Relax. Facials at Skoah in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighbourhood are not scary. Yes, they are called skin care workouts, and backed by a philosophy adopted from the fitness industry, but this boutique spa’s skin care trainers (otherwise known as aestheticians) practice a technique as calming as it is effective. After a thorough skin mapping, they decipher just the right treatment for your skin type. The rigor of the workout moves from the face down after the mask goes on and the partial to full-body massage begins. No sweat, just the quiet of luxurious tranquility.

Try the most popular “workout,” the Facialiscious, which includes a foot-and-leg and arm-and-shoulder massage, topped-off with a scalp massage. With muscles loosened and knots kneaded out, the cleansing mask goes to work, gently drawing out impurities. Session lengths range from 20 minutes (The Quickie) to 1 hour and 45 minutes (Kreate Your Facial).

Like all the facials here, the skin care products are from Skoah’s own line, Simply Powerful Skin Care. Working with a base of 11 magical plant extracts, the products boast 90-95 percent all-natural ingredients.

Discovering new ingredients is an ongoing quest. “The most important thing we’ve learned from our customers is not only that they have to have a product they can use, but a product that works,” says Andrea Scott, owner and chief product developer. What works is not always the latest craze on the market. Rather, Scott says they stick to what is tried and proven to give the brightest glow; “what is really, truly powerful.”

And to you weary shoppers and hard holiday partiers, be merry for the season, for Skoah has customized the Angel Glow Facial for foot relief and ultimate revitalization. It starts with a leg-and-foot exfoliating massage before moving up into a full facial.

No time between bouts of giving and receiving? Take the spa with you: stocking stuffers that also double as self-indulgent splurges include Hand Love, a purse-sized lotion, and Chiiki Munki Super Gloss, which comes in 21 different colours. Best yet, the tongue-in-cheek Stuck at the In-Laws Salvation Kit is designed for a time-out bathroom session. Let’s face it, we all may need this one.

Flagship Store: Yaletown

1011 Hamilton Street, Vancouver

T: 604.642.0200