Treatments for winter-weary skin

Combat winter's drying effects with one of these sumptuous spa treatments.

(Red Door Salon, Handout…)
March 07, 2013|By Catherine Mallette, The Baltimore Sun

We know spring is right around the corner, but our skin is still taking a beating from the dry heat indoors and the brisk winds and temperatures that linger. To help skin return to a hydrated, moisturized, glowing state, consider one of these treatments from local spas.

Or try them all. Your skin will thank you.

A discreet indulgence : Triple Rose Hydrating Body Treatment

Red Door Spa, Cross Keys

The Village of Cross Keys; 42 Village Square, Baltimore


Details: 50 minutes, $125

This two-part treatment, which uses the spa's Renew skin care line, is aimed at getting your skin super silky and soft by using the power of rose oil. The products have a faint rose scent, and this is considered an aromatherapy treatment, too.

And how sweet it is. The process starts with a relaxing exfoliation. As you lie on the treatment table, your technician will massage granules of olives pits mixed with rose cleansing oil and coconut oil into your skin. (Note: Red Door spas are known for their discretion. The masseuse will keep you covered with warm towels while she works on your various appendages and will ask if you want your tummy included in the process.) Once you're coated, you'll head for the private shower in the treatment room and rinse away the mix.

Now for the real relaxation. Using a mixture of Renew massage oil and rose body cream, you'll get a neck-to-toe massage that will work to detoxify and rehydrate your skin. The mixture has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. To keep you snug and happy during the massage, you'll be wrapped up a bit like a tortilla in a warming blanket.

To let the cream continue to soak into your skin, you'll be advised to avoid water for the next half-day or so.

Hello, healthy glow: Winter Rescue Facial

ReNew Organic Skin Care

822 W. 36th St., Baltimore

410-400-2745; email to

Details: 60 minutes, $95

Shelley Birnbaum is the owner and aesthetician of this by-appointment-only facial boutique. Her goal is to give her clientele the best eco-friendly organic products and tailor those products to their specific needs.

Birnbaum, working with a lab, has created her own line of products. She studied essential oil blends an herbal tinctures and then incorporated them into skin care products. After working with a client, she can whip up a customized moisturizer, for example, and in return visits can tweak the formula based on how the client's skin is reacting. She uses organic ingredients and fair-trade products whenever they are available.

For the Winter Rescue Facial, she'll start with a hydrating treatment done under steam that uses D2O — a heavy water that soaks into the skin. Anti-aging elements such as coconut, myrrh and aloe are part of the hydration. Skin then gets a cleansing and an exfoliation (and, if needed, extractions), followed by an enzymic fruit peel. The final stage of the process is her signature three-tea mask, a blend of white, green and a red South African tea and hydrating elements in an oh-so-creamy formula. Along the way, you'll also get hydrating, moisturizing treatments for your arms and hands.

The hour passes quickly in her cozy studio, located above a dress shop, and your face will go home happy and hydrated.

Herbal aaah: Lavender & Calendula Herbal Massage

Spa on the Avenue, A Salon by Debbie

8165 Honeygo Blvd., White Marsh



Spa on the Boulevard, A Salon by Debbie

3491 Merchant Blvd., Abingdon


Details: 90 minutes, $128

If you haven't been to Spa on the Boulevard, the newest and biggest Salon by Debbie, which opened earlier this year, this last blast of winter is a great time to check it out. (There are now three Salons by Debbie, including Spa in the Valley in Hunt Valley, which is now undergoing renovations in its body treatment area.)

Ask for the Lavender & Calendula Herbal Massage, aimed at helping dry skin while also relieving stress. Start in the Eucalyptus steam room, for a dose of skin hydration and a muscle-relaxing experience. The massage follows. The spa uses a hand-crafted herbal infusion featuring organic calendula and lavender flowers in apricot kernel and olive oil. The warm oil is worked into the skin while warm compresses are applied to the back to help the oils soak in.

The treatment ends with a herbal oil scalp massage, a perfect ending to your 90 minute indulgence.

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