flowers for spa

Because It’s Scorching Hot Outside…

3 all-natural cooling treatments to try.

There’s no shortage of swanky spas, high-end spa brands, and OTT beauty extras (caviar facial, anyone?) in Dubai, but when temperatures hover around 43°C – which they do every August – it’s time to go back to the basics: cooling ingredients derived from nature. Incidentally, offerings like hot-stone massages and steamy hammams are widely available, but spa and salon treatments designed to beat the heat are surprisingly hard to find. Looking to get you covered from top to toe, here’s what I discovered. And loved.


Aloe Vera Hair Treatment at That Hair Tho

Summer is the season of vacations, ice cream, and blockbuster films. It’s also the season of sweat and scalp build-up. Enter: the Aloe Vera Treatment at That Hair Tho, where green walls, bright colours, and all manner of 90s kitsch will lift your spirits, regardless of the day’s events. My pre-treatment consultation starts with a welcome note in fluorescent hues, and unexpectedly seeing my name on the mirror has me smiling before we even begin.

The Aloe Vera Treatment is tailored to each client based on hair type and recurring issues. As for my concerns? A generally dry scalp and excessive hair fall, a development brought upon by the onset of the pandemic – because stress. As a result, the formula that’s custom-created for me contains aloe vera (which features gel from a live aloe vera plant that resides onsite) and neem powder (known for its antifungal properties), both complemented by castor oil and coconut oil. Castor oil, as I learn, contains ricinoleic acid that increases blood flow to the follicles, thereby promoting healthier hair. It’s extremely heavy, however, and typically diluted with the likes of coconut or jojoba oil.

A cooling sensation takes over as soon as the aloe vera mixture makes contact with my scalp. And just as aloe vera gel can soothe a sunburn or dehydrated skin, the treatment works wonders to calm an itchy or irritated scalp. The formula is massaged in and left on for 20 minutes, and I’m pretty sure I drifted off somewhere between the two. Two rounds of cleansing later – first with a shampoo that contains scrub particles to remove build-up, then with a moisturising shampoo to tend to dry strands – my hair looks nourished and super hydrated. Luminous, even. The Aloe Vera Treatment ends with a few spritzes of anti-humidity spray and your choice of a blow-dry or blast-dry, but does it even matter? You’ll feel lighter, fresher, and cleaner than you have in years.


Cucumber Facial at The Organic Glow Beauty Lounge

At this entirely ‘green’ spot in JVC, all are welcome and well taken care of: pregnant women, cancer survivors, those with sensitive skin, and just about anyone looking to steer clear of indecipherable chemicals. Personally, I’m a member of Team Sensitive Skin and, as someone who often wakes up with a rash or adverse reaction the day after a traditional facial, am delighted to discover the all-vegan Cucumber Facial. Not only are cucumbers both cooling and hydrating, but they’re also a rich source of silica – a mineral that supports optimal connective tissue for healthier skin. The treatment starts with a multi-step face cleansing process that turns to two further cooling ingredients derived from nature: rose water and aloe vera. I already know I’m in the right place.

Next up is the exfoliation stage, which comes with an unexpected element: date syrup. Organic brown sugar is mixed with date syrup to create an exfoliant that’s surprisingly beneficial – dates contain pantothenic acid, which helps the skin retain moisture. As the steamer gets going, I expect to be left alone. Instead, I’m treated to a hand and forearm massage that offers much-needed relief to my stiff and swollen wrists. I’m enjoying an exceptionally clear skin day, but in the case of pimples and other blemishes, extractions aren’t the norm at Organic Glow. By now, I’ve lost count of how many times a forcible extraction in the midst of a facial has left me with scarring – it’s nice to finally discover a salon where this practice is a no-no.

Organic cucumber slices are placed all over my face, and I feel their cooling juices start to trickle down my face and neck, my body temperature dropping instantly. As a blissful 15 minutes allow the chilled slices to take effect, waking up me and my tired skin, I silently vow to return and do it all over again. The Cucumber Facial ends with a rich, super-softening vitamin E cream infused with aloe vera that I end up leaving on my skin overnight, as recommended. Cucumber is a natural astringent and tightens pores, making this refreshing facial ideal for those with oily skin, too.


Foot Reflexology and Peppermint Foot Treatment at Sea Salt Spa

Regular pedicures felt like a weekly essential pre-pandemic, but in this new era of prioritising health and wellness over all else, foot reflexology is where it’s at. Practised for centuries, this feel-good massage entails applying pressure to different points on the bottom of the foot as they correspond to different organs and areas of the body, thereby inducing both healing and relaxation. The Foot Reflexology and Peppermint Foot Treatment at Sea Salt Spa is 60 minutes of sheer bliss, cooling and soothing the feet until they feel as good as new. It really is ideal for sore, achy, tired feet that are trapped inside closed-toe shoes in this heat (farewell, WFH days). For the uninitiated, menthol is the main chemical component of peppermint, which explains its cooling properties.

I start with a refreshing lemongrass-cucumber welcome drink that perfectly sets the tone as I sink into a cloud-like recliner. A foot soak in warm water infused with lavender bath salts is swiftly followed by a zingy peppermint foot scrub before the star attraction: an extensive massage accented with peppermint cream. Admittedly, I’m ticklish under the feet and expect to squirm my way straight through the massage, but proven wrong in no time. If anything, the pressure hits that sweet spot between too gentle and too firm, and I find myself more relaxed than I’ve been in ages.

Sleepily, I relish the fact that the massage also tends to my calf muscles, which have suffered the agonising pain of ‘charley horse’ cramps for several weeks now – they’re far more common in the summer months due to electrolyte imbalances. The treatment wraps up with a swipe of hot towels – peppermint-scented, too! – to remove any greasy residue before a brief shoulder massage comes about as an entirely unexpected treat. Pressed for time? Opt for the shorter version of the Foot Reflexology and Peppermint Foot Treatment, which skips the shoulder massage and lasts for 30 minutes.


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Back To Basics: The Skincare Routine For Oily & Acne Prone Skin

A simple and effective way to care for oily and acne prone skin types.

In our last Back to Basic Skincare Series we looked at how to implement a minimalistic skincare routine for dry and dehydrated skin with the right products. In this blog, we are reviewing a skin care routine for oily skin and sharing with you the best skincare routine for oily skin, and best products and formulations to keep your skin healthy and looking its best!

We know how difficult it can be to care for and balance out an oily skin type. The challenge is even greater for those suffering from regular acne breakouts with the wrong oily skin care routine. Although we can’t make them disappear overnight, there are ways to diminish their appearance and get your skin to be less reactive with a concise and effective regime. In order to achieve those results, we need to clear up some popular myths surrounding the skin care routine for oily skin, excess oil production and breakouts.

Oily or combination skin types are genetically predisposed. This is the type of skin that you were born with and not a condition you can treat and cure. Oily skin types exist when there is an overproduction of sebum from the sebaceous glands of the dermis which gives a shine and greasy look to the skin. This hyperactivity produces excess oils that overfill the pores and enlarge them. The sebum in the pores mixes with dirt and bacteria. Dead skin cells get trapped and form blackheads and whiteheads under the surface of the skin.  Blackheads and whiteheads are a different type of skin condition collectively known as acne. 

How Do I Know if I Have Oily Skin?

You can look out for the following signs and characteristics such as excessive shine. Oily skin tends to have a persistent shine, particularly in the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin). This shine can be noticeable throughout the day, even after washing your face. One might even notice enlarged pores. Oily skin often has visibly larger pores, especially in the aforementioned T-zone area. These pores can be more noticeable and may even be clogged with oil, debris, or blackheads.

If you suffer from frequent breakouts, that’s because oily skin is prone to acne breakouts, including whiteheads, blackheads, and other forms of pimple-like blemishes. See if your breakouts appear more frequently and may be concentrated in the T-zone. This is a sign of oily skin.

Have you noticed your makeup melting? If your makeup tends to slide off or lose its matte finish quickly, it could be an indication of oily skin. The excess oil can interfere with the adherence and longevity of makeup products.

Let’s talk about greasy texture. Oily skin often feels greasy or slick to the touch, especially on the surface of your face. When you blot your skin with a tissue or blotting paper, you may notice oil residue on the paper.

If you experience a combination of these signs, it is likely that you have oily skin.

Step-by-Step Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin

The best way to address oily skin care routine, oily skin types and reduce acne is to follow a good skin care routine for oily skin that helps balance out the oil production on the skin while keeping it well hydrated and avoid any disruption on the dermis barrier. Avoid the use of any harsh or drying products such as alcohol and other astringents, or irritating ingredients like menthol, lemon, eucalyptus as well as, aromatic oils and solid rich formulations such as bar soaps that clog the pores, making matters worse by exacerbating the oil secretion on the skin.

For a simple and effective skin care routine for oily skin we recommend the following steps:

Skincare For Oily & Acne Prone Skin

Step 1: Cleanser

Cleanse your skin twice daily, in the morning and night, using a mild water-soluble facial cleanser to remove excess oils and avoid buildup in the pores. As mentioned above, avoid any aggravating ingredients and/or harsh scrubs and cleansing tools. Remember, the tingling sensation does not equal cleaner skin, it’s a sign of irritation that is not good for any skin type.

Our picks:

  • Clean & Clear daily pore cleanser oil free
  • Garnier skinactive micellar foaming gel cleanser combination to oily skin, even sensitive
  • Cerave renewing SA cleanser
  • Kiehls ultra facial cleanser for all skin types

Oil-Free Daily Pore Cleanser, PRP AED 21.95, available at head2toes.ae

Micellar Gel Face Wash Sensitive Skin, PRP AED 25, available at asos.com

Foaming Cleanser Normal To Oily Skin, PRP AED 50.31, available at caretobeauty.com

Ultra Facial Cleanser, PRP AED 98, available at kiehls.ae

Step 2: Toner

This is one of the most important steps of a skin care routine for oily skin. A well formulated, alcohol-free exfoliating toner will replenish your skin with antioxidants and calming ingredients, minimize the appearance of enlarged pores and remove any residues of makeup or dirt that could possibly clog the pores. An exfoliating toner that contains BHA’s such as salicylic acid is a fantastic fit for oily skin types as it is oil soluble and can get deep down in the pores unclogging them from the roots and keeping those black and white heads at bay.

Our picks:

  • COSRX BHA blackhead power liquid
  • Bioderma sebium pore refiner
  • The Inkey List PHa toner
  • Derma e soothing toner with anti-aging

Bha Blackhead Power Liquid, PRP AED 120.15, available at carethy.net

Sebium Pore Refiner, PRP AED 77, available at carrefouruae.com

Pha Toner, PRP AED 64.95, available at cultbeauty.co.uk

Anti-Wrinkle Toner, PRP AED 49, available at asteronline.com

Step 3: Moisturiser

Contrary to common belief, oily skin types need to stay well hydrated to keep the dermis acting and looking healthy. Proper levels of hydration on the skin are fundamental to keep it functioning and regenerating at is best. To learn more about the differences between dehydrated and dry skin check our first Back to Basics skincare instalment. When choosing a moisturiser focus on an oil-free, lightweight water-based formulation, that will effectively hydrate your skin without clogging your pores or leaving a heavy and greasy feeling to it.

Our picks:

  • Clinique moisture surge hydrating lotion
  • Glow Recipe watermelon glow pink juice moisturizer
  • Elf oil control liquid lotion
  • Drunk Elephant f-balm electrolyte waterfacial

Moisture Surge Eye™ 96-Hour Hydro-Filler Concentrate, PRP AED 220, available at sephora.ae

Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer, PRP AED 97.50, available at cultbeauty.co.uk

Oil Control Liquid Lotion, PRP AED 70.99, available at amazon.ae

F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial, PRP AED 195, available at cultbeauty.co.uk

Step 4: SPF

Nowadays they are so many elegant and sophisticated sun block formulations that are oil free and non-comedogenic. The Gaggler prefers products in a lotion form that contain the active ingredients zinc oxide and or titanium dioxide which have been proven to prevent acne breakouts. In addition, proper sun protection as part of a skin care routine for oily skin helps you prevent any pigmentation scaring.

Our picks:

  • Shiseido ultimate sun protection SPF 50 sunscreen + wetforce for sensitive skin + children
  • Peter Thomas Roth Mineral Naked Broad Spectrum SPF 45
  • Neutrogena ultra sheer face sunscreen SPF45
  • La Roche Posay anthelious 50 mineral ultra light sunscreen fluid SPF50 face

Expert Sun Protection Lotion Wetforce SPF50+ Face And Body, PRP AED 147.70, available at sweetcare.com

Max Mineral Tinted Broad Spectrum SPF 45, PRP AED 153.86, available at revolve.com

Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF45, PRP AED 114, available at noon.com

Anthelios Spf50+ Shaka Fluid, PRP AED 110, available at uae.sharafdg.com

Step 5: Specific treatments and serums

If you suffer from acne prone skin and regular breakouts you would want to introduce a treatment serum on your regime that contains benzyl peroxide to help regulate oil production during the day while reducing redness and inflammation; and a retinol serum to keep skin clear and rejuvenated at night time. Another great ingredient you can include in your regiment is the powerful antioxidant niacinamide that helps out with the appearance of enlarged pores, while also soothing and calming the skin and providing anti-aging benefits.

Our picks:

  • Drunk Elephant framboise glycolic night serum
  • The Ordinary Niacinamide 2%
  • Proactiv emergency blemish relief
  • La Roche Posay effaclar duo corrective unclogging care

Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, PRP AED 450, available at noon.com

Niacinamide Plus Zinc Serum, PRP AED 41, available at lookfantastic.ae

Emergency Blemish Relief, PRP AED 173, available at noon.com

Effaclar Duo[+] Corrective Unclogging Care, PRP AED 81.27, available at caretobeauty.com

Things to Avoid

When it comes to caring for oily skin, there are a few key things to avoid. Firstly, steer clear of heavy, oil-based moisturizers and skincare products that can exacerbate the oiliness. Instead, opt for lightweight, oil-free or water-based alternatives that won’t clog pores. Secondly, avoid harsh cleansers or soaps that strip away too much oil, as this can lead to increased oil production. Opt for gentle, non-comedogenic cleansers that won’t disrupt the skin’s natural balance. Next, refrain from over-washing your face, as this can strip away essential oils and trigger more oil production. Stick to washing your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser. Lastly, try to avoid heavy makeup and opt for oil-free or non-comedogenic formulas to prevent clogged pores and breakouts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best night skincare routine for oily skin?

A night skincare routine for oily skin should focus on controlling excess oil production and preventing breakouts. Start by thoroughly cleansing your face with a gentle, oil-free cleanser to remove dirt and sebum. Afterward, use an exfoliating toner containing salicylic acid to unclog pores and reduce oiliness. Next, apply a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer to hydrate your skin without adding extra grease. Consider using a spot treatment on any active acne or blemishes. Lastly, before bed, apply a thin layer of oil-free or gel-based night cream to help balance oil production while you sleep.

How do you take care of oily skin everyday?

To take care of oily skin everyday, start by cleansing your face twice a day with a gentle, oil-free cleanser. Use oil-free or gel-based products that won’t clog pores. Apply a good sunscreen to protect your skin. We do strongly recommend the use oil-absorbing sheets throughout the day to control excess oil. It’s best to not use heavy, pore-clogging makeup and hydrate your skin with a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer.

How can I maintain my oily skin naturally?

The mantra is simple:
Cleanse, Hydrate, Exfoliate!

Opt for natural exfoliants like sugar or oatmeal. Our team at The Gaggler recommends natural exfoliating recipes:

  1. Use a Sugar Scrub: Mix equal parts of brown sugar and coconut oil. Gently massage onto damp skin in circular motions, then rinse off with warm water.
  2. We love a good Oatmeal Scrub: Combine ground oatmeal, honey, and a few drops of lemon juice. Apply to your face, let it sit for a few minutes, then gently scrub and rinse off.
  3. Weekend Coffee Grounds Scrub: Mix used coffee grounds with a bit of olive oil or honey. Massage onto the skin in circular motions, then rinse off.
  4. The Famous Baking Soda Scrub: Create a paste by mixing baking soda with water. Apply to damp skin and gently rub in small circular motions before rinsing off.

A controlled diet is always recommended. It’s best to consume a balanced diet with less greasy or fried foods, as they can contribute to oiliness.

Staying hydrated is the secret sauce to great skin regardless of the skin type Drink enough water to keep your skin hydrated from within, which can help balance oil production.
Try our latest water bottles to help you reach that 2 litre goal!


Stainless Water Bottle

AED 84.00


Stainless Water Bottle

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Stainless Water Bottle

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2.2L Huge Water Bottle

AED 104.00


2.2L Huge Water Bottle

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2.2L Huge Water Bottle

AED 104.00


Amethyst Crystal Water Bottle

AED 280.00


Aventurine Crystal Water Bottle

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Rose Quartz Crystal Water Bottle

AED 280.00

The Gaggler team is passionate about finding and sharing great products with our readers. We take pride in researching and testing products to find the best of the best, and we only recommend things that we love and think you will, too.


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