Our Pick: The Power of the Pearl

Our Pick: The Power of the Pearl

According to legend, the ancients believe that Tahitian pearls were the first light, given to Tane – god of harmony and beauty. Their form and brightness inspired Tane to create the stars in the skies, and Tane entrusted them to Rau Hatu, god of the ocean, to help him lighten his way. Oro, the god of war and peace, who worked for Tane, gave the treasured pearls to the human women who conceived his descendants, as tokens of his love. It is believed that this black pearl mirrors the beauty of Polynesia, as the dark surface reflects the shimmering quality of the water, while the shape and form, suggests sensuality and passion. Since its discovery, the Tahitian pearl has conjured purity, exclusivity and mystery.

Crushed to a fine power, these black pearls are rich in organic minerals that help revitalise the skin, promotes radiance, and helps to reduce micro-wrinkles. It’s this power and beauty that has been harnessed in the Black Pearl Neck and Décolleté Mask.

The special combination of Tahitian Black Pearl, seaweed and unique minerals creates a nutritional mask to care for the delicate skin of the neck and décolleté area. Suitable for all skin types, the mask is enriched with natural essences to nourish, clarify, heal and moisturise the skin. After application the skin aims to look and feel both plump and rejuvenated. Excellent to minimise pigmentation in this area due to aging.

50ml RRP R898 (ex Vat).

New Science: Can DNA protect you from sun burn?

New Science: Can DNA protect you from sun burn?

Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York, have created a coating made out of DNA that not only hydrates the skin, but gets better at protecting skin from ultraviolet light the more you expose it to the sun.

Guy German, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the university explains: “Ultraviolet (UV) light can actually damage DNA, and that’s not good for the skin.” He adds: “We thought, let’s flip it. What happens instead if we actually used DNA as a sacrificial layer? So instead of damaging DNA within the skin, we damage a layer on top of the skin.”

The process:

German, along with a team of researchers, created thin, transparent crystalline DNA films and tested them under UV light. The researchers found that the more they exposed the film to UV light, the better the film was at absorbing this damaging light.

German shares: “If you translate that, it means to me that if you use this as a topical cream or sunscreen, the longer that you stay out on the beach, the better it gets at being a sunscreen.”

The study, published in Scientific Reports, has also found that skin coated with this DNA film can store and hold water better than untreated skin.

As an added bonus, the DNA coatings are also hygroscopic, meaning that skin coated with the DNA films can store and hold water much more than uncoated skin. When applied to human skin, they are capable of slowing water evaporation and keeping the tissue hydrated for extended periods of time.  “Not only do we think this might have applications for sunscreen and moisturisers directly, but if it’s optically transparent and prevents tissue damage from the sun and it’s good at keeping the skin hydrated, we think this might be potentially exploitable as a wound covering for extreme environments,” he said.

Can we be seeing personalised sun protection soon? Watch this space.



Review: Urban Bliss

Review: Urban Bliss

Quick Slimming Treatment for a Mom-on-the-go

Reviewed by Nonhle Thema

Being a mom is my number one priority, but with that goes looking good and feeling great as I am constantly in the public eye. I had the opportunity to visit a spa called Urban Bliss, and was met with the unassuming entrance. To my surprise, it was beautiful and serene, an oasis in the city.

The one treatment that caught my ear was the Sculpt Zone Wrap (AKA The Fat Wrap, as it better known) by Phytomer. I was intrigued to hear I could do express treatments: one treatment a day for three days and loose centimetres! My excitement grew when I found out that I could lose up to a dress size in six to eight treatments. Let’s do the maths. That means two treatments a week for three to four weeks. In a month I could fit into that dress I have always wanted. This was music to my ears, because that very weekend I had a celebrity function to go to and needed to look my best.

With my busy schedule, I still manage to find time to go to the gym. I have a set goal weight I would like to reach and I am working hard to reach it. The only problem that I have been experiencing is what I have been told is a ‘plateau with my weight’ and could not seem to shift my weight, no matter what I did. So, I thought, what do I actually have to lose other than the weight and reach my goal? Sign me up for the very next appointment, I need express help!

My experience was wonderful. The treatment started with a warm salt scrub all over the body. This was to remove a few layers of dead skin cells so that the wrap could work better, and more importantly to improve my blood circulation to the skin, especially around my thighs.

Then the wrap, mixed with warm water, turned into a mousse consistency and warmed up on its own. It was applied to specific areas of the body, mainly where I hold my cellulite, the back ‘love-handles’ area, stomach where all the post-baby fat remained, the thighs and buttocks. The wrap tingled and I could literally feel the bubbles popping on my skin. And it kept warm. What a magical feeling! And all this made possible by two very active ingredients: the Pepper SlimActive and the Self-Heating Complex. The purpose of the wrap is to detox the body of the toxins that create the fat in the cellulite cells and also break down fat.

After a good 20 minutes of being in the wrap, I was massaged with a gel-like medium which was said to help move the lymph, and also contour my body into shape. This was followed by a serum called Celluli Attack. My spa therapist at Urban Bliss said the serum would continue to combat the cellulite long after the treatment.

To my delight and surprise I could already see a big difference in the texture of my skin just after the one treatment. It was brighter, smoother and felt a lot softer. After the second treatment, which was the very next day, I went to the gym and jumped on the scale and realised that the plateau was broken. The wrap managed to reboot my metabolism . After the third wrap, I felt like I had more energy to handle life. Yay! All a girl’s prayers answered!!!

After my whole experience, I was given a box of Bath Sachets called Oligomer Silhouette Contour Enhancer Marine Bath from a Marine brand called Phytomer to enhance the effects of the wrap. Even though I am a mom, and my daughter refuses to let me out of her sight, these bath sachets allowed me some me time. I had to run a warm bath and empty one sachet into the tub. I lit some candles and submerged my body into the bath. Closed my eyes for 20 minutes and that was my alone time for a greater good … to be a relaxed, energetic mom. Two baths later and my jeans definitely felt looser.

Visit Urban Bliss Spa and become the Yummy Mummy you want to be.

Urban Bliss

85 Barry Hertzog Ave, Emmarentia, Johannesburg, 2195, South Africa

Phone: +27 11 486 0512


Top South African Spas Named

Top South African Spas Named

The 13th annual Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Awards hosted by Les Nouvelles Esthetiques South Africa in association with Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Paris, was held recently at the prestigious Maslow Hotel, Sandton. Johannesburg. The 2017 Spa Awards consisted of six categories, namely Day Spa, Hotel Spa, Boutique Hotel Spa, Unique Spa Concept, Safari Spa and Aesthetic/Medi Spa categories. Here are the winners and finalists in each section.

Days Spas

Winner: Life Day Spa – Waterfront, Cape Town

Situated in Cape Town’s most sought after tourist destination. Enjoy the pure luxury surrounded by exquisitely appointed marble, glass and wood finishes. Take a journey through remarkable water features and enjoy the glow of natural light as you soak up the serene atmosphere. Life Day Spa extends over 900sm of space and includes nine treatment rooms, two couples suites, a 10-station Nail Bar and an opulent Relaxation Lounge. Facilities consist of a Heated Tranquility Pool, Middle Eastern Mud Ritual Chamber and Floatation Pool. Life Day Spa Waterfront is a proud member of the Spas of Distinction Collection and sister-spa to the Life Day Spa Rosebank, Fourways and Life Day Spa Crystal Towers.

Finalists: Aronia Day Spa situated in Houghton, Johannesburg. The spa was developed as a sanctuary to remind us that nature surrounds us, lives in us & we live in nature. The distinct spa rituals treat the senses to a journey of self-discovery through the Aroniatherapy Gardens. Hydrotherapy features include a heated outdoor swimming pool and Rasul chamber. Unique add-on experiences include shirodara, vichy and ayurvedic treatments. Natural Living Spa and Wellness Centre, the bushveld inspired Spa in Polokwane, is a luxurious, tailored-to-perfection destination for well-being. The urban retreat features 8 state of the art treatment rooms – including a deluxe couple’s suite – all circled around our beautiful outdoor pool area. Senses Day Spa is set in park-like surroundings in Pietermaritzburg. Senses Day Spa offers guests exceptional personalised service, designed with their clients in mind. Each room is designed for optimum relaxation and the garden is a tranquil setting where clients are able to enjoy some quiet time.

Hotel Spas 

Winner: Saxon Spa  – Johannesburg

The 700sqm two-floor Saxon Spa is an oasis of wellness, taking guests on a holistic journey incorporating sound, touch and sight, blending modern understanding with ancient techniques to balance energies and restore wellbeing. The Saxon Spa incorporates dark wood, copper, linen and water throughout, in addition to the healing properties of Himalayan salt incorporated into the design as well as therapies. The Spa incorporates a total of eleven treatment rooms; including an all-glass couple’s treatment room, manicure and pedicure areas, hair spa, sleep zone, spa dining area, organic juice bar, steam room, heated hydro pool, wet treatment zone, hammam centre, heated outdoor plunge pool, sauna and an outdoor treatment zone.

Finalists: The Spa at The Oyster Box Hotel is tucked away amongst the lush indigenous gardens of one of Africa’s most distinguished hotels. The combination of colonial charm, impeccable service, lush tropical gardens and breathtaking seaside setting has gained it a legendary reputation worldwide. The spa facilities include an extensive range of carefully crafted treatments, 6 treatment rooms, 4 sensational showers, 2 hydrotherapy baths, a well equipped private fitness club and two swimming pools. The Hammam offers guests the option of traditional Middle Eastern treatments. The Spa at Fancourt is located on the Fancourt Estate in George. Its range of holistic skin and body treatments are complemented by hydro facilities, which include a Roman Bath and jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and tepidarium. Infused with an appreciation for nature’s organic rhythms, each treatment package encompasses an aspect of each of the elements to provide a holistic experience. Amani Spa at Radisson Blu, Cape Town situated along the Atlantic Ocean. The Amani Spa creates an exceptional spa experiences, with its trendy wellness facilities, diverse range of result-driven spa treatments and attention to detail. With eleven multi-functional treatment rooms, including two couple’s suites, unique therapeutic Salt Room, Hair Salon & Nail Bar, grand Rasul, a heated vitality pool with surrounding relaxation deck and loungers, they are able to tailor make spa packages for each & every occasion.

Boutique Hotel Spas 

Winner: Fresh Wellness at Cellars Hohenort Hotel – Constantia, Cape Town

Situated in one of the most heavily vegetated and indigenous areas of Cape Town, the Constantia Valley is a diverse, historic region and home to popular wine routes, forests, plantations and the beautiful Constantia Nek Mountain walk. At Fresh Wellness one is surrounded by the lush gardens of the world renowned, five star Cellars-Hohenort Hotel. The treatments encapsulate all five senses to imitate the surroundings. Using oil from the Stellenbosch vines, authentic techniques and various natural elements, the Fresh Wellness spa guest can be assured an experience that will be as a revitalising experience.

Finalists: Silver Forest Spa is a luxurious and tranquil private Boutique Lodge and Day Spa, located on the slopes of the magical Helderberg Mountain in the Cape Winelands. Offering a refined experience and an escape from the ordinary, guests are embraced by the nurturing effect of being surrounded in nature, succumbing to the peace of the surroundings. The Day Spa, offer a comprehensive array of treatments, complemented by use of the exceptional Thermal Suite. Ginkgo Petite Spa at The Andros Boutique Hotel is situated in the beautiful gardens of the 5-star Deluxe Boutique Hotel in Upper-Claremont, Cape Town. Built in 1908 in a classic Cape Dutch style and surrounded by manicured lawns, you could be forgiven for feeling like you are stepping onto the set of a period movie. This little jewel is a well-appointed 3-roomed sanctuary that specialises in anti-stress massage treatments like the Ginko “Elixir” Signature Massage.

Safari Spas 

Winner: Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat – Clanwilliam

Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, is an extraordinary haven, nestled at the foothills of the Cederberg mountains, and the ideal wilderness getaway to escape, restore and relax. The reserve is a natural playground for those who want to reconnect with themselves, with wide open plains, mystical rock formations, crystal clear water falls, and an abundance of flora and fauna. The spa is a sanctuary to wellness, well-being and holistic healing, where one’s spirit, mind and body can truly let go, and soothing pampering and restorative treatments. Treatments can be enjoyed either in your room, on your own private veranda or even in some of the cool, rocky shelters that were home to the San thousands of years ago.

Finalists: Etali Safari Lodge & Spa, located in the heart of the spectacular Madikwe Game Reserve.  Embraced by pristine bushveld nurtured by Africa’s rich red soil, Etali Safari Lodge is built in harmony with nature. It is an exclusive, intimate haven, where clients are rejuvenated in surroundings created by people who understand luxury. Etali’s Wellness Spa is unique in concept. The design and layout of the cool, thatched, secluded Wellness rooms, allowing guests to hear the echo of the elephants around the water hole and the weaverbirds tapping on the windows.

Unique Spas 

Winner: Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa – Port St Johns

Nestled high on the Umngazi hillside, the tastefully decorated Cape Cod Style Spa blends in effortlessly with the beautiful, natural surroundings.  The Spa offers four private and tranquil treatment rooms, each with breathtaking panoramic views of the Indian Ocean.  Here, guests can enjoy a selection of treatments whilst listening to a soundtrack of nothing but breakers and bird calls.

Finalists: Woodlands Spa, is situated on the banks of the Crocodile River in the heart of Muldersdrift. The spa is the perfect setting to escape the busy city life. Guests can soak up the peaceful energy on the deck, overlooking the Crocodile River or enjoy one of the bespoke spcialised spa programs designed to guide guests in choosing an experience best suited to their particular needs. Mukda Thai Spa is situated in the picturesque Gordons Bay offering an authentic Thai Wellness experience, beyond expectation. Mukda Thai Spa focuses on a holistic approach based on traditional eastern healing therapies. They have developed a concept of signature treatments, where guests can enjoy all the pleasures of a Thai Spa, such as Thai Lotus Hot Oil Massage and traditional Sabai Thai Foot Massage, combined with the charming touch of Thai hospitality, to make it an unforgettable experience. Fusionista Spa – a combination of different worlds, with an eastern flair in Randburg.  The spa boasts a number of themed roomed – the bamboo room, wind chime room, Koi mist, candle room, and outide treatment room with a glass floor and koi fish swimming below.  Tradlitional thai massage is a signature, but the menu of other offerings is extensive.  After you spa visit, also enjoy a signature  thai dish at the restaurant.

Aesthetic Institutes  

The Laser Beautique – Winning Branch: Menlyn Maine, Runner-up: Melrose Arch

The Laser Beautique was established in 2009, and currently has 10 branches situated in Cape Town, Centurion, Johannesburg and Pretoria. Their primary focus is to offer the safest, most advanced and effective treatments. The Laser Beautique is committed to the safety and well-being of their clients, to constantly evaluate unique and new technologies in the global aesthetic market and offer clients the very best in pioneering and effective treatments using laser, light-based and radiofrequency equipment. During the consultation clients concerns and expectations are thoroughly discussed with an explanation of all possible methods of non-surgical make over.