It may seem obvious that we need more hydration in winter — the slightest drop in temperature and humidity can make skin parched. But using caviar to combat this seasonal skin-care concern may seem like a less-apparent solution. Although they’ve been on beauty counters for more than 20 years, caviar-based skin-care treatments still command a (skeptically) raised eyebrow. And yet that’s exactly what fish roe can do for skin: lift and firm facial features that are depleted of moisture.
Point of difference of the Vichy from regular showers: You take it lying down. And instead of one jet, the Vichy has eight flexible showerheads attached to a pipe that runs the length of the massage table. (No worries; this one is waterproof.) What I love about a Vichy shower is that its medium-pressure blasts hit so many points along my body at the same time — it feels like a massage that’s being given by several therapists simultaneously.
At The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester, an entire treatment room becomes the shower stall. And your therapist arrives in a necessarily modified uniform: shorts, T-shirt, waterproof apron and flip-flops. They get fairly soaked in the process. Your garment? A bathing-suit bottom or the disposables provided. The Ocean Scrub Vichy Rain Therapy, which progresses from scrub to shower and massage, all takes place on the table. It’s a brilliant piece of set: no movement required.
For the body exfoliation, salts scented with ginger, rosemary and cypress herbs (a stellar detox blend) do a fairly intense job of smoothing away dry skin. Next, the therapist turns on the water, and the showerheads jump to life like sprinklers at dawn, spraying warm water down your back and legs. It’s the closest thing to pleasurably being stuck in the rain.
As the therapist massages in the scrub, it turns a bit frothy before it’s whisked away by the drains in the table; and all the while she is torquing the showerheads left and right to cover more ground. Though you barely moved a muscle, after 10 minutes it feels like you’ve been exhaustively rain-therapied. My skin tingled from the circulation jumper-cables effect. Fortunately a 30-minute massage follows, which brings you back down to earth. It uses a nourishing jojoba-based oil to replenish your newly glowing skin, which is essential after a salt-and-water treatment, says spa director Christian Davies. A massage is great for getting the knots out, but because of its pretty singular approach and outsized equipment, the Vichy shower is one of those treatment experiences that make you feel like you’ve really been to a spa.