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Spa & Wellness Trends For 2021

Like many of you, we are eager to leave 2020 behind and move on to 2021. However, there was at least one bright light during this dark year, and it was the spa and wellness industry's ability to adapt and survive during these turbulent times. As we continue to evolve into the next year, the need for change is greater than ever. Innovation will be the key mindset for next year, ushering us into an optimistic future. 

Thankfully, our in-house spa industry expert, Jessica Timberlake, is here to fill us in on what changes and trends to expect. Jessica is Eminence Organics’ PR Manager as well as an Executive Committee member on the Board of Directors for the International Spa Association (ISPA). She stays up to date with the spa industry and is here to share insights on the latest ingredients, beauty practices and wellness trends. 

Spa Trends

Return to the Treatment Room

After months of limited contact, “social bubbles,” isolation, shut-downs and restrictions, spa goers will return to the treatment room in droves. People crave touch and connection, particularly after a period of deprivation and solitude. It’s no surprise that 1 in 3 people in the US report increased levels of loneliness due to coronavirus, with millennials most affected. In the spa industry, we’ve long believed that human connection is essential to mental health and for keeping loneliness at bay. Studies show that massage increases dopamine and serotonin, reducing cortisol levels, which, in turn, lowers stress levels. Spas that are prepared to meet the influx of demand for treatments will experience a growth in business like never before.

Touchless Treatments

After the events of 2020, not all clients will be comfortable with hands-on services from trained professionals. To accommodate, spas should plan to offer a “touchless treatment” option. What is a touchless treatment, exactly? It’s a term that loosely defines treatments that aren’t “hands on.” A touchless treatment could be a virtual skin care consultation, a massage conducted by a licensed therapist holding a device which taps or kneads the muscles, or a nap in a guided meditation pod. First and foremost, spas should be ready to meet their guests “where they are” - whether that service involves treatment that’s hands-on, touchless, or a combination of both. By offering a touchless treatment option, the spa can build on their guests' confidence, and ultimately retain them as a loyal client. 

Extended Aisle Shopping

Spas will embrace, and expand upon, extended aisle shopping solutions by creating their own online stores and marketing directly to their local clientele. After providing virtual consultations and recommending a home care routine, estheticians can close the loop with their clients who can conclude the session by easily shopping the spa’s selection of products online. 

young woman getting a massage

Skin Care Ingredient Forecast

To give your clients the best results, these are the buzzy ingredients and processes you need to know about this year: 

Hyaluronic Acid As An Essential Ingredient 

Also referred to as “HA,” estheticians and skin care professionals have long been in the know about this essential ingredient. Now consumers have entered the fold. Great for all skin types, hyaluronic acid replenishes the skin with moisture and minimizes the look of fine lines. However, always check on the source of this ingredient, particularly for vegan clients, as this powerhouse can either be sourced from animal byproducts or fruits and vegetables (at Eminence Organic Skin Care, we source our botanical hyaluronic acid from marshmallow plant extract). 

Clean Beauty Is Becoming Mainstream

Since 1958, we’ve been using sustainable and green farming practices to create natural, organic and Biodynamic® products. Now, the world is catching up. “Clean” is going mainstream. No longer a unique category, “clean” beauty and skin care products will become a baseline expectation of consumers. Regardless of their demographic, consumers will seek (and demand) clean products. 

Pre, Pro and Postbiotics

It’s tough to say when “probiotics” was first identified as a skin care ingredient trend - but anyone with an eye on the industry will know that it’s been years. So, what does it mean when an ingredient trend lasts for years? It becomes a staple and it expands. You’ll start to see lesser-known terms like prebiotics and postbiotics - as well as new ingredient sources, such as kombucha - to provide expanded sources of balance to the skin’s microbiome. 

Wellness Trends


Tumultuous events in 2020 have led the population to an increased awareness of the health of the environment, amongst many other priorities. Enter “eco-ethics,” a greater consciousness dedicated to the ethical actions companies and individuals take to better the world through environmentally-friendly practices. While savvy consumers already shop accordingly, the demand will increase for businesses that not only consider the environment in their practices, but care for and help the world around us, ensuring the longevity of our planet for generations to come.

Reconnect To The Self

2020 was the year of serving others - whether we found ourselves caregiving, homeschooling, or hosting a virtual Thanksgiving event for our families! It was necessary to spend energy on others to remain connected and combat loneliness. In comparison, 2021 is the year we’ll look to reconnect with ourselves. To maintain mental health, the pendulum must swing the other way, and individuals will seek to reconnect with their own selves. 

“Third Place” Concept

Is your spa poised to become the “home away from home” for your guests? Now is your chance. Based on a study conducted by IKEA of 22,000 people across 22 countries, 29% feel more at home in places other than the space where they live everyday. If the “first place” is home and the “second place”work (which, for many, is now also their home), what is the “third place”? As individuals seek to connect back with their communities once restrictions are lifted, a trusted sanctuary, such as a spa, becomes a welcome respite.

Interested in finding out more about upcoming spa and wellness trends as well as industry education? Learn more about Eminence Organic Skin Care and apply for our authorized Spa Partner program