Mention ‘salt’ and the first thing that comes to my mind are those specks of crystal-like gems I use to season my piece of medium-rare steak. It wasn’t until my recent trip to Pablo Blau when I learned that there is so much more to this humble condiment than meets the eye.
I was introduced to halotherapy by an ex-colleague over a random lunch date. Knowing that I had minor sinus problems and dry sensitive skin, she recommended me to give the ‘miracle salt treatment’ a try.
Steeped in history, salt therapy—otherwise known as halotherapy (‘halo’ is a Greek prefix meaning salt)—is said to be one of the earliest forms of alternative medical treatment since the ancient Greek times. Back in the 4th and 5th century, the sick were often brought into natural salt caves to convalesce back to health especially when they were suffering from respiratory or skin-related illnesses.
As humans’ basic physiological function in the body depends on a balance between salts and liquid, salt, in a way, symbolises life itself. When the balance is upset, sickness occurs. And that’s probably why this is such an important mineral to mankind.
Besides making food like French fries tastier, salt particles help draw water into our airway and thinning mucus when they are inhaled. This clears up nasal blockages, making it easier for those with sinus and respiratory problems to breathe.
Also a natural disinfectant, salt works its magic by drawing out fluids in bacterias, killing those nasty organisms in the process. This greatly improves skin conditions especially for those with dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema—common skin problems which many face today.
Elevating the concept of halotherapy, Pablo Blau combines the benefits of salt therapy together with a series of 14 divine skin facial treatments. Equipped with a salt-filled lounge and treatment rooms, the spa mimics the condition of a salt cave, providing customers with the perfect healing environment to rest and recuperate.
The exterior of Pablo Blau alone exudes a luxurious vibe. Walking along its navy blue walls, I have to admit I feel a little intimidated The moment I stepped in, my anxiety level heightened. Pairs of eyes dart towards me, as I walk up to the counter to get myself registered.
The entire spa boasts an open space decked in the glitz of a modern retro outlook—a 2020 styling trend with a touch of Hollywood Regency decor. Think dramatic, sensual, and modern, carefully curated with a mix of bold gender-neutral furnishing that is timelessly luxurious in its appeal.
Fragrant floral scent waft in the air as classical music plays softly in the background. A simple exchange with my therapist and a couple of forms later, I am escorted to my salt treatment room which is tucked at the end of the spa; a hidden and exclusive hideout right in the city’s center.
There is a small changing area leading to the common lounge and two adhering treatment rooms. I tucked my belongings neatly away in my locker and the moment I down the white cotton tube covering, an instant sense of calmness fell upon me. Now, I am all ready to get pampered in the loving hands of my therapist, Lyn.
For hygiene purpose, all customers having treatment in the salt room will be handed a pair of disposable shoe cover. After donning my booties, Lyn led me into a white room where treatment would begin.
A gush of excitement rushed through me when the salt room was revealed. Here, the entire floor and all four sides of the walls are plastered in chunks of snow-white minerals. I was expecting the scent of salty air, but to my surprise, there is none. The air in the room is clean and slightly cold, further putting me into a deep sense of comfort.
Imported from Europe, the salt in Pablo Blau’s salt room were selected based on specific standards. They are changed every four to six months depending on their condition, ensuring that they remain clean and effective in absorbing the surrounding moisture.
Lyn soon left me to relax in the lounge as she prepares for my treatment. I sank into the lounger and before I know it, I lay drifting in and out of consciousness. “No Felicia, you have to stay awake. Take everything in,” I tell myself, while I struggle to keep my eyelids open.
Moments later, I woke up to a soft tap on my shoulder. In my semi-conscious state, I followed Lyn into the salt treatment room and propped myself onto the bed. My oh my, no exaggeration right here, but this has got to be one of the most comfortable bed I’ve laid on during a facial session.
Every inch of my bare skin is covered by the softest cotton covered comforter. It is the work of an impressive 1,000 thread-count luxe linen—crisp, cool and oh-so-soft.
A double cleansing routine reveals my bare face ready for a thorough skin analysis. After running her hands through my face, Lyn recommends the Hydro-Collagen Facial, a 60-minute treatment meant to hydrate and boost the moisture content of my dry, sensitive skin. Use the words ‘dry’ and ‘sensitive’ and consider me sold. Just get some moisture into my skin right now.
The next hour is a roller coaster ride of emotions. After opening my pores using a steamer mist, Lyn proceeds to dig through my goldmine of blackheads and oil clots via an extraction process. Thank God for the high pain tolerance I have build up from all my previous facial session. If not for those, I will be cringing in pain right to my toes.
Finally, my favourite part of the entire treatment—the pampering. After the tear-jerking segment, Lyn generously slathers a mud mask onto my face to soothe my skin. While waiting for it to work its wonders, she then treated me with a scalp, shoulder and hand massage. Albeit simple, the massage routine added a touch of exclusiveness showcasing the spa’s willingness to go the extra mile in delighting their customers.
Lyn’s soft and delicate hands slowly lulled me into a state of slumber. I am embarrassed to admit but I was so relaxed that all I could remember before zoning out were the delicate strokes on my face and that sweet, floral scent that trailed after her fingers every time they bridged my nose.
One hour later, I left Pablo Blau all fresh and renewed. Although slightly red from the extraction, my skin feels soft and taut. Throughout the day, my face retains its lustre. And for once, I wish I could remove my mask to showcase my plump, hydrated and almost faultless shine.
I did not believe that I will immediately experience the benefits of halotherapy in just one session but thinking back, I noticed that my sinus did not act up for even a second. There were no wheezing or nose blockages and that alone convinced me of its wonders.
Unlike regular spas or beauty parlours, Pablo Blau does not carry products that they use for over-the-counter sales, so you don’t have to worry about any hard-selling. This luxurious spa believes in providing their customers with an all-rounded experience to benefit individuals from the inside out.
My experience in Pablo Blau’s salt treatment room is one that I think I will never forget—it’s a joy my regular facial therapist could hardly live up to. Sorry, Chloe.
Curious to try out Pablo Blau’s facial treatments in their salt rooms? From now till 31 December 2020, immerse yourself in an exclusive spa journey with a choice of 60-minutes Signature Salt Room Award Winning Customised Facial or 60-minutes Signature Salt Room Customised Back Facial for just S$69 (worth up to S$390).
The first 100 H&S readers who book via the link below will also receive a complimentary 40-min Customised Eye Treatment or Neck & Décolletage Treatment worth up to S$250.
So what are you waiting for? Experience the session for yourself by and make your booking here.