Most of us have heard of the grapefruit diet made famous in the ‘70s that consists of eating half a grapefruit with every meal, because the citrus fruit contains fat-burning enzymes that were said to help dieters lose weight by speeding up the metabolism. While this fad diet has since lost popularity and been replaced by many others throughout the years, grapefruit has found a new home in the spa world. Packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, this fruit is a versatile ingredient that can be used for myriad reasons. “Grapefruit is a great ingredient to incorporate into products, because it has so many benefits,” says Monica Muniz, associate brand manager of Body Drench, which sells a variety of products featuring this ingredient, including Candied Grapefruit Exfoliating Gel and Grapefruit Moisturizing Lip Balm. “It is a natural exfoliator and cleanser that can clear away surface impurities from environmental elements. It also invigorates the skin while restoring skin’s moisture.”
Guests at The Umstead Spa (Raleigh, NC) have a plethora of options to choose from during the spa’s seasonal grapefruit specials, such as the Organic Grapefruit Body Exfoliation ($120, 50 minutes), which includes a sugar scrub that gently exfoliates and helps to refine, smooth, and reduce the appearance of cellulite and an application of grapefruit body butter cream to moisturize. There is also the Organic Grapefruit Manicure ($40, 40 minutes) and Pedicure ($70, 50 minutes), which include a gentle exfoliation with a grapefruit sugar scrub and an application of grapefruit butter cream; and the Orange & Grapefruit Facial ($120, 50 minutes), which uses grapefruit pulp because it is rich in vitamins A and C to help nourish and fortify the skin. And while The Spa at The Hotel Hershey (PA) may be known mostly for its delicious chocolate treatments, guests there can also enjoy the many benefits of grapefruit from head to toe with the Citrus Sensation Package ($190, 3 hours), which includes the Grapefruit Soak, the Grapefruit Sugar Body Scrub, the Grapefruit Hydrating Body Wrap, and lunch in The Oasis lounge.
A popular ingredient in facials, grapefruit is ideal for oily skin, as it acts as both an astringent and a toner while also cleansing. One of the most popular seasonal facials at La Vie De Luxe Salon and Spa (Chalfont, PA) is the Sweet Pink Grapefruit Facial ($85, 60 minutes). This grapefruit-infused facial is rich with vitamin C and antioxidants, making it ideal for detoxifying the skin, especially after being exposed to the rough summer elements. But keep in mind that grapefruit is an alpha-hydroxy acid, so it can be drying or irritating for clients with dehydrated or sensitive skin.
In addition to its skin-saving properties, grapefruit has scent-sational benefits, as well. For clients looking for an invigorating spa service, using products containing grapefruit essential oils is the way to go, according to Anne-Marie Caron, marketing director of Laboratoire Dr Renaud. She says the company chose to incorporate grapefruit because of its energizing, uplifting, and refreshing benefits, after customers expressed the wish for citrus in their skincare products.
The scent also helps stimulate the lymphatic system and detoxify the skin, which is why grapefruit aromatherapy is offered to clients during laser treatments at J SPA Medical Day Spa (Great Neck, NY). “Not only is grapefruit an uplifting, energizing scent but it also has real benefits for clients during procedures,” says owner Andrew Jacono, M.D. Clients can choose the Refreshing Grapefruit blend or the Detoxifying Citrus Fresh blend. Grapefruit has an overall uplifting and revitalizing effect, which makes it great for stressful situations, according to aromatherapist Adora Winquist, founder of Opus Gaia Aromatherapy Products. “It’s often used as a lymphatic stimulant to support detoxification and systemic congestion,” she says. “Grapefruit essential oil via inhalation is an excellent digestive stimulant and assists the body in eliminating excess fluids. Its refreshing and cleansing nature makes grapefruit a sought after aroma in products.”
Another interesting benefit of grapefruit is referred to as “The Youth Effect.” In a study conducted by Alan Hirsch, neurological director and founder of The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation (Chicago), participants wore surgical masks infused with three fragrance extracts—cucumber, grape, and grapefruit. Then, they were each asked to guess the ages of various models in photographs. The participants wearing the grapefruit-infused masks guessed a lower age than they guessed while wearing a fragrance-less mask, while those with the cucumber and grape scents noticed no difference. This effect was greatest for subjects looking at photos of the opposite sex—men guessed the women in photos to be, on average, 6.1 years younger, while the female participants viewed men in the photos as 2.9 years younger.
Although that is only one study on the topic of appearing younger, there is no doubt that grapefruit is an effectively proven and versatile ingredient that can easily be incorporated into products and treatments for clients who are looking to moisturize, exfoliate, cleanse, or smooth the skin. Plus, the energizing, uplifting, and stimulating scent is sure to give a wake-up call to both the mind and the body.