When most people think of spring cleaning, housework is the first thing that comes to mind, but also, with the onset of the more temperate season, comes the perfect time to refresh the body and mind as well – which many of us may have neglected during the winter months. With the warm sun rays beating down, people are now exposing more of their skin, but skincare specialist Carlethia Thurston says with that exposure they should want to ensure that they’re putting their best skin forward. And she says best skin is hydrated skin.
“Even though in The Bahamas we may not see too major of a shift in temperatures or even if there is a shift, it’s not for long periods, it is a little cooler now than it will be in the heat and humidity of the summer months, so, we have to now prepare the skin for that and hydrate as often as possible,” said Thurston. “Dry, sensitive skin, demands professional care and special treatment, so we have designed a particular treatment that specifically adds moisture.”
The Spa Manager at Amber Spa at the Warwick Hotel says hydration is important no matter the time of the year. She said they can customize various services to treat each unique skin type as well as skin condition. With that in mind, even though I tend to be diligent about self-care, I had Thurston tailor a package just for me – because it’s spring and well … I could use some spring cleaning. And hydration is important no matter the time of year.
While Thurston says many Bahamians may say The Bahamas doesn’t really see shifts in temperatures transitioning from winter to spring, she still encourages skin preparation through hydration to prepare it for the hotter summer months by hydrating as often as possible.
Thurston customized a spa day for me featuring the Ultimate Amber Experience, an anti-aging treatment – which is said to increase hydration as well as retain moisture in the skin in this full body treatment that helps prevent premature skin aging and accelerates skin regeneration through their Swiss firming and toning techniques; the hydro boost facial to help skin recover from internal and external dehydration, that promises a complexion that would look visibly fresher and velvety-soft through its main ingredient – hygroplex, an active complex that regulates skin’s moisture balance; and the soothing and hydrating Silky Milk manicure and pedicure.
I was more than ready to be sloughed, buffed and moisturized.
At Amber Spa they customize various services to treat each unique skin type as well as skin condition. And as far as I’m concerned, I can never be too hydrated and am always up for and open to increasing my hydration. And even if you have great skin, maintenance is absolutely essential. Water is life, according to Thurston.
Charged with bringing out the best in me on this recent visit to the luxury boutique spa was dual therapist Lynn Evans who has been practicing as a dual therapist for over a decade.
Ultimate Amber Experience
To begin the Ultimate Amber Experience, Evans applied a hydrating protein to my body from shoulders to ankle to prepare me for exfoliation as I lay on the heated table which added another layer of relaxation to the treatment. She then applied a layer of masque before cocooning me in a wrap to allow my skin to soak in all that hydrating goodness for approximately 30 minutes. Also making the service unique as well was the use of an infrared light to actually increase as well as to heighten the potency of the product.
As I lay cocooned in the deliciously hydrating treatment, Evans performed a scalp massage which entailed a traditional pressure point massage on the scalp, head, neck and shoulders; as well as a foot reflexology, a treat to the feet and lower legs from this rejuvenating massage that incorporates Asian techniques to improve blood circulation. It was a blissful experience to say the least. I even felt the effects relieve pressure on my sinuses, which was a surprising and welcome relief. She then used warmed towels to remove the masque, while leaving behind the moisture that melted into my skin. I felt moisturized and silky soft to the touch. During the treatment your pores open a little to absorb the moisture, and when the masque is wiped away with warmed towels that cool the body off, the pores re-close which is how the body drinks in and traps the moisture into the skin.
The result is beautifully hydrated skin that was evident right away. That took care of my shoulders to ankles.
Hydro boost facial
Smooth, supple and refined was the result of my hydro boost facial in which the main ingredient according to the therapist is hyaluronic acid which increases elasticity and ramps up collagen production in the skin to restore radiance back into the skin. The use of serums for this facial she said penetrates to the very last layer of the skin, which results in the beautiful skin evidenced.
Feet and hands
I concluded my hydrating day of treatments with Amber Spa’s Silky Milk manicure and pedicure, which again is all about aiming to restore hydration with a silk protein masque applied from knee to ankle to retain moisture, along with a full leg massage and reflexology pressure point, and includes removal of calluses if any, and a push back of the cuticles.
Moisturized and hydrated from the top of my head to the tips of my toes, I couldn’t think of a better day.
I know that hydration is important no matter the time of year, and it’s a point that Thurston stresses to all clients. Most especially, if you’ve been travelling to cold climates this past winter, or even in you remained at home, she said everyone needs some form of treatment.
“Whenever you go to a dryer climate, your pores minimize or close a little bit and in turn leeches away the moisture because it’s so dry, so we need to be able to bring that back. We need to be able to ensure that our skin is moist and has that increased water retention to keep our skin nice and supple.”
Thurston also says that what should not be forgotten, is that as people age the skin dehydrates automatically and hormonal factors have to be considered as well.
As the skin renews itself every 28 days, she said everyone should be sloughing away the dead cells, rather than allowing them to build up, which also aids in skin looking dull and not as vibrant.
At Amber Spa they also help clients to understand their skin type, so that they can have the perfect treatment. If a person has oily skin, and Thurston said everyone needs some oil in their skin to keep it looking plump, but if they produce too much oil, she said those people move into the acne-prone skin type. For those people, whenever they do an exfoliation, she said they use a clay-forming masque to minimize pores to help control the flow of oil as opposed to masking it out. For more mature or dry skin, she said they aim to keep the collagen or elasticity to more or less stimulate the skin in an effort to retain the moisture level.
Thurston also emphasized the importance of home maintenance which she also reinforces with clients. She said exfoliations should be done at least twice a week, along with a masque. She said she has found people are very good sometimes with exfoliation, but not good about using their masque. She encourages doing both.
Maintenance she said is very important. If it’s doable, she said manicures and pedicures can be done every two weeks or at least once a month; she recommends having a massage twice a month, which she said is dependent on a person’s condition; and facials she said should be done every four to six weeks. The frequency of detox treatments she said depends on their therapist’s analysis, whether the treatment is done at least once or twice a month, depending on the toxicity of the client’s body.
At Amber Spa, Thurston said they’re always moving forward with bringing the best in treatments to their clients. The product line they offer is organic, and as such she said is healthy, kind and friendly to the skin.
“We just came out with our Ultimate Amber Experience which targets stressful areas of the body, specifically neck, back, and shoulder, the feet, and then we also add a moist heat along with that, so it’s more of a therapeutic service that we’re trying to combine with the spa services that we offer. It’s more geared towards problematic areas as opposed to just having a good spa day.” That experience was so well-received last month that they’ve brought it back this month, and are offering 50 percent off their manis and pedis this month as well.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.
Education: Saint Augustine’s College, BA in Mass Communication