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Spa guru shares beauty secrets

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(CNN) -- When Susan Harmsworth established the beauty brand ESPA 13 years ago, she created a spa revolution.

Her vision led to the creation of luxurious lifestyle retreats -- she currently has about 60 lifestyle spas under construction in high-end hotels and holiday resorts all over the world.

Her philosophy is that coming to an ESPA retreat is not just a spa experience, it is also a journey -- a place for people to stop and relax.

Though she is somewhat of an expert in relaxation with 40 years' experience in the industry, stopping is the last thing on Harmsworth's agenda.

The 62-year-old's weeks are spent traveling on planes, checking on existing spas and locations.

At the forefront of her business is quality control. Not only does she oversee each new project, but Harmsworth and her team manage each spa in the first year of opening.

"We are a total spa company," she tells CNN.

"We have a design and development division, we have a recruitment division, we have a post-graduate school with 20 trainers globally who are real post-graduate trainers, we have our manager contracts division which really understands operations so we are a very integrated company.

"We have a 140 spa professionals worldwide who are real spa professionals who have got the knowledge. ESPA is about people, it's about education and it's about true health wellness, wellbeing, how we affect people's lives."

Each retreat is inspired by the local culture -- from the spa in the One & Only Reethi Rah resort in the Maldives, to the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong.

The latest venture is at the Loch Lomond Golf Club in Scotland.

In true ESPA style, the space takes on the characteristics of the hotel and local surroundings.

The spa boasts eight treatment rooms, each with its own private garden.

The treatments are only a part of the ESPA experience, Harmsworth says, and each retreat serves healthy juices and fresh fruit as part of the detox and relaxation process.

"It's the same as calming down the body systems. What we are really trying to do is just rest everything.

"I think as well as resting our minds and and bodies we have to rest the system."

The natural and pure philosophy is followed through to the products, starting with organic ingredients.

So what does the spa guru herself use?

"I can't live without a face oil, a regenerating face treatment oil which has various expensive essential oils in them.

"Face oils work in a two-fold way. They're great for the strength of the skin and also they work on the oil factory system which is part of our brain that affects our mood.

"I think face oils are great as it can be very calming for you but also -- more importantly -- as a skin product, it's absolutely amazing as it works to strengthen the skin."

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Susan Harmsworth says: "ESPA is about people, it's about education and it's about true health wellness."



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