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Life's a Peach

Cathy Christensen April 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
peaches on the branch

The month before my oldest son was born, my husband and I planted a dwarf peach tree in our front yard.

I distinctly remember having to gingerly sit on the ground in my maternity overalls to even see the hole in the ground, I was so huge. In spite of the odds, we were enjoying fresh peaches off of that tree the very next year and began to look forward to future years, planning to share with family and friends, and enjoy all the peach goodies imaginable. Unfortunately, our tree had a run of bad luck last year due to overproducing and frost, and literally bent until it broke. And although it is currently reminiscent of the pitiful tree from A Charlie Brown Christmas special, I have hope it will soon be back to its full glory—and my husband and I are learning a thing or two about maintaining fruit trees in order to avoid another tragedy.

But no matter how pathetic that little tree is right now, I can’t look at it without thinking of my baby boy, now 4, and all the hopes, worries and anticipation we were feeling during that summer ... a time I am instantly transported back to when I savor a fresh-picked peach.

In the kitchen

One of the best things about this fruit is its juiciness and the feeling you get when your teeth pierce the taut skin, sinking into the sweet flesh underneath. Not only are peaches delicious, but they also are antioxidant-rich, offering beta carotene and vitamins A, C and E to help neutralize free radicals and protect cells.1

Originally from China, peaches date as far back in recorded history as 10th century BC and got their name in 300 BC from the Greek philosopher Theophrastus, who named the peach for the country from which he thought it originated—Persia. The peach is round with a downy yellowish-red skin and a rough pit in the middle. It can be eaten alone, made into a jam, frozen or used in desserts, entreés, appetizers and soups, adding a fresh, sweet note to any dish.2

Spa cuisine chefs commonly use peaches to add a seasonal, healthy twist to otherwise traditional dishes, such as the Peach and Ginger Salmon served at Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas. At Red Mountain Spa in St. George, Utah, the Honey and Sage Baked Peaches With Honey, Pistachio and Blue Cheese serve as an interesting dessert; as does the Pesche al Forno, or Roasted Summer Peach, offered last summer at Kenwood Inn & Spa in Kenwood, California. In Brooklet, Australia, at Gaia Retreat & Spa, the Lady Behind the Veil entreé features ripe peaches and nectarines paired with translucent daikon slices and Davidson plum dressing; and Peach Melba can be enjoyed at Deerfield Spa in East Stroudsberg, Pennsylvania. Also, check out the recipe for Peach Gazpacho from Executive Chef Jason Graham of Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in Vista, California.

In the spa

Peaches are a rich source of alpha hydroxy fruit acids, which help slough off dead cells. Their vitamin A and C content also helps nourish new cells. Peach juice can aid in unclogging pores, reducing blemishes, lightening age spots and reducing wrinkles, as well.3

Spa-Q, with various locations throughout China, offers The Spirit of Chengdu treatment on its Pure Indulgence menu, featuring a unique scrub that combines peaches and sea salt; and the Carolina Peach Nourisher, a full-body exfoliation using a peach and pecan scrub followed by a peach-scented shea butter, is offered at The Spa at Pinehurst at the Pinehurt Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina. At Tree of Life Day Spa in Bar Harbor, Maine, the organic Strawberry-Peach Enzyme Peel gently exfoliates skin; and the Peaches and Cream Sugar Scrub at Kelly’s Spa at the Mission Inn in Riverside, California, offers a body exfoliation topped off with a peach hydrating cream. The Fuzzy Navel Hand and Foot Treatment at Spa e in Miami Beach, Florida, involves a peach-infused paraffin treatment; and the Apricot-Peach Body Polish from Mandela Wellness Retreat & Spa in Sautee, Georgia, gently exfoliates, leaving skin soft and improving circulation. Also, take a look at the treatment how-to for the Peaches and Cream Manicure & Pedicure from The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta.

Professional products are including peach as a main ingredient, too, both for its summery scent and skin care abilities. Éminence Organic Skin Care’s Peach Masque helps revitalize, refresh and rejuvenate facial skin, and BABOR’s Mild Peeling product gently exfoliates and smoothes using finely ground peach pits. OPI’s Peach Juicie lotion is scented like just-picked peaches, and Szép Élet’s ilike organic skin care’s Peach Mask nurtures, hydrates and recharges the skin.

Make it memorable

Whether you introduce the esthetic, health and skin care benefits of this fruit to clients through products or cuisine, the spa is a perfect place for a peach pick-me-up. And who knows what memories the flavor and scent of a fresh-picked peach might inspire in your clients.


1. (Accessed Feb 11, 2009)

2. (Accessed Feb 11, 2009)

3. (Accessed Feb 11, 2009)

4. (Accessed Feb 12, 2009)

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Treatment Recipe: Peaches and Cream Manicure & Pedicure

From The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta Manicure—30 minutes; pedicure—50 minutes

products for Peaches and Cream Manicure & Pedicure

The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta reflects the ultimate in luxury and contemplation. It features a contemporary, tranquil setting that allows clients’ stress to melt away, and its urban sanctuary promises to replenish the total being. The Peaches and Cream Manicure & Pedicure begins with a creamy, fruit-infused soak, followed by a frothy layer of a hydrating mask. After a massage with oil infused with jasmine and fuji apple, the hands and feet are treated to a layer of warm whipped topping to hydrate and nourish—and it’s is all fat-free.


Cost: Manicure—$45; pedicure—$75

Products needed:

Strengthener or base coat

Top coat

Peach mineral bath salts

Spray cleanser

Nail file

Jasmine and fuji apple massage oil

Wildcrafted Indonesian ginger essential oil and microalgae mask

Sugar scrub

Peach scrub

Callus remover

Peach hydrating cream

Equipment needed:

Pedicure or manicure soaking bowl


Orangewood stick

Step 1: Fill soaking bowl with warm water. Disinfect all implements and surfaces.

Step 2: Welcome the client and perform a consultation to determine whether the client has any health or lifestyle concerns. Diabetic clients should check with a physician before receiving a pedicure. Suggest a strengthener or base coat and a top coat.

Step 3: Add one scoop of peach mineral bath salts to the water and gently place the client’s hands or feet into the water, depending on the treatment being performed. Allow them to soak for five minutes.

Step 4: Remove one hand/foot from the water. If performing the pedicure, spray the client’s foot with cleanser.

Step 5: Perform a visual check and nail analysis, then file and shape free edges.

Step 6: Hydrate cuticles. Apply a layer of massage oil and perform a hand/foot massage for five minutes.

Step 7: After the massage, apply the mask, which energizes the solar plexus chakra, smoothes rough areas and sloughes off dead skin cells.

Step 8: Apply sugar and peach scrub over the oil and gently rub in a circular motion.

Step 9: Place hand/foot back in the water and repeat on the other hand/foot.

Step 10: Remove hands/feet from water and pat dry clean cuticles.

Step 11: If performing the pedicure, file calloused skin with a foot file and apply callus remover, if desired, to heels and balls of feet depending on the amount of exfoliation needed. Immerse feet back into water and then bring them out to clean beneath free edges with an orangewood stick. Pat dry.

Step 12: Apply peach hydrating cream on hands and arms or feet and legs, and massage for three minutes.

Step 13: Making sure all residue is removed, polish nail beds, if desired by the client, or buff them.

Step 14: Apply base coat or strengthener, two coats of color, and finish with a top coat.

Recipe: Peach Gazpacho

From Executive Chef Jason Graham of Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in Vista, California

Makes 10 servings, 90 calories, 6 grams of fat


5 peaches

1 1/2 heirloom tomatoes

3/4 hot house cucumber

1/2 small shallot

1 tablespoon chopped basil

1 tablespoon tarragon

1 tablespoon Italian parsley

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon agave

1/4 cup olive oil

1/8 cup champagne vinegar

1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup ice


1. Combine all ingredients in blender, and blend at high speed for one minute.

2. Strain through a china cap by pushing with a ladle.

3. Strain through a chinos by tapping.

4. Refrigerate for at least four hours.

Quick Facts: Peaches

  • The ancient Chinese considered the peach a symbol of longevity and immortality.4
  • The nectarine and peach are so similar there is only one gene that separates the two to make them distinct—the one that dictates fuzz.4
  • Cling peaches have a pit to which the flesh clings while freestone peaches have pits from which it is easily pulled.4
  • Johnston, South Carolina, is known as the Peach Capital of the World.4
  • The saying “You’re a peach” originates from the tradition of giving peaches to loved friends.4

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