moisturising than anti-aging. This was fine with me – I like a therapist who is confident enough to give advice and tailor treatments to the client; it shows experience and knowledge and allows me to relax fully.
The facial itself was excellent. I mean, I know I don’t have that much experience, but let me tell you a bit more. The therapist used lots of different massage techniques, including what I think was her forearm over the entire face, from chin to forehead, as well as using her fingers to draw a lightly pressured figure eight around my eyes. She focused on every feature of my face, giving each the attention it needed; she massaged my temples, eyes, jaw, chin, nose, cheeks (which she pinched lightly to stimulate blood flow), forehead, scalp, décolletage and upper shoulders. She also spent a lot of time on the front of my neck, which I think we often neglect but which is an area that needs attention due to its innate ability to end up looking like a day old crepe once we get past a certain age! The massage she gave the front of my neck felt really, really nice, probably because it so rarely receives any attention. (It made me think that I should be looking after it better).
The products used were all Cinq Mondes and I particularly loved the Pluie De Fleurs (Flowers Rain Tonic), which tones the skin. It was spritzed over my face at regular intervals and felt incredibly refreshing. I also liked the Exfoliant Graines et Fleurs (Seeds and Flowers Exfoliant), which exfoliates and encourages cell renewal, an important factor when trying to brighten dull skin. The overall experience was incredibly relaxing (I didn’t want it to end) and I noticed that my skin was brighter, not immediately, but early the following week. It was this that made me think that perhaps regular facials are worthwhile and that the skin really does benefit from regular stimulation and TLC, more so than by only using at-home products.
Before I left, I was given a leaflet with lots of information. It told me that my skin was sometimes sensitive and sometimes had imperfections, that it lacked radiance and was basically never shining. That was rather disappointing but I was assured it was normal after a winter of cold weather and central heating! (I’d be interested to see the results again after a few months of spring/summer weather to see if this is actually a constant skin problem or, indeed, just a side effect of winter). My leaflet also told me that I had puffiness and dehydration around the eyes, which had resulted in fine wrinkles (this is also thanks to expression), however, I didn’t feel too upset by this and rather, I’ve been looking over and over the leaflet in an effort to remind myself what I should be doing to treat these issues on a daily basis. I was recommended the Eye Contour 7 Chines Plants treatment on my next visit along with products to take home: the Ongulent De Jeunesse Aux 7 Plantes Chinoises (7 Chinese Plants Ointment of Youth) for normal to combination skin because I’m showing the first signs of age (ugh), along with the Crème Confort Intense (Intensive Comfort Cream) as a mask once a week.
Overall, I was really impressed by Cinq Mondes Spa. The spa was serene (I had a Chinese tea in the relaxation room after my treatment) and uncluttered, the therapists were professional, friendly and had no trouble with the language barrier, and the treatment and after care were well-informed and fully explained. Sadly, there isn’t a Cinq Mondes Spa in the UK, but if there were, I would definitely return for my eye contour treatment, and I will be sure to research every travel destination in future to find out if there’s a Cinque Mondes Spa nearby!