Basking in paradise. Simply put, that’s what the Ritz Carlton South Beach Spa’s new RED berry Currant Facial is. This new treatment recently launched at the Ritz Carlton is made up of organic antioxidants that will revitalize and help reduce aging.
The Ritz Carlton, epitome of Splendor and Luxury as one of South Florida’s iconic hotels built in the 1950’s and created by famous South Beach architect Morris Lapidus; with the magnificence of Hollywood’s style and luxury. From the moment you walk through the double glass doors, being held open by smiling faces and white gloves, you feel like you have stepped into a 1950’s American Hollywood movie production; minus the cameras yet with all the glitz and glory. On the one side you will be welcomed by a wall of lights, around the warmly decorated lobby, you will find original contemporary art masterpieces displayed all around the hotel. Stone marbled floors; arching high ceilings and lanais that make the grandeur of this historic landmark just what it is, radiantly stunning. At the end of the lobby you will see what used to be the original check-in counter in the 1950’s redesigned and preserved today as a lobby bar offering craft cocktails, signature drinks and live entertainment.
Our trip however, finds us up the modern silver elevators and into the third floor, where we walk across a small hallway into the breathtaking spa. Greeted yet again by more smiling faces, we come across a wait staff that is ready to wait on you hand and foot (literally). You will be taken through a door marked ladies or gentlemen (respectfully), and into the locker room, where you will be given a digital access locker to store your belongings in, while you’re given the plushest robes to change into, along with slippers.
Then you’re escorted through yet another hallway into a room that has been laid out in relaxing oasis of ambiance prior to your arrival. You have soothing music playing in the background, the lighting is adjusted dimly, and the temperature is perfect. You are asked to slip under even yet more plush covers, and as you do, you’re engulfed by the most relaxing, worry free feelings that you have yet to experience, until now.
The treatment begins with a skin analysis; the esthetician covers your eyes and looks at your skin through a brightly lit magnifying lamp. She determines the condition of your skin. The esthetician then chooses the appropriate products and treatments and lets you know of her recommendations.
There is a machine that directs thin vapor of warm steam on your face. This is relaxing, warm, and it is done to help soften any blackheads or whiteheads to be extracted. In my case, I have a rosacea problem, which in fact was no problem – this treatment will help it some.
Next is exfoliation, which is where a mechanical and chemical exfoliant is used. The exfoliants that were placed on my skin had beads in it, which made the scrubbing feel as if small little bubbles were exploding all over my skin.
The extraction process might be the painful part, however, it’s a small price to pay for beauty – and if you get facials often, this might not be as painful. In my case, I must ashamedly admit that it had been years since the last facial.
Facial massage follows, this massage uses strokes on your face and places pressure on facial muscles that should both relax and stimulate the muscles and relax it did!
A facial mask made of magnolia bark is then placed on your skin; this will feel like a cold gelatinous substance being placed on your skin, which after the pain of the extraction process will be a welcomed feeling; followed by the red berry currant mask. The organic berries, which are flown overnight from Washington State for each session, will be placed on your skin and it will feel like a tart, cold, berry infusion was just showered on your face.
Red currant berries are pearl sized, candy apple red and somewhat translucent. Like their their black counterparts, Red currant berries have a taut thin glossy skin that encases a soft pulpy flesh which contains small edible seeds. When the berries' skin is pierced the fruit explodes with bright fruity aromatics and a tart piquant flavor. It is this tart piquant flavor that you will feel exploding onto your skin and revitalizing your senses.
This masque is also made with elderflower. Elderflower is the flower of a tree that has many uses. An extract of the flower is used to make medicine. Elderflower is used for swollen sinuses (sinusitis), colds, influenza (flu), swine flu, bronchitis, diabetes, and constipation. It is also used to increase urine production (as a diuretic), to increase sweating (as a diaphoretic), and to stop bleeding. Elderflower is also used as a gargle and mouthwash for coughs, colds, hoarseness (laryngitis), flu, and shortness of breath. It is used on the skin for joint pain (rheumatism), and pain and swelling (inflammation). Some people put elderflower in the eyes for red eyes.
While the mask does its job and the music takes you deeper into relax-world, April Degennaro, lead esthetician (and our esthetician for the day), and will place a steamed towel on your arms, and place pressure on key points to release any tension, then the process will be repeated on your hands… for someone like me, who spends the majority of the day in an office typing away, this will be the most welcoming. It will also be followed by a head massage. Once the mask has settled, a towel will whisk away the tart red berries and leave a rejuvenated, younger you feeling amazing and ready to take on the world.
The Ritz Carlton will tell you that with all of these amazing organic ingredients, this treatment is formulated to balance and protect the skin while fighting against free radicals. “Designed to take preventative action before the early signs of aging begin” - and I have to agree with them at this juncture; and the whole process takes less than an hour.
If you find yourself traveling through the Art Deco infused life of South Beach or if you simply find that you’re seeking to look younger, more marvelous and energetic I would most definitely recommend that you visit the Ritz Carlton South Beach Spa… and after you can relax on their oceanfront beach while you order from their full service oceanfront restaurant and bar, the DiLido Beach Club.
Until Next Time – Happy Travels!!