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Girl’s Guide To a Relaxing Spa Day

The Spa is calling your name, whether it’s for a day of pampering, or a necessity after the half marathon you ran last weekend.  Here’s what to know, prepare for, and expect when planning your next spa day.

Research Your Spa Day

Ladies, do your homework! When selecting a spa it’s important to look into their product lines. Certain products are customizable to your skin type, have specialized ingredients, are gluten-free or vegan, and don’t test on animals.

Read the Reviews.  As we all know, social media is a great tool when it comes to selecting your destination. Take the time to read reviews and browse the pictures others have posted. Just because the spa has a beautiful website full of stock photos, doesn’t mean it will meet your expectations.

**Pro Tip: Higher quality brands typically require in depth education courses and certifications before a Spa is permitted to sell or use their products. **

Questions To Ask

What is the tipping policy? 

Nothing kills a spa mood like having to run to the ATM because you find out too late that they only accept cash tips.

Where will I be storing my belongings?

Some spas offer a locker for their guests, while others provide a tote to carry your things. This will help you plan ahead regarding what to bring to your spa appointment.

Will you be in a communal area or a private room? Will you be waiting with other spa goers in a relaxed setting or will you stay isolated in between services?

Everyone’s preference is different, but if it matters, you should always ask.

How long are the services?

If services are more than four hours, bring a snack. You can ask if they offer a lunch option. If you plan on eating during your visit, make sure to inform the spa so they can schedule time for you between services.

First Time Spa Experience:

What Is Your Goal?

Relaxation:

Opt for a massage that focuses on light touches and a calming experience. This may include customized aromatherapy oils or chakras. An exfoliating salt scrub or hydrating paraffin wrap are great for most skin types any time of the year, leaving you relaxed and refreshed.

Results:

Deep tissue massage will relieve built up tension and knots from exercise or past injuries. Add hot stones or sports therapy to remedy advanced aches and pains. Facials are a great first step to the glowing skin you’ve always wanted. Facials will use customized cleansers, exfoliators, masques, toners, and moisturizers to address any skin care concerns you may be having. Facial and decollete massage, steamers and hot towels will elevate the products to penetrate the epidermis layer. Inform your esthetician if you have any allergies, sensitivities, or use retinol products.

After the service, your technician will recommend take home products that best suit your needs, and a timeline for your next appointment. For a little extra relaxation, ask if they feature any add on services such as a paraffin dip for the hands and feet, or an extra scalp massage.

Spa Day Preparation

Wear what’s comfortable for you. You will typically be asked to change into a robe or smock once you’ve checked in for your services. Your comfort level determines how undressed you’ll be during services.

**Pro tip: Don’t feel rushed going into your services. Give yourself time to enjoy the zen of the spa. Arrive a couple minutes early to fill out necessary paperwork and pick out a polish if you’ll be indulging in a pedicure. ** 

 
At-Home Spa Day

An epsom salt soak will work miracles on tired and stressed muscles. For the ultimate multi-tasker, incorporate your favorite Aromatherapy oils (a couple of drops while you fill the tub) for extra benefits such as energizing citrus or relaxing lavender. Grab your favorite book, a glass of wine and soak the night away.

A sugar scrub will exfoliate dead skin cells and leave your skin feeling smooth and looking fresh. Bonus — you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen cabinet:

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup olive or coconut oil

3 TB honey

1 TB aloe vera gel

10 drops of aromatherapy oil

Drug store skin products can be tempting, but caution is advised when it comes to selecting an at home treatment. Avoid products filled with dyes and fragrances as they can have harmful effects and offer no benefit to your skin. If you’re prone to breakouts or have sensitive skin, you should consult with a skin care professional or dermatologist prior to incorporating any new treatments into your skin care routine.

By: Lisa Wagner, operations manager of New York New York Salon and Day Spa in Frederick, MD

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