jamu spas

Top Ten Spa Trends

Top Ten Spa Trends

This year will be a defining year of separating Spavelous spa experiences from the average spa experience.  A spa fad is a unique spa service that comes and goes but does not stand the test of time.  A Spa Trend is something that develops with time and holds up for a substantial time period.  Spa trends have depth and staying power.  They may slowly sprout up in different places, and they have non-stop growth.  Sometimes, spa trends re-invent themselves and this year will bring back some spa basics.  Just as Spavelous is less about finding a spa, and more about defining a spa experience that enhances and enriches your life, spa-goers are now in a different mind frame when they review spas and determine where they want to receive their spa treatments.

spa trendLook for spas to provide you with a complete online experience so you can make a better decision.  There will be an increase in the use of actual spa photos, videos and a greater emphasis on who the employees are and the credentials they hold.  The spa will use fewer stock spa photos and they will feature more before and after testimonials along with actual client testimonials.  Spa consumers will read and write more spa reviews and stay away from spas that only list their names and address.  Savvy spa-goers realize that spas that do not invest in websites have not invested in their brand identity and may not invest in the best equipment, procedures, and products.

As far as the market segment is concerned, baby boomers are still the most important marketing demographics. More than 80 percent of marketing professionals rank the boomers at the top as an important or the most important demographics to target. However, generation X and Y are following them very closely.  So look for spa services directed at healthy aging and anti-aging.  Boomers are wellness and experience seekers, and that they also seek vitality and recovery from the products they purchase.

Fifty percent of the spa-goers visit with the intention of reducing stress, weight loss and improving their emotional health. More people are taking responsibility for their health, and there is a new focus on longevity, and aging gracefully with vigor.  Our bodies are very important, and if we don’t take proper care of them, whether that’s through spa treatments, yoga, exercise or eating properly, how can we be healthy? Spas are now offering the opportunity to address these needs, as well as allowing us to touch base with our inner core, to have downtime, and be touched in a healing way.  In addition, spa-goers in their 20s and 30s are becoming more interested in making sure they can keep not only wrinkles but also health issues such as memory decline and joint problems in check in the years to come.

spa trendAging populations are looking to maintain vitality and fight disease through ‘functional’ products that facilitate healthy aging.  As the global population continues to age, new functional products offering specific and targeted antidotes to age-related ailments continue to enter the market, there is a new level of spirit and em­powerment among older people.  They want to stay active and engaged, mentally, physically and socially for as long as possible and the spa can provide a multitude of these needs.

This year will be all about survival of the fittest in the spa industry. Consumers are going to demand real value for their money as well as visible results, The spa trends based on our research are being influenced by baby boomers’ needs, the economy, a return to the basics and what was old is new again.  In this issue, Spavelous will give you the spa insiders look at the trends that you will see continuing and emerging this year in the best of spas.

Top Spa Trend:

Show me the results!

Influenced by the baby boomers who want to turn back the hands of time and slow down the aging process, spas are now going to show you the difference. Most spas are reporting that the demand for a basic facial or a European facial is down, while the demand for custom facials that are designed to treat and prevent the signs of aging is up. In addition, spa-goers are opting for more anti-aging facials and anti agingfewer facelifts. One reason for anti-aging spa treatments being on the increase is that people cannot do effective treatments solely on their own. Spas goers are focusing on resurfacing/exfoliation, acne/extractions, hyperpigmentation, wrinkle prevention, collagen stimulation facial tone and texture. People demand tangible benefits from in-spa treatments. Seeing is believing, and sometimes that proof needs to be presented with photos, special lamps to visibly show the difference, before and after photos or videos, tape measures, and the scale.

Tools that you will see in top spas to validate the results they provide:

Woods Lamp Camera and Skin Scope: In the Esthetic field, when performing chemical peels, a Woods lamp is a very useful guide to help overcoating of the peeling solution and ensure the even treatment of all areas. Woods lamps help with assessing the protective value of sunscreens and barrier creams. A Woods lamp gives the esthetician the opportunity to recommend and sell the correct treatment, protocol, and retail products to their clients. Now, you will find that the aestheticians will be showing you a before and after with the woods, a lamp to demonstrate the improvement in your skin before and after the treatment. Other spas may use a camera-ready skin scope which is ideal for monitoring your progress throughout a series of skin care treatments.

When performing an inspection with a Woods light, the different conditions show up as various colors, helping the professional with the diagnoses.

  • Blue is normal and healthy, White Spots are a thick, horny layer of dead skin cells, Light Purple is dehydration, Dark Purple is sensitive, thin and dehydrated, Brown Spots indicate pigmentation/sun damage, Orange is Oily, Light Yellow is acne, comedones, etc.
  • Pityriasis Versicolor-Malassezia furfur, a type of dermatitis, emits a Yellowish – White or Copper-Orange color.
  • Pathogenic pseudomonas show Green luorescence.
  • Erythrasma – Corynebacterium minutissimum show Coral Red.
  • Hypopigmented or depigmented spots (vitiligo) appear sharper under Wood’s light. The lesions appear bright Blue-White.
  • Detection of excess porphyrins, which are associated with some skin diseases shows Red-Pink.
  • Before and After Photos: With digital cameras, it is quick and easy to record results. Once used only by the weight loss industry, look for the proof to be in the photo. This will be used with skincare treatments, brow shaping, cellulite treatments, and weight control treatments.
  • Weights and Measures: When it comes to body treatments, cellulite and body shaping, the weight scale and the tape measure are the old reliable indicator for effectiveness.
  • Proof of Product claims: Increasingly, we will become more discerning about the beauty products we buy and are used in our spa services. We will expect visible and proven results so that we only spend our dwindling beauty budget on those products that will have the desired effect.

Look for there to be a shift towards science-based products that actually do what they say they will. We will see even more patents, advanced technology, and clinical testing come into play, as companies attempt to convince people that their claims are true. There will be continued development in products that are a less expensive alternative to surgery, as well as advancements in stem cell research, research into cellular longevity, new peptides and alternatives to parabens.

Facial Spa Trends Focus

The economic recession will spur many consumers to re-evaluate their cosmetic surgery plans. More people may choose less invasive procedures such as injectables and fillers instead of major surgeries, to buy time until the economy rebounds. In fact, a recent poll of consumers and plastic surgeons released at the annual scientific meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) in Chicago found that 27 percent of the survey participants were considering less expensive options, compared with 20 percent six months ago.

Will consumers be penny-wise but pound-foolish? As the recession continues, many doctors may cut prices on surgical procedures as well as injectables to help attract new patients. But buyer beware: The worst thing you can do is put price before professional training.

Skin Resurfacing

spa facialAesthetic patients are becoming more focused on the texture and pigmentary issues of their skin. Laser skin resurfacing is the fifth most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure.

Fractional Resurfacing

It continues to dominate the aesthetic laser market. Fractional resurfacing involves the creation of multiple microthermal zones that affect a fractional volume of tissue. The treated areas are surrounded by viable tissue that offers epidermal stem cells for rapid recovery. This innovative concept provides resurfacing with less risk and less downtime. There are two types of fractional resurfacing: ablative resurfacing, in which multiple microthermal zones are vaporized; and nonablative resurfacing, in which microthermal zones are coagulated.

  • Ablative. Ablative fractional resurfacing involves the excision or vaporization of columns of tissue. The untreated viable tissue offers epidermal stem cells that provide for more rapid healing. Additionally, the reduction in tissue volume allows for tightening to occur.
  • Nonablative. Nonablative fractional resurfacing involves the coagulation of tissue to variable depths, allowing the stratum corneum to remain intact resulting in less downtime.


wrinklesWrinkles Relaxing Cream. There is much talk about a topical version of the wrinkle relaxer Botox. Topical Botox may be potent enough to penetrate the skin and affect the muscles, without the pain of multiple injections. Sound too good to be true? Maybe, but so far the cosmetic surgery community is enthusiastic.

A new version of Botox. Reloxin is an injectable form of botulinum toxin Type A. Like Botox Cosmetic, small doses of the toxin are injected into targeted wrinkle-causing muscles, preventing the muscle from contracting and reducing the wrinkle’s appearance. Reloxin has similar properties and lasts about as long as Botox Cosmetic, anywhere from four to six months. It should be available in 2009.

Eyelash Lengthening Still Strong

An FDA advisory panel has recommended approving Latisse, a drug that may promote longer, thicker, darker eyelashes. The drug is a spin-off of the glaucoma drug Lumigan, which has been shown to cause eyelash growth. Latisse will likely be the first eyelash-lengthening drug to gain FDA approval.

Facial Bars

For consumers who need someone to perform the services that they cannot effectively do themselves (exfoliation and extractions) and then prescribe a home maintenance system daily and weekly care, facial bars will become a great economic solution.

More Than Basic Body Contouring

body shapingThe market for body-shaping procedures has experienced tremendous growth, primarily due to the development of laser and light systems. It is predicted that body-contour procedure volume will increase 52.2% annually to more than 7.4 million procedures by 2010.  Expect the trend of body contouring to continue to grow as patients desire youthful body contours to match their youthful facial enhancements.

Noninvasive laser and light body contouring devices

It employs modalities such as radiofrequency, infrared, diode and rhythmic massage, focused ultrasound, broadband light and electroporation. These treatments involve numerous sessions and it is still unclear and too soon to know how long the results will last.

The latest in surgical body contouring treatments involve the use of an infrared fiber-optic laser for fat lipolysis. The interaction between the laser light and the adipocyte cause lipolysis with reduced bleeding. The laser’s effect on collagen can result in skin tightening. Currently, medical aesthetic practitioners are utilizing laser lipolysis for difficult or forbidden areas for traditional liposuction, such as the upper abdomen and upper thigh.

For surgical body contouring, the currently most effective is lipoplasty. This surgical procedure is performed under local tumescent anesthesia and involves the physical removal of fat deposits from under the skin. Lipoplasty can be performed with a syringe or a suction device. The syringe technique, known as liposculpture, is more precise and less traumatic to the tissue. Liposculpture provides a safe, effective and permanent avenue for body contouring.

Fat Injections for Breast Augmentation

In 1982, the ASPS condemned using fat injections for breast enhancement, but times are changing. In 2007, the same organization softened their stance a bit and called for studies. In 2008, a task force found that reshaping the breasts by injecting a woman’s own fat works well for “touch-ups” after breast reconstruction, but is not yet proven effective for cosmetic breast enhancement. This year, surgeons will be refining this technique.

Cohesive Gel Breast Implants

These so-called “gummy-bear implants” have been making their way down the pike for some time, and we may hear more about them. Filled with cohesive silicone gel, these leak-resistant implants are used in Europe and Brazil and are being studied in the United States. Gummy bear implants have the positive attributes of the silicone gel, but the gel doesn’t migrate. This is a good thing, because if the shell should fail, the gel won’t go into the surrounding tissue.

Freezing Away Fat This Year

Fat freezing (or cryolipolysis) may give liposuction a run for its money in the coming years. This technology works by freezing fat cells and in turn breaking them down. It’s in clinical trials now, and results look promising.

Personal Development

Change your mind to change your life.  Hypnotherapy and meditation ‘treatments’ will help those seeking personal development to address their concerns about life, love, and money. Could this be a timely remedy to the economic and global woes of today’s world?

Look for spa services and staff that will make a difference in people’s lives.  These services will assist people to achieve their best self and be their personal best.  Educational spa programs will be offered in a variety of ways:  Day Spas will offer evening and weekend classes.  Resort Spas will offer self-development weekend spa workshops. Topics can include:  mindful eating, weight control, heal the healer, financial planning, nutrition, exercise boot camps, daily group meditations, reading beauty product ingredient labels, home maintenance for a beautiful you, letting go of the past, relationship 101 why you attract the people you do into your life and a variety of health, life and beauty topics.

Soul Searching

personal developmentWhen faced with job insecurity and economic uncertainty, individuals tend to engage in soul searching. Development that gives support, particularly development that focuses on wellbeing and having a sense of meaning both at home and in the workplace, will be a big feature this year.  Are you where you should be in your life?  What truly makes you happy?  Look for these seminars to be conducted in a variety of ways in day spas, resort spas and destination spas.

Customer Satisfaction – Long Term Relationships

This year will be an excellent year for those businesses that focus on showing consumers they really care.  Spa clients want to know that you really care about their wellbeing and their satisfaction.  Spas will start to resume appointment confirmation, client service cards, perform follow up calls after services and request feedback from clients through emailed surveys and client spa reviews.

Spas are concerned about better customer satisfaction for better customer retention rates. This is somewhat different from the marketing trends of earlier years. In earlier years, when the internet was developing into a great platform to get a huge number of targeted visitors, marketers concentrated mainly on reaching more people. The equation was simple:  more people = more business. However, now it is also important that you retain the existing customers.  Look for more spa e-blasts and Spa newsletters to keep you informed of spa specials.

spa clients relationshipNo longer can companies ignore the millions of people who complain online about bad service.  The recession will put consumers in a more powerful position.  Spa Reviews will be a powerful tool for spas and disgruntled consumers.  The spa will begin to manage complaints differently and respond to online reviews.

Spavelous has a spa review area for each spa listed just go the spa listing and add a review and rating.  If the spa is not listed, you may submit a review here.

The Return of the Health Spa

Health & Wellness is definitely one of the hot trends. It encompasses such huge components as diabetes and obesity, food safety, women’s health, allergies, and immunity as well as the fringe issues of “well-being” and “energy.”

spa wellnessAs a trend, Age Awareness certainly overlaps with Health & Wellness, especially as the latter concerns our aging population. But there are numerous non-health aspects for processors to consider as they help our 77 million baby boomers segue into their old age.

Unlike a medical spa that tends to focus mostly on beauty treatments that require a medical certification or supervision to perform specific treatments, a health spa is a place of business with equipment and facilities for improving your physical and mental health.

Aging baby boomers facing rising incidence of chronic disease will drive demand for: prescription, nonprescription, over-the-counter remedies, foods, and beverages offering specific health benefits and healthcare education and benefits. Watch for spas to increase focus on onsite health clinics, online and in-spa educational materials, and pharmacy marketing and promotion.  75% of Baby Boomers believe the best years are ahead of them. In this vein, they are looking for solutions that cater to concerns like lack of energy, physical health, memory, and emotional health

Consumers now think of quality life experiences as being fully engaged in life, having fun, enjoying authentic experiences, not living with restriction or denial, and permitting play and imagination. From this perspective, consumers are now articulating a deeper underlying motivation to be involved in wellness. For those consumers who subscribe to this outlook on wellness, without all these new “spokes” flowing through the wellness hub, you don’t have health and well-being – you don’t have “the good life.”

Beyond the Good Life

Wellness will continue to evolve along the path of quality. Quality experiences will continue to be redefined and the very concept of wellness may even be overtaken at some point by something of higher-order importance such as “fulfillment.” Just as health has become a necessary or required condition for wellness, wellness may become the necessary condition for fulfillment. Soon the term “health” may no longer resonate with consumers because it may become an implication of wellness. Eventually, the term “wellness” may also become irrelevant as it will be implied when consumers seek fulfillment from quality experiences.

Wellness Coaches

For people seeking a lifestyle fix rather than a meal plan or workout regimen, wellness coaches focus on the whole person it includes:  dealing with stress, time management, diet, and fitness.  These wellness coaches encourage personalized, sustainable, healthy behaviors.  Look for more spas to add on these individuals to their staff.


For those who want a nondiet approach to a healthy lifestyle, look for spas to add nutritional counseling on to the spa menu. These can be one on one consultation to meet your personal needs or group classes that can address an individual’s needs with the support of a group environment.

nutritionThis is a trend that plays directly to our desire to ingest specific foods or beverages for the purpose of preventing or palliating a disease or condition. The reason antioxidants, botanical extracts and the whole foods (berries, teas, soy) that contain them are critical underpinnings of this trend is because of the promise such items hold to improve how you feel and perform.

Ingredient standpoint, health, and wellness concerns offer the best variety of options for processors. A manufacturer developing a product in this market has literally thousands of botanical extracts, antioxidants, phytochemicals, carbohydrate compounds (such as sugars, starches, and fibers), protein compounds or fractions and healthy oils from which to choose.

Meanwhile, the emphasis is shifting away from dieting and related fat and calorie-count issues. In a survey seven in 10 American adults claim to be trying to eat healthier foods, almost that many – 65 percent – say calories don’t always count, with about half of Americans finding nutritional value the important factor.

Complementary Medicine

Look for spas to add medical services that are nonbeauty related.  This can include chiropractic, homeopathic, naturopathic, horologists and even medical similar to The Little Clinic which is a healthcare services company that manages walk-in clinics placed inside retail locations. The clinics focus on treating minor illnesses by nurse practitioners and offer health and wellness services to customers 12 months or older at an affordable fee.


Another study notes about 36 million Americans claim to suffer from either a food allergy or intolerance.  The twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes dominate the health and wellness category. No day passes without the mention of one, the other or both on television, radio or in newspapers. But in general, between one-fourth and one-third of consumers make food choices based on health for some reason.

Allergies (including gluten and lactose intolerance), energy, immunity and the more general “feeling better” issues are moving up to occupy a growing portion of the megatrend.

Brain Games – Banish the Senior Moment

A Natural Marketing Institute report finds two-thirds of baby boomers are most afraid of fatigue as they age, and nearly half are worried about diminished mental capacity.  With life expectancies increasing, brain fitness is becoming as important as physical fitness. The market for brain-challenging products – exercises, games, videos, and puzzles – is developing rapidly. Look for spas to be the first to develop and market tools that will increase and improve your mental capacity.

Stress Management

Stress/anxiety seems to be the common denominator when it comes to Boomers’ lack of energy and memory issues. In fact, almost three-quarters of Boomers blame stress and anxiety for depleting their energy levels, while 62% believe stress and anxiety are responsible for their memory problems. Overall, nearly 80% feel relieving their stress would increase their quality of life.

Nowadays in our stressful, fast-facing, modern society, many people have come to realize the great benefits that the herbalists, Chinese medical practitioners, acupuncturists, massage therapists and many other alternative health providers can offer not only to treat their illnesses but also to reduce stresses in their lives. As a result, many traditional healers and alternative health professionals have quickly gained recognition in their field of expertise; hence, the old practices are new again.

spa stress managementRoom to Throw

Watch for some new fads and trends to emerge as a way to vent stress and frustration.  Soundproof rooms for shouting, throwing, crying, breaking plates, drumming and other ways to vent anger and frustration will begin to show up in unlikely places.

Green Spa

Despite the increased focus on sustainability, the countertrend identified here is that consumers are actually becoming overwhelmed with sustainability initiatives and a significant ‘green-washing’ fall-out is expected as consumers learn to discern its true meaning and impact.

green spasWhile many spas are jumping on the organic beauty product, waterless pedicures, and other green spa initiatives.  Consumers are looking for validation in many areas.  First, it is difficult to tell whether the green trend is continuing to climb or is beginning to flatten as consumers wonder if organic and all-natural products are accurately labeled, equally defined and effective.  Currently, green products and cosmeceuticals seem to coexist.

The desire for green and organic is still very big.  People still want to know that they are working with a company that is ecologically responsible. However, if two products were placed in front of a client and one is organic and green but takes longer to achieve results and the other is not organic but delivers quicker results the consumer will choose the one that will deliver results. Just look at the high number of individuals receiving Botox injections.  Ideally, future green and organic products will also deliver quick results.

The Men Have It

spa for menRecent evidence shows a growing concern for external well-being and anti-aging occurring among men. As Baby Boomer men age, they are increasingly worried about hair loss and skincare. But this trend is not just limited to the Baby Boomers. Indeed, younger men are also showing a higher level of interest in their appearance.  Men spas and the attraction of men into older facilities will be a precedence as spas remodel and update their facilities.

Food For the Inside and Out

Spas will place an increased emphasis on using food for external spa treatments and promoting foods, beverages, and supplements to use in combination with external products to achieve healthy results.

Boomers represent the most progressive group in terms of making the connection between good health and appearance. 90% of Boomers “agree that the food and supplements they consume have an effect on their appearance.” As a result, Boomers represent the prime target for “beauty from within” messages.

Baby Boomers see supplements as a primary way to promote healthy aging (78%) compared to taking Rx medications (38%). The problem is nearly three-quarters of Boomers say there is too much conflicting information about what supplements they should take. In order for the high interest in supplements to translate into product purchases and long-term market success, there must be an educational component involved here.

good foodBaby Boomers are also interested in consuming more nutrient-rich foods. In fact, this group is one of the most likely to use a functional food to manage a health condition. Some of the ingredients they would like to see in these products include more fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, whole grains, calcium, and healthy fats/oils. They are also seeking ingredients that can help them balance their blood sugar levels.

More than two-thirds of Boomers regard energy as a high priority. Despite this, less than a third of them use energy bars and only 12% use energy beverages. Boomers have been completely overlooked, particularly by functional beverage companies. However, as the meaning of energy evolves, it is likely a different kind of energy will emerge that will be better suited for this population.

Scientific evidence validates the supportive role of dietary interventions in healthy aging and longevity. Specifically, it believes in nutrients that supplement dietary sources; improve resistance to oxidative stress; enhance the quality of life during aging, and potentially contribute to increased lifespan. This includes phytonutrients with adaptogenic properties, probiotics, and micronutrients.

Ingredients that consumers will hear more about this year.

Acai: Last year we told you about the Acai facial, look for it to spread this year.  Acai sometimes referred to as “The Fountain of Youth,” this Brazilian berry contains antioxidants, amino acids, essential omegas, fibers and protein that positions itself as a formidable fighter in anti-aging products. Acai can be found across the board in skincare, cosmetics, and hair care products.

Acerola: Ingredients high in Vitamin C, like acerola, are being used more often due to their ability to even out skin tone and brighten the complexion. Skincare brands will be using acerola more to target those who have issues with skin redness and inflammation.

Argan Oil: This incredible skincare miracle, known for being one of the richest natural sources of Vitamin E with 80% essential fatty acids, has been a beauty secret of Moroccan women for centuries. It can be dually used on skin and in hair for its high level of antioxidants and the ability to replenish hair and skin’s natural moisture.

Baobab: Rich in riboflavin, niacin, and vitamins C, A, D and E, baobab has incredible anti-aging properties although you won’t just find it in creams and moisturizers, but also in exfoliating scrubs and hair care.

Blueberry: Chock full of amino acids, vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids, blueberries are another superfood that will be used to fight aging in beauty products. Also known as a “superfruit,” blueberries have long been known for its ability to revitalize the skin; it was just a matter of time before beauty brands began to incorporate it more into their skincare products.

Goji Berries: This nutrient-rich berry, well known as Wolfberries in the Himalayas, has often been called a “superfood” due to its ability to fight free radicals and boost the immune system. While there are no inherent benefits of Goji in fragrance, that hasn’t stopped perfumers from including this sweet yet tart scent into their perfumes.

Myrrh: With the increasing popularity of Ayurveda in the United States, this ancient ingredient is also resurging in perfumes and skincare products. The rich royal resin with the slight vanilla fragrance so popular in incense also stimulates circulation and has lifting effects.

Probiotics: Probiotic skincare will be branded as another “clinical-like” line of products, which beauty consumers tend to lean towards as science-based.

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-3: This Cosmeceutical that is becoming found more often in anti-aging products to fight fine lines and wrinkles will be even more prevalent in 2009. Products that contain Palmitoyl Tripeptide-3 will be branded as a temporary alternative to cosmetic procedures.

Turmeric: A highly regarded ingredient in India, Turmeric is widely known for its medicinal properties. Turmeric will be found in acne-related creams and lotions, as it is an antiseptic and can aid in preventing and removing blemishes. It will also be found in hair removal products as well as in the formulation of sunscreen in more natural products as well.

Top Spa Trends in Conclusion!

spa trendsIf you have not been to a spa yet, now is the time to venture to your local spa or visit a destination spa. It is a time for new beginnings, a time to reinvent yourself time for positive changes, positive attitudes and a time to just do it! Visit a Spavelous Spa Today.