Cleopatra was not only the Queen of the Nile but she was also a woman who wanted to maintain her youthful appearance. Although it is likely she didn't understand the skin-enhancing properties of honey centuries ago, it's no secret that her regular milk and honey baths kept her skin looking radiant and feeling smooth. Today, the actual skin benefits derived from honey are well known, making it an ideal ingredient to incorporate into spa services.
Because it is a humectant, honey retains water, helping to keep clients' skin moisturized, which is especially important during the winter. At Mountain Body Spa (Park City, UT), many spa-goers opt for the Ultimate Salt & Honey Glow ($170, 90 minutes). The signature treatment includes an exfoliation, a wrap using honey butter, a shower, and a 60-minute massage. Afterward, guests leave the spa ready to hit the slopes with rejuvenated, moisturized skin.
At Aqua Spa (West Hollywood, CA) spa-goers follow in Cleopatra's footsteps with the Aqua Milk and Honey ($150, 60 minutes) body treatment, an Ayurvedic service created to leave the skin soft and hydrated. To begin, a blend of warm honey and organic sesame oil is applied to the body during a 60-minute massage. Next, warm milk is used to remove the honey from the skin, followed by a Reiki session and the laying on of hands to help clients not only look their best but also feel their best.
While honey is great for body treatments, it is also an ideal ingredient for other types of services. At Sam Martirano Salon & Spa (Glenview, IL), spa director Marilyn Weissman uses Satin Smooth Honey with Vitamin E for both face and body waxing services. According to her, it is her wax of choice because it works on all hair and skin types. "The honey wax does an exceptional job grabbing short, coarse hairs," says Weissman.
Jennifer Hughs, spa director at Spa Soak (Chicago) recommends Bioelements Acne Clearing Treatment ($105, 60 minutes), which contains honey, to clients suffering from acne. "Honey is a valuable natural ingredient because it helps the skin lock in moisture," says Hughs. "The more hydrated the skin, the better it will function and the stronger it will become. With an acneic client, attention should be paid to moisturizing and reducing inflammation. The treatment is great for clients who need help with chronic acne and want to heal the signs of past flare-ups and prevent new breakouts."
At Elemis Day Spa (Miami), many clients opt for the Visible Brilliance Facial ($150, 75 minutes), in which honey is a key ingredient. "Honey is food for the skin," says Noella Gabriel, director of product and treatment development for Elemis. "It contains anti-aging, soothing, and skin thirst-quenching properties, which makes it an ideal ingredient for products and treatments."
In addition to its moisturizing properties, honey contains antioxidants and flavonoids, as well as hydrogen peroxide, which help it function as an antibacterial agent. This was the impetus behind the creation of The Midnight Honey Body Buzz with Warm Honey ($175, 60 minutes; $260, 90 minutes) at The Mayflower Spa (Washington, CT). The treatment, which uses products from Farmaesthetics, begins with the guest being offered a small spoonful of honey, followed by a full-body cleansing. Next, warm honey mixed with a little water is drizzled over the body before a honey-based exfoliant is massaged into the skin. After a shower, the treatment continues with an application of Midnight Honey Oil and a wrap. A gentle massage concludes the treatment. "The honey is first eaten for its nutritional benefits, then used as an antibacterial skin-smoothing agent," explains spa director Helen Brown. "Clients who have experienced the treatment have commented on how wonderful it smells, how soft their skin feels, and how soothing and nurturing it was as a general experience."
According to Debra Champlain, spa manager at Haircolor Masters Salon & Spa (Painted Post, NY), Manuka honey, which is produced by bees that gather nectar from the flowers that grow on the Manuka bush, contains additional antibacterial properties. Champlain recommends the Plantogen Healing Manuka Honey Facial ($55, 60 minutes) to clients who are suffering from acne or for those with aging skin looking to improve cellular regeneration. But Champlain believes the healing powers of honey reach even further. In fact, after returning from a Plantogen education class, she shared her knowledge of the ingredient to one of her clients who was suffering from ulcers on her lower legs from diabetes. "I told the client about Plantogen Manuka Honey and what I had learned about its benefits," says Champlain. "I gave her the product literature along with a sample to share with her doctor, who researched it and decided to give it a try." According to Champlain, the leg treated with Manuka honey took less than six weeks to heal, while the client's other leg, which was treated using conventional medical methods, took more than a year to heal."
With proven benefits and success stories, this ingredient is fairly easy and inexpensive to obtain. By incorporating honey into your treatment menu, clients will be swarming to your spa to experience the healing and skin-enhancing benefits derived from its use.