I fell in love with Ligne St. Barth spa products, introduced to me during my Pureness Facial at the Serenity Spa Cottage at Hôtel Le Toiny on the beautiful Caribbean Island of St. Barthelemy. This Relais & Chateaux property is located on a remote corner of the well-to-do island in the French West Indies, offering 15 private villas, each with heated, private pool, and a standout restaurant.
I was so taken with these spa products made right on St. Barth that when I returned home, I set up a phone intereview with the business representative in the U.S., Christine Lecorre.
Here’s more of what I learned about the company and the products: “It's all natural ingredients,” Ms. Lecorre explained, quickly noting these products are “the island's only manufacturing endeavor. We import plants and flowers from the Caribbean, so it's all regional ingredients. And it’s all produced in St. Barth’s plant with pharmaceutical standards. Our scientific director is working with the Health Director in France.
“We do not say we are organic because first of all. it is touchy. If you want to sell in the U.S., you have just to comply with the formulations, using certain ingredients — not this flower, not this plant. What we can say is that it is all natural.”
She gives the example that the aloe vera gel is more than 98 percent aloe without preservatives or coloring. “We have a commitment with nature.”
If, like me, you’ve not heard of Ligne St. Barth, don’t feel too bad. While the company has distributed for quite some time in Europe, it only just began getting its offerings into the American market about a year ago.
They’re available at several New York locations and “different high-end stores and high-end spas,” like Miami’s Fontainebleu, says Ms. Lecorre. And customers can order from the corporate website www.lignestbarth.com
You can buy the products on St. Barth’s in a few resorts, including Le Toiny, and in the company’s two boutiques, one in Gustavia and the other in Lorient “where we have our plant.”
Ms. Lecorre explained of the company’s beginnings: “They began because Mr. (Hervé) Brin is from St Barth’s.” His wife, from Germany, helped build the company because she had allergies and used tropical treatments. “That's the way they began 25 years ago. That's why it is still natural.
“What's so unique is it's all about taking care of the skin first. The shower gel. It is full of oil to prevent dehydration of the skin. With the creams, it is the same. The cleansing milk is like a cream first but is also anti-aging, hydrating and does nourish the skin.
“Most companies when they say they are adding moisture, they mean decreasing dehydration. We improve hydration of your skin.
For the first-timer, she suggests trying the banana hand cream and the facial mango butter cream, which comes in two formulations; one is richer with more avocado oil for mature skin. (It was used in my Pureness Facial - read about that here — and I loved it.)
And, it can extend your tan up to four weeks more, she says. Seems that’s a good beach bag item for my next trip to St. Barth’s.
For more on Ligne St. Barth: Go to www.lignestbarth.com. Their island shops are open November through May, Monday-Saturday, and June-October: Monday-Friday and half-days Saturdays. Call for hours: 05 90 27 82 63
Here are a few places where you can purchase Ligne St. Barth spa products: Hotel Le Toiny, Prestigious villas, Hotel Sereno, all in St. Barth; Hotel Salzburger Hof and Wellnessresort Alpenrose, Austria; Parkhotel Weggis and Albergo Giardino, Switzerland ; Hotel Fährhaus & St. Barth Spa, Germany; Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg, Germany; Chateaux Grand Barrail and St. Barth Spa, France Hotel Cavallino Blaco, Italy; La Samanna Hotel, St. Maartin.
For more on Le Toiny: Visit letoiny.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-680-0832. After its usual fall closure, the property reopens for another season on October 28, 2011.
About St. Barthelemy
After David Rockefeller bought a property here in 1957, this little island of eight square miles quickly grew into an upscale tourist destination. Today, distinctly French in feel, it remains a chic but casual hideaway with many villas and hotels welcoming French and other visitors (about 200,000 a year).
There are beautiful beaches, plenty of watersports, plus wining and dining in the island’s varied restaurants, shopping in Gustavia’s trendy boutiques, and a variety of cultural events year-round.
Warm Caribbean temperatures vary just slightly from 86° in the summer, (July/August highs of 90°) to just 80° in the winter. Summer ocean temperatures can reach as high as 84°.
If You’re Going: St. Barthélemy lies about 150 miles east of San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the French West Indies. Flight by small plane, like St. Barth Commuter and Winair, arrive from St. Martin, Anguilla or San Juan. The island is also accessible by 45- to 90-minute ferry from St. Martin. For additional island information, visit www.saintbarth-tourisme.com.