Chilling Out

Are bursts of cool mist to the face the secret to shedding fine lines? At the new Fairmont Century City Spa, the secret to ageless skin is seemingly simple.

I try to avoid bad lighting as much as possible. Opening the sunroof at noon and checking myself out in the rearview mirror when sharp bolts of direct, overhead light are on me? No thanks. I’ll keep my eyes on the road. However, every day from roughly 3–4 p.m. I cannot avoid the lighting from the west-facing windows in my bathroom. The light pours in and highlights the crow’s feet I tell myself aren’t really so bad (or at least aren’t so bad around Golden Hour, the time just before sunset when Mother Nature brings out her best filter), and the number 11s … oh the 11s … how they just won’t go away, no matter how much I massage between my eyebrows and avoid scrunching.

At age 41, I’ve managed to avoid Botox and fillers. No judgment to anyone/everyone who gets them, but the combination of needles, routine maintenance, and possibility of “bad Botox,” just freaks me out. That’s not to say I’m against prevention or maintenance. I guzzle water; my nightly skincare regime never misses an application; and I’ve even been known to spend $300 on Sisley sunblock, which truly does wonders.

So, when I’m invited to the new Fairmont in Century City for the debut of London-based Dr. Rita Rakus’ new Monte Carlo Brilliance Facial, I’m open to learning more. I arrive and Dr. Rita and two technicians greet me, filling me in on how their machine works. I’m told that the Dr. Rita Jetlift system is based on jet propulsion technology, where fine, misty jet streams travel at subsonic speeds to deeply penetrate the skin. Yes, it sounds scary—admittedly, so is the $650 price tag. However, an hour later, I find it’s the most noninvasive, completely painless beauty treatment I’ve ever received. Waves of cool mist float over the skin so mildly, I’m convinced I’ll see no effects.

But then the treatment ends and I’m handed a mirror to inspect the results. Glowy and fresh, yes—but we’re in good lighting, and the true test will come later when I’m home.

A walk through the rest of the spa on my way out reveals stunning, contemporary spaces with a hammam, infrared sauna, steam room, and experience shower—not to mention a fitness center that rivals most major health clubs. Outside of the Dr. Rakus menu, the comprehensive spa menu includes biohacking and a range of other face and body treatments. It’s impressive, even for the most jaded spa goers.

I return home in the afternoon, and walk into my bathroom with trepidation. A quick glance turns into a full inspection. It worked. It really worked. Wait, did it work? No, I think it really, really worked. Wow. WOW … will anyone else notice?

In the days and weeks that follow, I get a fair amount of, “Your skin looks great! What did you do?” from friends. Indeed, the results are legit. I’m told the results will last 5–7 days, but I feel like they last weeks—longer, perhaps, if I avoid my bathroom mirror in the late afternoon.