Yesterday I told you how myself and himself spent a very pleasant - albeit brief - sojurn in Cork at the weekend. We checked into the city's Jury's Hotel, did a bit of sauntering about and had ourselves a grand auld time. The main event for me came on Sunday though, when I was booked into the Urban Escape Spa, located on the hotel's second floor, for an Oxygen Therapy Facial. Down I trotted, and entered the waiting area - a welcoming space that's immediately striking.
There's an obvious Asian influence on the decor - a lot of glossy black lacquer-effect woodwork features - and it's a treat to see that they've deviated from the browns and earth tones that permeate so many spas. Relaxing, sure, but all the beige spaces I've been in have merged into one Kelly Hoppen-esque experience, and after a while, I'm hard pressed to tell one from the other. Urban Escape, on the other hand, use a basic palette of slate grey, glossy black and photographic elements that are punctuated with pops of colour. And that colour plays an important role in each of the 5 treatment rooms. Red is for passion, pink for calm, for example.
So, with the scene nicely set, my treatment began. Skin was cleansed and toned as I lay back, snug and relaxed on the heated therapy bed. This facial is prescriptive, so Denise, my therapist, analysed my skin first, and decided on the serums to be 'pushed' into my skin with the oxygen wand. My forehead was a cause for concern. I've noticed recently that fine lines are fine no more, and in fact, gouges would be a better description. So a hydrating serum went there, and one to combat oil on my t-zone. While the oxygen machine is actually relatively loud, it was easy to relax as Denise moved the wand across my face, allowing 3 bursts of oxygen for each area she treated. The sensation is pleasant - like a puff of air, and really quite enjoyable. Once that portion of the facial was complete, an oxygen mask was fitted over my nose and mouth, with my choice of essential oil included. I plumped for a decongesting blend, but I could have had a relaxing or energising one either. It's another touch that makes the experience personal and tailored for your needs. As I breathed in deeply, I was treated to a hand and arm massage.
Facial over, I was urged to relax for as long as I wanted - Urban Escape has no relaxation room, which was really the only downside of the experience - but time is built into treatments so that you can relax post-therapy. I was brought some beautifully sliced fruit, sorbet and water, my bed was raised to a sitting position, and I tucked in.
And the results? When I got back to my room and checked my face in daylight, I was genuinely surprised at the difference. My deep forehead lines were very noticeably reduced, my skin was glowing and felt soft and comfortable. A great treatment that's ideal for anti-ageing, it would also be perfect for those suffering from dark circles caused by de-oxygenated blood and also for those who smoke.
Get your breath of fresh air at Urban Escape for €130.