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Sands Style / Gourmet & Wellbeing

Under the skin

Sands Resorts Macao spas introduce Zents and ILA, two new skincare brands that tell heart-warming stories about sustainability and radiant efficiency. By Catharine Nicol

The process of product selection for spas at an integrated resort the size of Sands Resorts Macao isn’t an easy one. If you’re Tracy Lord, director of spa operations at Conrad Macao, Cotai Central, The Parisian Macao and The Venetian Macao, you’re looking for the perfect trifecta of efficiency, sustainability and, significantly, company philosophy.

We all love a feel-good story, and in Macao – along with your smile-inducing, feel-good spa treatment – brands ILA and Zents have smile-inducing, feel-good backstories too.


In a beautiful little village in England, near Blenheim Palace in the Cotswolds, ILA founder Denise Leicester makes all her products to order in her meditative barn. 

“I love the story behind the sourcing of ILA’s ingredients,” says Lord. “Leicester has travelled to the most remote places on earth to get the purest form of ingredients, and works with sustainable farming projects and indigenous communities.

“Ingredients for the Rose Otto facial oil, for example, come from a small community of Indian farmers in the Himalayas, while their Renewal collection muds come from the Amazon rainforest and support the livelihoods of the local tribes.”

Targeting like-minded companies which are pioneering sustainability in their company’s DNA means that Sands Group’s spas are also actively taking part in the hospitality brand’s companywide sustainability focus, a prime consideration for Lord.

It’s a different kind of story at Zents. Founder Cord Coen suffered a life-changing car accident that left him with chronic pain, frequent migraines and the loss of the ability to smell. After two years of rehab, he refused to accept doctors’ prognoses that he’d never properly heal, so he packed his bags and travelled from his home in Boulder, Colorado to India where a year’s yoga, pranayama and meditation, herbal medicine and massage soothed his pain. At the same time, his sense of smell and taste returned, he became highly sensitive and aware that even mild scents could trigger migraines – for him as well as others.

Coen, a craniosacral therapist and Reiki master, expanded this awareness into the idea for Zents, using transformational ingredients and powerful blends to create uplifting spa journeys made of “liquid memories” that will not trigger reactions, even in the most sensitive spa-goer.

“Zents have a beautiful selection of Concreta Balms,” explains Lord. “Guests can select their favourite among these balms, and during the massage the ‘Unzented’ oil used on the body will be mixed with their chosen Concreta Balm on pulse points like the forearms and temples, so guests will leave exuding a beautifully subtle fragrance rather than an overbearing scent.”


Both brands have stunning products in the spas’ retail areas. Zents Concreta Balms span a range of fragrances such as Oolong, Fresh, Petal and Sun, and are made with pure organic shea butter, coconut oil and paracress plant extract for conditioning, firming and protection. Each is poured into a stunning soapstone box, unique in colour and pattern – ideal for gifts.

“ILA products are amazing in their smell and texture,” adds Lord. “They are amazingly enjoyable to use, as you really feel like you are putting goodness onto your skin in the form of a healthy skincare cocktail.”

ILA products are as exuberant on the outside as they are inside. “Organic products can be quite rustic in their packaging, but ILA have gone the other way and packaged their products in beautiful vibrant colours, which really stand out to our customers,” says Lord. “After all, we all like a pretty bathroom shelf!”

Her hero products are the Gold Cellular Age-Restore Face Serum which includes plant-sourced hyaluronic acid and Argan oil, as well as the Face Oil for Glowing Radiance, with Damascena Rose Otto, Sandalwood and Wild-grown Argan Oil.

“The Face Oil is a beautifully indulgent oil that we recommend to use at night to replenish moisture and give your skin a healthy glow,” Lord advises. 


Zents skincare products will feature in Sands spas’ body massage treatments, while organic ILA will be used for facials and holistic journey treatments at the Conrad Macao’s Bodhi Spa.

ILA’s Royal Golden Retreat, for example, is a sensational threehour combination of body scrub, massage and facial.

Perfect for Macao’s glitterati, the treatment features 24-ct gold. Full of antioxidants and minerals, which applied topically helps slow ageing, boost elastin and cell growth and smooth the complexion, while feeling wonderfully indulgent psychologically.

Following the body scrub, a delicious mix of rose, wild-grown argan oil and homeopathic gold powder, the body massage incorporates muscle-easing and mind-melting hot stones and skintoning warmed herbal poultices, which are gently stroked along the muscles using 24-ct gold oil, warming and loosening knots and calming areas of tension and pain.

The beautifully fragrant journey’s facial incorporates ILA’s Rose Damascus, Geranium and Sandalwood oils, combined for the ultimate in anti-ageing and the stimulation of collagen and elastin, and, of course, with a delightfully natural fragrance.

Just to make sure guests look red-carpet ready, ILA’s Sonic Wave technology adds gentle ultrasonic waves and LED light during the facial to push these hero ingredients deep into the layers of the skin and ensure the most beneficial results possible.

Anti-ageing skin softening and muscle relaxing is also on the cards during the Zents’ massages. Their Unzented Oil is used as a base and is full of moisturising coconut and sunflower oils, as well as passionflower, safflower and vitamin E. Lord loves the Mandarin Concreta Balm, which was inspired by the spice markets of the East and evokes deliciously exotic fragrances of ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla, saffron and mandarin.

Knowing the products have such heart-warming stories behind them makes an indulgent spa treatment that much more enjoyable.

Products for retail and spa treatments: ILA will be featured at Bodhi Spa at the Conrad Macao, while Zents will be at Bodhi Spa and Le SPA’tique at The Parisian Macao, and V Retreat at The Venetian Macao.

ILA:      Bodhi SPA, Conrad Macao Reservations: +853 8113 6188 
Zents:  Le SPA’tique, The Parisian Macao Reservations: +853 8111 1221 
             V Retreat, The Venetian Macao Reservations: +853 2882 8882