Sofia Saide of PureSkin on Marbella’s Golden Mile tells Society about her search for the best facial treatments.
When Sofia Saide started PureSkin she had a singular intention; to provide high quality skincare treatments that would improve the texture and quality of her clients’ skin. Furthermore, Sofia wanted to deliver a relaxing spa-like experience as well as facials that were significantly better than the standard offering.
Sofia’s first step was to source the best skincare brands for her facials. Her first choice was Intraceuticals, an Australian brand. Its Oxygen Infusion facial delivers various weights of hyaluronic acid combined with vital skin-enhancing ingredients such as Vitamins A, C & E as well as Aloe Vera and Green Tea to the various layers of the skin. This brand has many fans and garners testimonials from various celebrities, including Madonna, who never gives a testimonial for anything!!
Her next step in the pursuit of excellence was a trip to New York and a visit to the Big Apple’s hottest ‘facialist’ Ling Chan who is a favourite with Hollywood actors, fashion designers and Victoria’s Secret models. According to Sofia, Ling’s facials are truly special and she attributes much of PureSkin’s success to her use of Ling’s methods. Indeed, Sofia calls Ling her “guru of glow” and swears that her facials provide the deepest cleanse that Sofia has encountered in her 30-year career.
Following Ling’s technique, Sofia uses steam and extraction in this treatment, a method that is fading from use. The extraction process is aided by the use of a variety of very light peels that ensure your skin is not stripped of its natural oils and the skin is left feeling really clean as well as hydrated.
Of the Ling facials, Sofia’s absolute favourite is the Triple Peel Energy Lift facial that leaves the skin feeling clean, hydrated and rejuvenated. This is a two-hour treatment and it ticks all the boxes of what a facial should be: it is deep cleansing, relaxing, and the use of an infrared device to infuse anti-ageing serums into the skin is the icing on the cake. The only side effect is that it is difficult to get off the couch afterwards. You can buy Ling's products from PureSkin to use at home and Sofia reports that they never disappoint and that it is the top selling brand in the PureSkin boutique.
But, if you’re not a fan of steam and extraction, Sofia has an excellent alternative; it is the Bee Venom Facial from the UK's Deborah Mitchell who is famed for giving facials to the Duchesses of Cambridge and Cornwall. This facial lasts for about an hour and incorporates a cleanse and a skin polish made from a blend of organic liquid sugar cane, aloe vera and calendula. The use of the Bee Venom extract tricks the skin into thinking it has been stung; this triggers a healing response from the skin that includes increasing the production of collagen and elastin. The Bee Venom mask is available for purchase at PureSkin so you can try it at home.
The prestigious Diamond facials from Spanish brand Natura Bissé are also on the PureSkin menu and one of Sofia’s favourites incorporates a carboxy glycol peel that fizzes up like champagne to gently remove the layer of dead skin and allow the other ingredients to penetrate more effectively. Or, perhaps you’d choose Hydrafacial, the treatment ‘du jour’ loved by Kate Winslet and Beyoncé. The choice at PureSkin is incredible and you’re bound to find a facial you fall in love with here – Sofia and her team are waiting to welcome you.
This month Jonathan answers those who try to tarnish Reflections’ reputation, dishes the dirt on the Royals and gives a little insight into the unique characters who make up Reflections’ varied clientele.
Reflections is repeatedly accused by certain individuals of being old-fashioned, having a predominantly elderly clientele or being ‘middle-aged’ (I actually find this one to be the most insulting). This is a total misconception as our clients range from 18-90 and we cater for every age group and demographic.
The diversity of Reflections’ clientele can be quite challenging, not only for the stylists but also for our receptionists, especially when you have both ends of the spectrum in at the same time. It’s like oil and water - you just can’t mix them. I like to think of it as wearing different hats throughout the day and I have become an expert at modifying my behaviour to suit the client. I am like a bloody chameleon, come to think of it.
Any day you can walk into the salon and it will be filled with a mixture of Russian socialites, retired ex-pats, metro-sexuals, models, journalists, billionaires, fashionistas, yummy mummies and their little ones, real estate tycoons, business women, media moguls, ladies that lunch, fashion designers and even landed gentry.
We have Lady Roston, who has connections with our own Royal family and, depending on her mood, will allow me to dip rather than give her the full customary bow that etiquette demands, which really does save my knees and back. It shows how far we have come with the Royal family integrating into society. Playing the secrecy card I wouldn’t be able to divulge the day-to-day goings on of the Royals, but it couldn’t hurt to let it slip that the Queen is still having her wicked way with Prince Philip, could it?
As 2016 saw our Majesty celebrate her 90th birthday, one of my other ladies will be sharing the same milestone and would you believe it if I told you that she still continues to have her hair styled every week, without fail?
In fact, she will happily admit that she would rather skip a doctor’s appointment before she missed getting her colour done. Even after being my client for nearly 15 years and seeing me religiously every Saturday afternoon, we have yet to be lost for a topic of conversation.
At the other end of the scale I have the renowned ‘Death Star.’ The story behind her nickname needs a column all of its own. She was sent to me primarily as a client and then became a fabulous friend, purely and simply to make sure my feet were always on the ground and most importantly to make me laugh until my stomach hurts. Many of my closest friends actually started off on a professional level. I seem to attract people with strong personalities, possibly because I am the only one that can handle them.
My clients travel to see me from all over the world, and even book their flights round appointments. It’s the norm here to have a client call up and ask reception please not to move their appointment as they are going to be heading straight to or from the airport. Last week I even had a husband pull me to one side and tell me that his wife had made them buy an apartment here just so she could wangle more appointments with me per calendar year. Now that is dedication for you!
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS?
I often think that I have been blessed with my amazing clientele but every now and then, after a particularly trying day, I sit back on my terrace, down a glass of wine or two and wonder if I have, in fact, been cursed. What horrendous things must I have done in my past life to deserve the clients I got lumbered with that day? I dread to think.
With such a wide range of personalities the topic of conversations can vary and are usually filled with content that would make the Pope’s head explode. However, it’s not easy to have a personal conversation in the salon. Just as you are getting to the juicy details, Nadar, who is stationed next to me, will lean in and say, “Would you remind repeating the last part as I couldn’t hear it over the hairdryer?” I wish he would just get on with his own work - in fact he should focus on his own complex love life rather than everyone else’s. There’s a thought; maybe we could delve into that mess in the next column?
Gerry is better behaved and appears to not be listening to my conversations, however 24 hours later he casually ask, “So Mrs. X is having marriage troubles again?” Sandwiched between those two is like having Interpol after you.
My professionalism - and also because I love to get one over on them - means that I will never reveal anything that my clients share with me. Oh, the secrets I will be taking to my grave! Believe me, some of them could bring a government down.
Talking about Gerry, now here is a man who is the polar opposite of me. He gives a new meaning to the term reserved. If it wasn’t for the fact his hands were moving, people would think he was in a coma. I tell him on a daily basis that it’s a good job that he’s a fantastic hairdresser as they sure aren’t coming back for his personality! Gerry is a prime example of how ‘old-fashioned’ Reflections apparently is. His column is adorned with the names of supremely fashion conscious men; you know, the type of metrosexuals who you would expect to see frequenting one of the new trendy barbers. It seems that style lies hidden beneath that austere persona.
This month Jonathan shares his salon snippets on hot receptionists, cloning nail technicians, hunting for a good hair stylist and brassy blonde clients.
The search goes on...and on...and on.
How hard is it to get good staff these days? It’s never been easy, but these days it seems more difficult than ever. No matter what we do, who we speak to or where we post our job opportunity for a creative hair stylist and an experienced nail technician, we seem to be getting nowhere fast
We are receiving CVs daily but they all seem to be from fruitcakes. I am seriously thinking about rewriting our application form to include the following question: do you suffer from any recognised or even unrecognised psychiatric illnesses?
It is me that is putting people off or am I expecting a miracle? Why are people so frightened of hard work these days? ‘Hard work’ seems to have become an alien concept. As soon as they find out how many hours I put in, they head to the hills. I am not saying that mine is the only way but it seems to equal success!
We get so many stylists coming and going I don’t usually bother to learn their names until they have been with us for at least six months. It’s a constant theme in my life; boyfriends and staff – I can’t seem to keep either.
We had the mini exodus (which we do NOT mention) and then there was the highly skilled colourist who took sick leave but, 10 days later, was spotted moonlighting on easyJet. Believe me when I tell you orange is NOT his colour.
Finally I thought I had finally found myself a little gem, who actually turned out to be more of a polished rock. As soon as she walked through the door I took to her and those who know me well will know how unusual that is. It could have just been her accent though, because the only other northerner is our receptionist, Lottie and that all depends on what day it is or who she is talking to.
And then the biggest disappointment of all came when my so-called gem messaged me to say she had gone back to Manchester as her Nan was ill, but she would be back at work in a week. This was soon followed by the best resignation letter ever - which she posted on Facebook!
To add salt to the wound she then unfriended me and the rest of the staff on Facebook which these days must be the ultimate insult. It used to be getting a drink poured over your head in a nightclub, now it’s a Facebook unfriending.
However, we have finally found a superb nail technician. Yes, I can hear you all breathing a sigh of relief. I knew that if I heard reception say, “I am afraid we have no available nail appointments” just one more time I was going to have pick up a nail file myself. We can blame part of this on Kazumi, since if she wasn’t so damn good at her job Reflections wouldn’t have such a great reputation for nail work. Anyway - drum roll, please - the latest addition to the Reflections team is...Jeneen! I love her and basically want to clone her. Her work is excellent and she has a great, professional attitude. Thankfully she is taking some of the strain away from poor Kazumi, who was going in a downward spiral till she got some help, bless her.
We have tried everywhere else, so maybe we will have some better luck with Society Marbella readers. If you are a skilled hair stylist or an experienced nail technician and would like to work in one of the most established salons on the Coast, please call reception and speak so Tina or Lottie or send your CV directly to
Sane applicants only please!
Keep your hat on
With summer in full swing many of you have been cooking yourself on the beach and coming in with J-Lo style tans. However, if you are the colour of Madge from Benidorm and sit in my chair telling me your hair colour has faded you will probably receive a few choice words before being told to BUY A HAT! In fact, buy nine or 10 or even start a collection. Whether it’s a Philip Treacy or a cheap and cheerful straw hat from Mercadona, I don’t care. Just keep it on your head when in the sun.
If your hair has gone that nice Grotbags green, forget about walking around with ketchup on your head - no-one wants to see that. What you need is the Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three €14,63 which deeply cleanses, removing chlorine, iron and minerals and helps prevent swimmers' 'chlorine green'. Your hair will feel like you have been at it with a Brillo pad but it does exactly what it says on the tin. Follow this with (and this goes for all of you sun worshippers), Kérastase Masque Force Architecte €38,00 The rich formula of this mask has been specially formulated to reconstruct hair that is in need of a little TLC, leaving your locks smooth and soft. You know me, I am always one to wave the Kérastase flag and this is a summer must-have.
I think we need to talk about our receptionist, Lottie's sudden boost in popularity. She has been receiving so much male attention of late that she needs to employ her own security team. In fact, Lottie is so hot right now she is in danger of spontaneously combusting. Basically, she finally listened to me and got rid of the boyfriend. I told her that if she did this the universe would provide - well, I didn’t think it would provide her with all these bloody flowers. Daily deliveries to the salon are like a bullet to my heart so, to cheer myself up, I confiscate them 'til further notice. Well, The Lotsta hasn’t got any decent vases so it’s only for the best that I take them home. Well that’s what I keep telling myself anyway.
FUE hair transplant surgery has become very popular around the world, especially over the past five years. It seems that every time you open your web browser, buy a magazine, or pick up a copy of your local newspaper you will see an advertisement for hair transplant surgery at discount prices. If you are losing your hair, these advertisements can be very tempting. But what do you get for your hard earned money at discount hair transplant clinics? A lot of questions, is the answer to that. When dealing with discount hair transplant clinics you don't know who is doing the surgery. Maybe a doctor's name is associated with the clinic – maybe it isn't, but the people that are doing your surgery are usually technicians with no formal medical training. Many only have secondary school diplomas and are working part time to help with bills. In any other field of cosmetic surgery, doctors perform the entire surgery with assistance from technicians only.
Medikemos Hair Restoration is different. At this clinic, technicians are not left in charge of performing your hair transplant surgery. Medikemos Hair Restoration is founded and supervised by Dr. Emorane Lupanzula, who will be responsible for your surgery from beginning to end, with assistance only from technicians. This is what has led Dr. Lupanzula to be recognized as one of the most consistently excellent hair restoration surgeons in the world; he does not take short-cuts.
Dr. Lupanzula received his medical degree as a doctor of medicine, surgery and obstetrics from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, specialising in acute and emergency medicine. He eventually went on to Université Claude Bernard de Lyon where he obtained a diploma as a specialist in Hair Transplantation and Treatment of Alopecia. Dr. Lupanzula has been to almost every conference and FUE Workshop since 2007, where he closely examined the techniques of dozens of the leading FUSS and FUE surgeons in the world. Dr. Lupanzula has taken components of various techniques from these doctors and clinics from around the world and adapted and modified them to suit his own unique approach to surgical hair restoration. This approach has allowed Dr. Lupanzula to create some truly excellent results for every kind of hair loss sufferer.
FUE hair restoration surgery should be performed with expertise that can only come from years of experience. FUE hair transplant surgery requires the removal of each and every hair with extreme care and skill in order to ensure complete survival once they are transplanted to the recipient zone. With technician based clinics you can see additional shortcuts being taken through the use of motorised tools to transplant this hair which only serves to speed the process. Dr. Lupanzula, however uses a hand held manual system that allows him to detect subtle differences in the hair shaft to ensure 100 per cent safety of the hair. When the hair is safely removed, it will have the best chance for survival and will eventually grow into strong and healthy new hair. Dr. Lupanzula performs the entire removal process with his own two hands; you have total dedication from one of the most respected hair restoration doctors in the world.
Dr. Lupanzula started Medikemos Hair Restoration in 2010 and designed the clinic to be state-of-the-art without losing the warm and welcoming ambience, which is vitally important to his patients. Dr. Lupanzula wants to ensure that clients feel relaxed, which is why he designed the first ever 'comfort room' into the Medikemos clinic; nothing like this will be found in any other hair restoration clinic. This room is a quiet space for patients to go and relax during breaks or before they begin their procedure. This is the unofficial theme of the clinic and everyone at Medikemos Hair Restoration strives to ensure that patients feel welcome.
If you or someone you know is considering hair restoration, it is wise to consider what you want and expect, so it is important for a clinic to gain your trust. Doctor-only FUE extractions, minimal technician assistance, a reliable and consistent track record of excellence and a warm and inviting environment for maximum patient comfort should be top of the agenda. This is the Medikemos way and if you agree that these factors are important to you, we will be happy to welcome your inquiry for a no-obligation online consultation. Also, you can meet with Dr. Lupanzula at the Medikemos clinic or during one of his frequent journeys to Spain.
Regardless of your choice, you will receive a thorough consultation which should provide you with the necessary information and education to enable you to make the right decision. At Medikemos, we believe that an informed and educated patient is a happy patient.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Dr. Lupanzula is the international leader in hair transplant and he will be at HC Marbella International Hospital from September 11th to 17th.
Dr. Luis Hidalgo, Medical Director at HC Marbella International Hospital, answers all your questions about diabetes.
What is diabetes? What does it involve?
Diabetes mellitus is a disorder in which the body is unable to regulate glucose (sugar) in the blood. The cells of the body need sugar to function normally. Sugar is introduced into cells with the help of a hormone called insulin. If there is insufficient insulin or if cells do not respond well to insulin, blood sugar levels increase. This is what happens in people with diabetes.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
On many occasions diabetes does not produce any symptoms. If they do occur they can include the need to urinate frequently, thirst, weight loss and blurred vision.
Why should we worry about it?
Because, although it might not cause any symptoms and the patient may not feel unwell, over
time diabetes can cause serious problems. If not treated correctly it can lead to:
- Heart attacks
- Stroke (cerebral infarct)
- Kidney disease
- Sight problems including blindness
- Pain or loss of feeling in the hands and feet
- Need for amputation of the fingers or toes.
How can I find out if I have diabetes?
You will need a blood test to measure the concentration of glucose in your blood.
What are the risk factors?
Some factors which increase the risk of diabetes have been identified. They are as follows:
- Being overweight
- Being over 45 years of age
- Family history of diabetes
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Having given birth to a baby weighing more than 4.1kg or diabetes in pregnancy
- High blood pressure
- Increased blood cholesterol (hypercholesterolaemia)
- Polycystic ovary syndrome.
At HC Marbella we recommend a blood test to rule out diabetes in individuals who are overweight and have one of the other risk factors. Patients without the above mentioned risk factors should be tested from the age of 45.
How is diabetes treated?
There are many drugs that can be used to control blood glucose levels. Some people need to take tablets which help the body produce more insulin or which help the insulin to be more effective. Others need medication which cannot be taken orally but needs to be given via a small injection. This includes insulin and a new group of drugs known as GLP-1 receptor agonists. Prevention of the problems which can be caused by diabetes is important and can be achieved by keeping blood glucose within normal limits. However this is only one aspect that requires attention. High blood pressure and high cholesterol frequently cause more serious problems than those caused by high blood sugar. Compared to the non-diabetic population, diabetics are two to three times more likely to suffer a heart attach or stroke. For this reason, people with diabetes often require medication to control blood pressure or cholesterol levels to reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke.
It is not only medication that is an important tool in the management of diabetes. We also recommended that sufferers should follow a Mediterranean Diet. This includes plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals with a limited amount of meat, fried foods or foods rich in saturated fat (or 'bad' fats). It is also important to take regular physical exercise and avoid being overweight. If you are a smoker, then it will be immensely helpful if you give this up as soon as possible, since it has been shown also to help people with diabetes to remain healthy.
Can diabetes be prevented?
It is possible to reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes. The most important thing that you can do is to control your weight and avoid obesity. If you are already diabetic, losing weight can improve your health and help to control your blood sugar levels. Physical exercise also aids in prevention and control of the disease.
This month has been a hectic one, to say the least! There have been all the La Sala parties and the opening of the new restaurant, OAK Garden & Grill which, I must say, is amazing, so for the next few weeks I’m going to take it easy and have a good detox. I've been looking around the area and have found some amazing places to go to cleanse the body and mind, Here are my Top Ten tips on giving your body a boost for the summer.
One of the most exclusive places is the health spa at Las Dunas. It offers a selection of detoxing packages and is a place where you can either go for a relaxing day out or, alternatively. make it into a little holiday. There are many different treatments to help with weight loss or just to give you a sense of well-being. The spa facilities are first class and, with a team of experts on hand to answer all your health problems, it is the perfect place to go and address any health issues you might have, from food intolerance to issues which may be causing you to feel run down or stressed. I have already booked my spa day and I’m really looking forward to it.
2. Get it moving
One of the treatments available here on the Coast has been around for years, although it is probably something you wouldn’t really want to talk about in polite company - colonic irrigation. I have had this treatment before and, although it can be quite uncomfortable and slightly embarrassing, it really does have health benefits. So how does it work? Colonic irrigation is a process where 60 to 70 litres of water is introduced into the colon, acting as a detoxifying procedure, flushing out all the old waste which may have been causing you pain and to retain unwanted toxins. When the body has excessive toxins they can circulate though the whole body and, if the colon does not eliminate them, they can be redirected to other organs like the liver, kidneys and lungs and can cause some bad health issues so, while this treatment can be rather uncomfortable, the health benefits are worth it.
3. Look your best
I have been planning to visit the Look Your Best centre in Marbella's port for months, They offer a one-to-one programme to help with any body issues you may have. By using the latest technological innovations their approach to fitness is far from a normal gym session. They also have a great introductory offer at the moment where you can enjoy a 20 minute one-to-one workout with one of the qualified instructors and use all the equipment. Sometimes it's good to mix up your normal workouts to give your body a boost.
We have all heard about how juices can have a really good impact on helping with weight loss, but in reality it's hard sometimes, when you have kids running around, to slice and dice ten different types of fruit and veg every morning prior to blending. I’ve been trying to stick to my Biocentury sachets each day; these are so easy to use, are full of vitamins and actually taste okay. You can get them at nearly any supermarket and they don’t cost too much either. I just make one up with a glass of water each morning and have found that it has helped with my digestion and overall energy levels.
5. Boot camp
I have heard great things about some of the boot camps here on the Coast and am going to be signing up to one at the end of the month. The Marbella fitness camp has so much to offer from daily boot camp workouts to zumba and boxing. I have tried a boot camp once before in the UK, but it was really hardcore and I only lasted three days. It was very similar to an army camp - up at five and surviving on around six hundred calories a day so, to be perfectly honest, it wasn't the most enjoyable experience I’ve ever had, but I like the sound of the boot camps here. Training on the beach at sunrise and swimming in the sea sounds far more tempting. My friend has been going to one for the past few weeks and she said she has never felt better; just hope I keep it up this time.
One of my best friends has the most beautiful long, glossy hair. The other day I asked what her secret is and she swears it's a result of eating more protein, so I’ve been researching the subject this week and was quite surprised at how much diet plays a role in the condition of our hair and skin. Basically, it's a case of rubbish in, rubbish out. Protein plays a major role in the structure of our hair so if, like me, you suffer from dry, brittle hair try mixing up your diet with protein in the form of lentils or cottage cheese. I’m going to try to add some more protein into my diet and hopefully get my hair in condition in time for my wedding next year.
7. Juice on tap
As I have already mentioned, it can be hard to find the time to make up juices every day, so I was happy and surprised to find Juice Mad online. You can have all your juices made up for you and delivered right to your doorstep. Choose different types of juices to detoxify and boost energy levels. They all come ready to drink, so definitely check Juice Mad out.
8. Summer camps
The schools are closing this month, so it's more important than ever to keep the little ones active. There are loads of summer camps along the Coast that offer your child the opportunity to make some new friends and learn new skills, from swimming to dance, tennis and even golf. Have a look at the website marbellafamilyfun.com for a selection of great camps to keep your little ones happy and active throughout the summer.
9. No rest for the wicked
What with all the parties and openings going on this month you can feel as though you haven’t had a good night's sleep for ages. Research shows that sleep is one of the most vital parts of your day and a lack of it can cause your body to burn out and lack energy, so this month I’m going to try a tip my mum passed on, which is to mix some lavender with warm water in an old spray bottle and lightly spritz over my pillow before bedtime. It's meant to calm the mind and send you into a deep sleep. There's nothing like a good night's sleep to make you feel more energised.
I'm off travelling next month with my little gang, so this is my last column for SOCIETY Magazine and, I have to say, I’ve really enjoyed it. Exploring the area and finding lots of new and exciting places to go has been lovely. I truly love living here on the Coast; it's the place I call home and I hope that some of my suggestions have helped you to to find some new and exciting places to go and things to do.