I love Christian Dior. So when I arrived in Paris last week, the first thing I had to do was check out the newly opened Dior Institute in the luxurious Plaza Athenee Hotel (if you don't remember, this is where Carrie Bradshaw stayed when she took a trip to the romantic city!).

The spa is exactly what you would expect: stylish, modern, lavish, a "temple of luxury." White walls with creative lighting, a fashionable ambience, large screen featuring Dior runway shows: a natural extension of the couture house. The staff was incredibly (and unexpectedly) pleasant: they made me feel at home, walked me to the relaxation lounge and served me whatever I wanted (herbal tea and some biscuits fit the bill).

Despite the clean, simple and luxury angle that I was drawn to, I've always been ambivalent with fashion designer beauty brands, as some products they release are basically emollients and fragrance in a jar. Also, I lean more toward organic rather than scientific, so there's generally some skepticism with their products. I don't dislike products where scientists are hammering out the best acids and complexes for skin care but I play the safe route.

Dior is something different, as I discovered in my signature Dior Homme Dermo System treatment.  I can't say much for the products (reading the ingredients listed only shows chemicals, emollients and preservatives) but the microdermabrasion offered in the facial was a nice treat. I could almost feel the dead skin cells turning over. There was also the extremely cold and incredibly refreshing mask at the end that had me impressed. It was soothing and detoxifying and the highlight of the treatment. Afterward, I couldn't help but check out the ingredients: not bad at all, actually.

The main ingredient, solum diatomeae, is basically an alternative to clays and talc (or, to be technical, distomaceous earth). It's packed organisms fossilized into silica mineral structures, a freshwater deposit that's pretty unique and great for the skin. In fact, I believe anything from the earth or sea is generally great for the skin. Algin keeps the skin supple, and calcium sulfate helps the skin and blood cells, and is additionally great for acne.

Quite a treat. The entire experience was worth the bucks shelled out (190 euro), considering I'm not the type to leisurely spend this much on a "designer" treatment but it Dior. The entire experience (from the microdermabrasion and great facial to the use of sauna, steam room, gym and a great getaway from the fast paced city (obviously, for only a few hours as there's much to see in Paris)) was actually not that bad at all. I'm sure, for Carrie Bradshaw, it would be a bargain.


Solum diatomeae (diatomaceous earth), algin, calcium sulfate, cyamopsis, tetra gonoloba (guar) gum, sodium phosphate, sodium citrate, citric acid, disodium edta.