When I think spa, I immediately think, girly manicures, robes, fluffy slippers, some kind of face cream and cucumber slices. I couldn’t justify paying to sit around in a dressing gown with cucumber over my eyes, listening to Enya’s greatest hits and cringing whilst a stranger got up close and personal to my unkempt feet and facial features? This was until I enjoyed my first full on spa treatment at the TLH Aztec Spa, Torquay, Devon and now I can’t wait for my next visit! Read on to find out why spas really ARE for men and why I wouldn’t hesitate on going back.
Things have changed since the early introduction of men’s spa treatments…
1963 Spa Film Men Spa day
TLH Aztec Spa is at the forefront of the spa world offering a great selection of treatments designed with you in mind and in an environment that anyone, male or female would feel comfortable in.
Treatment of Choice…
The Treatment I opted for was the Elemis Urban Cleanse Men’s Facial, which is the current Star Treatment, meaning that rather than £55 it is only £41 (We all love a bargain). I figured that this would be as good as any treatment to start with, considering I didn’t know what I wanted or needed.
Arrival & Preparation
As I arrived, I was greeted and checked in at reception by Jo and led into the Aztec Themed relaxation area. From here I was given a key to my locker, where I found a pair of flip flops and a non girly robe to change into. This was slightly strange to me – do I really need a robe for a facial?! – Anyway, I was then introduced to my therapist, Abbie, who took me into the treatment room to begin and I soon realised why a robe was necessary.
Health Check and Consultation
After a quick health check, Abbie began the treatment with a consultation to find out what I was hoping to get out of my treatment, my own skin concerns and whether I already had a skin care routine at home. I don’t often think about my skin, so the consultation was an opportunity to do this and I soon picked out a couple of key areas which could benefit from some TLC (dark areas under my eyes and wrinkles from the corners of my eyes). Probably like most men, I don’t consider what I do to be a skin care routine but I do apply a bit of moisturiser now and then when my skin needs it. I was impressed straight away by Abbie; she showed great knowledge and gave me some simple but logical tips on reducing skin irritation after shaving and products to use on my skin that will help with my skin concerns. This is not the everyday conversation you would have at work or down the pub with your mates, so was a really useful part of the treatment.
Let the facial begin… with my feet!
Abbie left the room for a moment whilst I disrobed and got under the blanket on the bed. She then re-entered and wrapped my body in more towels and blankets to make me comfortable and to keep me warm. The lights were then dimmed which immediately relaxed me as I began to focus on the calming music. As part of every Elemis treatment, you start with a ‘Welcome Touch’. This was basically a foot cleansing rub, using hot mitts and instant refreshing gel – not how I thought a facial would begin – but nevertheless it was a nice start.
Next was Abdominal Breathing. Again, not what I expected but before we continued, Abbie asked me to take three deep breathes. This was to help my circulation, relax my body and release toxins from my body. This was repeated a few times throughout the treatment and surprisingly, I did feel more at ease.
Abbie then began a Facial Cleansing and Mirror Consultation. Using warm compresses and a facial toning wash, this prepared my face for the rest of the facial. Abbie then used the mirror to show me my skin once it had been cleansed and to highlight the areas she would be working on.
A Facial with a Difference…
As the treatment progressed, I soon discovered that this was more than just a facial and if men only knew what was involved, I’m sure they would be far more popular than they are now. Included in the Elemis Urban facial, I was happy to find out that you also get a chest, shoulder, neck and facial massage. For me this made the treatment an all round value for money experience as you could easily pay another £30 for a back and shoulder massage alone! It was no surprise that Abbie was an expert with her hands and really worked out the knots in my shoulders and back; this was sheer bliss and way more than I bargained for.
The main facial section of my treatment included an exfoliating skin scrub, eye and skin face masks, which helped my skin to absorb the vitamin C booster serum that was applied, a scalp massage and a post shave recovery mask which helps to calm blemishes and reduce skin sensitivity. The masks and other products were applied whilst massaging my face, with a mixture of soft delicate touches and more firm techniques. I was almost asleep at this point as I felt completely relaxed and at ease.
Whilst various wraps and products were working their magic on my face, Abbie began to massage my feet. This is the treatment that just keeps giving. Who would think you would get a foot massage as part of a facial treatment? I certainly didn’t, but again this is partly why I wouldn’t hesitate on returning for more! Finishing with the instant refreshing gel, my feet felt revived. The gel apparently also relieves swelling, headaches and muscle strain and is one of the retail products that I am contemplating buying for myself.
To complete the treatment, Abbie applied an eye serum and moisturiser (Elemis SOS Survival Cream) and then sounded the ‘Tingsha Bells’, the Elemis way of calmly signalling the end of the treatment. The bells brought me around nicely. I was then shown to the relaxation area where I helped myself to complimentary tea and sat back and relaxed until I was ready to leave.
Men are often sceptical about how they would benefit from a spa treatment and I certainly didn’t think I would have enjoyed it as much as I did and be planning on booking my next one! The facial really was value for money and made my skin and body feel amazing. Like most of us, my day is spent rushing around either at work or at home, so to enjoy a treatment for over an hour, where I could truly relax, it was well worth breaking down my spa barriers and letting myself enjoy it! If only more men knew how much of what we want a like went into a treatment and that there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Just relax and go with the flow. There’s no need to put on your alpha male front. I would definitely recommend a spa treatment but you must embrace it to get the most from it.
My eyes have also been opened to the Elemis way. It’s not about anti ageing and combating the effects of bad lifestyle choices. Elemis are all about promoting a healthy skin care routine that fits in with your lifestyle and looks after you on a daily basis (start whilst you are young and look after your skin). They are results driven, so every product shows measurable results. Abbie showed me some great value for money products, which I am considering working into my everyday routine. Some of the key products used in my treatment are available to buy in the TLH Spa Shop.
Father’s Day Treat?
With Father’s day right around the corner, why not book your dad a treatment and give him the relaxation he needs! There are plenty of men’s Spa Treatments to choose from and if you are not sure which one to go with then call the spa team on 01803 400190. The girls in the spa are really knowledgeable and friendly and are more than helpful in answering your questions. Make a day of it and treat him to a meal in our Aztec Bistro followed by some fun in Aztec Games. We’ve got Father’s day sorted.
If you needed more proof that us men really can enjoy a spa treatment or two, watch this video and see that it’s not just me who have had their eyes opened to the spa world.
3 Men Review 1st Spa Day