Body Scrubs

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Nine spas spill on the benefits of body scrubs and how to make them shine in the treatment room.

Clients’ most common requests tend to focus on massages and facials, yet there’s another treatment that is just as beneficial for the body and soul: exfoliation services. Whether you call it a scrub, polish or buffer, the results are the same. These types of offerings help slough away dead skin cells and other impurities that keep the skin from receiving the ingredients in serums, lotions and essential oils. Scrubs also encourage circulation and even detoxification. So how do you get guests to understand and appreciate the magic that is exfoliation? Take some inspiration from the following spa pros, who have successfully made body scrub services the MVPs of their menus.

TallGrass Aveda Spa and Salon
Evergreen, Colorado

If there’s one thing the staff at TallGrass Spa knows, it’s the art of the body scrub. In fact, six of the seven body treatments featured on the spa’s menu are specifically aimed at exfoliating. “Our clients’ skin endures a lot living in Colorado, where the air is so dry and everyone is often outside,” says spa director Melissa Rackliff. “This little bit of self-care can make all the difference, especially come spring when we start to show a bit more skin.” She says the spa’s Sugar Scrub (50 min./$115), which features the Éminence product line, is a staff and client fave. “It’s customized to fit each guest’s needs—from hydrating coconut and healing blueberry, to antioxidant pear and green apple,” explains Rackliff, adding that the treatment is topped off with a moisturizer to recharge patrons’ skin.

To spread the word on its skin-sloughing menu, TallGrass gets everyone on the team involved. “Our Guest Relations (GR) team offers these services to clients when scheduling appointments,” says Rackliff. “The GR gals have a bit of a competitive streak too! Contests to see who can encourage the most bookings are always fun—as long as the recommendations remain in the guests’ best interests.”

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Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa
Stowe, Vermont

Nothing is more authentic or classic to Vermont than the area’s maple leaves. “A favorite among locals, our Vermont Maple Sugar Body Polish (80 min./$190) uses fresh ingredients made by our partners at Lunaroma Aromatic Apothecary in nearby Burlington,” says spa director Surinda Oberai Cavanagh. “It includes maple syrup, raw honey and sugar, which is less drying than some salt-based scrubs. We end the polish with a body butter massage, providing the perfect antidote for the harsh, icy weather, as well as unsettled bodies and minds.”

Spring proves to be the ideal season to promote the signature service as it aligns with maple season and the state’s renowned Maple Festival, which takes place annually at the end of April. “We remind clients that spring is also the perfect time to rehydrate and rejuvenate their bodies,” adds Oberai Cavanagh.

DuBunné Spa Club & Massage Centre
Torrance, California

Despite its add-on status, DuBunné’s Back Scrub Enhancement (10 min./$15) is far from a second-fiddle treatment, says spa director Jessica Palmer. “It allows the body oils to fully absorb and hydrate the skin, so you get a better glow,” she explains, adding that the formula uses gentle, non-aggressive microbeads.

Staff members like to throw in the enhancement as a complimentary service during the holidays to help make the season merry and bright for their clients. And once these guests are hooked on the feeling, “We recommend purchasing the product for at-home use once or twice a week for upkeep,” says Palmer. “If a client is using any sort of oil or lotion at home, then this is an important step in their regimen.”

body scrub

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The Professional Touch Rehab and Wellness Massage Therapy and Spa Center
Cortland, Ohio

Spring is a popular time for this spa’s Pevonia Silky Skin Body Scrub (30 min./$35), as it adds new luster and allows for cell regeneration, says lead therapist Kathleen D’Errico. “Everyone wants to exfoliate after winter, and they’re constantly asking us for recommendations,” she explains. “Well, this is our solution! We have our therapists practice performing the treatment on each other, so they know exactly what to say to clients about its results and benefits. It’s an easy service to talk up when we have smooth, silky skin ourselves.”

The offering includes a nourishing scrub application, followed by a dry oil moisturizer that seals the skin’s moisture barrier. “We recommend this scrub to complement the massages we offer,” says D’Errico. “It’s also great when performed in conjunction with other body treatments and sunless tanning.”

The Woodhouse Day Spa
Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

The body polishing treatments at The Woodhouse have become highly anticipated services available four times a year. They coincide with the seasonal offerings by FarmHouse Fresh and always include festive ingredients and scents; the scrub services regularly rotate through different, season-appropriate themes. The spa’s summer
scrub, for example, is the Sea Salt & Sunflower Renewal (50 min./$120). “This is a very decadent service, thanks to the delicious scents and textures of the products, as well as the indulgent Vichy shower hydrotherapy,” says spa owner Kimberly Powell. Featuring FarmHouse Fresh’s shea sugar scrub, organic sunflower body butter and lemongrass mineral bath blend, the treatment is topped off with a Sunflower Honey Butter Serum that’s packed with antioxidants and vitamin A, so clients get an antiaging boost in addition to smoother, more refined skin. Plus, they have the option to add services such as reflexology; a back, neck and shoulder massage; or spray tan.

To ensure Woodhouse employees are truly experts on these seasonal treatments, Powell gives them the protocols in advance; staff are then able to test the service out on each other and become familiar with the products before they’re added to the menu.

Esther’s Hair Haven
DuBois, Pennsylvania

Esther Carr, owner of the full-service salon, prefers the M’lis Buff body exfoliator— infused with detoxifying aloe and papaya fruit extract—as an ideal kick-start to the brand’s popular body wrap service. “It’s offered as a dry service before clients receive a Contour Body Wrap,” she explains. “The scrub is applied starting at the ankles and rubbed in using a circular motion, then brushed off with a clean, dry towel. Because it’s an enzyme-based product, it isn’t as abrasive as a sea salt scrub, which clients really appreciate.”

According to Carr, the exfoliant’s work doesn’t stop there. To prolong the wrap’s results—which include reducing the appearance of cellulite and increasing skin elasticity—guests are encouraged to work the body buffer into their at-home skincare routines. “I strongly recommend that clients purchase the M’lis Cellulite Smoothing Kit, which includes Buff and Maintain, an aloe-based contour cream,” she says. “The Buff
can be used one to three times a week as a dry, pre-shower exfoliant, or during a shower as a wet scrub.”

body scrub

[Image: Getty Images]

Geomare Wellness Center & Spa
Southampton, New York

As the owner of a spa in one of the country’s prime vacation spots, Geomare Avilés has a specific strategy for touting her scrub-infused services, which feature Yon-Ka Paris products. “During the summer, we get a lot of tourists who are ready to pamper themselves, and they spare no expense when they visit our facility,” she explains.

“Often when someone comes in for a facial or massage, we’ll suggest and recommend additional treatments like a body scrub. The topic tends to come up when discussing clients’ skin concerns, and can serve as a nice segue into the benefits of full body exfoliation,” continues Avilés.  “Summer is the perfect time to have these conversations, as it’s highly likely that there’s some level of concern about being seen in a bathing suit. Smooth, glowing, radiant skin is an especially appealing result.”

The spa pro notes that the spa receives mostly local traffic during fall and winter. And because Hamptons residents can sometimes be a bit more conservative when it comes to spending money on skin care, Geomare Wellness Center lures them in with discounted packages. “We’ll combine two separate treatments, like one of our scrubs and a body wrap, and offer a 15 or 20 percent discount,” she says.

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Qua Baths and Spa at Caesars Atlantic City
New Jersey

Although far from the South Pacific Ocean, Qua Spa aims to make clients feel like they’ve been transported to paradise with the Fiji Ritual (75 min./$230). Featuring products from the Pure Fiji line, this deeply hydrating service includes a tropical mix of ingredients that include mango, coconut, pineapple and milk,
plus a sugar scrub exfoliation. Post-polish skin is then slathered in body butter, massaged and cocooned for deep penetration while a scalp massage is performed—all that’s missing is a fruity cocktail.

Qua Spa provides a discounted add-on facial ($225) every Monday, dubbed “Mystic Mondays” to encourage clients to start the week off with some TLC. “We’ll occasionally offer a discount of nearly 30 percent (although this number fluctuates) on select treatments Monday through Thursday; it helps increase business on slower days,” says spa manager Melissa Stuche.

Spa Phoenix
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Despite its sunny seaside locale, Spa Phoenix gives clients a sun-kissed glow sans UV rays in the form of the Body Burnish treatment (60 min./$95). The service includes a solid scrub-down and professionally applied sunless bronzer for a Red Carpet ready glow, in addition to a relaxing, wind- down experience. The massage and exfoliation with a Biotone sugar scrub is followed by a quick rinse from the steam shower. Then, the bronzer is applied in long, soft strokes.

And clients aren’t the only ones enjoying this scrub-infused offering. Medical director Matthew Galumbeck, MD, says he ensures staff can speak with authority on the service by making them fans as well. “I always talk about the benefits of our treatments at our monthly staff meetings,” says Dr. Galumbeck. “We have our employees try everything; that way, they can passionately talk about their experiences firsthand without having to ‘sell’ it.”

–By Angela Melero

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