Local Heroes

International Orange treatments
International Orange treatments use hand-blended products made by a Marin County formulator

International Orange in San Francisco

On the menu: Organic Fusion Massage (60 min./$135), using Swedish strokes, shiatsu and Thai yoga stretches, with locally sourced Jasmine and Green Tea oil; and Organic Detox Facelift (75 min./$175), with lymphatic stimulation massage, utilizing customized herbal cleansing and enzymatic exfoliation

Recipes call for: Bergamot peel, calendula blossom, lavender, tuberose, geranium, nettle, echinacea, vetiver, white lotus, shea butter, raw honey and more.

How they’re served: Most International Orange (IO) service and retail potions (including body wash, body oil, bath soaks, deodorant, hair wash and more) are hand-blended by a formulator partner who works nearby, in California’s verdant Marin County. Only certified organic, wild-crafted and biodynamically grown plants—from Marin, Napa or Sonoma—are sourced, and all oils and butters are fair-trade. Spa management has also partnered with fellow San Franciscan Julie Elliott, owner and founder of In Fiore, an organic body balm and perfumery outfit, to offer luxurious body treatments. Elliott’s balms are crafted from small batches of grape seed and jojoba oils with herbal essences.

Inspiration: In 2005, the IO team began shopping around for a private-label formulator who could help the day spa better serve a clientele increasingly concerned with “stripping down extras and getting to the necessary elements of skin care and wellness not only in the spa but at home, too,” as manager Leslie Wang Su puts it. “We’re constantly collaborating with all our vendors, so we asked who they worked with and trusted, and by the time we hired our formulator, we had seen her work and felt really good about it.”

Trade secrets: The launch of IO’s organic private-label line opened up a world of indigenous service possibilities. “We unveiled the IO Organic Fusion Massage just a couple years ago,” Su says, “because it was a natural fit with our organic body care collection. Right now we’re designing facials that integrate different Eastern massage modalities.”

Final verdict: “Clients love it,” Su says. “Nowadays, they ask a lot of questions—and they know we offer truly curative body work, healing and skin care. We also do a lot of business with expectant mothers, who are really diligent about what they’re putting on and into their bodies.”