Fun and Fitness Mondays: Care for a stem cell facial?

Monday, 18 August 2014 - 8:06pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Mithila Mehta explores unusual natural ingredients in beauty treatments

If you visit Myrah, the Spa, you could pamper yourself with an exclusive treatment containing gold (to regenerate and deeply moisturize the skin contour area) or diamond (to reduce fine lines and circles). Alternately, opt for a detox polish containing special marine algae or a body polish containing caviar extracts. The truly adventurous could undergo the Royal Stem Cell Facial (with plant stem cells to boost cellular processes) 
Welcome to the age of natural beauty like never before. Today’s beauty treatments contain a host of natural ingredients—exquisite and exotic in every sense. Explains Nisha Javeri, CEO, Myrah Spa, “There are a lot of beauty brands that are now understating this and creating skin care from natural ingredients. At Myrah, true to our vision of naturalness, most of the treatments in our menu have active ingredients from natural sources like plants and fruits. The tradition of natural cosmetics combined with most advanced lab technologies and analysis can create cosmetics that are unique for their effectiveness, tolerability and naturalness.” 

From good old oxygen to thermal spring water and even seaweed—active natural ingredients are en vogue in the world of beauty—and understanding their benefits can help you glow even brighter, naturally so.

While Oxygen Bars were the rage in the 1990s, the newest trend on the block is oxygen-based beauty products. Superstar Madonna made headlines with her declaration that an oxygen facial mask was her secret to a glowing complexion.
For those who seek radiant skin, the benefits of oxygen are many. Explains dermatologist Rashmi Jaiswal, “Oxygen equals life, and the same holds true for when oxygen is applied to your skin. Oxygen is believed to revitalize and rejuvenate the skin: Relieve congested pores, remove fine lines, improve skin texture and hydration to bring you a glow like never before.”
US-based skincare brand Philosophy sells ‘The Oxygen Peel’ – a two-step rejuvenation process which claims to bath the users skin in oxygen. The product contains hydrogen peroxide, which on application chemically reacts with catalase enzyme, releasing oxygen to your skin. Natura Bisse, a skin-care company from Barcelona, offers similar Oxygen line with beauty products including an Oxygen Cream, Oxygen Gel and Oxygen Finishing Mask. The products contain hydrogen peroxide with Living Water from Spirulina green algae.

Ever wondered why Japanese women have such perfect, glowing complexions? Interestingly, isn’t purely about genetics. Research has indicated that their healthy skin is a result of liberal and consistent use of seaweed. Seaweed has been touted as an anti-aging wonder. Packed with the richest resources from the heart of the oceans, its powers are seemingly magical. Reveals Jaiswal, “Seaweed ensures gentle skin purification and nourishment, leaving a youthful glow. The strong antioxidants present in seaweed rejuvenate the skin and help balance skin moisture. It helps that seaweed is completely pure and chemical free.”
For those looking to adopt seaweed in their beauty regime, plenty of well-regarded options are available. Estée Lauder's Crème de la Mer is one of the best known products in this category. This moisturising cream contains the seaweed kelp, suspended in a so-called ‘miracle broth.’ For everyday use, you could try the Seaweed Night Cream by Mario Badescu. This is an oil-free night cream enriched with deionised water, bladderwrack extract and collagen. The Body Shop also has an extensive seaweed-based collection—look out for their Seaweed Clarifying Toner and Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream.


Thermal spring water has been considered the purest source of water since the ancient times. It is often considered the miraculous fountain of youth, good health and healing. But what makes it so special? Thermal spring water is loaded with various minerals, elements and nutrients. It is pure, untouched, and flows right from its natural source. 
Reveals Himani Chanda of Vichy, “Vichy is a mountainous French town with natural thermal springs. The Vichy Thermal Spa Water has been recognised for its therapeutic properties since the time of the Romans. Today, Vichy is a center for healing. Each year, thousands of patients come with prescriptions for “cures” (a 3-week course of treatment under medical control) involving Vichy thermal spa waters, many of them to clear skin problems. The Thermal Spa water has a unique composition with 15 minerals. All the Vichy products contain this unique Thermal Spring Water.”

About a decade ago, luxury brand Guerlain launched what was then the most expensive lipstick in the world. With a body encrusted with diamonds and gold, the lipstick carried an astounding $62,000 price tag. 
Today, beauty products are going one step further—diamonds are no longer just part of the packaging, but part of the product itself. Apart from the sheer wow value of using such a precious stone as part of your beauty regime, beauty products with finely cut diamond extracts are believed to be the best exfoliants, as the diamond opens up the pores and breaks down blockages. Apart from diamonds, various other precious metals (gold, silver, platinum) and precious stones are also being used in beauty products.

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