I was literally aglow with excitement when I heard that The Organic Pharmacy was opening in Dubai. Renowned in celebrity circles and popular with some of our female faves including SJP, Madonna, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jemima Khan, Katy Perry and Kylie Minogue, this wonderful place is known for its holistic face and body treatments, blending the traditional concept of a pharmacy with the contemporary luxury of a spa and beauty salon. As a mere mama mortal, I was eager to experience what effect a TOPtreatment would have on my sun-damaged, aging and ever-so-slightly tired skin.
For those mamas who haven’t yet encountered this necessary indulgence, let me fill you in on this dermatological delight to newly hit our shores. With branches in London, New York, Beverly Hills, Abu Dhabi and now Dubai’s Wasl Vita mall, TOP was originally founded in 2002 by Margo Marrone a trained pharmacist, homeopath and beautician and her husband Franco. They believed that the best way to treat the skin is to treat the whole body. Their skincare range is based on homeopathic and herbal medicine using high tech natural extracts and pharmaceutical grade ingredients at exactly the right dosage to maintain a healthy glow. Every single ingredient in each of their products is 100% natural and organic, has only been tested on humans and is literally good enough to eat. They also stock 16 different supplements to complement their skincare range and ensure that the hard work you are doing to look after your skin on the outside is boosted by the vitamins and minerals your body uses to rebuild itself.
The best way to experience TOP is by booking a free 30 minute spa consultation with a trained therapist, who will look at your skin and ask about your lifestyle before advising which products and treatments would best suit you. I came clean with the lovely Tina (refusing to be too intimidated by her perfect skin, as she was way too nice and non-judgmental) that I don’t have a particularly brilliant skin routine or lifestyle for that matter. I admitted that yes, I’m often sleep deprived, drink too much coffee/not enough water and use high street brands (sound familiar mamas?). Rather than berate me, she completely understood and said the best thing to do is to keep the daily routine simple, so to start with I really should cleanse every morning (I know, I know, how hard can it be mamas?!). She pointed out that you wouldn’t bring brand new furniture into a dirty house without cleaning first would you? She introduced me to their best-selling Carrot Butter Cleanser, applied with a 100% organic muslin cloth and hey presto, I felt smoother than a baby’s bottom – the light paste gently exfoliates the skin removing all those nasty dead skin cells.
Next came a quick spritz of a lovely toner to balance the skin before applying a duo of anti-oxidant face serums to repair and replenish the skins natural oils. To finish off, she suggested a moisturiser suited to my skin, which I could literally lick off later should the need arise. I was amazed by how uncomplicated it all was and I didn’t feel like I was being oversold a lot of products I’d never use. It also smelt like I was in an English country garden, with a hint of the exotic which marks the difference between TOP skincare and the high street brands which always smell a little bit too cosmetic.
What impressed me most was the approach TOP takes, which sets it apart from many other salons and beauty products I’ve tried. They really care about you and they really know their products and so can advise as to the right balance of supplements and skincare that really suits you. They tell me the most common complaints people come in with are insomnia, hair loss, stress, sun damage and weight loss. All of which they can recommend a therapy for, as well as making you look and smell better in the short term. No beauty stone is left unturned in TOP’s range as they also have a heavenly range of haircare, perfumes and make-up for women, and then gorgeous baby care products and even a strawberry probiotic that boosts immune systems and improves overall health, again all natural and 100% organic. I’m told they’re expanding their existing range for men, but currently have cleansers, moisturisers, creams and masks as best sellers. I was also excited to see they have a completely natural deodorant, which the staff swear actually works and has zero nasties in, something which perennially troubles me about most deodorants.
Having perused the gorgeous store to sample all their products, the next task on the agenda was to get Tina to combat the aforementioned tired, stressed, aged skin their recommended Diamond Microderm exfoliation treatment. This being Dubai, I couldn’t resist the chance to try the diamond tipped microderm therapy which I’m told is a vitamin infused hydration to remove dead skin, refine pores, diminish lines and wrinkles, reduce the appearance of scar tissue, improve sun damaged skin and hydrate. And all that whilst lying down! In short, densely packed diamonds glide over the skin to exfoliate and remove dead cells. Vitamin infused hydrating water infuses and hydrates the skin and a customised mask leaves the skin looking instantly brighter. After this, a papaya fruit enzyme mask is applied to restore the skin, followed by a deeply relaxing face, neck and shoulder massage to stimulate the skin and aid absorption.
Not being a regular facial goer, I was worried I might break out in spots after and see other side effects, but I was amazed at how good it felt and looked immediately after the treatment. So much so that I went the whole day make-up free and had comments that I looked radiant (not blooming, thank goodness!). I definitely felt more refreshed and my skin felt clean; like it could breathe properly. Ideally one books a course of 6 treatments (5th free I believe) to see more notable effects and again they will tailor the service to your needs, so I shall indeed add regular facials to the ever growing mama to-do list. At least this task is done lying down!
It’s great to see Dubai embracing the organic movement and no doubt our very own TOP salon will have mamas beating a path to its manicured shelves. (Even if you do have to pretend that you’re only going because its next door to the new Carrefour!)
The Organic Pharmacy, www.theorganicpharmacy.com