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Best skincare for men: The Refinery Skincare Essentials

  Planning an escape in 2016? I have the perfect travel companion. I’ve said before that I’m a big fan of The Refinery range and have to highlight this great little travel kit. The blend of aromatherapy essential oils is spot on, it’s masculine without being over powering and the products hydrate and revive the skin in an instant. Great for travel, this skincare essentials offers some of the best skincare for men. The Refinery Skincare Essentials kit is a comprehensive collection of essentials, including the Refinery Revitalising Moisturiser, Refinery Eye Gel and Refinery Face Scrub formulated with carefully selected botanical extracts and essential oils with rejuvenating properties for skin that is clear, smooth and revitalised. Read more about the best men’s skincare shave products Best skincare for men: The Refinery Skincare Essentials contains: Refinery Revitalising Moisturiser 50ml: Enriched with anti-ageing ingredients, including creatine, vitamins C and E, plus essential oils of frankincense, sandalwood and vetivert, this powerful moisturiser penetrates deep into your skin to provide intensive hydration. Refinery Eye Gel 15ml: Lightweight and easily absorbed, …

4 of the best: shave creams

I’m still getting to grips with shave creams, preferring a much lazier option of a gel that foams. I sometimes add in a shave oil, but always do plenty of prep and warm my face with a hot face cloth and even scrub in advance sometimes. So, the shave cream. It’s designed to act as a shave medium and lubricant for the blade. Usually more hydrating and caring for the skin (gels and foams can be drying) these are great if you have sensitive skin. I do find they take a little more work and extra rinsing from the blade. That said, they are kinder to the skin so worth the effort. Here’s my pick of the best: Molton Brown Skin-Calm Shaving Cream This is from the new Molton Brown men’s skincare range and as the name says is crafted with skin calming properties. Great for sensitive skin with barley extract to calm and prep the skin. Nice fresh scent.  £22 www.moltonbrown.co.uk The Bluebeards Revenge: The Shaving Solution Whilst this isn’t strickly branded as a …

Five of the best bath oils

The beauty of bath oils is that, in an instant you can create a spa-like experience in the comfort of your own home. Any time of the year is a good time to bathe. However, the cooler months Autumn and winter are my favourites. Choose the oil to suit your needs – whether you need a pick-me-up or a soothing calm and relaxing treat. Light a candle or two, pop on some soothing sounds and a glass of wine is fine too. This is The Spa Man’s pick of his favourite bath oils at the moment. The Spa Man’s Five of the best bath oils Russie Blanche Banya De-stress Bath & Shower Oil Lavender, ginger, vetiver and bergamot essential oils combine with nourishing sweet almond and macadamia oil to relax the muscles and calm the mind. For me this is one of the best bath oils around. www.spavoyage.co.uk Repêchage Sea Spa Massage, Bath & Body Oil Rosemary and geranium essential oils are blended with hydrating soybean and anti-oxidant rich Carrot oil and vitamin E, to …

COMO Shambhala London - The Spa Man

Dr. Hauschka launches at Metropolitan by COMO Shambhala

Dr. Hauschka has launched an exclusive spa partnership with the Metropolitan Hotel by COMO Shambhala in the heart of London. Combining years of experience and expertise, both brands are synonymous with health, beauty and holistic wellbeing and have collaborated on this new spa concept which brings some excellent spa treatments for men and women. The spa will offer a bespoke menu of four treatments including the Dr. Hauschka Classic Treatment, Dr. Hauschka Relaxation Treatment, Dr. Hauschka Treatment ‘One Hour for Myself’ and the Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Treatment. Bringing its signature holistic, rhythmic approach to the spa, combined with over 47 years of knowledge and product development, Dr. Hauschka, promotes health and wellness whilst boosting skin regeneration and will introduce the brand to a new spa audience at the top London spa. COMO Shambhala provies a unique take on spa in the UK capital, it’s modern, light and airy and promises guests that they will have time to escape with a true focus on wellness. The spa team take a highly personalised approach to fitness and …

Spa in the sky: Dubai

Burj Al Arab, arguably, the world’s most luxurious hotel, has taken rejuvenation and wellness to new heights with the launch of male heat and steam spa lounges looking out to the World Islands and Downtown Dubai. Sleek, smart and sophisticated, the new panoramic spaces feature exceptional visibility at all times thanks to a rare fog-proof glass. The steam lounge also has a special crystal frame which, when heated, becomes covered in a veneer of ice, against the exquisite mosaic tiles designed exclusively for Burj Al Arab. It’s all part of the Burj Al Arab’s Talise Spa (formerly Assawan Spa) which provides bespoke treatments designed to match guests’ needs and desires. Located on the 18th floor with uninterrupted views over the Arabian Gulf, the spa offers 14 therapy rooms incorporating the traditional colours of the UAE. Talise Spa is open for both in-house guests and visitors. To further enhance guests’ experience, the steam and sauna lounges have chromotherapy colour light systems increasing energy and relaxation. These new additions further complement the spa’s exquisite panoramic infinity pools …

The Growth of Mindfulness

Mindfulness appears to be everywhere and, in some instances promises to solve pretty much every problem there is. It’s growth continues and everywhere you look a spa, health expert or mind guru is offering tips, techniques, sessions, course and online apps to help you on your way. I have written about it before and you can read “What is mindfulness medition” here The Huffington Post has it’s own dedicated channel to mindfulness and it’s well worth taking a look for the latest reseach, tips, advice and comment. I’m a big fan and it’s helped me resolve stress and anxiety issues. The whole month of May is devoted to the project – Mindful in May. Which combines regular practice, joining people across the globe to help raise money to bring clean water to commnities who need it most. They say “It takes just 10 minutes a day to bring more focus and effectiveness into your daily life. Join a global community of people bringing mindfulness meditation into their lives and making a positive impact on the lives …

Wellness rooms introduced at Macdonald Hotels

Macdonald Hotels have launched dedicated Wellness Rooms, providing a one-stop shop the health and wellbeing needs of guests, at three of their top spa hotels. Macdonald Portal Hotel in Chester, Macdonald Alveston Manor in Stratford-upon-Avon and Macdonald Craxton Wood in Cheshire are the first hotels  to provide this new comprehensive wellbeing facility, and the group intends to expand this throughout 2015. The rooms are a designated space for one-to-one wellbeing expert consultations, covering everything from dietary advice and fitness assessments through to physiotherapy and complementary therapies. It’s the perfect way to kickstart a New Year wellbeing programme, combining a focus on health and fitness with the relaxation of spa. They are available for hotel guests, Vital Health Club members and day spa guests to seek expert professional wellbeing advice. to complete the wellness offering Macdonald Hotel’s Vital Health Clubs are offering free comprehensive Health Checks as part of their health club membership which includes an analysis of blood pressure, resting heart rate, body mass index (BMI), body composition (Fat), peak flow lung function, flexibility and …

Thierry Mugler launches A*MEN Ultra Zest

Bright, vibrant and in your face, the packaging for the new A*MEN Ultra Zesty Eau de Toilette sets the tone for what you get in the bottle. It’s bursting with citrus, but has a sweetness to it that makes it a great spring/summer scent for any man. Quite quickly the citrus notes give way to woody tones and it has a spicy-ness that is reminiscent of previous limited edition fragrances from Thierry Mugler. A*MEN Ultra Zesty Eau de Toilette is a limited edition launch for spring, and is the perfect cocktail of woody, spicy and citrus notes. You will instantly pick up on the fresh scents of mandarin, blood orange and ginger which are my favourite of the blend. Read the blurb and there’s a touch of cinnamon, coffee and black pepper. Now I couldn’t pick these out individually – but they come across with a pleasing spicy touch. When the fragrance settles there is a fine mix of vanilla, patchouli and tonka bean which ensure that this is a sophisticated and sensual scent. I …

Saunas cut the risk of heart problems for men

A new study has shown that men who use saunas regularly reduce their risk of heart attack by nearly two thirds. So guys, it’s time to head to the spa and sweat it out in the sauna. The study, by scientists from the University of Eastern Finland monitored 2,315 men aged between 42 and 60 for a period of 20 years. The remarkable findings, published in the latest edition of Jama Internal Medicine, a journal published by the American Medical Association, revealed that those who had visited saunas the most frequently – and most notably – for longer periods – were the least likely to have died from heart attacks. And the results are impressive. It discovered that middle-aged men who use a sauna four to seven times a week can cut their risk of a heart attack. And not just by a slim margin – by nearly two thirds, compared with those who never use a sauna. Using the sauna two to three times a week reduces the risk of death by heart attack …

Read all about it: spa culture from the Baltic to the Black Sea

Sophie Benge has teamed up with researcher Alla Sokolova to write a most impressive book that looks at the spa and wellness cultures of Eastern Europe. Beautifully presented with stunning photography,  Healing Sources: Spas and Wellbeing from the Baltic to the Black Sea is part travel guide and an historical reference book presented as a coffee table centrepiece. It takes the reader on a journey through the lesser known holistic cultures of Eastern Europe  from the Art Nouveau spas of Hungary to the traditional pirts sauna rituals of Latvia. Offering a glimpse of the spa culture in each country, it’s a fascinating way to see the role that spa has played in the country’s psyche and in its historical development. The architecture, the use of local ingredients and traditions reveals that spa is not a 20th Century fad that took hold in the 1990’s but is part of the way of life for so many people. And it really gets to grip with the holistic and natural approaches of each region such as respiratory healing …

There’s a new razor in town

Razor brands are constantly evolving, adding more blades and cutting edge design to tempt men to upgrade their morning ritual. Few have tackled the issue of the contours of the face until Gillette can along with the Gillette Fusion ProGlide with new FlexBall Technology. They say: ” responds to contours for maximum contact on the curves and gets virtually every hair.” Having trialled it for a few weeks, it does give a close shave and works well over the neck area. Note – I have a beard so couldn’t test it over the jaw line – but reckon it would do the trick. It’s flex motion does allow for more movement and I really liked that it’s head has thinner edges, meaning for beared blokes its easier to get a sharp edge on your beard line. The Gillette Fusion ProGlide with new FlexBall Technology has a RRP  of £12 (manual) and £15 (power). Available: pretty much everywhere.  

Aveda’s Earth Month Candle

Aveda has launched a charity candle in support of Earth Month this April and pledges to donate 100% of the RRP of its signature limited edition Light the Way Candle to Global Greengrants Fund, which is a non-profit organisation that channels high-impact grassroots groups working to solve environmental problems around the world. Now that’s what I call a proper charitable donation. Most beauty companies offer a paltry 5% of profits for charity. In fact since 2009 Aveda has raised $9 million  through the sales of this candle. Buying the candle, which is perfect for creating a spa at home, will support people to access clean water. One purchase can provide one year’s worth of drinking water for a person living in Madagascar. The candle is housed in 100% reclaimed glass beverage bottles, outer cartons are made from 90% post-consumer recycled paperboard. And the candle you burn?  It’s made from pure flower and plant aromas crafted from 100% certified organic oils, including Organic Vanilla, Cinnamon and Ylang Ylang from Madagascar. Oh so spa. £16 www.aveda.co.uk

Spa Trends 2015 – Spafinder Wellness 365 report

Spafinder Wellness 365™ has its finger on the pulse of everything to do with spa and wellness. Every year it compiled a comprehensive report on spa trends and makes very interesting reading. It’s 12th report is a definitive guide to the key spa trends 2015, so it covers what’s happending in the world of wellness—including spa experiences, fitness, beauty, travel, nutrition and corporate wellness. SPA TRENDS 2015 The top global spa and wellness trends for 2015 are: FOREST BATHING: Mindfulness Meets Nature CANNABIS: New Spa & Wellness Connections WELLNESS TRADITIONS FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD: Beyond Hammams and Argan Oil INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: BLUE COLLAR WELLNESS WELLNESS HOMES, COMMUNITIES & CITIES MY FITNESS. MY TRIBE. MY LIFE: Super-Social Fitness SPA ON ARRIVAL (& EN ROUTE): The New Travel Ritual HYPER-PERSONALISED BEAUTY: Made-for-Me Will Matter More GUT REACTION BEYOND THE STARS: Luxury Redefined FOREST BATHING: Mindfulness Meets Nature The Japanese concept of forest bathing (“shinrin-yoku’) has nothing to do with water. It revolves around a deceptively simple practice: quietly walking, with a mind intent on the sounds, scents, …

BoBo’s Juicery

January is the month when you are presented with diets, detox and deprivation. Yes, its all very well, but to be honest the whole concept of detox is rather questionable, ture, you might need to diet – but deprivation – forget it. There are plenty of ways to live a healthier life by choosing a balanced approach to eating, food portions whilst ensuring you get all of the nutrients you need. Enter – BoBo’s Juicery. I had the opportunity to try a pack of BoBo’s juices and was impressed with the range of chocie and most importantly the flavour. Founded by Jo Symes in 2013, BoBo’s Juicery was created to fit in with our increasingly busy lives, offering a healthy alternative for those on the move. The process: All of BoBo’s cold-pressed juices and smoothies are made from organic produce sourced from BoBo’s gardens in Somerset as well as select farmers within the M25. Wherever possible, produce is sourced from Certified Soil Association farmers and growers. After picking, the produce is taken straight to the …

Four Seasons Park Lane - Mother's Day Spa - The Spa Man

Review: The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel London

THE SPA: In a commanding position on the top floor of the Four Seasons Hotel at Park Lane, the spa is light airy and inviting. The staff were superb and the views even better. Making the most of its superior location, the views extend across the London skyline from the reception area, all treatment rooms and the sky lounge cafe. Taking in everything from Hyde Park to the key sights of Big Ben, The Shard, Green Park and the London Eye, these views alone give the spa the wow factor. But scratch the surface and it’s more than just the skyline that impresses. Interesting brands and well-designed treatment are sure to please. The reception space, white walls segue with the sky views and are highlighted with accent notes of art around the walls giving a touch of warmth. The compact hydro and heat facilities are enough to ensure you are relaxed pre and post treatment. The facilities are separate for men and women and lead onto a treatment waiting area which is cosy with neutral …