Tuesday, March 3, 2009



The chill and dryness of fall into winter can last well over three months in many northern climates; in my area, it begins in late October and goes well into March and sometimes even to mid-April. That’s a very long time for skin to be dry, sensitive, irritated and even reactive. Seasonal change always brings about temperature fluctuations and declining humidity, both indoors and outdoors. Prolonged cold temps and a lack of humidity will challenge anyone’s mettle. And, this combination isn’t exactly skin-friendly or optimum for maintaining hydrated and vibrant skin. We also tend to modify other things, like choosing heavier-weighted, warmer fabrics, or consuming so-called comfort foods like soups and stews, or altering our color palettes from pale to bold, whether it’s for clothing or esthetics; even the intensity of fragrance we use becomes more intense and less airy. More importantly, however, the regimen we adapt for both face and body care, including the types of products used, also changes and intensifies.

Within the spa setting, what is offered to guests, including the retail area, should also reflect seasonal changes and appropriate product changes. The following are my takes on a few favorites I recently tried that should help warm up winter’s chill, protecting and intensifying the defenses for the body and spirit. These products are all “cold weather wonders” that envelope, protect, restore and comfort, and will definitely help stave-off the chill and dryness of this extended climatological season. Overall, the skin and body care products were gentle, added a protective barrier impervious to the sting of cold, biting winds, both calming and soothing any irritation. The products also noticeably improved my hydration levels, restoring a healthy condition to the skin; quick absorption, minimal residue and exceptional aromas were other favorable qualities to the products and their overall performance.

Abrioné – Soap-free Honey Oatmeal Cleanser is a logical addition to the winter skincare regimen and ideal for soothing sensitive skin. Gentle and effective; rinses clean without drying; oatmeal soothes and gently sloughs, while honey hydrates; interesting aroma. (www.vbcosmetics.com)

Anakiri – The “bioenergetics” products tried included Essential Day Lotion, Regenerating Oatmeal Mask, Rejuvenating Water Essence, and Hydrating Mineral Mist (another must-have, take-with); delightful aromas and gentle hydration and protection. The Panela Body Sugar was great for exfoliating dry skin, priming it for moisturizer. Solid performers. (www.anakiri.com)

Antiqua Prima – Both the Revelatio Hydrating Mask and Salutatio Misting Serum were ideal hydrators; wonderful aromas; the serum is a must-have take-with. The Gratificatio Serum was an intense antioxidant serum that calms irritated or inflamed skin; quickly absorbed, but had an antiseptic aroma. (www.antiquaprima.com)

Aspara Aromatics – The Tea Zensation Bath Baubles restored my bath time to fun-time, while adding a heady aroma and super hydration to the bath; fun and fizzy. (www.aspara-aromatics.com)

Being TRUE – This line never disappoints me. High performance products packed with anti-aging proprietary Idebenone; these super-performers have great botanical formulations and scrumptious, heady aromas. Their Restoring Aromatic Treatment Oil and Essential High Tech Cream were exceptional and yielded noticeable results. The Restoring Aromatic Treatment Oil delivers an antioxidant, while adding a comforting and protective barrier. The Essential High Tech Cream hydrates, while building up the defenses against signs aging. Guaranteed to keep your facial routine above any climate challenges. (www.truecosmetics.com)

Eclipse Spa – Packed with super-hydrating oils, the Organic Sugar, Soy and Tea Bubble Bath and Wildcrafted Shea Sugar Scrub were also gentle; my skin was silky and the delicious lavender oil aroma made bath and shower time a real treat. (www.eclipsespa.com)

Emergin-C – The D-Red Daytime Emulsion is ideal for sensitive and reactive skin, like rosacea; calming and soothing. Ideal day or night, adding a protective barrier that insulates. (www.emerginc.com)

Institut Esthederm – Both the Cellular Concentrate serum and Cellular Water Gel cream are high-performance products based on their proprietary regenerative cellular water formulation; wonderful hydration, lovely consistency and aroma; ideal products in the arsenal of effective skin care. (www.esthederm.com)

Kinara – I’m never impressed with anything the celebrity-types go agog. That said, however, the products were impressive and included Rehydrating Cleanser, Dry Skin Toner, Intense Moisturizer, Nighttime Skin Quencher, Firming and Hydrating Eye Cream, and Intense Peptide Serum. All of these products are high-performers. The real stunner was the serum. The day and night regimen left my skin brighter with a noticeable improvement to the texture. (www.kinaraspa.com)

L’Occitane – The new Honey & Lemon line uses pure honey from Provence and lemon extract from Italy. The result is a terrific series of body care products that soften and renew lack-luster skin. Products include Foaming Jelly, Delicious Bath, Sweet Sugar Scrub, and Delightful Cream. These high-performers also deliver an exceptionally dense and heady aroma. (www.loccitane.com)

Payot – The Intensive Hydrating Serum was a real stunner. Great absorption, super-hydrating and lovely consistency. Doux Regard is a super gentle all-purpose eye contour emulsion that’s non-irritating; impressive. The Masque Reveil Éclat revitalized and brightened skin. Loved all of these products. (www.payot.com)

PerfectSense – Re-defining paraffin treatments, PerfectSense INFUSIONS continues to wow the industry with its disposable and highly effective mani and pedi paraffin treatments. Sanitary, hydrating and very effective. Great warmth to combat the bite and chill; ideal for an at-home experience. (www.perfectsense.com)

Principessa – Another bath-time hit, Delizia Mia Sugar Polish is a hydration-rich sugar scrub with an amazing complex floral aroma that gently exfoliates and leaves skin silky-smooth; you’ll be tempted to over-indulge in the shower just to intensify the product’s aroma to contemplate warmer climes. (www.principessabeauty.com)

Renée Rouleau – Gentle skin care products included AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel, Elderberry Toner, Skin Drink, Mint Buffing Beads, and Blue Azulene Cream. Although the Mint Buffing Beads were a bit intense for weather sensitive skin, the products were gentle and effective with pleasant aromas; I especially enjoyed the Blue Azulene Cream with its calming and soothing properties. (www.reneerouleau.com)

Sweet Grass – Super Duty Hand Care is an intensely comforting and protective salve that is another must-have take-with product; ideal after a brisk bout in the outdoors, especially on chapped lips, dry cuticles and fingertips. (www.sweetgrassonline.com)

VonNatur – The Grapefruit Whipped Butter is a hybrid mix of the top picks in hydrating butters, like shea, jojoba and avocado. This comforting and deep moisturizing butter is great for après “anything”. Another must-have take-with is the Refresh & Hydrate Spritz; guaranteed to refresh and keep skin hydrated. (www.vonnatur.com)

The chill and biting wind might be upon you this season, but these treats are seasonless. Spas carrying these products will definitely rev-up their retail sales with any of these “cold weather wonders” adding some sizzle and warmth to their retail setting, translating to potentially increased profits. Consider, too, that when guests are given a real choice by offering a mix of different product lines with varying price points that they might not hesitate wanting to spend a little more money in the spa.

By Terry Herman

Terry Herman is a recognized expert in the spa industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In addition to writing and reviewing, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker.


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