As soon as I walk in, owner Helen Lazaris appears smiling to welcome me. Friendly and relaxed, Helen knows her stuff, catering to her very loyal clientele of inner west women for the last 14 years. “My regulars have grown up with me, they’ve gone from single young girls, to wives, mums and now busy working women.” Helen’s vision was to create a day spa in an urban area. A haven for her customers, close to home where they can switch off. “When our customers walk through the door they know they are going to be looked after, a nice change to looking after everyone else in their lives.”
With eight treatment rooms and four staff, Retreat Spa and Beauty offers facials, massage, men’s treatments, makeup, waxing and spray tans alongside more active cosmeceutical treatments, from results driven brands such as Mesoestetic and Medik8. Today I’m trialling the Mesoestetic Energy C Facial, a brightening treatment designed to prevent and correct expression lines and fine wrinkles with high concentrations of star ingredient Vitamin C. Thanks to the complementary nature of its antioxidant active substances, it’s the ideal treatment for skin weakened by sun exposure, smoking, strict diet or stress – sign me up!
I’m escorted to the waiting room where I change into a robe and massaging thongs. After completing a quick treatment questionnaire Helen returns to chat about my skin. I tell her it’s been a painful point since I started IVF last year. It’s gone from very dry to combination with congestion and inflammation. Helen listens to my concerns and shares her own IVF story. She has a lovely manner and clearly prides herself on reading people. We move through to a white and coffee hued treatment room and I settle into the bed – it starts off with a pressure point back massage. I keep willing myself not to fall asleep so I can savour every moment. I’m in that blissful half sleep when Helen gently asks me to turnover for the facial to begin. She starts with the Mesoestetic Hydra Milk Cleanser, it feels luxurious on my skin and is swept across my face with expert hands. Next up, a micro-bead exfoliation steam to open the pores for extraction. Extractions are an optional extra but I’m all for it. Helen gently goes to work on my skin.
Then the piece de resistance – Vitamin C infused energy C capsules are massaged into the skin with an exclusive Mesoestetic massage technique, a series of manoeuvers that allows drainage of retained fluids. Vitamin C, as an ingredient, packs a powerful punch, reducing the appearance of pigmentation and sun damage, it helps boost healthy collagen production (hello, firmer skin), while reducing inflammation and irritation and improving skin’s natural healing process. While the Vitamin C goes to work, Helen massages my hands and arms then applies an energy C Crystal Fiber sheet mask and gets to work on my feet and legs. I’m so relaxed, I flirt with sleep the entire time. Why must everything good come to an end? The sheet mask is removed fifteen minutes later and the final step is energy C intensive cream, a brightening daily moisturiser that unifies skin tone and counteracts the harmful effects of UV exposure.
Helen reminds me to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen if going outdoors. I slowly get up, feeling drunk on Vitamin C. I help myself to some Gunpowder Green tea and thank Helen for the treatment. Back in the car I inspect my skin in the rear view mirror (don’t we all?), it’s brighter and plumper and amazingly the small lines around my eyes seem less defined. The redness around my chin has diminished and stubborn blackheads have disappeared. Best of all the small lines around my eyes are less defined and it actually glows. Vitamin C is officially my new best friend.
204 Lyons Rd, Drummoyne