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Footsteps to Follow

By: Lois Hince
Posted: July 23, 2008, from the August 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
meditation on rock

Having its roots in the publishing world since 1921, Allured Publishing Corporation is no stranger to its industry. In 1988, however, with Jean Allured at the helm, Allured Publishing launched Skin Inc. magazine, a publication focused on the business of the spa industry, which many have considered to be a pioneer as a business-to-business publication. It was bringing something new to the growing spa industry and opening up a new format of thought for estheticians and spa owners. Professional skin care product manufacturers and distributors, as well as educators, welcomed Skin Inc. magazine to the scene, applauding it for its concept of offering “business and science for skin care professionals.”

Skin Inc. magazine filled a void in the spa industry and provided a forum for authors, educators and professional skin care advertisers. Issued a mere four times a year in its beginnings, the magazine now needs another month in the year to bring you all it offers in 13 issues annually. A pioneer? Yes, as a publication, but the trail existed for Skin Inc. magazine, forged by true pioneers of the spa industry. So who are these trailblazers?


Spas have been around for quite a long time. In 25 B.C., Emperor Agrippa created the Roman thermae, which translates to “a large spa.” In subsequent years, each emperor attempted to outdo the previous emperor and these spas became quite extravagant. Eventually they included facilities for hot and cold baths, massage, exercise, skin treatments and relaxation.

The first Japanese onsen, or “hot spring,” opened in Izumo in A.D. 737. Centuries later, the first ryoken, or inns, were built and offered fine food, accommodations, Zen gardens, outdoor baths and indoor soaking tubs. By A.D. 1000, saunas appeared in Finland, introducing the Finnish spa-going tradition that included sauna-induced sweating, icy lake plunges and plenty of beer or vodka.1

U.S. roots

In the United States, Saratoga Springs in New York became well known around 1850, attracting the likes of Edgar Allan Poe and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and introducing something of a spa concept to Americans.1 It was a beginning ... and then there’s Elizabeth Arden.