From cutting-edge treatments in the Maldives to face-muscle workouts in New York, here are five innovative facials around the world that will leave you looking better than ever.
Hit the gym
One of the more unexpected tenants at Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship store in New York is the Face Gym studio. In a cool, open-air space, patrons are seated in reclining chairs and consulted by a “trainer” who guides them through a menu of 30- to 75-minute workouts. Each program targets the face’s underused muscles by following the physical arc of a typical gym session with a warm-up, cardio, strength training, and subsequent cooldown. Extra upgrades include cryo-oxygen hydration and radiofrequency treatments to counter sagging skin.
Recently introduced at Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris, the Japanese Kobido facial is remarkable for both its age (the procedure dates as far back as the mid-15th century) and the decades of work required to master its intricacies. During the treatment, the therapist applies hundreds of gentle sculpting movements aimed at stimulating lymph flow and microcirculation, leaving the skin both firm and radiant after just one session. Facialists are trained by 26th-generation kobido master Dr. Shogo Mochizuki, whose family has been practicing the technique for centuries.
The 90-minute detox facials at Melbourne’s Herbario Clinic have drawn local luminaries since its founder and director Valli Shubere first set up shop back in 1988. Shubere’s unique approach focuses on releasing facial stressors, reducing neurotoxin overload and chemical pollutants—such as makeup concealed in deep tissue—as well as congestion caused by metabolic imbalances. Other benefits include enhanced collagen production, increased oxygen flow in devitalized tissue, and more toned face muscles. Spa-goers are also treated with Herbario’s own botanical formulations, made from herbs rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Yes to yoga
Overlooking the Indian Ocean from the cliff tops of southern Bali, the Karma Kandara resort provides an idyllic location for trying out the Karma brand’s rebooted Yoga Facial. The treatment is designed to increase lymphatic drainage and circulation through a medley of breathing exercises, facial acupressure delivered with pure organic coconut and facial oils, and Ayurvedic marma-point therapy. Take the pampering one step further with add-ons like a gentle facial scrape with a jade gua sha beauty tool.
Power of the pen
To balance out the abundance of ancient Ayurveda rituals on its spa menu, Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas has partnered with Bali’s Cocoon Medical Spa to introduce more high-tech procedures. One of the most sought-after is the Silk Peel Dermal Infusion facial, which uses a multitasking pen-shaped tool with a diamond-plated tip to buff away clogged pores, a low-pressure vacuum to remove dead skin and grime, and a chamber that infuses the skin with customized serums. Combine this with LED red-light therapy and a gold collagen mask, and you’ll be returning home with a holiday glow like no other.
This article originally appeared in the October/November 2019 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“About Face”).