How Spas Are Going Beyond Basic Body Exfoliating Treatments

exfoliating-treatments[Image: Getty Images]When heading to the spa, clients may be more inclined to seek out skincare treatments for the face, but exfoliating body services are equally important. After all, these treatments target some of the most telltale areas of aging, including the hands and décolleté. Exfoliation also helps encourage cell turnover and primes the body to better absorb pampering products and benefit from additional spa services. In fact, as the following five destinations demonstrate, an exfoliating body treatment can extend well beyond the standard scrub to incorporate all sorts of health-boosting extras. With well-designed protocols and savvy marketing strategies, they’ve created standout services that ensure clients leave glowing, and keep reshowing.

Spa Evangeline at the Epicurean Hotel, Tampa, Florida

Service savvy: Inspired by the salted caramel signature dessert at the hotel’s from-scratch bakery Chocolate Pi, the Dulce Delight (110 min./$225) starts with a coffee-salt scrub containing arabica bean extract to energize, smooth and soothe dry skin. Therapists then apply a full-body dark chocolate
mask, and wrap the client in a cocoon for enhanced absorption and detoxification. After rinsing off in the treatment room’s hydrotherapy shower, the guest receives a sweet cream body milk massage.

Upping the ante: In a smart cross-promotional move, the spa offers a tasty post-service sendoff: a salted caramel macaron from Chocolate Pi. Meanwhile, monthly specials attract additional business via themed appointments, such as a Shamrock Smoothie Mani-Pedi during March, or Wellness Wednesdays with 50-minute massages for $99.

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Client cachet: At a spa centered around food and wine—with the tagline “Delectable Spa”—this rich service attracts attention. “Guests love the strong epicurean aromas; they engage and entice all the senses,” says spa director Sheen Mahmud. “When it comes to body treatments, our most popular is this wrap; guests are always intrigued by the triple- shot caramel exfoliation and chocolate mask application.”

Oasis Day Spa, Weymouth, Massachusetts

Service savvy: The Sea Spa Salt Glo (60 min./$80) features Repêchage products, including a skin-sloughing combination of salts from the Dead Sea infused with hydrating seaweed extracts. The scrub is also laced with a dash of peppermint to re-energize tired skin and lend a glowing finish. While the client is lightly wrapped in a clean sheet layered with a wool and thermal blanket for 20 minutes, the therapist performs a scalp and face massage. The scrub is then removed with a hot towel, and the service concludes with an application of a seaweed body lotion.

Upping the ante: Customization is an important part of the consultation process at the spa, where the staff asks body polish clients if they prefer their scrub salty or sweet. “Salt-based scrubs like this one provide a stronger exfoliation, so for sensitive and extra-dry skin we recommend a gentler, sugar-based scrub,” explains Julie Mahoney, president of Oasis. All clients are also automatically enrolled in the spa’s loyalty program at their first visit; every service yields a 5 percent return, and internal software informs staff when a guest has earned enough points for a free treatment.

Client cachet: Mahoney notes that clients love the shower-free aspect of Oasis Day Spa’s sugar- and salt-based body polishes; they needn’t get up during the service or lie on a wet table. Technicians also use nylon gloves to apply the scrub, which keeps product volume to a minimum and creates a cleaner, more relaxing—and lower-cost—service.

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aria-spa-salon[Image: Courtesy of ARIA]The Spa & Salon at ARIA, Las Vegas, Nevada

Service savvy: The Fresh Hydration Wrap (50 min./$180 Mon.-Thu., $190 Fri.-Sun.) includes the Pevonia De-Aging Saltmousse Mango-Passion Fruit Scrub, which uses fine- milled French sea salt to gently exfoliate the body from neck to toe. Therapists use warm water to dissolve the salt, creating a non-greasy, easily applied mousse that emits negative ions. Following a private shower, the client receives an antiaging body balm application, in which mango, shea butter, papaya, pineapple, collagen, elastin and retinol help firm, tone, brighten and moisturize.

Upping the ante: The service is available as an à la carte option but is even more popular as part of the spa’s romantic couples’ package, during which duos receive a sampling of face and body experiences in private suites. Clients also love pairing the unique exfoliation treatment with a facial for head-to-toe rejuvenation. They can sign up for a rewards program to earn points for their spa spending, which can be redeemed for benefits like free hotel rooms, food and beverages, or future spa treatments.

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Client cachet: Lead esthetician Julia Shintaku says the service is referred to as a facial for the body. “The feel and scent is enjoyed by both men and women, because the Saltmousse smells clean and fruity but not perfumed—and the texture leaves a velvety-smooth finish without feeling oily,” she adds.

The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland

Service savvy: The Body Brightening Glow Experience (80 min./$235 Mon.- Fri., $245 Sat.-Sun.) utilizes exfoliating bamboo, fruit enzymes and acids, and stimulating body-buffing techniques to brighten the skin. Therapists then massage organic ginger oil blended with a firming shea butter crème and nutrient-rich algae onto the body, using long, relaxing strokes with a focus on the neck, back and shoulders. Finally, the application of a collagen face mask completes the service.

Upping the ante: Products from the Kerstin Florian Correcting line help fight pigmentation and lighten the skin, and the finishing mask is even specially shipped from Knesko with Reiki-instilled energy. Seasonal promotions also attract clients, and one staff member personally makes custom scents to incorporate into treatments and sell in the retail space. The spa regularly provides  redeemable incentives to attendees at community events, too.

Client cachet: “Guests love that this service tends to the entire body, and that they see immediate results while feeling youthful and supple,” notes spa director Vanesa Cox-Tristani. “Then, during the summer we allow exclusive access to our rooftop pool from Monday through Thursday, excluding certain blackout dates and holidays, with a purchase of this treatment (or any offering that costs $225 or more).”

Journey Salon & Day Spa, Findlay, Ohio

Service savvy: The M’lis Contour Body Wrap (90-120 min./$120) employs M’lis Buff, a gentle body exfoliator containing papaya and pineapple enzymes to slough dead cells and stimulate the skin, preparing it for the contouring portion of the wrap. This exfoliant application also aids in lymph drainage and promotes detoxification of the skin and entire body.

Upping the ante: For dedicated fans, the service is offered in a package of three at a discount ($330). To attract new devotees, the spa promotes it as a great way to get in tip-top shape before major events like weddings and vacations, or as a jump-start for summertime, using methods like social media, in-spa posters and pop-ups, email blasts and upselling at the front desk. Finally, Buff has become a popular take-home product that the staff recommends as a way to tighten, tone and smooth skin while minimizing the appearance of cellulite between appointments.

Client cachet: Owner Kyle Reichenbach reports that the Buff exfoliator produces incredible results. “Our guests love how their skin feels smoother and looks more vibrant,” he enthuses. “They enjoy the natural smell of the product, not to mention the inch loss they often experience after each treatment!”

–by Tracy Morin

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