My treatment at the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne entailed a body exfoliation and anti-aging facial. I have never had a facial specific to anti-aging so it was interesting for me to try out. The way that I see it, all facials basically have a base (cleansing, moisturizing, extractions) and spin a certain theme (anti-aging, deep cleansing, etc). Kind of like, I guess, a plain pizza, and the toppings you choose dictate your level of satisfaction. Yes, another cheesy analogy (get it?).

Another new thing to me this time around was Phytomer, the product line of choice for this spa. Phytomer is a Parisian brand founded in Saint-Malo in 1971. Their claim to fame is being one of the top brands to haveexpertise in marine-based cosmetology. In fact, their labs comprise extensive research in algology and their active ingredients are marine based, so I was interested and excited to try the products.

For the facial, my esthetician was well-versed in the procedure, and most of the anti-aging elements comprised products that promised anti-aging, including an interesting mask I actually enjoyed. The products used, Phytomer and Phytomer's more upscale Vie, were actually quite nice, refreshing and unabrasive. I was completely satisfied with the treatment and headed to the gift shop to check out more of the line afterward.

What was not used in the facial that piqued my interested was the Exfoliating Oxygenating Face Care. The word "oxygenating" in a product will always have me at hello, so I had to try it out.

The active ingredient is marine oxhylium (corallina officinallis), which is a natural extract that oxygenates (or, detoxifies the epidermis). It's rich in calcium and magnesium, two elements that actually help cellular vitality and oxygenation. This helps combat "grey complexion" and essentially helps your skin "breathe." It's basically a fancy way of cleansing and exfoliating. The scent is very subtle, with traces of the sea faintly recognized. It also contains kaolin, apricot kernel powder and diatomeceous powder (the latter two are exfoliating agents).

When applied, it was a thick, pasty mess. It did not feel well on my face, and I'd describe it as somewhat "gummy." This, I'm sure, was mostly due to the kaolin, which does absorb oil. Kaolin is frequently used in masks, so it was a bizarre addition to this product. Either way, I was not a big fan. There were hardly any "beads" to get the exfoliation going. Furthermore, the texture is a little weird and you'll notice nasty parabens in the ingredients. Thankfully, this scrub was not used in the facial I received. As for the other products? You know I'm on it.


Water, tridecyl trimellitate, propylene glycol, cetyl alcohol, palmitic stearic acid, kaolin, apricot seed powder, triethanolamine, dimethicone, phenoxythanol and methylparaben and ethylparaben and isobutylparaben and butylparaben and proplyparaben, water and hydrolyzed algin and chlorella vulgaris extract and sea water, carbomer, fragrance, diatomaceous earth, sea water and corallina officinalis extract and calcium choride, water and hydroyzed algin and zinc sulfate, caprylic/capric triglyceride and propyl gallate and citric acid and tocopherol, FD&C blue #1, D&C red #33