A Drink for Your Skin

The key ingredient in this skin-brightening facial? Sake.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

The key ingredient in this skin-brightening facial? Sake.

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Drinking too much alcohol is bad for the body and skin – but that’s not the case if it’s applied. In fact, sake (rice wine) has been used by geishas for generations to keep their skin smooth. Naturally high in kojic acid, it is said to exfoliate, brighten and detoxify skin, as well as encourage skin cell renewal. Which is why it anchors the Japanese Sake Facial ($278.20 for 90min) by Japanese-inspired salon Erabelle.

Designed to lighten blemishes and age spots, this moisture-restoring facial kicks off with the Healing Breath Therapy – involving the use of pettigrain essential oil, this is meant to calm you. A thorough cleanse and a sake compress follow, after which extraction commences. Next up: two custom-blended masks. The first, an enzyme compress mask made from a sake kasu (dregs) paste, is left on for five minutes, then scrubbed away. The second, blended according to your skin type and including a premium sake infusion, is said to remove dead skin cells, soften skin and add glow.

While the masks work their magic, you receive relaxing hand-or-scalp, shoulder and face massages using an essential-oil blend. Finally, skin is cleansed and a toner, moisturiser, eye cream and sunblock are applied. A therapeutic skin tonic is also misted over the face to seal in moisture.

The spa experience includes a complimentary cup of hot tea, a snack and a foot bath pre-treatment, and tea and a light dessert before you go.

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