Feel invigorated at Dubai's LIME Spa with a full-body mask treatment

Sarah Ferguson tries out a moisturising, full-body spa treatment ahead of a beach holiday.

LIME Spa at the Desert Palm hotel in Dubai. Courtesy Desert Palm
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Sarah Ferguson tries out a moisturising, full-body spa treatment ahead of a beach holiday

While I regularly exfoliate and moisturise my face, I’m quite lazy when it comes to the rest of my body. Really, it should take just a few minutes a day, but I never seem to have the time.

With the weather getting steadily hotter and therefore my skin drier – and with a beach holiday coming up – it was time to do something about it. The Invigorate treatment at the Lime Spa in Dubai’s Desert Palm boutique resort looked like the answer to my problems.

My therapist Lia started with a foot bath in citrus fruit-scented water, while I slurped a delicious lime sorbet and sipped green tea. The classical music I had chosen earlier from the music menu (a very nice touch, I thought) played in the background as I was led to the massage table. Lia used a Turkish salt scrub for a full body massage, avoiding my feet. Earlier I had ticked off a checklist of places where I like to be massaged, but did not tick feet (far too sensitive and ticklish) and was pleased this preference had been noted.

After a shower to rinse off the body scrub, it was time for the mask.

Spirulina, a sea plant found in tropical lakes, is packed full of nutrients and was a food source of the ancient Aztecs. It is widely used as a dietary supplement and is effective used externally on the skin as well as taken internally. It is a strong detoxifying mask that contains vitamins A, C and E which nourish the skin while breaking down toxins in the body.

The mask is a mixture of spirulina and fuz balm, a menthol balm with rosemary, pine and lavender that cools and stimulates. Smelling vaguely of algae and menthol, but not unpleasantly so, the dark green mask was applied all over my body, after which Lia wrapped me in plastic sheets then placed hot towels on me, then finally a plastic bag filled with hot water was put on top of the towels.

Cocooned in the plastic and hot towels, a head massage followed and then I was left to relax for a while, to allow the mask to do its job. The sensation was strange, as the menthol in the mask made my back tingle and feel cold, while the hot towels on top of me kept me warm.

I understood why Lia said she’d turn off the A/C for this part of the treatment as, even though I most definitely was not cold, the menthol was tricking my brain into thinking I was freezing. But it’s good to actually feel a treatment working.

It should be noted that you should be prepared to leave your modesty at the door for this treatment – while towels are strategically moved around during the massages, you’ll be in nothing but a pair of disposable underpants during the mask treatment.

A brief glance in the mirror as I headed to the shower to wash off the mask revealed an image of a sea monster – I was green from neck to toe. Rinsed clean of green gunge, I headed back to the table for a full-body massage with a thermal mineral moisturiser.

The whole experience was both soothing and stimulating and the immediate effect of the treatment was smooth, baby-soft skin. A week later and my skin still feels great. It has definitely inspired me to pay a bit more attention and take a few extra moments in the morning to exfoliate and moisturise.

• The Invigorate treatment at LIME Spa in Dubai’s Desert Palm hotel is 90 minutes and costs Dh480. Call 04 323 8888 for an appointment


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