ilikeI am convinced that one of the greatest gifts you can give a loved one is the gift of time. Time to slow down, relax and let the body rejuvenate. As you think of that special something for your Mom for Mother’s Day, consider a spa treatment at one of the desert’s magnificent world–class resorts. Not only will she enjoy the treatment, she’ll also enjoy the escape from her daily routine and the ability to relax into a full day of luxury and pampering.

In March, I celebrated my birthday and was treated to a day at the Spa Esmeralda at the Renaissance Esmeralda in Indian Wells. I scheduled it for the day after my birthday celebration for what I anticipated would be a much needed detoxification. It turned out to be the perfect plan.

I was delighted to see that the Spa Esmeralda now carries an organic facial line. I’ve been using organic fruit and plant facial products for the past three months and really like what they have done for my skin. I find them to be incredibly toning and hydrating – and you have to feel great about the fact that you are only applying things you could eat, like apples and mandarin oil, to your skin.

So I settled on a massage and a facial, arriving early to take advantage of the spa pool, steam room and beautiful relaxation lounge. My massage therapist was Jessica Blaisdell, whom I have raved about before, and my esthetician was Krystal Creech. Both have worked at the Spa Esmeralda for over 8 years and are exceptionally knowledgeable about their products and trade.

Krystal said that more and more of her guests are requesting organic products, which was interesting to hear. The Spa Esmeralda features a certified organic line called ilike (i-LEE-key) which has been made in Hungary for 50 years. Hungarians have a long history of using locally available products in their healing treatments. (Sometimes it seems we’re playing catch up with our European counterparts when it comes to health care).

Due to the soil, the somewhat dry climate, and the abundance of sunshine, Hungarian herbs and fruits are proven to contain higher concentrations of active ingredients and aromatic agents than the world average. Using these ingredients, a woman lovingly known to the region as “Aunt Ilike” has been creating organic skin care products since the late 50’s. Her grandmother was the village herbalist and always told her that “all we need to maintain health and beauty can be drawn from nature around us.”

Ingredients in the ilike line include rose petal, grapeseed, lemon balm oil, resveratrol, flaxseed oil, peppermint, mineral salts and trace elements. Krystal noted that many of ilike products they chose to carry address aging skin, which can be more sensitive and dry. “Because of the soil, the products are mineral rich and can restore missing elements; they are also vitamin rich since they use the entire plant.”

My luxurious facial included a rose petal cleansing milk applied with the soft, rotating Clarisonic cleansing tool “for a deeper, more invigorating cleanse,” followed by a rose petal toner, a sulfuric exfoliator, and extractions.  Krystal chose the quince apple gel mask for my skin type followed by a calendula hydrating mask. Because the products are so pure, they are very active and you can feel them tingling. I love that aspect of natural products. It is a very different feeling than that which you get from products with active chemicals (and natural products smell delicious too!)

While each mask was setting, I was treated to relaxing hand, foot, neck and scalp massages. Ahhhhhhhhh.

My afternoon at the Spa Esmeralda was the best birthday gift I received this year. It allowed me time to leave everything else behind and simply focus on regenerating and rejuvenating. Those treasured benefits last much longer than the day, and are the perfect gift for Mom, your loved ones…or you!

The Spa Esmeralda is located at the Renaissance Esmeralda in Indian Wells. They are open 7 days a week from 8:30a-6p Sun – Thurs and til 7p Fri-Sat. The ilike line of products is available for purchase and range in price from $40 – $70 per item. For more information or to schedule treatments, call 760.836.1265.

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