When it comes to skin care, your face usually draws the spotlight. But chances are, your body needs some attention too. Often neglected, your skin from neck to toe can show signs of aging and dullness, just like your face does. How best to re-energize the skin? We say: a visit to the spa. Professional body care treatments should be part of a regular routine and just as important as your at-home skin care. Here’s our guide to body care services at the spa, including a list of the most common treatments, how to prepare and what to expect afterward.
Why You Need Professional Body Care
In the same way that you care for your complexion with both at-home and spa treatments, your body needs the same combined approach to skin care. Services provided by a trained esthetician will help decrease the look of lines and wrinkles, reduce the appearance of cellulite, remove toxins and uncover fresh, glowing skin. Eminence Organics Product Support Team Lead Alicia Hawthorne explains that an esthetician can "customize a treatment to address your skin concerns and also use professional strength products for your body, just as they do for a facial." Using precise personalization and highly-concentrated products, professional services are an essential part of the body care routine.
How To Prepare Yourself
Getting ready for your spa day starts 48 hours in advance. That’s right — two days before your appointment, you’ll want to prepare by avoiding any exfoliation. That means: Lose the loofah until after your spa appointment. Removing dead skin cells is usually a vital part of the professional body care routine, and you don’t want to over-exfoliate.
Moving up to the day before your appointment — 24 hours in advance of your spa day — you’ll want to avoid any hair removal, including shaving. This procedure not only exfoliates the skin, but it could also leave your skin feeling sensitive and ill-prepared for intense body treatments. Ditch the razor to ensure your skin is in a calm state before your spa visit.
There are several best practices for the day of your spa visit to keep you comfortable and optimize your results. Avoid large or heavy meals right before arriving at the spa. A major benefit of your spa experience is the time to be mindful and relax. If you feel bloated and uncomfortable while you’re lying on the treatment table, your entire experience can be ruined. Make sure you wear loose, comfortable clothes. Plus, don’t forget to pack a change of clothes. And since you’ll be experiencing full body treatments and need to remove all jewelry and your watch, you may just want to leave these valuables at home.
When you show up for your spa visit, time your arrival sensibly. That is, at least 15 minutes before your appointment. That way you have plenty of time to fill out forms and relax into the spa mindset. Be ready with any relevant medical information so you can fill out your consultation form thoroughly and let your esthetician know if you have any injuries or painful areas to avoid. Finally, because you’ll be experiencing a full body treatment, be prepared to strip down to your underwear or no clothes at all, with modesty draping used during your treatment. Another option: Ask your spa for disposable underwear which can be worn during your treatment.
When visiting your favorite spa for body care, there are several different types of treatments that are commonly available. Here are definitions of the most popular types of services and what they usually include:
An ancient technique of scrubbing and massaging your skin with a dry bristle brush. Dry brushing is performed in slow circular motions and provides several benefits including removing dead skin, boosting circulation, and detox via draining the lymphatic system.
Body Scrub or Polish
Another exfoliating treatment, a body scrub or polish involves massaging an abrasive product across the body, using a sugar or salt scrub (or, a product like our Stone Crop Revitalizing Body Scrub which uses both). These scrubs are usually mixed with oils to help hydrate the skin and keep the scrub together. Like dry brushing, a body scrub sloughs off dead, flaky skin and improves the circulation of blood and lymph.
In spas, hydrotherapy is a technique which uses water to relieve discomfort and promote physical well-being. One of the most common water treatments is the Vichy shower. iSpa defines this shower as “a shower with five to seven vertical shower heads in which large quantities of water are showered over a spa patron while they lie in a shallow wet bed (similar to a massage table, but with drainage for the water). The therapist may also control a wand to assist in a more focused water massage.” This water treatment is relaxing and an excellent way of removing a body scrub or wrap.
Massage is the practice of rubbing and kneading the body using the hands. Administered by massage therapists rather than estheticians, massage is one of the most popular choices for body services at spas.
Body Mask & Wrap
Like a facial mask, a body mask is a product with thick texture applied all over the body for therapeutic effect. The service usually begins with exfoliation, followed by the application of a mask then finally, the body is wrapped in sheets or Mylar. The wrap raises the body temperature which increases circulation and opens pores for better absorption of a body wrap product and its benefits. Body wraps can focus on different types of benefits including ones that minimize the appearance of cellulite, hydrate, or help with the appearance of sunburn.
What To Do Afterwards
After your body care treatment at the spa, it’s not unusual for your skin to feel a little tender. Treat yourself gently and avoid exfoliation for several days afterward. You can also moisturize from head-to-toe with the Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Body Lotion. Our Botanical Hyaluronic Acid Complex infuses skin with immediate hydration, as panthenol defends the skin barrier to stop moisture loss.
You’ll always want to skip your bath or shower until the day after your spa visit. Your skin will still be soaking up all the beautiful benefits. Finally, don’t forget to drink lots of water after your time at the spa to continue flushing out the toxins in your body.
If you’re ready to treat yourself (and your body) to essential skin care, find out more about professional services at your nearest Eminence Organics Spa Partner. What’s your favorite body care service? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.
This article was originally written in July 2019.