Sense Spa at Rosewood makes the most of BC’s natural ingredients

Rosewood Hotel Georgia pool

I was on the hunt for wow-factor Christmas gifts when I found out that Sense, A Rosewood Spa, now open at Rosewood Hotel Georgia, is all about local, natural ingredients traditionally used for healing by BC’s First Nations groups.

Naturally, I wanted to learn more. I got in touch with Sherina Jamal, founder of Ancient Secrets, which makes the Beauty through Balance line used at Sense Spa. She chatted with me about the perks of BC’s super-fine glacial clay and nutrient-packed integrifolia Pacific seaweed.

Find out more about the healing and detoxifying properties of natural BC ingredients after the jump.

“Both create quite instant visual results in skin tone, repairing and hydrating,” explains  Jamal. “The colloidal particles in the clay are able to penetrate the skin, stimulating circulation and re-balancing internally. It’s a profound feeling.”

Jamal was researching natural skincare solutions in the 1990s when she heard about the traditional uses of BC’s glacial clay and Pacific sea kelp. First Nations groups have used glacial clay (currently being researched for antibacterial and antiviral properties) for topical healing treatments for hundreds of years. Pacific seaweed functioned both as food and as a remedy.

Jamal is candid about the two key challenges she had to overcome when developing a skincare line using natural ingredients. The first was sustainable harvesting—a priority for Jamal. The second has to do with processing. In order to make the most of natural ingredients, whether glacial clay or seaweed, you must capture them in their freshest state. Otherwise, the benefits of the natural ingredients are lost. For example, while most mass-produced beauty products contain dehydrated seaweed, Jamal opts for cold processing so that her detoxifying seaweed soak contains a whopping 98% seaweed.

Glacial clay

About BC’s glacial clay

Glacial clay is an inter-tidal, fine, colloidal clay.  It’s the result of accumulation of glacial materials over tens of thousands of years deep in the Pacific waters of the BC coast. Glacial clay particles are as fine as mist, which means skin can absorb much more than what’s typical with cleansing clay treatments.

Glacial clay has the ability to remove toxins and bacteria and dead skin cells. It also helps to ease muscle pain, inflammation, and heal acne. When applied to the skin as a mask, oxidation and circulation accelerate and body temperature raises slightly—feeling somewhat like donning a hug or light massage.

Integrifolia seaweed by Ed Bierman

About integrifolia Pacific seaweed

This seaweed comes from fast growing tips of the giant kelp plant and contains 70+ micronutrients including iron, copper, zinc, boron, manganese and cobalt which purify, rebalance and moisturize skin. It’s also packed with vitamins E, C and B that help to protect and renew the skin.

Sense, A Rosewood Spa lounge

Two treatments at Sense Spa that make the most of local, natural ingredients

Vancouver Signature Sensation

Test the benefits of BC’s seaweed for yourself with Sense Spa’s Vancouver Signature Sensation treatment. It starts with minty sea-salt exfoliation, which is followed by a Vichy rinse. Although you’ll already feel like a noodle, transition from al dente to super limp with the next step: a hydrating massage. Shea butter is mixed with powerful Pacific seaweed concentrate and essential oils fort the ultimate moisturizing, re-mineralizing experience.


A salt scrub is combined with concentrated seaweed extract for a full-body exfoliation. Next, wallow in a full-body wrap enriched with local algae and glacial mud. This service purifies skin, promotes circulation, removes toxins and reduces fluid retention.

Find out more about the full range of treatments at Sense, A Rosewood Spa here.

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