Treatment: ESPA Cellular Renewal Enzyme Facial
Maryborough House Hotel & Spa, Douglas
Duration: One hour, 25 minutes
As most spa bunnies will know, a treatment at the Maryborough Hotel & Spa always begins with a luxurious soak in the vitality pool and a lounge about the rock sauna, steam room and ice fountain. This time however we're in pursuit of results rather than just relaxation, so I'm advised to avoid the steamy recesses of the thermal suite and head straight for the very zen chill-out room across the hall to wait for my therapist, Lucy Susanti.
A powerful treatment designed to boost cell regeneration and give an instantly smooth complexion, the ESPA Cellular Renewal Enzyme Facial has been gathering rave reviews since it was introduced in July. After a consultation and a chat about my skincare routine, I'm shown to the comfy heated bed in a darkened treatment room and Lucy gets right down to business.
The process begins with a deep cleanse incorporating gentle skin brushing to rid the complexion of those pesky dead skin cells. An intense Enzyme Peel is applied next; it's not at all as scary as it sounds and a pleasant tingle is the only sign the botanical extracts and Pumpkin Enzymes are deeply exfoliating to rid you of yet another layer of dull skin.
This is where I discover that Lucy is the queen of the quick-fix massage; there's no hurried rub on offer here; a few minutes of expert deep pressure on the arms and shoulders eased away tension I didn't even know I was experiencing until it vanished.
A rose quartz facial massage is next, the cool stones virtually erasing any puffiness around the jawline and blitzing dark circles under the eyes. To finish, a Lifting and Smoothing Mask containing concentrated Seaweed Extracts, Argan Oil and Menthol is applied, with a blissful head massage while you wait for it to work its magic.
Afterwards, an inspection of my skin in the cruel car mirror reveals I appear to have the fresh, plump, slightly pink skin of a teenager. I resist the urge to do a party dance in the car park. After a few hours the pink hue has disappeared. Later I do as I'm told and wear plenty of moisturiser going to bed, as well as a SPF 30 the following day, when a second inspection confirms that a number of fine lines appear to have vanished completely.
Two weeks later, believe it, they have yet to return. But if they do, I'll know exactly who to call.