Rosemary Mac Cabe

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Review: The Winter Beauty Boost treatment at Akina, Temple Bar

It’s the time of year that days are getting brighter (and longer!) and the weather is kind of starting to pick up a little, but your body hasn’t quite got the memo and, in my case anyway, dry, chapped skin is …

Fri, Feb 8, 2013, 14:30


It’s the time of year that days are getting brighter (and longer!) and the weather is kind of starting to pick up a little, but your body hasn’t quite got the memo and, in my case anyway, dry, chapped skin is still flavour of the month! So when I got a mailer about Akina‘s latest treatment, a 90-minute skin-softening body brush, oil and facial combo, I was only dying to try it out.

Orla, my therapist, wasted no time in greeting me – and storing my suitcase! – when I dragged myself in out of the lashings of rain on Tuesday and into the calm and warm surroundings of Akina. As I crossed the threshold I realised this wasn’t my first time there; a few years back a friend gave me a gift of a treatment, and I had a back facial, which was far more enjoyable than it sounds.

This time I was here for the Winter Beaut Boost, which comprises an all-over body brush, application of an anti-cellulite body oil, a hydrating vitamin facial with lip treatment and a mini manicure.

You should know off the bat, I am a huge fan of being scrubbed, scratched and basically roughed up a little bit – in a beauty therapy capacity, you understand – so I was really looking forward to the body brush segment of the treatment. For those who are jumpy, squeamish or just prefer things to be soft and soothing, this may not be your cup of tea, but I loved it. Orla scrubbed me from head to toe (except for the delicate tummy and boob areas!) before applying the body oil, which she warmed in her hands beforehand. Nothing worse than freezing cold oil being applied directly!

I’ll confess at this stage that I totally zonked during the body oil application, waking up only to roll over before falling fast asleep again. I always think that’s a great testament to how relaxing the treatment is. After the body oil had been applied, I was covered in a towel and a blanket and Orla started into the facial, a vitamin A treatment designed to deeply condition and moisturise the skin. A face mask was applied for about five minutes, covering both the eyes and the mouth, which could be an issue for some. The only issue for me was that I woke up at one stage when I tried (and failed) to breathe through my mouth!

While the mask was settling in, Orla massaged my hands with oil, pushed back my cuticles and tidied up my (very battered but improving) nails. The treatment took an hour and a half but I could easily have spent the day there, and I really did not want to get back to reality afterwards!

Obviously, the results, a few days later, are as important as the experience itself – and I’m glad to report that my skin feels softer than ever before. The skin on my face, not to sound too Oil of Olay about it, seems to have been plumped slightly, too – as if all of that winter dehydrating has been reversed! In short: highly recommended.

The Winter Beauty Boost 90-minute treatment costs €95. To book, tel 01-670 8794. I was a guest of Akina.

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