OTO’s Head of Spa, Helen Cain, chats with The Independent on the impact of her incredible treatments across some of the finest spa’s across the world.
I’ve been intrigued by the use of CBD in skincare and spa treatments ever since Kim K threw a “CBD-themed baby shower” complete with pampering sessions for her pals, back in 2019. Now, three years on, casual use of CBD oil and gummies for anxiety and wellbeing is a growing trend both sides of the pond, but I wondered then – and wonder still – about its effects when applied in a more topical sense.
Its benefits when taken regularly – usually as an oil or tincture – have been lauded by alternative wellness experts the world over. But bolder medical claims, that it naturally reduces inflammation and pain, and could ease conditions from depression to Parkinson’s and epilepsy, are still being studied by doctors.
One of the biggest travel names to embrace CBD wellness is Mandarin Oriental, which partnered with specialist OTO, a pioneer of the high-end CBD scene in the UK, in September to create its treatments. The brand has also designed pampering spells for Cliveden House, Montcalm East, Mondrian Shoreditch and the W Hong Kong, with a couple of European hotels in the pipeline.
Helen Cain, OTO’s spa manager, is such a believer in its benefits that, after implementing it at the hotels she worked for as a spa director, she left her job and joined the CBD company.
The designer of three differently scented massages and developer of a new OTO facial, she is effusive about the effects of this type of experience as opposed to the classic aromatherapy massage.
“The first time you have a CBD massage, you’ll feel on top of the world – your muscles will feel incredibly relaxed, you’ll sleep better,” she says.
She compares the anti-inflammatory, relaxing effect on the body to becoming “a well-oiled engine”.
“You’re also going to get way more in a treatment than you would taking it yourself, at home – around 70-100mg, where an ingestible might be 40-60mg. Because we’re applying it topically, we approach it from different angles – with a spa oil, with a cream, a roll-on and depending on the spa, a shot of our CBD booster in a drink.”
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