#BeautyBitch by Cathy Martin :Hydration Station

DarphinHydration Station – DARPHIN at The Merchant Hotel

As we (hopefully) say goodbye to grey, dull days and prepare to step into summer – or at least to escape these shores for sunnier climes – I decided to get my skin sunshine-ready by checking in to the spa at delightfully decadent (and now ten year old) Merchant Hotel in Belfast city centre. It’s not unknown that this is one of my top spa destinations in Norn Iron, so a trip there is always a pleasure… And to zone out (while dreaming of hot, sunny breaks, obvs) with one of the amazing DARPHIN treatments was the cherry on top of my pamper cake.

DARPHIN is one of those amazing French beauty brands which began life on the shelves of chic and boutique pharmacies across France as well as in exclusive salons. The now global brand has a whole host of fans across the world, with some really amazing hero products for all skin types. And speaking of skin, mine was dehydrated and pretty lacklustre after a long, cold winter with lots of central heating. Together, cold weather and dry heating combined can leave skin with a smattering of dryness and severe loss of radiance, so naturally our skin sometimes needs a little lift and a carefully prescribed facial is just the trick.

So, step forward the traditional DARPHIN hydrating facial which is guaranteed to leave skin glowing for the season.

The routine kicks off with a good double cleanse and a wonderfully revitalising toner, which is delightfully fresh-scented, removing make-up and leaving skin velvety smooth, clean and refreshed. This is followed by a warm, age-defying dermabrasion which is gentle enough for sensitive skin due to the natural exfoliants used (silica, pearl and lave)…

While I was being preened and pampered I learnt a bit more about the brand and the treatment. The DARPHIN facial uses products packed with anti-ageing properties which help support skin’s natural collagen – rekindling skin’s youthful look by densifying and firming the look of skin for a plumper appearance. A quickly absorbed formula helps replenish moisture and renew the appearance of skin’s elasticity while minimising the look of wrinkles.

Next up, I had not just one, but two absolutely gorgeous masks where camellia oil and pomegranate extract combined with hyaluronic acid microsphere gave me a divinely glowing result. The quickly absorbed formula is definitely a ‘thing’!

While the masks were working their magic, my lovely therapist gave me an uplifting pressure point & head massage, the sheer indulgence of which left me super-relaxed (and yes, super sleepy and relaxed!)

To rehydrate and prepare my skin for the environment outside, I had two uplifting serums and a corrective eye cream, before finishing with a final layer of rose oil and age-defying moisturiser which are worked into the skin to seal everything in. Voila! I felt cocooned in a blanket of pure comfort with silky skin ready for the sunshine.

In a dazed and blissful state I left the treatment room, feeling utterly rejuvenated.

My view? Everything about DARPHIN is luxurious, the products are absolutely gorgeous, both in fragrance, texture and results – if anything is going to leave city-worn skin glowing, it is this – my skin definitely looked fresh and lifted for hours after with an energised and youthful glow. Quite a few days on and it is fair to say my skin has definitely lost its winter lacklustre and is ready to carry me glowingly into summer. Now all that’s needed is that perfect summer break!

All products used are available to buy at The Merchant Hotel or online at DARPHIN.com

Post Author: Belfast Times

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