WEB EXCLUSIVE: Cult Facials

courtesy The Ace Hotel

Feel Good Spa's Palm Springs Peel

The "indigenous treatment" trend is currently hotter than the massage rocks in most treatment rooms! Harnessing the healing and beautifying properties of local herbs, fruits and leaves is not only a naturally active way to achieve results; it also heightens a spa's sense of place and appeals to clients interested in beauty tourism. The Ace Hotel's Feel Good Spa in sunny Palm Springs has savvily tapped into this trend with its Palm Springs Peel (60 min./$125), a treatment that lightly exfoliates, hydrates and soothes with the help of natural acids and nourishing elements of such arid-landscape favorites as dates and cacti. This service, as the spa brochure puts it, "restores, rehydrates and plumps desert-parched skin." The spa has aligned with a local all-organic beauty products developer, The Body Deli, to create treatments such as this from locally sourced plants.

When tapping your location for spa menu inspiration, consultant Braden says there are no boundaries. "Every city, county and state has a history rich in culture that lends itself to customized treatments," she explains. "You can always create farm-fresh facials, or tap into local lore or fun facts that express equal magnificence, from Manhattan, New York, to Manhattan, Kansas."

But how to start localizing your spa menu? "Check Wikipedia," Braden suggests. "Did any famous botanists come from your area? Is your state tree the evergreen? The USA is rich in Native American history no matter where you live, and this is a culture known for their reliance on nature and the healing properties of herbs and indigenous treatments. Design services that honor the aboriginal tribes from your area, or simply name a body treatment after a tribal chief or medicine man."