Wellness Director at Rocco Forte Hotels and founder of Irene Forte Skincare, Irene shares her insights on finding (and keeping) that summer glow during and after the holiday season.
Can you tell us about your wellness regime and how you prepare for summer?
“My regime doesn’t really change that much between summer and winter. I try to keep a healthy routine throughout the year which includes exercising regularly (three to five times per week), drinking a lot of water and eating a healthy diet rich in omegas and low in refined sugars. I am also an advocate for the benefits of sleep and for tools that help me relax and de-stress (such as mindfulness with Terrence the Teacher). I strongly believe in using natural products on my skin; I love having a facial whenever I find time, and a good body massage is always a treat.”
It’s always difficult knowing what to pack for a summer holiday. Which products or treatments would you recommend for skin?
“If I am in the sunshine during the day, I love using the Elta MD Skin UV Daily Facial Sunscreen SPF 40. It is lightly tinted as well as paraben and phthalate-free. It is also rich in hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). I also use the Irene Forte Skincare SPF30 on my body, which is paraben and silicone-free, and rich in olive oil, carrot, bisabolol, pistachio oil, avocado oil, and sunflower seed oil.
After a day on the beach (and throughout the summer), I suggest applying the Irene Forte Skincare Aloe Vera Face Cream to the face. This is a hydrating cream enriched with aloe vera juice, vitamin E, as well as avocado, jojoba and olive oils. It is super hydrating, soothing and nourishing, perfect after spending time in the sun. For the body, I suggest the Aloe Vera After Sun, it is formulated with aloe vera juice, sweet almond oil, pistachio oil, olive oil and vitamin E to hydrate and soothe the skin.”
People always ask about your hair. Can you share any haircare tips?
“For hair, I absolutely love Virtue hair products; their travel duo of shampoo and conditioner is fantastic, as is their hair mask.”
What do you do the week before going on holiday to ensure you feel your best?
“I normally have a personalised Forte Facial at The Spa at Brown’s, a couple of days before I head off. Depending on my skin’s needs, this could be the Forte Brightener, to enhance skin radiance, or the Forte Hydrator, to hydrate my skin, leaving it soft and smooth. If my skin is in need of a deep cleanse, the Forte Purifier includes steam and extraction, rejuvenating and refining the skin’s texture.
For the body, the Irene Forte Skincare Mediterranean Nourishing Treatment also at The Spa at Brown’s is wonderful. Starting with a double full-body scrub using an Apricot Creamy Body Scrub and Trapani Sea Salt Body Scrub, (the natural exfoliants remove impurities), before an energising and toning full-body massage with Sicilian oils. A layer of White Wine Body Cream is then applied, to lock in the skin’s moisture.
I also keep my fitness regime busy and varied for a couple of weeks before, including Reformer Pilates, yoga and some high intensity workout sessions. The final (less strenuous) touch being lash extensions with Julie To.”
What treatments would you recommend for someone looking to tone up before the summer?
“To stimulate and refresh skin and remove dead cells, I recommend regular scrubs, such as the Irene Forte Skincare Sicilian Scrub. Alternatively, my Sicilian Sea and Earth Toning Treatment is designed for toning. It starts with a Trapani Sea Salt Body Scrub, before a nutrient-rich algae and clay mud wrap is applied to detoxify and extract impurities. Whilst wrapped up, you can enjoy a scalp massage using cold volcanic stones sourced from Mount Etna, before finishing with an invigorating toning massage using nourishing Sicilian oils.
I would also recommend weekly Endosphères full-body treatments at Pietro Simone’s clinic in Chelsea. Endosphères is an amazing non-invasive treatment for body contouring, muscle toning, lymphatic drainage, cellulite reduction and pain relief.”
Wellness and sustainability are very much part of the Zeitgeist at the moment. Are there any particular trends that we should look out for?
“I think one of the growing trends that we are seeing is Sustainable Fashion. People are starting to realise what the destructive impact that their overconsumption of clothing has on the environment. The fashion industry’s focus is starting to shift to a more circular economy, and 2019-2020 will see it evolve from being a few fragmented initiatives to being an integral part of the entire fashion value chain.
Personalised wellness has also been growing for some time. Optimal nutrition, fitness and skincare that is bespoke to each individual will continue to develop through DNA testing and other interesting new technologies.”
Where do you love to go to for your summer holidays?
“I’m extremely attached to Sicily and Verdura Resort, hence why my skincare line is inspired by it. It’s wonderful because there is so much to experience on the island. Either you can completely relax and enjoy the beach and spa, or you can go on hikes in the mountains, visit amazing temples and beautiful nearby towns and villages. Its landscapes, culture, food, people, and sense of family are unrivalled. There’s a true authenticity to the island.
Generally, being Italian by blood, I adore travelling to Italy in the summer. Last summer, I did a road trip across the south of Italy. I started in Puglia (near Bari), headed to Ostuni, down to Lecce, across to Matera, to Paestum, along the Amalfi coast, to Pompeii, and finished in Naples. This summer I plan to do a road trip in Sicily.”
All treatments featured can be experienced at Rocco Forte Spas, with the exception of Endosphères full-body. This is available at Verdura Spa in Sicily, De La Ville Spa in Rome and Pietro Simone’s clinic in London.