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REVIEW: This New Dubai Spa Will Transport You to Japan

It’s a must-visit if you’re as obsessed with Japan as we are

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m obsessed with anything Japanese. From anime to Issey Miyake, I’m a self-proclaimed Nipponophile. So, when I discovered that there was a newly-launched Japanese skincare clinic in Dubai, I just had to make an appointment. 

Nestled in Cluster X of Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Sumi Skin is a quaint medi-spa founded by Ms. Shu Man last summer that aims to bring Japanese (and a little bit of Korean) skincare to the UAE. The skincare clinic specializes in Japanese and Korean beauty treatments that utilize ancient Japanese hand techniques to not only increase the absorption and effectiveness of the products used but to stimulate the blood flow and sculpt the facial muscles for a more lifted and defined appearance. 

The sleek facility boasts one treatment room, a consultation room, a post-procedure makeup station lined with high-end products from Chanel and Dior, as well as a Japanese-style Zashiki — a seating arrangement featuring a low table set on tatami flooring — where guests are served a delicious slice of Japanese cheesecake and soothing herbal green tea after their procedure. 

sumi skin dubai

Before I began my treatment, I had a consultation with the dermatologist who assessed my skin using a high-tech scanning machine that took three pictures of my face and side profile to identify my sebum secretion level, condition of my pores, pigmentation level, and skin texture. Based on my results, the dermatologist suggested two treatments for my skin concerns (enlarged pores and excess sebum). I opted for the Madero Face Therapy, as I knew that I could not get the specialized treatment at any other skincare clinic in Dubai. 

I was led to the treatment room where I removed my facial jewelry and slipped into a robe before unfurling on a bed. Like all the other facials at Sumi Skin, the 75-minute-long treatment began with a deep cleansing of my face using only organic products that harness natural ingredients such as rice and tomato callus extract for nutrition supply, as well as peppermint and aloe vera leaf extract for their soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, among others. 

Following a facial steaming and thorough extraction, where all my toxins were purged, the therapist got to work. She gently massaged and kneaded my face using wooden rolling pins and other wood tools that reach deep into the dermis to activate fibroblasts that produce more collagen, relieve stress and tension, treat fine lines and wrinkles, and sculpt the cheekbones and jawline. The therapist swore that the massage also helps to increase circulation and stimulate lymphatic flow, for impossibly lit-from-within skin.

sumi skin review spa

After the massage, a nourishing algae peel-off mask chock-full of vitamins, proteins, and minerals was applied generously to my face to help seal everything in. The beautician treated me to a relaxing shoulder and arm massage as she waited for the mask to dry—After each procedure, clients are asked to sign their name on their hardened mask, which is kept as a decorative piece to be displayed alongside artworks by Takashi Murakami.

When the treatment was done, my therapist handed me mirror to take in my visibly sculpted, smoother, and healthier looking skin. “I’m glowing,” I mused at my reflection— a snatched goddess with killer cheekbones that I’m pretty certain didn’t exist 75-minutes-ago.


Sumi Skin is a newly-opened Dubai medi-spa that specializes in Japanese and Korean skincare. Following an assessment and consultation with a dermatologist, I opted for the Madero Face Therapy facial, which is a deep cleansing treatment that uses wooden rolling pins and other wood tools to massage the face for tighter, smoother skin, and more sculpted facial muscles. The treatment is 75-minutes-long and costs 780 AED ($212). To make an appointment, call +971 058 576 8700.

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