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A Global Perspective

By: Abby Penning
Posted: October 17, 2008, from the November 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Natural and organic. “One trend that is continuing to grow worldwide is the interest in organics and naturals,” says Ariss. “Many counties are using their local resources for spa products now, and this has helped the trend become even more popular.”

The desire to help decrease its carbon footprint—or the measure of the impact the activities of a business has on the environment—has led many spas to adopt greening policies, as well as turn to more holistic and natural ingredients and products.

Ariss explains that, in addition to aiding the planet, going green in the spa has spurred local economies because of the increasing use of regional agriculture and labor, and it has brought global issues to the forefront, helping owners and managers make more responsible decisions and put more conscientious policies into practice.

Ariss identifies spa-growth nations such as India, South Africa and Australia as some that have taken the natural trend to heart, merging their homegrown vegetation, minerals and other indigenous resources with their traditional therapies. “Some, such as India and its ayurveda, have a natural base to start from,” she says. “It’s like them going back to their roots. Only now they have the opportunity and resources to make things much more refined. And the end-users—the spa-goers—are becoming very astute about what they are putting on their skin.”

Medical spas. Ariss also sees the number of medical spas in the world continuing to rise. “Medical spas are still very big,” she notes. “With their anti-aging offerings and the amount of baby boomers and others working to stay looking young, medical spas are some of the most lucrative spa businesses out there.” She has seen medical spas opening worldwide, including in the growing markets of the Middle East, South America and Asia.