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Nourish Your Spa
By: Anna Maltby
Posted: May 30, 2008, from the June 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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If yours is a larger spa where clients stay for multiple days, provide training sessions with a dietician and have a test run at the end of their stay, as the resident dietitian does at Fitness Ridge Resort and Spa in Ivins, Utah. After a week of sessions, the expert assesses guests’ grasp on their newfound knowledge. “She brings them out to dinner at a buffet and tells them to grab what they think would be a healthy meal to fit in with their meal plan,” Kleist explains. “This provides a really hands-on, real-life experience.”
Your employees most likely are great at what they do; chances are very good that the professional who provides your spa’s famous microdermabrasion treatments gives your client the best service possible. But something’s missing. That particular team member doesn’t take the next step and inform the spa-goer about what can be done internally to improve the skin.
“Nutrition is such a weak area in the industry—professionals do not give lifestyle advice to clients. They treat everything from the outside instead of the inside, and I really believe the holistic approach is key,” says Pat Lam, vice president of Toronto-based Skin Care Consultants and author of several books about nutrition.
Encourage your estheticians to attend a special course or seminar about nutrition, and provide textbooks and literature that will help them implement diet advice into their services. Lam’s most recent book, Nutrition: The Healthy Aging Solution (Pat Lam, 2007), for example, is targeted toward skin care professionals who want to incorporate nutrition advice into their services. “If we educated the estheticians, it would change the course of the whole profession,” Lam says.
Although you can’t expect your estheticians to run out and become registered dietitians themselves, they certainly can become familiar with some of the basic nutrition-skin connections. “When the skin is healthy through internal nutrition, then some external symptoms can dissipate or become balanced,” Bazilian says. “An overall healthy, nutrient-dense diet does support good skin quality overall, and this is one area that clients will notice almost immediately when shifting their diet to healthier foods—especially plant-based foods.”