Spa-goers, along with the rest of the population, are living longer and working through their golden years. Many want to look as good as they feel from top to bottom, prompting them to seek anti-aging solutions beyond facials. “Today, anti-aging is even more of the focus of self-care than before,” says Szilvia Hickman, owner of Ilike Organic Skin Care. “Consumers are well informed and realize how important their overall wellbeing is for longevity. Your spa can further educate the sophisticated client, not only focusing on the face but the whole body, when offering anti-aging treatments.” Many experts agree that the skin on the body deserves the same care and attention typically given to the face. “The best way to prevent the signs of aging on the body is to consistently care for it like the face,” says Janae Muzzy, vice president of research and development for Epicuren Discovery.
However, the skin on the body has its own unique quirks and concerns. According to Hickman, it is approximately five times thicker than facial skin and features fewer hair follicles and sebaceous glands and less natural exfoliation. “All this ultimately results in skin that needs more hydrating products and more intense treatments,” says Hickman. An ideal treatment involves exfoliation and hydration, like The La Mer Body Treatment ($200, 60 minutes; $300, 90 minutes) at Spa de La Mer at Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York. This sumptuous service features an exfoliation with pure diamond powder and a massage with The Body Crème, a hydrating formula that relies on La Mer’s famous Miracle Broth, a fermented sea-kelp anti-ager.
Enhancing body treatments like scrubs, peels, and wraps with powerful anti-aging ingredients and techniques can also help reverse damage and appeal to youth-seeking spa-goers. “Traditional body treatments typically focus on detoxification or pampering of the body,” says Hickman “The focus of anti-aging body treatments should be to address loss of firmness, rough texture, dry skin, and to reverse the signs of aging by loading the skin with free-radical fighting antioxidants.” An ideal example of this is the Papaya-Pineapple Salt Mousse ($152, 60 minutes) at Red Lane Spa at Sandals Resorts (multiple locations in the Caribbean), which exfoliates skin and replenishes hydration with Pevonia’s De-Aging Saltmousse Papaya-Pineapple and De-Aging Body Balm Papaya-Pineapple. “Exfoliation with nonaggressive natural exfoliants like marine salt, polished vegetal beads, and even mild fruit acids is a good start to get rid of excess dead cells,” says Kim Lee, ND, MH, corporate sales educator for Pevonia.
Another consideration should be the gender of your guests, as female clients tend to focus more on the anti-aging needs of the entire body. “Usually firmness, texture, and evenness of skintone on the hands and décolleté are their primary areas of focus,” says Muzzy. This is because women often neglect their necks and hands during their skincare regimens, and as a result, these areas divulge the telltale signs of age due to sun exposure and other environmental stressors. Add-on treatments that hone in on these hot spots give spa-goers’ a sampling of results before they dive into full-body treatments. At The Spa at Omni Grove Park Inn (Asheville, NC), Ageless Hands ($40) can be added on to any facial to reduce age spots and sun damage and firm skin on the hands. Peninsula Spa at The Peninsula New York devotes a full-length treatment to the neck, décolleté, and upper arms with The Biologique Recherche Forever Young Treatment (starting at $150, 30 minutes; $350, 75 minutes). It targets the superficial and deep tissues in these areas utilizing the brand’s exclusive manual techniques, combined with patented microcurrent technology and concentrated serums to firm and lift. Beyond those two popular areas, the firmness and even skintone of the arms, legs, and buttocks are a close second, according to Muzzy.
But no matter which part of a client’s body you intend to treat, it is essential to check the ingredient list carefully before incorporating them into treatments to ensure they are effective. “Non-facial skin constitutes around 95 percent of the skin surface, so products designed for use on the body generally must be carefully formulated,” says Craig Kraffert, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and president of Amarte. Antioxidants fit the bill for companies like Epicuren Discovery, FarmHouse Fresh, Ilike Organic Skin Care, and more. “Antioxidants are like a director on a movie set who oversees production and sets everyone into place,” says Shannon McLinden, founder and CEO of FarmHouse Fresh. “They can help reduce oxidative stresses, so the body’s healthy cells can proliferate and fight free radicals, promote collagen production, improve elasticity, and undo sun damage.” Antioxidants paired with naturally nourishing ingredients are just what the skin on the body needs. “Use products containing natural extracts like antioxidants—vitamins A, C, and E—for repair, vegetal oils for nourishment, hyaluronic acid for hydration, elastin and collagen for resilience, shea butter for protection, and sunscreen to ward off additional damage,” says Lee. According to McLinden, allantoin is another effective option, as it stimulates healthy skin cell renewal. Other natural ingredients also boast youthful benefits. “Green technology and clean cosmeceuticals, which are performance-based ingredients that act as a catalyst to correct and prevent damage without harming the skin, allow us to develop more effective products to prevent and reverse visible signs of aging,” says Barbara Close, founder and CEO of Naturopathica. Baillie agrees and praises palmarosa for improving skintone and texture; coconut oil for moisturizing; and avocado oil for nourishing and restoring skin.
Offering bodycare products featuring these effective ingredients in anti-aging body treatments can make selling homecare easier. Though massage and bodywork therapists may not be as comfortable promoting anti-aging bodycare products, it doesn’t have to be challenging. “The easiest product to sell for home use is the one the client can experience, either during treatment or as a tester,” says Hickman. “Experimenting increases desire and sales, which ultimately helps the client to achieve firmer, softer, and smoother skin. The most important thing is to understand that recommending professional-grade products is not selling, it is prescribing skincare.”
Skincare products should not be the only weapon in a spa’s anti-aging bodycare arsenal. Equipment like Vichy showers, pressotherapy machines, laser and light therapy, and more enhance the client experience and the youthful results they desire. “I love technology, and I think today’s noninvasive technologies are the best that we have ever seen in beauty,” says Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder ofJoanna Vargas Salon (Los Angeles and New York City) and Joanna Vargas Skincare Collection. She recommends radiofrequency, microcurrent, microdermabrasion, and LED light therapy for her clients and offers The Burn (starting at $400, 60 minutes) to melt fat, diminish the appearance of cellulite, and trigger collagen production to increase elasticity. “LED light therapy is an excellent modality to incorporate into total body anti-aging treatments,” says Joniann Marchese, president of LightStim. “Specifically amber, infrared, and red wavelengths provide a multitude of benefits, including natural stimulation of collagen and elastin, acceleration in healing, reduction in inflammation, and a promotion of circulation.” LightStim’s new LED Bed allows clients to lie down and relax while the therapeutic light energy repairs and energizes the entire body.
However, high-tech equipment isn’t always needed. A tool as simple as a dry brush stimulates the skin, exfoliates, promotes fluid and lymph drainage, and improves circulation so nutrients reach the surface of the skin. The Energizing Spirulina Wrap ($175, 90 minutes) at Hibiscus Spa at Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa purifies the body with a dry-brush exfoliation, a deep-cleansing salt scrub infused with juniper essential oil, and a spirulina algae wrap. “Body wraps can also enhance benefits, detoxify, and deliver deep hydration that can be further sealed in with a high-performing, high-quality professional moisturizer,” says Lee. Similarly, the Vino Therapy Treatment ($175, 60 minutes) at Agua Spa at Delano South Beach (FL) begins with a dry brushing and relies on invigorating active ingredients and vinotherapy to repair and renew the skin. “It’s a facial for the entire body,” says spa director Laura Anne Pelliccio. “What you do to the face you should do to the body.”
This philosophy is resonating with clients, who are devoting time and money to keeping up youthful appearances. “Ultimately, the growing interest in fighting the signs of aging all over is ignited by people’s desire to feel confidant,” says Muzzy. “We all want our external appearance to reflect how we feel inside."
On the Flip side
Combining your spa’s anti-aging body treatments with yoga classes can enhance the youthful benefits. As a longtime yoga enthusiast, Katherine Tomasso, national director of education for Yon-Ka Paris, says regular inversions (any pose when the head is below the heart) are the best ways to prevent the signs of aging on the body. “This reduces the stress that gravity places on the human form,” she says. “Anything you can do that will maintain good posture and keep the spine healthy and supple is effective.” Scientific research also supports it, with multiple studies showing superior lung function and heart health, improved symptoms of depression, and reduced stress.
Help firm, tone, and improve elasticity with these anti-aging bodycare products.—Darby Radcliff
1. Biotone Lavender & Rose Truly Nourish Dry Body Oil Spray: Restore elasticity with this hydrating formula infused with antioxidant-packed botanicals and avocado, sesame, and shea oils. www.biotone.com
2. Clarins Extra-Firming Body Lotion: Improve skin’s natural elasticity and promote youthful-looking contours with this anti-wrinkle blend of hazelnut, ironwood, jojoba, lemon thyme, and oat. www.clarinsusa.com
3. [ comfort zone ] Body Strategist D-Age Cream: Fight the visible signs of aging and improve the appearance of stretch marks with this daily firming cream formulated with antioxidants. www.comfortzone.it
4. Elemis Pro-Collagen Lifting Treatment Neck and Bust: Featuring propolis, royal jelly, and seabuckthorn, this anti-aging treatment firms skin for a smoother, more youthful-looking neck and bust. www.elemis.com
5. Éminence Organic Skin Care Naseberry Treatment Cream: Moisturize and improve the appearance of skin with this lifting complex infused with apple and grape extracts, glycolic acid, and naseberry. www.eminenceorganics.com
6. FarmHouse Fresh Wine Down Super Antioxidant Recovery Body Serum: Reduce fine lines with this antioxidant serum containing apple and watermelon fruit extracts and resveratrol. www.farmhousefreshgoods.com
7. Nelly De Vuyst Firming Cream Neck and Bust: Achieve a younger looking décolleté with this firming cream made with a blend of toning peptides. www.nellydevuyst.com
8. Pevonia Stem Cells Phyto-Elite Intensive Body Corrector: Fight aging and correct uneven skintone with this formula featuring argan and comfrey stem cells. www.pevoniapro.com
9. Prima Fleur Phyto Renewal Body Serum: Prevent premature skin aging and repair environmental damage with this lemon balm, manganese, selenium, and zinc formula. www.primafleur.com
10. Provence Cosmetics Sublime Décolleté: Boost radiance with this detoxifying and anti-aging formula, which addresses loss of firmness, elasticity, and dehydration. www.provencecosmetics.com
11. Pure Fiji Noni Hydrating Body Lotion: Restore the appearance of a younger, more toned body with this nourishing botanical blend formula enriched with noni seed oil. www.purefiji.com
12. Thémaé Paris Silky Body Moisturizing Cream: Increase elasticity and hydrate skin with this silky treatment made with borage and macadamia oils and a regenerating white tea. www.themae.com