I should start off by saying that I'm a bit of spa fanatic—whether it's a manicure, massage, or facial, you can count me in. In fact, I've probably already booked my appointment. So while I will enthusiastically jump at the chance to try any and all new spa treatments, that doesn't mean I can't judge the great from the good and the good from the bad. In fact, I pride myself on being honest with myself—even a tad cynical—when it comes to new spa services. I mentally prepare myself, I'd imagine, in the same way a food critic does before eating at a five-star restaurant.
"Don't be fooled by showmanship or pizzazz," I tell myself. "No matter how Instagram-worthy the amenities are or how heavenly the fluffy robe feels, don't let that influence your opinion of the actual treatment." While those things do in fact matter (after all, they contribute to the overall experience), I don't think they should count for everything, because at the end of the day, it should really be about how you look and feel.
That was my exact mindset before walking into the spa at The Peninsula Beverly Hills—a hotel in Los Angeles so beautiful IRL that I lapsed into a momentary panic upon my arrival, wondering if I had accidentally stumbled onto a movie set. But I digress. I was there to experience a new beauty treatment designed with the French skincare brand KOS Paris. It's called the Body Tonic, and it's 90 minutes of relaxing, skin-nourishing goodness.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills
KOS Paris products are 98% to 100% natural and contain active botanicals and ingredients that are sourced from all over the world. Although the brand is fairly new to the U.S., it already has a few standout products, such as the 3 Tea Cream ($75), which is a fragrant anti-aging body cream containing tea extracts, or the Floral Rose Water ($40), which is made in a small village near Saint-Tropez. It's definitely considered high-end and luxurious. While it may be lesser known compared to other French companies—Biologique Recherche, for instance (which the Peninsula Spa also carries)—it's definitely on par with their quality.
The Body Tonic Treatment
The Body Tonic treatment started with me removing said fluffy robe to lie down on a heated table. That's when KOS Paris Maurician Sugar Scrub ($70) was massaged around my arms, legs, stomach, and back. The sugar scrub smells sweet and decadent but not overpowering. It has fine granules that exfoliate well without leaving your skin red and stinging like other courser scrubs are wont to do. After using warm towels to dissolve the majority of the sugar off the skin, the spa technician (hi, Kim!) applies the body tonic, which is essentially an antioxidant-rich, detoxifying liquid serum composed of carrot, orange, and ginger. The texture is silky and all but melts into the skin. While that sits in contact with the skin, the hands, feet, and scalp are massaged with KOS Hair Serum ($40).
After the hair serum is applied, it's time to rinse off the oily body tonic in the room's private shower. It's only at this point that I realized just how soft and smooth my skin was. Seriously, it hadn't been that way since… ever, probably. It turns out a full-body sugar scrub and nourishing tonic can literally make skin look and feel like glass. It also gave it a rosy glow that was way different than the dull, tired-looking skin that I arrived with. And that wasn't even the end of it.
After I dried off, the technician performed a full body massage with Eucalyptus Oil ($62) and 3 Tea Cream ($75). Only then was the 90 minutes over. That's when I wrapped my newly porcelain skin back up in my fluffy robe, sipped on a cup of the spa's homemade ginger tea, and sat next to a pot of purple orchids I secretly took photos of for future interior design inspiration.
The Body Tonic treatment is pricey—$325, to be exact—so it's definitely not realistic for booking frequently. It's more of a celebratory birthday or anniversary splurge treatment (at least in our book, it is). With that being said, it's pretty much the most relaxing 90 minutes I've ever experienced. At some point, I almost fell asleep, and I've never done that in a spa treatment. Ever. I left rather quickly to catch a late-afternoon meeting, but there are also a steam room, sauna, and showers up for use, all of which looked equally luxurious.
There's only one other caveat aside from the price. Most of, if not all, KOS Paris products are fragrant (especially the oils and the body creams). I love the heavy floral and botanical scents, but if you shy away from fragrance, you're probably better off sticking to another brand or spa treatment that uses fragrance-free products, since these ones can smell quite strong. They're lovely but strong. So keep that in mind before booking an appointment for yourself. All in all, I left with skin that was lightly fragrant and incredibly soft and smooth—I'm talking exfoliated to perfection—so I was, of course, happy with the results. Now I'm left not-so-patiently awaiting my return.
Opening Image: @kosparis_usa