Shiffa unveils beauty secrets

Considered the “haute couture” of spa treatments, Shiffa spa formulations draw on the regenerative power of plants, herbs, essential oils, minerals, marine extracts and trace elements.

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By  Sarah Gain Published  June 7, 2006

Considered the “haute couture” of spa treatments, Shiffa spa formulations draw on the regenerative power of plants, herbs, essential oils, minerals, marine extracts and trace elements. Created in Dubai and London, the body care products are totally natural and organic and every Shiffa spa menu is customised for the individual spa. “In developing the Shiffa line, I went back to the ancient teachings of the Arabian, Turkish, Persian and Andalusian empires. After all, the word ‘massage’ originates from the Arabic language,” explained Dr Lamees Hamdan, Shiffa’s founder and CEO. “We spare no cost when it comes to sourcing and producing the formulations, which are both scientifically supported, and made out of the most luxurious and pure materials from all over the world. We are not in this business to produce good products; we are here to produce the very best products,” she added. Originally from Dubai, Hamdan is a graduate of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and has always been interested in dermatology. Having become dissatisfied with the quality of beauty products on the market, Hamdan decided to create her own line of skincare products that would meet her own high expectations and have a sound, scientific grounding. “We aim to reassure consumers that the products have been developed by experts who actually use the products themselves. Our products can be depended upon for delivering results, both on the inner and outer body,” explained Hamdan. Shiffa means ‘healing’ in ancient Arabic and the products are developed to exacting standards, with a no-expense-spared philosophy. “No budget is ever put on a product at the initial creation stage,” said Hamdan. “Shiffa will formulate using whatever ingredients are deemed necessary, in therapeutic concentrations. Once a final product is ready, only then is costing calculated. This ensures that we are not swayed or compromised by costs during development. It also ensures that more expensive materials are not substituted for lower cost ones which might lower quality and effectiveness,” she added. Hamdan personally selects only the most premium grade ingredients and insists that no chemical or synthetic-based materials are used, as she believes natural alternatives offer better results. “The Shiffa Healing Balm, for example, is our best-selling and most versatile product. It contains only the purest organic ingredients, special oils and healing fruit and nut waxes, essential oils and vitamins,” she explained. Hamdan also oversees the development of all the various formulations herself. The process involves exhaustive management and client testing, with the recipe being fine-tuned after each stage. All the products also undergo sensitivity testing by independent laboratories. The formulations are environmentally friendly and are not tested on animals and, in addition, a portion of all Shiffa sales is donated to charity. Strategically, Shiffa aims to keep its worldwide distribution fairly limited in order to maintain its air of exclusivity. The retail line is only featured at select, premium retailers, such as Saks 5th Avenue and Harvey Nichols in Dubai, while just a handful high-end, luxury spas worldwide offer the brand’s spa treatments. “Shiffa’s philosophy fits perfectly with the atmosphere at Amara,” said Jason Sloan, the spa’s director.

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