The fragrant, pastel creams and scrubs used in Sahra Spa’s signature Moroccan Journey ritual at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas look and smell almost good enough to eat. Dollops of each fill seven small silver bowls, arranged on a platter and presented almost restaurant-style, to clients just before they lay down on the warmed stone slab in the hammam, a heated Turkish-style spa room, for the 130-minute full-body exfoliating and moisturizing experience.
The treatment itself is not new, but the cleansers, lotions and potions are. The products are vegan, and even edible (although that’s not recommended since it was created to nourish from the outside in).
“As consumers become more aware and mindful of the ingredients used on the skin, we kept getting more requests from people seeking treatments with gentle formulas,” said Shannon Stringert, Cosmopolitan’s director of spa, salon & fitness. He commissioned the exclusive lineup of desert-themed, natural treatments from a California company called Glycelene. Founder Kim Borio, a celebrity makeup artist with an impressive roster of red carpet regulars, created the company with her husband, Eric Chillseyzn, a cosmetic chemist with extensive experience working for major consumer brands. The line’s star ingredient is plant-derived glycerine, a water-soluble lipid that helps protect and moisturize skin. Because our bodies produce glycerine naturally, it is more easily absorbed and retained, Borio said.
“(Glycerine) is really the original beauty ingredient,” she said. However, our grandmothers’ glycerine was usually derived from animals and not as pure as the botanical sources available today, she said, which are much better for using on the face. Borio discovered glycerine’s healing appeal after her husband formulated a glycerine-based cream to treat her eczema and was surprised at the difference it made. The naturally velvety texture and subtle, natural glow it imparted pricier, fancy-label creams lacked. When she shared it with her star clients, they clamored for more.
“I love that it’s glam, and natural, at the same time,” she said. Her love of travel and knowledge of rare ingredients help her craft lines that reflect the unique characteristics of specific regions, such as the one she recently created for the Meadowood resort in St. Helena, California, which is what caught Stringert’s attention. The Sahra collection includes extracts of pricey ingredients such as cactus flower, neroli nectar and African geranium. Black tourmaline, rose quartz from the French Alps, and clay are excellent exfoliants, and also reflect the beauty of nearby Red Rock Canyon, Borio explained.
The body treatment (130 minutes, $450) proved so popular that the spa introduced a new eco-facial earlier this year with additional products such as a cucumber cleansing water that is gentle but potent enough to remove lip stains, waterproof mascara and even permanent marker. (80 minutes, $295). The product line is also sold in the spa boutique; prices range from $55-$150. — AH