Archive for May 11th, 2009

Safely Seeking the Sun

bahiaApril showers seem to have passed and the sun is finally starting to make a daily appearance. Shed your layers and head outside for some vitamin D, but please be responsible. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s the perfect time for a full-body skin exam. Consider going in for a visit to your dermatologist or check out The Skin Cancer Foundation’s schedule for its Road to Healthy Skin Tour. This 80-stop tour is providing free skin cancer screenings in 50 cities across the country and hopes to screen more than 10,000 people through the fall.

For a safe sun-kissed look, sunless tanning treatments satisfy even the most loyal sun worshippers and are popular on spa menus across the country. Here are some services that will give spa-goers a healthy glow without any risks:

-Miami Misting ($95, 35 minutes) at The Spa at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach (FL) features a state-of-the-art misting session, which leaves guests looking like they took in a serious dose of Florida sun.

-Body Bronzing ($145, 50 minutes) at Red Door Spa (New York City) makes spa-goers radiant after a mild exfoliation and an application of self-tanning lotion.

-Tanning Treatment ($195, 60 minutes) at The Peninsula Spa (Beverly Hills, CA) uses an all-natural product called Chocolate Sun, which nourishes the skin while creating an even-looking tan. Bonus: the sweet smell of cocoa left behind on the skin.

-Body Glow Bronzer ($160, 50 minutes) at Spa Bellagio (Las Vegas) offers a spray-on solution to tanning. A full-body exfoliation kicks off the treatment, which allows the faux finish to last longer.

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Mandarin Oriental Explores its Roots with Traditional Chinese Medicine

The Mandarin Oriental's new signature product line

The Mandarin Oriental's new signature product line

Ever since visiting Hong Kong, I’ve been fascinated by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). There’s just something about the ancient system that I find intriguing, much like the Chinese art of Feng Shui of which I’m obsessed. Not surprisingly, I’m always game to try TCM-related treatments. So far, I’ve experienced moxibustion, the burning of dried Chinese herbs over the acupoints, and brandished the telltale signs of cupping, which involves the placing of heated glass cups on the body to help stimulate blood flow, balance the flow of qi, and remove toxins. At a recent lunch at the Mandarin Oriental, New York, I learned of the company’s plan to tap into its Chinese heritage with the launch of several new signature therapies developed in coordination with a number of TCM specialists. Beginning with a private consultation to determine an individual’s current state of well-being, each treatment is then customized with a hands-on body ritual that uses Oriental meridian massage and custom-blended oils. The custom-blended oils, created specifically for the Mandarin Oriental, are part of the company’s new signature product line developed by the UK-based Aromatherapy Associates. With bath and body oils that correspond to the five elements, the line also includes a body scrub, body wash, and body lotion along with a range of candles and travel-size oils. The treatments and products will be rolled out in The Spas at Mandarin Oriental in June. With savvy spa-goers in search of more authentic treatments, it’s good to know it’s not necessary to travel to China to experience the benefits of this time-tested system.

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