Jessica Lyons Hardcastle

Succulent Soothers

A prickly, barbed plant doesn’t sound like something to nourish the skin, but beneath a cactus’ rough, thorny exterior lie ingredients that hydrate and smooth. You, too, can tap into the same properties that allow this hearty plant to thrive in harsh desert conditions and nurture the skin with a boost of moisturizing, anti-aging benefits. Cactus extracts prevent moisture loss, keeping the plant hydrated in the hot desert sun. When used in skincare treatments, it prevents water from evaporating from...

The Magic of Makeup

Discover how properly marketing your makeup offerings can cast a successful spell on your spa’s retail sales.
In the eternal quest for beauty, American women spend about $100 a month on cosmetics, according to a YWCA survey. Todd Hewitt, senior spa director at the Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, which brings in about $2,000 a month in cosmetics sales, says that if they’re not spending that money at your spa, they’re going to spend it somewhere else. Hewitt worked with Michael Marcus, CEO of Michael Marcus Cosmetics, who designed bento-box style tester units for the...

Coming Up Roses

Offer clients the chance to experience the sweet-smelling flower by adding rose-inspired treatments to your spa’s menu
From the Bard to emily Brontë to the band Poison, roses have inspired poets and songwriters for millennia. Their delicate petals have also inspired beauty and therapeutic treatments—Cleopatra’s rose oil treatments and rose water baths, for example—and roses have become a symbol of love, romance, and femininity. But sometimes the flower’s skincare benefits get lost in the telling, overpowered by the intoxicating fragrance. This spring, as roses start to bloom, remind spa-goers that which we call a rose treat- ment...

Center Sage

Find out how sage-inspired treatments and products provide clients with herbal healing.
Ancient Romans made a drink from sage, which they considered a sacred plant, and drank it as a tonic for their minds and bodies. Native Americans prized the plant for its cleansing and spiritual benefits, and even today it’s used to protect against evil and negativity. The Spa at Sundance at Sundance Resort (Utah), for example, uses the sweet-smelling smoke to purify and ward off malevolent energies in its Sage and Sweet Grass Ritual ($170, 80 minutes), a body wrap...

Hot Chocolate

Satisfy the cravings of sweet-toothed spa-goers with services inspired by this popular treat.
Every year, come Valentine’s Day, the love-struck masses spend more than $1 billion on chocolate products. The rich, creamy treat is more than just a token of affection, however. While chocolate has long been considered an indulgence by many cultures, more recently, scientists have found that cocoa products contain high levels of catechins and other powerful antioxidants that help fight aging and prevent disease. Additionally, the chemical phenylethylamine in chocolate has been linked to feelings of excitement, attraction, and pleasure...

Caffeine Break

Banish winter blues with stimulating skincare treatments.
Caffeine strikes A delicate balance between soothing and invigorating. Whether it’s a hot cup of coffee on a cold winter morning, a warming tea with friends, or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, caffeine is probably best known for its stimulating benefits. It is found in the leaves, seeds, and fruits of more than 60 plants, including tea leaves, kola nuts, and coffee and cocoa beans. To some, it’s a rich, decadent treat—think dark chocolate truffles—while to others, it’s a morning necessity. Regardless,...

The Perfect Gift

Offer clients a special treat for their skin this holiday season with frankincense-based treatments.
In Biblical times, three wise men traveled hundreds of miles to bring gifts to the baby Jesus. One of the gifts of the Magi was frankincense, a milky-white resin with a fresh pine, lemony scent. It was one of the most prized commodities of its time, valued as highly as gold and fine silk. Ever since, frankincense has been associated with Christmas. While its historical significance makes frankincense an opulent ingredient to feature in spa treatments around the holidays, it...

Master Cleanse

Purify the skin and expel toxins and evil spirits with juniper berries.
Juniper berries have long been used to purify the air—and protect against evil. Ancient Europeans burned the berries as part of a cleansing ritual to protect against sorcery, and the sweet, earthy scent was believed to ward off the plague. Legend says a juniper planted at the front door would prevent a witch from entering unless she could count all of the needles. Native Americans used juniper berries for medicinal and spiritual applications, and even today, the shrub is associated...

The White Stuff

Discover why offering teeth-whitening services in your spa can have you smiling all the way to the bank.
A holistic approach to spa services is routine these days, and yet somehow, teeth are often forgotten in the whole body, mind, and soul approach to health and wellness. Instead of overlooking those not-so-pearly whites, spas can grow their customer base and revenue stream by offering teeth whitening. “We have seen about a 600 percent increase with teeth whitening in spas and salons in the past year, even with the economy,” says Dane Rodriguez, owner of NuYu Teeth Whitening. “Teeth...

The Tree of Life

Let clients know that your spa is on a mission to heal by incorporating neem in products and treatments.
Often referred to as “The Divine Tree” or “the heal-all” in India, the neem tree, including its leaves, flowers, seeds, fruits, roots, and bark, has been used for several thousands of years to treat inflammation, infection, fever, skin diseases, and dental disorders. It has been used extensively in Ayurveda, Unani healing, and homeopathic medicine. Neem is also a safe, naturally occurring pesticide, which has made the tree an integral part of rural life in India, says Rahul Koul, co-CEO of...

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