Strawberries are a decadent summer staple that taste delicious. But they also provide a sweet treat for the skin. “Just the mention of a perfectly shaped, fresh, ripe strawberry stimulates the senses,” says Joan Southon, spa director at The Spa at Mt. Hood (OR). Capitalizing on this seasonal appeal, the spa offers a Very Berry Facial ($79 in July; $118 regular price, 50 minutes), using Dr. Alkaitis Organic Skin Care products, only during the summer months when the fruit is readily available from local farmers. “This is the perfect summer treatment,” says Southon. “Strawberries contain salicylic acid that rids the skin of dead cells, makes pores smaller, and helps the face look brighter and shinier. They gently refresh and exfoliate the skin, remove impurities, and reduce redness and swelling.”
Indeed, it’s an ingredient that smells good enough to eat. For this reason, Stephanie Baresh, director of marketing and public relations for Éminence Organic Skin Care, also suggests incorporating strawberry in facials. The fruit works as a cleanser and astringent. Additionally, it enables the skin to absorb more moisture and provides antioxidants to fight free radicals. “Facials are the perfect way to introduce strawberry into a treatment, as the active results are especially beneficial to the face, and aging skin in particular,” she says. Éminence offers a number of signature products that pair strawberry with rhubarb, like the Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant and the Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Masque. Guests at Blue Sage Spa (Breckenridge, CO) can enjoy a Spring Fever Reliever Facial ($65, 30 minutes), which begins with a Blueberry Exfoliating Wash, followed by an application of Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant to remove dead skin and tighten pores. The face is drenched with natural strawberry juices to hydrate the deepest layers. It’s then topped off with Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum, Raspberry Eye Mask, and Tropical Vanilla Sunscreen.
While strawberries and rhubarb pair well in pies and facials, strawberries and cream are classically combined in FarmHouse Fresh’s Strawberry Smash Double Moisturizer, which is made with half whipped shea butter and half live fruit cells. Guests at the Spa at The Peabody (Orlando, FL) can sink into a Berry Bliss ($135, 50 minutes; $195, 80 minutes) couples massage that uses the cream to help reduce tension, increase circulation, and induce relaxation. It leaves skin soft and fragrant. “Guests love a natural and fresh approach when it comes to services using ingredients you can eat,” says Shannon McLinden, founder and CEO of FarmHouse Fresh. “They perceive it as a healthy way to pamper themselves naturally.”
The familiar, fruity scent also makes strawberries an appealing ingredient in treatments geared toward younger guests. Pevonia Botanica’s SpaTeen line features strawberry extract. “Every kid and teen knows what strawberry smells like. The scent is familiar and fun,” says Pevonia corporate educator Melissa Morris. Lure teens—and parents—in with the aroma, and then hook ’em with the skincare benefits, like they do at Millennium Nail and Day Spa (Tallahassee, FL). There, the Teen Facial ($50, 40 minutes) introduces teens to the benefits of proper skincare and also treats their sensitive, sometimes problematic skin.
The potential marketing opportunities are boundless. Morris suggests introducing a strawberry summer pedicure or a teen back-to-school facial promotion during the warmer months and educating clients about the antioxidant-rich benefits of strawberries during cooler months with hydrating facials and manicures. Many states have an annual strawberry festival, so offer a complimentary ticket with the purchase of a strawberry package gift certificate, and serve strawberry shortcake for package guests. Or, host a strawberries-and-champagne or strawberries-and-chocolate event to promote your spa for Valentine’s Day. Body & Soul Salon and Spa (Jackson, WY) offers a Scrumptious Strawberry Delight ($95, 50 minutes), an Éminence strawberry rhubarb facial topped off with chocolate-dipped strawberries and cream post-service. “Spa-goers are looking for a bit of pampering and some incredible results for beautiful skin, so feeling like your treatment is a bit like dessert makes sense,” says Baresh.
Spas can also host after-hours VIP events, like a Berry Perfect Night, featuring mini strawberry treatment stations. “Spas can serve strawberry bellinis, berry muffins or scones, and chocolate-covered strawberries with their Berries & Bliss or Strawberry Smoothie treatments,” says McLinden.
As part of The Spa at Rancho Bernardo Inn’s Made Fresh Daily program, a Strawberry and Grapefruit Body Treatment ($150, 80 minutes) features a strawberry exfoliating mask created in house. Afterward, guests receive a strawberry daiquiri, as well as a card with two recipes. “One recipe helps them recreate the product for a spa-at-home experience, and the other recipe is for an irresistible appetizer, drink, or dessert,” says spa director Michelle Schlekewey.
Use words in marketing pieces like “rich in antioxidants” or “high in vitamin C,” suggests Alyssa Jahnke, ME! Bath’s director of operations, who works with partner spas to promote strawberry services that include the signature ME! Bath effervescent balls with food, ice cream, or a drink. “Strawberry ice cream during the summer, chocolate-covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day or an anniversary, strawberry margaritas for relaxing by the pool, and virgin strawberry daiquiris for teens are all great ways to enhance your strawberry services,” she says. This is particularly effective when clients can socialize while receiving their service, like the ME! Bath Strawberry Ice Cream Pedicure ($95 weekday/$100 weekend, 50 minutes) at Canyon Ranch Spa (Las Vegas). No matter how you decide to incorporate strawberry services at your spa, you’ll soon discover the treatments are good enough to eat, and the sweet smell of new business is as tasty as the freshest, fragrant fruit.