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Dads need pampering too

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Joshua Surtees looks dismayed as beautician Pixie Raggie shows him the debris from his skin during his facial treatment at Spa Esencia at the Hyatt Regency. PHOTO: CLYDE LEWIS

With Father’s Day approaching, one idea for making dad happy is the gift of a day of pampering at a spa. Spa packages seem to be geared to women but these days more men are interested in their appearance and well-being so spas are tailoring their offerings to suit men. In the name of research for this feature, Joshua Surtees tried a treatment at the Hyatt Regency’s Spa Escensia. Here’s how he fared. 


“See those bits floating around?” Pixie Raggie asks holding up a clear cylindrical flask with a couple of inches of water in it.


Peering into the slightly murky water I see tiny dots floating about.


“Those are your whiteheads,” she says.


She’s just finished giving me a 30-minute session of facial therapy at Spa Escensia at the Hyatt. At times (when she used her fingers) it felt relaxing. At other times (when she used the Vortex-Fusion machine) it felt like it was lightly sucking and scraping at my face.


Opening my eyes occasionally I saw her coming down at me with the Vortex-Fusion connected to a wire flex, like I was in the dentist’s chair. The leaflet describes it as “a series of patented HydroPeel tips—each one has multiple abrasive edges to exfoliate the skin, dislodge and remove impurities while simultaneously introducing hydrating skin solutions and potent antioxidants.”


For Father’s Day, the Hyatt spa is recommending sons and daughters book their dads a facial treatment, as opposed to a massage which men usually ask for when they attend a spa, according to director Zahra Duncombe.


About 35-40 per cent of her clients are male, often businessmen who have embraced the new trend towards looking after their skin, “part of the trend of the metrosexual movement,” as she puts it. “We want to show dads that they can be pampered too.”


It’s not what men might expect from a facial, it’s a HydraFacial. 


The cleansing, extracting, exfoliating, hydrating and protecting of the skin are done electronically. Serums which include hyaluronic acid, vitamin A and E, white tea extract, horse chestnut seed extract and rosemary leaf extract are applied with the device. 


Pixie Raggie advised that men should regularly clean and exfoliate to keep their skin in top condition. 


The range of products used in the HydraFacial start at $285. The 30-minute facial treatment costs $895.


Some will find that expensive but what price can one put on having good skin? While it’s not the kind of thing one can afford on a reporter’s salary it is the kind of thing one might like as a gift.


“If you didn’t use this method you’d have the pain of squeezing your blackheads instead,” says Neemah Persad-Celestine, the Hyatt’s marketing manager. 


“We have extremely hard water with chlorine in it,” says Dunscombe. “Free radical components in the air destroy the chemical make-up of the skin.”


“Then there’s the harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun…” they both say.


It’s a veritable minefield out there for our epidermises. 


Do what you can this Father’s Day to protect your dad’s epidermis, dermis and sebaceous glands.




 Spa Esencia at the Hyatt Regency, 1 Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain is offering Father’s Day specials including a 50 minute massage, facial, manicure and pedicure from $1,400. Call 821-6500 for reservations.


 Cher Mere, with spas at four locations (Gulf City Mall, Trincity Mall, 4 Broome Street, St Clair and Pennywise Chaguanas) has Father’s Day gift voucher packages starting at $260 for a men’s manicure and pedicure package and going up to $565 for a deep tissue massage and pedicure. Call 291-8080 for more details.

 The Face and Body Clinic also has four spas (Alexandra Street, St Clair. Caroni Savannah Road, Charlieville. Magdalena Grand, Tobago. Cross Crossing Road, San Fernando.) Their Head to Toe package for Father’s Day costs $940 and includes all treatments. Massages range from $300-500. Call 653-8329 for details.