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Beautifying the Body

By: Mary Bemis
Posted: June 23, 2008, from the May 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Each of the spa directors I spoke with agrees that in order to truly care for the skin and to extend the anti-aging benefits of specialized spa treatments, clients need to be properly educated on at-home spa basics. “People are looking for body treatments that work, as well as things they can do at home,” says Betty Jane Grieco, spa director at Aquagene Spa at the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Spa in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Clients who book body treatments, such as the Marine Algae Body Wrap (50 minutes, $120), are given a body brush and an instruction sheet to use at home.

Craig recommends a professional body scrub once a week, as well as the use of an exfoliating shower gel every day. She also suggests that her spa clients apply a luxurious moisturizing body cream after each daily shower or bath.

“If you want to take care of the body the same way as the face, you have to care for it daily,” says Aida Bicaj, an international skin care specialist and esthetician in New York. “The best way to take care of the skin on the body is to never use soap because it is very drying,” she says. Bicaj instructs her clients to exfoliate daily with a loofah and a creamy exfoliant. Afterward, she notes that it’s important to use a regenerating and hydrating body lotion that contains lactic acid. Other beneficial ingredients include flax oil and jojoba, according to Sobel, who suggests choosing gentle exfoliating scrubs that contain these two substances. “Look for products that will help gently eliminate dry dead skin cells and re-moisturize and re-nourish skin,” he advises.

To keep your body ageless, perhaps Johnson has the best at-home advice that treats the body from the inside. “Drink plenty of water, eat a well-balanced diet, don’t smoke, and avoid an excess of alcohol and sunburns. Exfoliate and use generous amounts of moisturizer. Laugh a lot, avoid unnecessary stress and get enough beauty sleep.”

The future of body treatments

What are spa directors predicting for the future of body treatments? Sandra Sadowski, spa director at La Prairie at The Ritz-Carlton in New York, believes that the industry will see more anti–aging treatments that use “more medical equipment in combination with old-fashioned skin care.” Meanwhile, Dan Mohr, director of The Peninsula Spa at The Peninsula Chicago, observes two distinct trends in body services. “Treatments that are organic and made with natural ingredients are requested more and more by clients. Also, treatments that are indigenous to the location of the spa and that use local ingredients are growing in popularity. Clients want something unique that also offers natural results,” he says.