I then exfoliate using a DIY mask recommended by Michele Vickery, spa manager at Zimbabwe’s Africa Albida Tourism; a tablespoon of plain yogurt and one teaspoon of organic honey.
“The yogurt contains lactic acid, which has a mild exfoliating effect, while the honey is hydrating and full of antioxidants, leaving the complexion glowing and bright,” she told me.
I apply for 10 minutes before rinsing and follow with a simple moisturising mask of a quarter of a ripe mango, a quarter of a cucumber, and half a banana. These I combine with a potato masher and then slop it all over my face – the consistency is just right. The recipe comes from Jade Mountain resort’s Kai En Ciel Spa, set high on the hills in St Lucia. I lie back and there I am, under the cocoa and mango trees, my reverie aided by classic cucumber eye patches. Cucumber has an anti-inflammatory effect that helps in reducing puffiness, while its high water content helps in hydrating the skin and the cool temperature decreases the flow of blood to the space around your eyes.
Afterwards I feel like I’ve swapped eyes with someone much younger.
It’s a revelation. My skin is smooth and plump. I’ve just given myself the best facial of my life. It also tasted pretty good. Life in isolation has never been so sweet.
Traditional Balinese body scrub
Centuries-old, this spicy and warming body scrub will leave your skin glowing and bright. Boreh is traditionally applied in Indonesia for a variety of reasons from arthritis and muscle aches to pre-wedding beauty rituals. “Bo’’ meaning ready and “Reh” meaning blood in Balinese, it is excellent for circulation, is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. Place all the below ingredients in a blender to create a medium/fine texture. Add coconut or any nourishing oil like olive to reach the consistency you prefer. Scrub the entire body, and rinse in a warm shower.
100g white rice
50g fresh grated ginger
2 tbsp cinnamon powder
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
Soak the rice overnight and drain
A gut health bacteria booster smoothie
There are over 1,000 different species of bacteria in our gut. These microorganisms support our immune systems, aid in digestion and optimise nutrient assimilation. We can encourage a bountiful, thriving ecosystem of intestinal flora through the foods we eat and drink. Blitz the ingredients in a blender with a few cubes of ice.
½ cup pineapple chunks (or banana if you can’t find pineapple)
½ large cucumber
2½cm skinned and chopped ginger
1 handful fresh mint leaves
½ juiced lime or lemon
250ml unflavoured plain Kefir drink
(Both recipes courtesy of YTL Hotels’ Spa Village)