Ask the Spa Pro
Got questions? We have answers!
Whether you’re looking for specific product information or just general knowledge on topics like beauty, wellness, massage, skin care, green products, etc., we’d like to help. Simply complete this form and we’ll have one of our experts in the field answer your questions in this forum, always recommending that you visit your local spa or skin care professional for more information and personalized treatment recommendations.
And check back often to read our Q & A column, because if you have a question, chances are good that someone else is wondering the same thing!
Q: I’ve never been to a spa before. How do I choose one?
A: If you are planning to go to a local spa, I highly recommend visiting the spa beforehand. You’ll be able to get an overall impression of the spa beforehand, and you will be much more comfortable when you arrive for your treatment if you’re already familiar with your surroundings. Additionally, there are several important questions to ask when you’re spa shopping:
- How long has the spa been in business?
- Do you know people who’ve been to the spa and were they pleased with their visits?
- Are therapists licensed in their particular treatment areas, such as skin care and massage?
- Where do the products they use come from, and do they offer all natural alternatives?
- Do they offer special pricing for new clients? How about package deals for multiple visits?
- Can you tour the facilities before you book a treatment?
- Has the Better Business Bureau received any complaints about the spa?
Last but not least, once you choose a spa, watch your local newspapers, magazines, and the spa’s website for coupons and other special offers. If you’re fortunate enough to find a 2-for-1 special, take a friend, or ask about couples treatments. And above all else, enjoy!
Universal Companies Education Manager
Q: Are all natural products really that much better for my skin, and are they worth paying extra for?
A: Yes. It’s similar to the same argument concerning food choice: “You are what you eat.” Some of the factors that contribute to premature aging are sun damage, smoke, poor diet, genetics, and chemical based personal care products. According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, “On any given day, a consumer may use as many as 25 different cosmetics and personal care products containing more than 200 different chemical compounds.” Repeated exposure to these additional chemicals makes your skin perform harder at funneling toxins; therefore, instead of working against your skin by introducing foreign matter, work with it. Natural ingredients nurture skin by providing vitamins, restoring moisture, and preserving collagen.
It’s a common misconception that natural products are always more expensive than their chemical-laden counterparts. They can be pricier, but not always. When you do opt for them, you receive an added benefit: assurance that you’re only purchasing what you need, skin-nutritious ingredients.
Universal Companies Sustainability Specialist
Q: What is body wrapping?
A: Body wrapping has been around for a long time, but has become much more sophisticated in recent years. It’s a wonderfully rejuvenating experience that will leave you refreshed and relaxed. And yes, a body wrap can result in a significant loss of inches!
There are countless types of body wraps, but generally a spa technician will apply a lotion or cream to your skin, and then wrap you in a cocoon from neck to toes in layers of muslin, plastic, or other material. Your skin may be “dry brushed” before the lotion or cream is applied to help the beneficial ingredients penetrate deeper into the skin. Your arms may be wrapped, close to the body, or left free if you’re claustrophobic. A final layer of thermal material may also be wrapped around your body to help retain body heat and increase the wrap’s effectiveness. After you relax on the table for anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, the wrap will be removed and products remaining on your skin may be washed off or massaged into your skin.
Popular spa body wrap treatments use seaweed, mud, salt, or herbs and may soothe, firm, and nourish skin, increase circulation, and detoxify. Prices will vary by spa, but may be as little as $40/hour in a day spa or as much as several hundred dollars for a body wrap treatment in a resort spa.
If you decide body wrapping is for you, do your homework and chose a spa with a good reputation. You should be comfortable with the spa and the technician should always be close at hand during your treatment.