Beauty Busters: Clarins Skin Spa at Debenhams

I made a discovery this weekend: there’s a Clarins Skin Spa behind the Clarins counter in Debenhams, Dundee. Who knew? Well, apparently quite a few people; I was informed that they have an excellent customer base in Dundee. The Clarins spa has been in Debenhams in the Overgate Shopping Centre since the store opened (almost 15 years ago), but was refurbished only a year ago. The new spa looks amazing from the outside; located right behind the signature red and white Clarins counter, a shiny glass door leads into the small but perfectly formed spa.

Inside, there’s a dimly lit waiting area with two treatments rooms either side. The rooms are a good size considering the small footprint – the design has made the best use of the space by incorporating aspects such as slim line lockers, small sinks and plenty of dazzling white cupboards for storage, without making the rooms feel cramped – and the waiting area is surprisingly private and peaceful.

My therapist, Adele, was very knowledgeable about the Clarins treatments and products, explaining that the therapists regularly receive training in Edinburgh and London. I was booked in for The Body Lift Sculptor (£67) which is part of the Clarins Tri-Active body treatment range. Adele advised that there were two variations of the sculpting treatment – one for the appearance of the skin and one for anti-aging. After a brief consultation (during which she asked me about my main concerns as she evaluated my skin) we agreed that skin condition was the priority. Adele pointed out that bad circulation causes discolouration (tick), and that cellulite (tick) is a surface problem, so should be dealt with accordingly – body brushing, exfoliation and massage should hit the surface of the skin rather than penetrate too deeply, or be too rough. Accordingly, Adele created my very own massage lotion made up of three parts (hence, tri-active): one part supplement, one part mask and one part body oil. It goes without saying that Clarins products smell divine and this combination was uplifting, fresh and invigorating. 

The treatment was 90 minutes of exfoliation with warming mitts and effleurage (French for ‘skim’ or ‘lightly touch’) massage, as well as the mask for troublesome areas – usually stomach, bum and thighs. Adele massaged my personalised lotion into the legs with swift, vigorous movements to stimulate the blood circulation, using light lymphatic drainage to boost the skin’s uptake of oxygen and absorption of the Clarins products. It felt as though Adele was brushing away my dull, dry skin with magic hands in sharp, upward strokes. The treatment continued over my arms, tummy and bust (you can choose to avoid this area if you aren’t comfortable) and finished with a wrap around my bum and thighs – cling film and all – which was left to penetrate the skin while I enjoyed a pressure point foot and hand massage (you can opt for a scalp massage if you prefer). The experience is a combination of “right, let’s do this!” and relaxation; you’re there to achieve results, but the fragrance and surroundings are bliss. What I noticed was that Adele paid attention to my individual needs – I had just come down with a bit of a cold that morning, so, while we continued to wait for the mask, she used product on my forehead and sinuses to help my cold, and used an eye cream to help tired eyes. It was a welcome personal touch.

Adele peeled off the cling film (not actual cling film, but you catch my drift), leaving the product to absorb into the skin. I could actually feel it working; tingly and cold and as if it were attacking the tiny (but large volume of) fat cells one by one, zapping them right out from under my skin.

After the treatment, I was given a prescription card with suggested Clarins products for maintenance at home. The products used for the treatment are unique to the spa (CLARINSPRO), so they can’t be bought over the Clarins counter; however, there are products that you can buy to use at home. Combined with daily body brushing, a healthy diet and light, firm massage when applying, the products should make a difference – but I’ll test them out and review here later. 

As for the results of The Body Lift Sculptor? Excellent. I saw instant results at the spa, mostly in the condition of my skin. It was brighter, the complexion even (before the treatment, it was mottled with a lot of redness on the outer upper thigh), and appeared nourished and, of course, well moisturised. In particular, my bum and thighs felt much more streamlined and firmer to the touch. The next day, I woke up feeling like it was Christmas morning – I was so keen to look at my backside! The skin still looked really, really good (for me, this was the most impressive aspect of the treatment) and the cellulite was less obvious. Don’t expect a miracle – you’re not going to change shape or lose stubborn fat – but the Body Sculpting definitely makes a difference and you will see results straight away.

This is a great treatment to have ahead of the upcoming party season (you can even shop for your dress afterwards as you’re already in Debenhams!) and I would highly recommend this to anyone who fears swimsuit season – a Body Lift Sculptor at the Clarins Skin Spa ahead of your holiday will help you to feel your very best. I bounced my way out of Debenhams, so I’ll be sure to book in next spring so I can bounce my way to the beach.
 Adele and me at the Clarins Skin Spa, Debenhams, Dundee

NB: I wrote this post three days after my treatment. My skin still feels really smooth and soft, and the appearance is still much better than before the treatment – just a little redness has come back, but I’ll body brush and apply my maintenance products in the hope that I can keep it at bay. Will keep you posted.



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