Treatments are the lifeblood of any spa. No matter what products you use, how skilled your estheticians are, or how irresistible your prices seem, without exciting, high-quality treatments, it’s hard to create good buzz about your business. For this reason, it’s important to keep up with treatment trends in order to provide your clients with the attention they deserve—and to keep them coming back for more.
By utilizing what you know, as well as identifying how much and how often you like to change up your menu, you can integrate new treatment trends that help invigorate your spa, adding variety and sparking new interest for clients. However, deciding which ones to follow is key, because all services seldom work for all spas. Luckily, an innovative array of options is appearing all the time, so it’s just a matter of finding the ones that best fit your business.
One of the most effective ways to give your menu a new kick is to be inspired by everything around you. Indigenous ingredients and treatments are all the rage, allowing spas to showcase not only their location, but also the unique way they integrate their environment into their menu.
Barbara Stirewalt, spa director at The Spa at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York, says, “We use indigenous sources, such as our ‘grit’—fine quartz grains quarried from our cliffs—in our Shawangunk Grit Mineral Body Treatment. Additionally, when creating our Moss Hydrating Body Masque, we chose a product that incorporates moss extracts to honor the soft, gentle cover found throughout our grounds.”
Other spas have created entire programs around their indigenous experiences. The Lakehouse Spa at the Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas, offers its Urban Cowgirl program, which includes treatments incorporating prickly pear cactus, along with Texas Hold’em and Texas Two-step lessons. “We also like to stay as natural as possible and keep things indigenous, so we have our treatments with a Texas feel,” says the spa’s director of treatment development, Lynne Vertrees.
Due to the inherently organic nature of the majority of indigenous treatments and ingredients, this trend is also helping give rise to another big topic in the industry—going green. “The public is becoming increasingly aware of the green movement,” says Michael Stusser, founder of the Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary in Sonoma, California, which is a founding, or “seed,” spa of the Green Spa Network, an organization of spas dedicated to bringing sustainable practices to the industry. “Take mineral-based sun care. It’s the evolution of using a green-conscious product to address a need.”
Elaine Sauer, corporate director, spa, with Red Door Spa Holdings, has noted this eco-conscious trend in action. “Our Floriani Phyto Organic facial continues to be a leader in our service offerings because of the green movement,” she says. “Our Floriani line of products is from Italy, and they are organic. It’s in support of an organic lifestyle that so many of our clients demand today.”
Utilizing a combination of indigenous ingredients and green initiatives can elevate a spa to a uniqueness that promotes total wellness for a person and their environment. “We want to help teach people to live an altogether healthier lifestyle,” says Celia Tully, CEO of the nationwide chain of Natural Body Spas, another Green Spa Network seed spa. “Once they learn the long-term benefits of using environmentally friendly products, there will hopefully be a larger desire for all things green.”
Stusser adds that even though the movement is just beginning, more and more green options are popping up all the time. “We’re still exploring how to incorporate treatments more thoroughly with nature. We are using things such as water-based massage oil and preservative-free cosmetics as a start,” he explains.
Take on technology
Technology is another great way to give menu items a boost. However, there are so many new equipment options being released—seemingly every day—that knowing where to start sometimes is the hardest decision to make.
Annette Hanson, founder of Atelier Esthétique in New York, says it is most important to respect the scope of your license and make sure you receive proper training before adding new technology and medically inclined treatments to your spa. That way, you can learn if you are qualified to work with the equipment, as well as if it is a good fit for your business. “With these advances, estheticians who want to work in medical settings can learn new techniques and terminology to work side by side with a physician for better results,” says Hanson, whose school recently had its paramedical training course approved by its home state of New York.
“There are so many innovative applications of all the new breakthrough technologies, such as nanotechnology, which helps promote deeper product penetration of cosmeceuticals,” Hanson continues. “And scientific equipment incorporating such technology as LEDs is wonderful. LEDs work to change the activity of cells, creating photomodulation, which helps to increase collagen and elastin production, as well as fight free radicals and stop inflammation.”
Terri Wojak, esthetic director and an educator at the medical esthetic school True University in Chicago, is also spotting a rise in several medical esthetic treatment offerings. “What we are seeing in medical esthetics are pre- and post-operative ultrasound treatments,” she says. “These help to reduce swelling and encourage healing after procedures. Other services offered are dermaplaning; microdermabrasion; and medical-strength chemical peels containing trichloroacetic acid (TCA), salicylic acid and retinol,” says Wojak. “I really see chemical peels resurging.”