Next week is Spa Week in New York, and in various other cities across the country. This is basically the spa equivalent of Restaurant Week, and it lasts from October 12th-18th. During this week, many treatments that regularly cost well over $100 are going for $50. I must say, I was elated to see how many of the participating spas tout their use of natural products, but I guess it's only appropriate that the spa industry has jumped on the "natural" bandwagon. Even so, it is still ALWAYS a good idea to research the products a spa uses before setting any appointments in stone. I promise that it’s not uncommon for customers to inquire about the products a spa uses. While they might be the experts, YOU are the customer. WE are the consumers. According to BBMG's 2009 Conscious Consumer Report, one in four U.S. consumers say they have "no way of knowing" if a product is green. This is not knowledge that we will suddenly wake up with one day. Like all good things, it takes time and effort to perform the necessary research to be a conscious consumer. But once we become conscious consumers, the industry will respond to our desire for more natural, less toxic products!
Anyhow, I especially like Spa Week for two reasons. The first is due it’s “eco-treatment” category. While this made me very skeptical at first (there was no definition whatsoever for the “eco” treatment ingredient standards), I realized that most of these treatments are performed exclusively with raw products, like the fruit facials. We could probably concoct treatments like these at home...but how luxurious would that be? Aestheticians obviously know the many disadvantages of using preservatives, parabens, and other chemicals on the skin. I’d bet that these individuals are just as happy as the Naturalchemyst is about the new movement towards TRULY natural skincare...but as there are no regulations for the spa, products, and cosmetics industries, remember that we've got to take it upon ourselves to inquire about any treatments.
Also, I was elated to find that Spa Week’s exclusive cosmetic sponsor is Jane Iredale! On the expert recommendation of Jessie at New London Pharmacy (she is superb at natural product recommendations), I’ve been using Jane Iredale cosmetics almost exclusively for the past year. The products are awesome, but as of now, they are only sold in spas and at New London, CO Bigelow, and Cambridge Chemists in New York. I was excited to see floating ads for Ms. Iredale’s products on the Spa Week website, as opposed to advertising for some highly toxic product, as one might usually see for an event like this. The Iredale products are mineral-based (most cosmetics are oil or water based, so as to mix well with chemicals), and opposed to many natural or organic lines available, I’ve found that Jane Iredale has a plethora of colors and complimentary products. Due to the inherent purpose of cosmetics (coloring, covering up, etc.) it’s difficult to create a fully natural product that is still effective and attractive. That said, Jane Iredale cosmetics are NOT fully natural, but they are much better for your skin than similarly priced products found in department stores. With the cosmetic industry’s lack of regulation, I can guarantee that you will find many products with “natural” labels that are actually far from natural. Remember, natural ingredients ≠ natural! I actually don’t use much makeup on a daily basis, but there are a few items I’d never leave the house without. I’m happy knowing that these items are based in minerals and not quasi-toxic chemical compounds!
All good news today. Happy Spa Week, everyone!