In Vichy with Vichy: Springs, Skincare, and 3-Way Showers

By Lynnie | October 15 2010 | 11 Comments

glam in vichy

When I received an invitation from Vichy a couple of weeks ago enquiring if I’d fancy skedaddling over to France for a visit to the eponymous home of the brand, I had to think twice.

To wonder where my passport was, and to decide what shoes I’d bring.

In between checking out the famed springs of the surrounding region (there are about 12 in total, all with different beneficial properties), sampling the waters (they might be good for you, but it’s definitely a case of hold your nose and down the hatch with some), and inflicting my appalling French on the locals (think Rachel in Friends with her “orr reh-voirr!”), I managed to squeeze in some treatments at the Vichy Spa. Following a steep in a bath of silky-feeling thermal spring water and a snooze-inducing head massage, I was exfoliated and scrubbed to within an inch of my life before receiving a custom Normaderm facial and full body massage.

And I do mean full body massage, by the way. I thought I was going to burst out laughing at one stage because I kept thinking that I couldn’t wait to see the look on Himself’s face when I told him I’d had my boobs groped by a hot young French thing.

There was more nudity for my Vichy three-way shower/four-handed douche – snigger – where I was instructed to assume the prone position, topless, beneath four shower heads. Two French ladies in oilcloth aprons proceeded to put their hands all over my body for a synchronised massage as warm spring water rained down upon me. As I stifled the giggles, I thought that it actually felt very decadent to have two people carrying out a treatment at the one time, although the surroundings are decidedly functional rather than plush (I mentioned the aprons, and the treatment’s carried out in a utilitarian tiled room that’s more sanitorium than spa.)

Near total nudiness aside, it was really interesting to learn more about Vichy on the trip. For example, did you know that the thermal spring water that’s used in every Vichy product all comes from one particular spring? Me neither, but sure everyday’s a schoolday.

Water from the Lucas spring has the richest mineral content of all the Vichy spring waters, and the concentration and ratio of the minerals that are naturally occurring in Lucas water can’t be replicated synthetically. It has skin calming, fortifying and soothing properties and has historically been used for the treatment of skin disorders like excema, so it’s fair to say that Lucas water is more than just, well, water (which is what I’d honestly have thought in the past.)

PSSST – a little birdie told me in the course of the trip that while there’ll be no re-jigging/releasing of the Normaderm kit (it’s just a straightforward withdrawal from Ireland as it wasn’t selling well here), there is a lovely new make-up removing cleanser on the way for the Normaderm range early in 2011.

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11 Replies to "In Vichy with Vichy: Springs, Skincare, and 3-Way Showers"

  • Kirstie says:

    yeah have had this done too, must say the french experience of the spa is quite different to what we expect! Being manhandled by two strong armed women = not v relaxing!

  • Emz says:

    You had me in stitches reading about the two ladies Lynnie – sounds like an amazing place though, would love all of those treatments!

  • Glamazon says:

    This is so funny – I have visions of two burly female 1950s Olypmic-discus throwers chucking you around a shower cubicle. Bet your skin felt amazing afterwards! Such an amazing thing to do.

  • Kirstie says:

    heheh yeah and there’s none of this gently being asked ‘would you like your decollete massaged” either – you just get boob handled as a matter of course!

  • daiseeboo says:

    Oh God, I wouldn’t be able for the booby squidging, I would be in convulsions! Not sure about being manhandled in the shower either, but I am sure you felt amazing afterwards. Had a very funny couples treatment with hubs on honeymoon, he nearly fainted at your wan moving the sheet covering him and when she asked him to turn onto his back so she could massage his front he nearly had a stroke. That was all after a mud treatment in a private ‘rain’ room. I thought it was going to be a very relaxing couple of hours, wrong! He had me on edge the whole time. Next time I’m going alone and he can go for a pint.

  • Lynnie says:

    Yep, have to say my skin has never felt/looked better than it did after these treatments, uh-maze-ing. Was totally worth feeling like a discus for a bit ;)

  • SLH says:

    hurhur. I live (and therefore get my hair-removal treatments) in Belgium and am well used to bareing all for the experience. In fairness, I’m sure that my bits are not the first ladies bits that the therapists have seen, nor the wobbliest. Nowadays, I’ve no problems stripping off in front of strangers. In front of friends (like at a spa) is another story though ;-)

    I admit I was a bit taken back the first time(s)

  • Macloon says:

    I’m flabbergasted by yer one in the picture’s (is it Fergie?)


  • Principessa says:

    That made me laugh out loud. Reminded me of being dunked in the water in Lourdes when I was 8!!! Didn’t like it then, don’t think I’d be mad about it now.

  • Susan Mac says:

    No more Normaderm kit?? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. My skin is in bits..this was the only thing that worked for me, i’m so disappointed. Is it still supposed to be available in other countries-i can’t find it anywhere on the net. Anyone know where it can be bought from? PLEASE tell me it’s not gone completely…say it ain’t so!!

  • Reindeer says:

    I would have been in the fits of laughing. Had a turkish bath in turkey, they feckin flip you over after like soaping you up and you slide around on the marble, but its all communal and horribly embarrassing! Oh and there was a guy that exfoliated your feet which had me and sis in hysterics.

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