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A Hidden Gem in Saint-Tropez: Ludivine Vitalie

Far away from busy cities, we have found a great and quite confidential place: beauty expert Ludivine Vitalie’s appartement-cabinet in Saint-Tropez. 

The best kept beauty secret of French women? It is the facial massage, of course!

Far away from busy cities, we have found a great and quite confidential place: beauty expert Ludivine Vitalie‘s appartement-cabinet in Saint-Tropez. Located in the heart of the village, in the chic and romantic area of La Ponche, this delightful sanctuary of treatment is a mythical spot for Brigitte Bardot and many other movie stars who need a summer hideaway.

In this exclusive interview, Ludivine reveals some of her beauty rituals as well as some essential spots on the Riviera.

Portrait of Ludivine Vitalie in spa room

You have created your own facial treatment, can you share with us the benefits of this treatment?

The facial massage Synesthelift® is a combination of several techniques: Asian traditions such as the Kobido which is a Japanese traditional art form, the Ayurvedic massage of the face and skull, the method of acupressure developed by Dr Jacques Henri Lavier, and other more powerful techniques.

This very specific facial massage works the facial muscles in the same way one works the body muscles while working out. The goal is to balance tension and relax the muscles of the skin. Facial stimulation stretches the muscles which allows oxygenation, cleansing, and circulation of fluid, ultimately reshaping and re-stretching the skin.

This facial massage does not only tone the muscles of the skin, but also stimulates circulation of energy, blood, and lymph. The facial massage Synesthélift® improves the production of elastin and collagen, two proteins that are responsible for the skin’s suppleness and tonicity.

Beauty is a holistic and meditative moment in time.

With its anti-wrinkle, lifting, and draining properties, this treatment naturally lifts and re-plumps the areas that need to be treated and allows for cellular regeneration.

The bare hand is without any doubt the best tool for this massage. It is in direct contact with the skin and transmits an infinity of nuances as far as stimulation is concerned. Thanks to the precision of the motion and a free-flowing choreography, the skin regains radiance, comfort, and well-being. It becomes luminous, soft, and naturally radiant.

Inside look at Ludivine Vitalie space

What are the treatments recommended according to age?

Whatever your age, a healthy lifestyle is the key to maintaining clean and healthy skin. Three steps are essential in order to maintain healthy skin. The face requires a daily treatment and it is important if you want your skin to age well.

  1. Make-up removal and cleaning in order to avoid cellular dysfunction. The skin regenerates and repairs itself during the night.
  2. Hydration. Hydration is also fundamental in order to have radiant skin and a vibrant complexion. Hydration starts internally: drink a lot of water and apply a hyaluronic acid product. Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of the skin. This molecule is responsible for the look of your skin, it fills up wrinkles and fine lines but with time, it also gets less powerful.
  3. A good night sleep is also a beauty and anti-aging ritual. During the night, the cells get busy (getting rid of damaged areas and toxins), activate, rebuild, and multiply. The facial massage helps to optimize the cell’s nocturnal activity by providing precise stimulation and improving the regeneration process of the cells.

Purple stone face rollers

I want to point out that my clients start getting this massage in their thirties.

The beauty routine between the ages of 30 to 40 years-old is based on prevention and protection. It is essential to hydrate and protect yourself from the sun and to start at an early age. It is also essential to have a healthy diet, rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. At night, I  favor oil serums made with pure and biological vegetal oils. Rich in unsaturated fatty acids, they penetrate the skin and protect it by reconstructing the hydro-lipid film. They bring back suppleness, radiance, and smoothness. For example, apricot or peach vegetal oil provide complete hydration for smooth and radiant skin. I have a personal fondness for cucumber seed oil, as it hydrates deeply and regenerates the skin’s stem cells. Add a few drops of carrot and geranium essential oils, and your skin will be radiant.

Between the ages of 40 to 50 years-old, the production of collagen and elastin cells declines because of hormonal changes. The skin loses some of its firmness. In that case, the facial massage is going to bring a precise and adapted stimulation which will revive and lift the skin. After a series of massages, the results are definitely visible and they are also very good for the mood. Make sure you consume internally evening primrose and borage oils. Externally, apply precious oils such as prickly pear seeds and antioxidant-rich sea buckthorn, which have regenerating and nourishing properties that are excellent for the skin. Rose and helichrysum essential oils are also an excellent complement.

When you reach the age of 50, the facial skin becomes thinner and the body loses some of its strength. It is important to maintain physical activity both for your body and your mind. Taken as a complement, organic silica can have a positive effect on the skin and joints. This oligo-element is going to stimulate the production of collagen and re-mineralize the bones. The vegetal oils of rose, borage, and lily have nourishing, firming, and brightening properties. Last but not least, the facial massage will provide radiance, smooth the skin, and reshape the oval of the skin. The skin needs to be touched and stimulated. Psycho-sensory studies have shown that facial stimulation increases tactile sensitivity, self-esteem, and helps generate positive emotions.

Pink spa bed

In the summer and with the aggressions from the sun and the sea, what are your recommendations in order to take care of your skin? What are your favorite products for beauty at the beach?

Three principles for the summer: the skin is confronted with different aggressive elements such as the sun, sea-salt, or chemicals from swimming pools. Hydration is rule number 1: drink more water than usual and use hyaluronic acid based products. There is a product I really love from the Malou&Marius brand made in France– the ” D’Amour et d’eau fraîche” face mask with a hyaluronic acid serum base, collagen, and aloe vera. It works perfectly for hydration, nourishing, and smoothness. Otherwise, remember to protect yourself from the sun by staying in the shade as much as possible, wearing a hat, and using sunscreen protection.

Raspberry seed, acai, and pomegranate oils are very rich in antioxidants and have a regenerating property for the skin, providing protection against the sun and increasing the cell regeneration.

I use Esthederm products and the facial cream Adaptasun (Sun Bronz Repair Firming Face Care Moderate Sun). It protects the skin from UV rays. It also boosts the tanning process and stimulates cell activity.

Interior look at the white-decor of the salon

Can you share some of your favorite spots in St Tropez and in the area?

Saint-Tropez is a mythical place where luxury and nature coexist in harmony. I love to go to the Dior garden for breakfast. It is a haven of peace in the heart of  Saint-Tropez. The garden is magnificent and the detox juices served there are delicious. It is the perfect spot to go to with friends or a loved one. For lunch, Le Club 55 is a well known address. The owner, Patrice de Colmont only uses fresh produce and the bio veggies come from his own vegetable garden. The bread– also bio– comes from the bakery Les Deux Frères, and is absolutely divine. Two restaurants have opened this year: La Petite plage, presents a menu designed by Chef (three stars on the Michelin) Eric Fréchon. A feet-in-the-sand delightful feast. On the Place des Lices, Pablo is a very friendly small restaurant with a Mexican cuisine menu. And of course, a drink at the Ermitage is mandatory to admire the splendor of  the sunset on Saint-Tropez.

Saint-Tropez is a mythical place where luxury and nature coexist in harmony.

As far as exercise is concerned, I prefer to practice yoga out of town in a greenhouse located in the countryside, “Yoga Pure Nature.” Emmanuelle, who is a friend of mine, is a compassionate and kind person as well as a very skilled yoga teacher.

To learn more about Ludivine Vitalie, click here.
Photographs courtesy of © Fanny Legenne and © Globa tv Saint-Tropez

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