Sign in

The Main Squeeze

Cathy Christensen January 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
half of a grapefruit with spoon

Ring in the new year with this refreshing fruit that is good for your clients in so many ways. The perfect time for a resolution is January, a month that offers the opportunity to adopt more healthy choices for yourself and your clientele. And embracing the benefits of grapefruit, a citrus fruit discovered in Barbados in the 18th century, is a great way to begin.1

The grapefruit was named to reflect the way the fruit is arranged when it grows—hanging in clusters, similar to grapes. Many botanists think the fruit is actually a result of natural cross-breeding between the orange and the pomelo, and Florida, California, Arizona and Texas are all large producers of the fruit. It also can be found in Israel, South Africa and Brazil.1

In the kitchen

Grapefruit is a large citrus fruit that is categorized as white, pink or ruby. It is juicy, tart and tangy with an underlying sweetness, and it is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, potassium, folate and vitamin B-5, and contains lycopene.1

Long thought to help people lose weight, a recent 12-week study from the Scripps Clinic confirmed that adding grapefruit and its juice to your diet three times a day can increase weight loss. Its flavonoid content also helps fight against free radical damage, which results in aging.2 Grapefruit can be enjoyed alone for a healthy breakfast, as well as in entrees, desserts and salads. And a big glass of grapefruit juice is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense juice choice.3 One detail to note about the consumption of grapefruit: It is important to encourage clients to check with their physicians before consuming grapefruit and its juice because it can make certain pharmaceutical drugs more potent, possibly leading to dangerous results.

As a spa cuisine ingredient, grapefruit is both commonly and uniquely used throughout the industry. Lavish Mobile Day Spa in West Bloomfield, Michigan, offers a spa party menu that features Shrimp Salad with Avocado and Grapefruit, and Wellness Spa in Shanghai includes Steamed Prawns, Cottage Cheese, Pink Grapefruit Salad and Sunflower Seeds in its Nature’s Own spa cuisine lunch. The Spa at the Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania’s Circular Dining Room features duck confit with grapefruit consummé as a specialty dish, and Beef Bresaola with Pink Grapefruit and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper is on the appetizer menu at D’Italia Restaurant at El Dorado Royale spa resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Clover Honey-Glazed Pink Grapefruit graces the dessert menu at Laguna Beach, California’s Studio at Montage Resort & Spa, and check out the recipe for Grapefruit and Shrimp Caesar Salad from registered dietician and spa nutritionist Kathie K. Graham, RD, and Chef Chenel Dorival, Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami.

In the spa

Grapefruit can be a tangy treat for the skin, too. The vitamin C content in grapefruit and its juice may help build collagen, reducing wrinkles and enhancing skin’s strength and elasticity.2 Also, in a recent study, grapefruit extract was shown to act as an effective skin lightener, although more research is being done to make sure there aren’t any stability issues with this powerful antioxidant.4

Used in a variety of different treatments, spas are taking advantage of the refreshing benefits of grapefruit. At Buhl Mansion Guesthouse & Spa in Sharon, Pennsylvania, the Contour aromatherapy bath treatment helps stimulate skin’s metabolism to release water and toxins using grapefruit, juniper, birch, palmarosa and cypress, and the Ultimate Urban Body Mask offered at The Spa at Trump at the new Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago caps off with a massage application of grapefruit, rosemary and cypress aromatherapy oils. The Perfect Contour Anti-cellulite Treatment from Club Sport in Walnut Creek, California, combines grapefruit, basil, black pepper, hyssop and clary sage to help slim the body, and at New Age Health Spa in Neversink, New York, the Babassu Sugar Body Polish features a scrub infused with grapefruit, jasmine and bergamot. The Chardonnay and Grapefruit Massage can be enjoyed at the wine-inspired Vineyard Creek Spa in Santa Rosa, California, and at the Satori Spa at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa in Dubai, the stimulating pink grapefruit and juniper berry body mask enhances the Satori Extravagance treatment. The Camelback Signature Facial at Camelback Spa Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona blends grapefruit, mandarin orange, cranberry and pomegranate for an aromatherapeutic experience, and at Green Lake, Wisconsin’s Evensong Spa at Heidel House Resort, men can enjoy the rejuvenating body scrub that combines mineral sea salts, grapefruit and thyme to refine skin texture. The Agave Body Glow at The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, uses the spa’s signature scrub infused with grapefruit essential oil and natural agave extract for a full body polish. Also, take a look at the step-by-step how-to for the Grapefruit-Mint Signature Treatment from The Secret Garden Inn & Spa in Weaverville, North Carolina.

From candles to cellulite cream, professional skin care products are also getting in on the grapefruit revolution. Nature Pure Labs offers the LipoMelt Grapefruit Hippophae Body Polish, and Spalasium offers Grapefruit Organic Essential Oil that is uplifting and addresses cellulite. Yon-Ka Paris offers a Ylang Ylang-Grapefruit-Thyme option in its Candle Therapy collection, and Kashwére soy candles offers a Ginger Grapefruit scent. Éminence Organic Skin Care’s Vitamin-C Collection features a Pink Grapefruit Clarifying Masque to heal blemishes, Pink Grapefruit Vitality Masque to revitalize skin and Grapefruit-C Gel to calm inflammation, and GlyMed Plus’ Sal-X Exfoliating Cleanser uses grapefruit to re-energize environmentally stressed skin. The Refreshing Citrus Pedicure Soak from Orly uses grapefruit, honeydew and orange extracts to refresh tired feet, and Sonya Dakar’s Red Grapefruit Wash removes impurities and dirt without causing dryness.

Inside and outside

For beauty both inside and outside, grapefruit offers a refreshing resolution for 2009. Share the good news with your clients by adding grapefruit to your treatment menu, spa cuisine menu or retail section and uplift while improving your clients’ health.


1. (Accessed Nov 3, 2008)

2. (Accessed Oct 27, 2008)

3. (Accessed Oct 27, 2008)

4. (Accessed Nov 3, 2008)

5. (Accessed Nov 11 2008)

6. (Accessed Nov 11 2008)

Related Content



Quick Facts: Grapefruit

  • The tangelo is the result of fertilization of grapefruit flowers with mandarin orange pollen.5
  • Half of a grapefruit provides all the vitamin C the body needs for one day.5
  • Pomelos, or Chinese grapefruits, are the largest citrus fruits.5
  • Grapefruits that are heavy for their size and have thin skin are usually the juiciest and best quality.5
  • A Frenchman, Count Odette Phillipe, planted the first grapefruit trees in Florida in 1823. Today, Florida produces about one third of the world’s grapefruit.6
  • Some mature grapefruit trees can yield up to 1,500 pounds of fruit in a season.6
  • The ruby red grapefruit was a chance mutation discovered on a McAllen, Texas, farm in 1929.6
  • Recipe: Grapefruit and Shrimp Caesar Salad

    From Kathie K. Graham, RD, and Chef Chenel Dorival at Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami Grapefruit and Shrimp Caeser Salad

    Makes 6 servings, 101 calories, 3.5 grams of fat

    Caesar dressing ingredients:

    1/2 cup 2% milkfat cottage cheese

    2 tablespoons skim milk

    1/4 cup lemon juice

    2 anchovies, minced

    3 garlic cloves, minced

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    1 ounce Parmesan cheese

    Preparation of Caesar dressing:

    1. Place all ingredients in blender, except Parmesan cheese, and blend until incorporated.

    2. Fold in Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate for two hours, allowing flavors to incorporate.

    Salad ingredients:

    3/4 cup Caesar dressing

    6 ounces romaine lettuce

    6 ounces cooked shrimp, chilled

    1 large 12-ounce grapefruit, peeled and cut in segments

    Preparation of salad:

    1. Clean, dry and tear romaine lettuce.

    2. Toss lettuce, shrimp and grapefruit with dressing and serve.

    Treatment Recipe: The Grapefruit-Mint Signature Treatment

    From The Secret Garden Inn & Spa in Weaverville, NC

    The Secret Garden Inn & Spa is a bed-and-breakfast and spa rich with Appalachian flair nestled in the picturesque mountains of Western North Carolina. It combines the area’s Appalachian heritage with Asian spa rituals, as well as the beauty and peace of the property’s Japanese gardens.

    Treatment duration: 120 minutes


    Treatment cost: $169

    Supplies needed:

    Sea salt scrub

    Grapefruit mint organic shea butter


    Organic grapefruit mint massage oil

    Eucalyptus oil

    Step 1: Greet your guests, and ensure that they have completed an intake form detailing their medical history. Offer them tea or water for a refreshing introduction to the treatment. Those clients in the first trimester of pregnancy, or who are allergic to nut-based oils or citrus, should not be given this service.

    Step 2: Escort guests to a treatment room, and ask them the disrobe and lie on the treatment table face up.

    Step 3: After allowing a sufficient amount of time, return to the room and perform energy work, such as lightly shaking the body and breathing deeply to center both yourself and the client.

    Step 4: With a light touch, apply the sea salt scrub to the entire body in order to exfoliate and awaken the skin.

    Step 5: After removing the scrub, smooth a light application of grapefruit mint organic shea butter on the skin, wrapping each part of the body in a towel after the shea butter is applied to create a warm, citrusy feeling. The wrap should stay on for 15–20 minutes while you navigate around the body.

    Step 6: After unwrapping the client from the citrus cocoon, escort to either a claw-footed or jetted tub, allowing the client to soak and relax for about 15 minutes.

    Step 7: Now that the pores are open and the skin is alive and refreshed, ask the client to return to the treatment table and lie either faceup or facedown based on preference. Allow the client to smell eucalyptus oil when facedown to keep the nasal passages clear.

    Step 8: Provide a 60-minute, full-body custom massage that fits the client’s needs, such as Swedish or deep tissue. Use organic grapefruit mint massage oil, and turn the client over to complete the second half of the massage.

    Step 9: Inform the client when the massage is complete, and invite the client to take time getting into a robe.

    Step 10: Escort clients into a quiet meditation area to sit and relax in order to prolong the enjoyment of the treatment. Offer them more water or tea, and encourage them not rush off. Once they feel ready, they may lead themselves back to the reception area.

    Next image >