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A Feast for the Senses

By: Naomi Serviss
Posted: January 30, 2013, from the February 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

One of the latest trends in spa therapies is also one of the most delicious and aromatic. Spas and skin care facilities are incorporating delicious indigenous ingredients into some of their most popular therapies. From on-site herb gardens to honey from local beekeepers, spa personnel have been brainstorming methods to come up with winning results to provide clients with results and an experience to remember.

Don’t let the size of your skin care facility dictate how daring you can be with trying new business concepts. Even the smallest spa has the potential to utilize fragrant blossoms to make a lasting impression, and it could start from something as simple as a marjoram plant or an orange blossom. Think outside the box when it comes to bringing delicious smells into a service. By expanding a basic service into a sensory experience, clients will relate their good feelings to your business and become raving fans, sharing their experience with friends and family, helping to expand your client list.

Following are examples of spas and skin care facilities throughout the country that are using the farm-to-treatment-table technique to help bring skin and whole-body wellness to clients in an enticing and all-over sensory experience.

The Spa at the Hotel Healdsburg Healdsburg, California

The Spa at the Hotel Healdsburg in Healdsburg, California, where local produce is selected for treatments, has been enjoying positive feedback from clients. “I think the reason we got into it is to showcase ways we can feature the region in our spa therapies,” says Sharon Davis, lead esthetician. “The more we looked into it, the more exciting it became. There’s something to be said about looking at simple ingredients that can be healthier in the shelf life of spas.” A local farmer’s market offers the spa the choice of fresh ingredients to add to body treatments and facials.

Most spa treatments that incorporate local ingredients at the spa are offered on a seasonal basis: In the fall, offerings might include a pumpkin facial or a squash body wrap. “If I were a day spa owner, I would look into doing the same thing as resort spas: buying seasonal ingredients and having fun with it,” Davis advises. “It is fun and exciting for both skin care professionals and clients. It’s fun to play with ingredients, and clients might offer input into what they would want as a treatment.”