The ancient Romans knew what they were doing when they built spas. Not only did they utilize the natural benefits of spring water, but the spa itself became a central place to socialize, relax and conduct business. This idea, it seems, has been reborn again in both the U.S. and Europe. Today, spa services range from medical treatments to nutrition and fitness, according to marketing research firm Datamonitor, New York. Thanks to this diversity, spa sales continue to climb in the U.S., with more than 95,000 beauty salons opening at a rate of 2.6% a year between 1995 and 2000, and professional skin care sales of $710 million in 2000, up 6.7% from 1995, according to Datamonitor's Professional Skin Care 2001 report.
Datamonitor experts said the market is heading toward the union of health awareness and time pressure, forming the idea of "well-being." Time-crunched schedules have spurred two distinct trends in consumerism—lifestyle managers, such as quick household tasks and meals-to-go, and experience creators such spas and take-home products to relax and recharge the body and mind. Well-being is forecasted to drive the body treatment category as the facial category matures, executives said. Services such as body wraps, aromatherapy, new massage treatments and other innovations will reinforce this trend both in the spa and at home. This could be due to the fact that facials were seen more as a monthly maintenance item and body treatments were generally part of gift packages. But this is not true anymore. Datamonitor predicts spa facial care to rise 6.7% annually to reach $857 million in 2005 and spa body care to increase 10.5% annually to reach $150 million in 2005.
"People want an at-home spa experience," noted Glenn Koser, program manager and analyst, Datamonitor, New York. "Especially now with the deflated economy, people would rather have the spa experience at home than a body wrap at the spa. The popularity of skin care in the salon channel, however, is driving innovation through the mass channel. Salons will have to market more aggressively and consumers will be receptive—spas are seen as more trustworthy and effective."
No single player dominates the spa market. As a result, niche companies are targeting men, going natural or trying to solve medical problems. Of course, many companies still offer products that simply pamper. Yet some say all of these new ideas aren't as new as they appear.
The Day Spa Association said day spas are returning to the original concept of spa with the introduction of medi-spas or medical spas. As a result, the Day Spa Association has partnered with the Academy of Anti-Aging Research to bring anti-aging testing and resources to the day spa community without the affiliation of physicians.
The Medi-Clinical Spa Concept
Industry pioneer Lyn Ross founded medi-clinical facility Dermed in Atlanta, GA, to address medical skin care concerns that were previously not met. An esthetician, Ms. Ross managed a large spa in Atlanta, but realized she was limited in treating skin conditions. Often she would send clients to a dermatologist, only to have them return without a solution. "I had a feeling that there was more than this, more than just pampering," explained Ms. Ross.
In the mid-1980s, Ms. Ross trained with top names in professional skin care, but found the industry still lacked tools and products, hence the founding of Institut' Dermed and Dermed products (formerly called The American College of Advanced Aesthetics and Dermess). Ms. Ross aligned herself with a chemist and top plastic surgeons and dermatologists in Atlanta who helped her develop the spa's first seven products—glycolic products with low pH levels.
Today, Ms. Ross has identified four major skin care conditions that can be treated in the spa and with topical take-home products: acne, premature aging, hyperpigmentation and sensitive skin. Ms. Ross insisted that treating these skin conditions is part of the larger spa concept of good health, especially now that services such as laser hair removal and botox injections previously available only to physicians are available in salons and spas.
|Dermed highlights common skin problems such as acne and hyperpigmentation.|
"Dermed is part of the alternative/preventative health care category," said Ms. Ross. "Doctors are more often prescribing massage, exercise and diet as preventative medicine. This is part of that—blackheads can become acne, skin lesions can become cancer, wrinkles can get worse and sensitive skin can be exacerbated."
A Baby Boomer herself, Ms. Ross acknowledged that anti-aging is a major category within the medical spa market. The driving factor behind this, said Ms. Ross, is the need to look and feel better than our mothers. "We are the largest segment of the population and also the first segment that grew up with fitness," Ms. Ross explained. "We don't want to look like our mom did at 50; we want to look like we did at 30."
Ms. Ross noted that by age 40, women begin to notice alterations in the skin around the eyes and the mouth due to lower estrogen levels. Most women have tried everything at the department store counter with little success, she said. The newest Dermed products contain spin traps, a powerful skin reparative system; hormones such as a precursor to estrogen that helps the skin retain moisture; high concentrations of licorice to soothe the skin and arbutin, a skin lightener. All Dermed products are based on chiral technology, a system utilizing the two receptors found on human molecules. These products work with the receptors to reduce irritation, make absorption more efficient and allow for higher concentrations of ingredients. Dermed products are sold in 250 salon and spa outlets in the U.S.
Using spa water as therapy is an old medical treatment, according to Michele Mas, president of the U.S. division of Aquatonale, a French company based in St. Malo and Paris. In France, doctors not long ago sent their patients to the spa to treat stress, exhaustion and achy muscles and joints, she insisted. "This gives an indication of the medical aspect of spas," said Ms. Mas. "We should also not forget that we are all made of a salty solution very similar to seawater. That is why seawater is so compatible to the skin."
Many Aquatonale products are aimed at menopausal women. And though this topic was tossed around years ago, it was taboo until only recently.
"Ten years ago, women did not talk about menopause," Ms. Mas explained. "But women now are not so self-conscious about it—it is a fact of life. There is no question than women over 45 experience chronological aging that is terribly unpleasant, and the skin is not as flexible as it used to be. Women need to fight it head on."
Aquatonale's new ReVitalize line infuses a green algae extract (ulva lactuca) and cucumber extract (euphrasia officinalis) to increase the skin's ability to absorb oxygen, which was found to reduce wrinkles by 34%.
"The skin needs oxygen, but as you get older, it does not get into the skin as well," said Ms. Mas. "Women need to strengthen their skin to help decrease wrinkles and prevent sagging. The combination of these two extracts helps."
Ms. Mas insisted that at the spa, women can openly discuss skin suppleness, hydration or radiance. Aquatonale's ReVitalize line includes cleansing milk, tonic lotion, day cream, night cream, cream mask and active fluid, and are exclusively sold in spas.
"When you go to the department stores, you can only get a quick diagnosis of the skin," noted Jerry Nezaria, president, Shira Cosmetics, New York NY. "Like a doctor, spa estheticians can diagnose skin type and prescribe the right skin care regimen to achieve the most effective results."
Shira Cosmetics offers the Vitality Oxygen and Glyco-C lines. The Glyco-C line infuses vitamin C into the skin using glycolic acid.
"Many people just use moisturizers and active ingredients; however, the problem is the skin's permeability," said Mr. Nezaria. "The ability of topical vitamin C to permeate the skin is only possible in small amounts unless it is used with another agent, such as glycolic acid."
Glyco-C's lightening complex infuses hydroquinone, kojic acid and glycolic acid for the same reasons. Products in the line include the Glyco-C lightening complex, Refining complex, Eye Contour cream, Acne Treatment gel, High Potent-C serum, High Potent-C mask and Hydrating mask. All Glyco-C products include 10% vitamin C, which provides exceptional anti-aging benefits, according to Mr. Nezaria.
Shira Cosmetics' Vitality Oxygen line utilizes perfluorocarbon to deliver oxygen into the skin, a method that got its start in natal care procedures. In the Shira line, perfluorocarbons replace hydrogen peroxide, which is unstable and bleaches the hair and skin, Mr. Nezaria noted. The use of perfluorocarbon increases oxygen in the capillaries of the skin and increases skin regeneration and metabolism.
"Traditional hydrogen peroxide-based products are unstable," insisted Mr. Nezaria. "Our line is much more stable because it is combined with perfluorocarbon. Our products penetrate the stratum corneum and help deliver oxygen to the skin."
|Tea Tree Blemish cream from Renée Rouleau features the healing benefits of tea tree oil.|
The line includes a moisturizer, intensive cream, capsules, mask, hand cream, foaming cleanser and Eye Zone creme. The company also offers the Solar Energy Line from the Dead Sea with products such as a moisturizer, drying lotion, mud mask, face and body scrub, mineral bath salts and vitamin E body lotion. Shira Cosmetics products are sold exclusively through salons and spas.
Time is of the essence, according to Renée Rouleau, owner and creator of Renée Rouleau Skin Spa, Dallas, TX, and no one has the time to look bad. This Southwestern spa focuses on medical skin care services for the face such as facials, peels and microdermabrasions. Traditional chemical peels can leave skin irritated for up to two weeks after the procedure, but Ms. Rouleau introduced a cream peel that sets on the face at night and washes off in the morning. The treatment is available in four varieties: Cranberry Enzyme (for young, problem-free skin), Benefit (a mild treatment), Purity (for acne) and Timeless (mature and sun damaged skin). All are said to be much gentler on the skin that other peels and require much less recovery time.
"The future of chemical peels is barrier repair ingredients; traditional acid peels break down the skin's protective barrier," explained Ms. Rouleau. "My cream treatment is more compatible both with skin and today's demands because people have lives to lead. There is less peeling, less trauma to the skin and less irritation."
Consumers are busy all day, every day and formulators have focused on creating products that appeal to a hectic lifestyle, in addition to basic skin care problems. Renée Rouleau recently introduced the Tea Tree Blemish cream for both teens and older women who are experiencing hormonal changes. The cream also heals the red marks that linger after a blemish has disappeared. Ms. Rouleau also introduced the lightweight Hawaiian Nourishing cream that contains the same red algae found in Cr�me de la Mer at half the price, $72.50. Eye Moist, an eye cr�me, was introduced with a light formula to reduce puffiness around the eyes. Another eye treatment is in the works that contains Swiss collagen, pads and refrigerated eye gels. Products are sold at the spa and online at www.reneerouleau.com.
Boys Will Be Boys...Sometimes
Stereotypes are changing, especially the idea that men shouldn't go the spa, according to Spa Finder Travel, New York. The travel-booking company said calls from men have increased nearly 900% in the past four years. The spa industry in turn has provided more activities that men prefer such as hiking, rock climbing, golf and tennis.
"Men are finding that spending time at a spa is not only relaxing and rejuvenating, but can also be fun and adventurous," said Steve Buck, president, Spa Finder. "It's no longer considered un-macho to indulge yourself with a massage or even a manicure. Beyond the treatments is the plethora of experiences that spas offer both men and women, whether they're looking for adventure, seeking peace, or on a quest to improve their diet and exercise regimes."
Spa Finder's spa consultants estimate that about 30% of their inquiries come from men who want to lose weight and improve their diet and fitness. Sixty percent of men are seeking a retreat to keep their minds off of work. Spa Finder also reported that there has been a significant increase in men booking trips alone, making spas the so-called new singles bars.
|Menaji's 911 eye gel provides instant relief to puffy eyes for men.|
However, meeting a significant other is not the primary concern of spa-going men, according to companies contacted by Happi. The most prevalent concerns are finding solutions to skin problems and feeling comfortable in a spa or salon environment. Some barriers still need to be broken, and though there is no question that men are going to the spa more often, this segment will not reach the scope of the women's spa market just yet.
"The number of spas catering to men will continue to grow at a substantial rate, twice the rate of women's professional salons, but salons will never shift away from their primary consumers—women," noted Datamon-itor's Mr. Koser. "It costs more to get a new customer than to retain a loyal one. Although the growth rate is there, the men's market will always be smaller," he added.
But the potential for growth has inspired the birth of many companies trying to get men to take their appearance seriously and break away from feminine stigmas associated with going to the spa or salon. Observers insist that these services can only help a successful businessman.
"The face is the first thing you look at, and bad skin just doesn't look good," said Michele Probst, founder of men's skin care brand Menaji, Nashville, TN. "Unfortunately, we are a visual society and its is competitive out there."
The men's market is exploding today, validating what the industry already knew was there, said Ms. Probst. "Men spend $12 billion a year on their appearance. One out of every five plastic surgeries is for a man. Men's skin care is growing twice as fast as women's skin care, making men the No. 1 target in the beauty market."
Menaji offers the undetectable Camo concealer that targets problem areas such as dark under-eye circles, the primary concern for men, she said. The 911 eye gel ice pack soothes puffy eyes. This month, Menaji will introduce a jojoba-based concealer to target under-eye circles. In addition, there is the HDPV Dual Active powder that contains vitamin C and sunscreen to control oil on the face, as men's skin is much thicker and oilier than women's skin, according to experts.
Men, however, don't like to be targeted too overtly, according to Ms. Probst. "The 'makeup' word, or what we call the 'M' word, scares men to death. Our concept is for men to use the products to make their skin look younger and healthier."
In recent years, sun exposure and damaged skin have become major concerns for men. Menaji has formulated items with sun protectors and antioxidants. Other products include a jojoba-based Polishing scrub, a purifying mask that does not pull facial hair, a non-alcohol-based glycolic toner with vitamin E and SPF 15 Lip Agent lip balm that often attracts first-time tentative buyers, according to Ms. Probst. And attraction is key, since men are loyal customers once they start using a product.
"Men are very brand loyal; chances are they use the products their father used," insisted Ms. Probst. "And if product preferences are tapped at a very early age, these men will continue to use the products for many years."
Menaji products are sold to professionals in the salon and plastic surgery industries as well as places men are likely to shop, such as barbershops. Items are also sold online at menaji.com and menskincare.com. The brand is set to move to Barneys New York and Beverly Hills, but Ms. Probst insists men are often intimidated by counters and other shoppers. Barneys, however, offers a men's-only counter.
Tony Cuccio, president, Cuccio Naturalé and Star Nail, Valencia, CA, also noticed that men were going to the salons more often. "We delved into the market because after all, men are loyal salon customers and they tip better because they have big egos," Mr. Cuccio quipped.
Research revealed that men are five times less likely to switch salons compared to their female counterparts. Cuccio for Men has built male clientele in salons with an innovative menu offering services such as the Gentlemen's hand facials, Threesome (a manicure, pedicure and neck massage from three women), Prest- Hair Removal and Rock Pedicure. All of the services utilize Cuccio for Men's five products: Lavender hand facial, Earth Stone lava pumice, Kava Elixir callus remover, Presto Instant hair removal strips and Forte di Matte top/base coat for nails. The product introductions came in a natural progression, said Mr. Cuccio, as he discovered what men disliked most about their appearance included excess body hair and rough hands and feet.
"I asked the question, what would men get done in a salon? I realized there had never been a menu before for men's hand services," said Mr. Cuccio. To help market the services, Cuccio for Men offers gift certificates that women often buy for the men in their lives. The company also supplies salons with front desk menus and posters to help spread the word. Mr. Cuccio predicted that the spa market will not only increase business to men, but will establish men-only salons and spas. Nail salons, however, are in for a rough time. So Cuccio for Men is developing products, service and marketing materials to help salon owners make the change. "In 10 years, we will not see nail salons anymore, only spas. Nail salons will be like the barbershops of the 1950s," he opined.
Men-only spas are already found in Europe, but macho stigmas have prevailed in the States much longer. Nickel, a French skin care manufacturer, is planning to open a men-only spa in Manhattan. Nickel offers products such as eye cream, hot pepper massage oil and a razor burn soother.
William Lauder, group president of Estée Lauder, realized that the male potential in the market was wholly untapped. To address this problem, the company unveiled Origins, a unisex body care line to bridge the gender gap, Mr. Lauder said. Origins has two spa locations, one in New York and one in Dallas.
"Our spas have been booming in the past year due in part to increased stress," noted Roberta Weiss, vice president of global marketing, Origins. "Our research shows that seven out of 10 people report feeling somewhat stressed. There has also been an increase in male clientele and a demand for massages."
The most popular treatment is Origins' Deep Tissue massage. And following this month's launch of Origins' Peace of Mind collection, the company will develop a stress massage using these products. The products include Releasing Vapor bath, Relaxing massage oil, Cease and De-stress diffuser, mints and Meditation candle. The collection was created to build on the success of Origins' "signature" product, Peace of Mind On-the-Spot Relief and to address the ways people experience and manifest stress.
|The Earth Stone lava pumice from Cuccio for Men softens rough hands and feet on even the toughest guys.|
"Between e-mail, pagers and cell phones, consumers have become completely 'connected' and we have discovered that people are yearning to be disconnected from a fast-paced world, whether it's at a spa receiving a treatment or retreating to the bathroom for some well-deserved 'me' time," said Ms. Weiss.
In fact, Origins executives refer to their best-selling product, Salt Rub Smoothing body scrub, as a "spa in a jar." Research gathered from focus groups found that the overwhelming response to stress overload—for both men and women—is to retreat to the bathroom. The bath today has become ritual rather than routine, Ms. Weiss said.
Going to a spa has also become a social event, said Ms. Weiss. Many go with their friends, families and spouses and have turned the spa space into popular spots for bridal showers and anniversaries. Following the events of Sept. 11, recreating a time when the world seemed safe and warm is of great importance, according to Origins executives.
"Our approach this holiday season is to focus on the warmth and traditional values we all associate with holidays from childhood and many wonderful pampering selections of gifts," Ms. Weiss noted. "I think that people will be seeking family, friends, connections and they will need to celebrate life and the true reason for the season."
In This Day and Age
In light of recent terrorist attacks and the ensuing war in Afghanistan, many observers are unsure how this will affect spa business. Prior to Sept. 11, most executives predicted a slowing U.S. economy would slow sales of luxury personal care products. Consumers started to pinch their pennies by buying value-priced brands and private-label imitations, according to industry experts. But even mass market manufacturers had their problems. Though Dial Corp. reported strong second quarter earnings, the company sold its specialty personal care business (SPC), which included the Sarah Michaels and Freeman Cosmetics personal care brands. Both brands were sold to a subsidiary of the Hathi Group, Chicago. The spa and salon market may see similar results.
"The first half of 2002, the nation will be guarded toward luxury items, and this will directly effect the skin care channel due to the specter of war," said Mr. Koser of Datamonitor. "People will be more cautious of dollars spent. Spas must address the home spa experience because consumers will buy substitute products on the shelves until consumer confidence picks up again. This will be true until people feel secure again."
Others, however, said spa sales will not be affected. Though guilt may have turned away potential consumers after Sept. 11, these people are now turning the other cheek.
"Business has been soft due to world events, but this is not going to stop visits altogether," Aquatonale's Ms. Mas insisted. "Though some women will continue to feel guilty about goingto the spa, others go with the commitment in their minds that they will go there more than just once as a series of treatments."
At the same time, Ms. Mas acknowledged that the holiday season will take a hit. "The industry will not have a good holiday season. The average department store is already 40% down. It will be rough, but we have to be creative to bring people back to the spas."
All industry experts agreed that spas have a unique ability to free the mind from the world's troubles. And with travel worries, going to a local spa or purchasing spa products for home use are two solutions. Destination spas, which are often part of travel packages, will be negatively impacted until airline sales pick up.
"With travel plans in question, people will be looking to the protection and solace of their homes to find comfort and well-being," said Carol Matthews, product development manager, TerraNova.
Ms. Rouleau of Renée Rouleau Skin Spa insisted consumers will not shun spas if the experience is worth it. But most importantly, it is not the price that is the driving factor behind spa visits, it is the opportunity to indulge and enjoy a personal touch.
"People are not traveling, vacationing or eating out," Ms. Rouleau noted. "But the spa offers a physical touch, something indulgent just for them. So our industry gives consumers that little extra treat because they have cut off their other leisure activities. It goes way beyond aesthetics, into the feeling of being safe, secure and pampered."
Oh So Soothing
Although some spa products target specific skin care problems, most lines promise to soothe and relax consumers. Essence of Vali, New York, heeds the advice of Hippocrates who said, "The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day." For several years, founder and president Valerie Bennis had a private aromatherapy practice where she created customized essential oil blends. There, she began to see a pattern of conditions such as pain, stress, fatigue and hormonal fluctuations.
|Orlane's B21 Thalassotherapy line contains marine ingredients from Brittany's Brehat archipelago to detoxify the skin.|
Essence of Vali features six essential oil blends. Relief eases muscle and joint pain. Calm, a blend of lavender, ylang ylang and orange, targets stress. Detox removes toxins from the body that may cause bloating. Sleep is a relaxing blend that is available in two versions, concentrated drops for the pillow or massage oil. Uplift, for people who are feeling blue, features the uplifting effect of bergamot and central nervous system-boosting spruce. Balance treats female hormonal fluctuations and menstrual discomfort. All of these blends target problems that are largely associated with stress, which at times seems to be an American-made malady.
"People are working 24/7 because of technology—cell phones and e-mail—and doing business more and more on weekends and in the evenings when they could be taking a break," explained Ms. Bennis. "Since this information and technology is available, people do take advantage of it and it is very stressful."
Essence of Vali recently introduced a 32-oz. massage oil size for massage professionals. The company also launched the Essence Massage program whereby massage professionals use a 4-oz. bottle during the massage and the remaining oil goes home with the client. But the Essence of Vali oils can be used in a bath and for a massage in the privacy of home too.
"Bringing products home is a way of duplicating the spa experience," Ms. Bennis said. "Though nothing is like the spa, it is an opportunity to try to duplicate a spa visit and self-pamper. Despite the economy, people are looking for more pampering treatments to take the stressful edge off of their lives."
Soon Essence of Vali will introduce a line of concentrated bath essences, enhanced bath salts and travel kits.
TerraNova, a Berkeley, CA-based personal care product manufacturer, recently introduced the TerraNova Wellness collection consisting of two essential oil blends: Citrus Awak-ening (mandarin, neroli, ylang ylang and lavender) and Lavender Calm (lavender, chamomile, rose and calendula).
"The TerraNova Wellness collection brings the spa experience to the home, by combining aromatherapy benefits of pure essential oils with natural formulations for a total mind/body wellness experience," said TerraNova's Ms. Mat-thews. "Our industry offers Ôfeel-good' products that provide a welcome reprieve and escape during these difficult times."
The collection was part of the movement away from the material excesses of the Nineties in an effort get in touch with ourselves, Ms. Matthews insisted. Wellness is a desired state of being whether the customer is a stay-at-home mom or a career executive, she said.
Natural product manufacturer Honeybee Gardens, Leesport, PA, brings the spa home with botanical ingredients. Founder Michelle Hertzler cited a hectic world as the main impetus for consumers to buy home bath products to reduce stress and take a healthier approach to life.
"The popularity of this market is a matter of time management," Ms. Hertzler insisted. "Affordability is also an issue, but Mom has to go to the soccer game, cook dinner and help the kids with homework. She doesn't have the time to go to the spa. When she does have an hour, she will pamper herself in her own home."
The company offers Distinctive bath salts in fragrances such as Sun (citrus, lavender and eucalyptus), Moon (ylang-ylang, anise and jasmine), Earth (patchouli, sandalwood and rosemary) and Ocean (lime and sage). Balance Aromatherapy bubble bath and Herbal Bath bags are also available. Originally, Honeybee Gardens began as a line of men's aftershave products. Today there are more than 50 SKUs, each touting only natural ingredients, which is something president Melissa Hertzler takes very seriously.
"We saw a need for natural products in the marketplace that were actually effective and do not harm people or the environment," explained Ms. Hertzler.
Sales to Baby Boomers are Booming
The anti-aging trend in the spa industry is aimed at female Baby Boomers, who are 45 years of age or older and are experiencing skin care concerns related to menopause. More often than not, these consumers want holistic alternatives and other preventative treatments to maintain overall health.
|Essence of Vali offers six essential oil blends to target conditions of the body such as pain, stress, fatigue and hormonal fluctuations.|
"Themes in the market include hormone-specific, anti-aging products for Baby Boomers," revealed Iliana Kiernan, assistant vice president of spa and salon operations, Sothys, Miami, FL. "Products related to the health of cells and metabolism are also increasing in frequency. The role of cells, keeping healthy and natural ingredients are essential to the market."
Sothys recently launched the Secrets de Sothys line, which includes a prickly pear extract, Tex-OE, to counteract the effects of hormonal aging. More specifically, Tex-OE stimulates the skin's stress proteins that preserve the cellular viability of the skin during times of stress. Other protective and reparative ingredients include Iris Iso which mimics estrogen and replenishes the skin's hydration, Bioprotectyl apple extract which has free radical scavenging properties and Isocell Care phospholipids of soy, which reportedly provide anti-pollution and soothing actions.
Sothys plans to launch a male-specific line next fall. The line will offer just three to five SKUs to make shopping easy for men.
Executives at Morris Plains, NJ-based Avancé, a DePasquale company, told Happi that targeting a certain kind of consumer is old hat in the business. Instead, the company created Mineral Earth Therapies to target conditions such as sinus problems, premenstrual syndrome and worn muscles to widen the breadth of both its male and female consumer base. But as marketing director Dee Mattos revealed, women over 51 could find these treatments particularly interesting.
"According to our research, there is clearly large population of people over 51, who have more disposable income and go to the spa," said Ms. Mattos. "They don't want pampering products anymore; they want products and treatments such as cosmeceuticals, wellness therapies and healing-based products, that will affect their quality of life."
Last year, the numbers of spas in the U.S. increased dramatically, said Ms. Mattos, and will continue until 2005. The biggest segment is bath and body arena and products to recreate the spa at home as well. Avancé's Stress Release sea bath, which contains laminaria digitata, has a high level of trace minerals to replenish those lost during times of stress or PMS. The company also offers Rejuvenation sea bath to stimulate circulation and release trapped fluids while moisturizing the skin. Avancé's Algae loofah soap bar revitalizes the skin as it cleanses, hydrates and exfoliates and Avancé's Cerum Vitamin C Therapy, a popular take-home product, contains grapeseed extract.
|Sothys' Secrets offers Tex-OE, a prickly pear extract that counteracts the effects of hormonal aging.|
Following the events of Sept. 11, Avancé executives have noticed an influx of clients requesting spa sound therapy. Ms. Mattos said that consumers want a sense of balance. Psychiatric visits are rampant and people want to balance medication with a more holistic approach to stress.
"This undoubtedly affects everyone," Ms. Mattos commented. "It is an international crisis which will filter down to every industry, every business. Consumers are also reacting in different ways, mainly guilt, especially when it comes to pampering themselves."
Avancé is available in spas and salons in the U.S. and Canada. Also located in Morris Plains, NJ is DePasquale's Academy of Aesthetics and Wellness, formerly the University of Aesthetics and Wellness.
An Emotional Appeal
Caudalíe, a name synonymous with France's beautiful Bordeaux wine country, began as a Vinotherapie spa utilizing the free-radical scavenging benefits of grapes with wine barrel baths and pulverized grape massages. Today, the company offers products such as the new Instant Foaming face cleanser, Gentle cleanser, Facial Beauty water, Gentle buffing cream, Purifying mask, Moisturizing cream mask and various essential oils containing a mixture of grapeseed oil and other oils to target conditions such as dry and dehydrated skin or lifeless skin. All of these luxurious products and treatments have a basic appeal to consumers, according to executives.
"The spa industry has an emotional appeal," explained Tonya Giver, national training and marketing director, Lantz-a-Lot, Palm Beach, FL. "For most of our lives, we have thought of spas as a great escape whether it is two days or two hours. That hasn't changed—that is a spa's primary appeal."
However, Ms. Giver noted that although escapism remains appealing, more spa consumers are serious about medical treatments and want to tackle specific problems. Pre- and post-plastic surgery locales are on the rise, she said. The Caudalíe Vinotherapie spa's hydrotherapy treatment, which uses natural springs on site, is especially popular.
"We expect more out of treatments and ask a lot of questions," Ms. Giver said. "Before we were close-mouthed and accepted the treatments—no questions asked."
Palm-Beach, FL-based Babor executives noticed a demand for well-being products in Europe that feature Asian herbs. The resulting ScenTao line contains Chinese herbs such as ginkgo, green tea and ginseng which are combined to form an anti-stress complex.
"Most of the research in Europe revealed that this is where the trend is going—embracing an Asian wellness concept," noted Ilse Chamberlain, executive vice president, Babor. "It also incorporates Chinese medicine and the forces of Chi, or energy."
In spas, Babor's complementary ShiTao massage treatment includes a hot stone treatment and hot oils for the face and body that reduce stress and allow the body's energy to flow freely. This is unique, Ms. Chamberlain noted, as an energy treatment from head to toe. In addition, the ScenTao fragrance plays an essential role in the treatment.
"Our sense of smell is one of the most developed senses we possess," Ms. Chamberlain explained. "ScenTao's aromatic scent aids relaxation as the treatment begins with a massage down the meridians of the body."
Spa & Resort Expo Brings Knowledge to Professionals
The annual Spa & Resort Expo and Conference will take place May 19 and 20, 2002 at the Hilton New York. The conference brings together East Coast spa and salon owners, managers, estheticians, cosmetologists, skin care specialists, resort/hotel executives, nutritionists, physicians, personal trainers, massage therapists and others to learn about the latest professional spa products and services. The conference is organized by Reed Exhibitions. More info: (877) 271-6789; Website: www.spaandresortexpo.com.
These services are often requested by Baby Boomers, Ms. Chamberlain said, who have worked hard their entire lives to achieve financial and economic success. In addition, the stress of terrorism is wreaking havoc on peoples' ability to relax and feel at peace.
"Times of high stress are also times of high touch," said Ms. Chamberlain. "We need reassurance. ScentTao appeals to the relaxation of the total being for the body, mind and soul."
My Body Lies Over the Sea
An integral part of the spa industry is the concept of marine flora and their trace elements that detoxify and rejuvenate the skin. Algae is often used to purify the skin, eliminate excess skin fluids or combat aging. And with more than a thousand algae species, the possibilities are endless.
Orlane Paris' Thalassotherapy products feature seaweed that grows on Brittany's Brehat archipelago, known as the "Pink Island." The Gulf Stream current, which feeds the archipelago, is enriched with essential nutrients as it crosses the Atlantic, executives said. Orlane now markets a take-home exfoliation pack with sea salt, anti-aging firming cr�me, firming gel for the bust, contouring mud pack, slimming detoxinating gel and contouring cr�me.
"More people want the benefits of the spa, but cannot schedule the time," said Ellen Baxter-Sabbah, director of public relations and education, Orlane. "Although home care is not the same as going to the spa, the products are still revitalizing, firming, anti-aging, therapeutic and beneficial."
Ms. Baxter-Sabbah noted that marine-based products for the face have always been popular, but body products are gaining ground. This is partly due to mother-daughter packages that introduce body treatments to younger consumers, who generally prefer facials.
"Young people do not usually get body treatments, but with more mother-daughter packages being sold, younger women are exposed to, share and get drawn into these anti-aging treatments," noted Ms. Baxter-Sabbah.
Thalgo, a French skin care line, is featured at the Orlando World Center Mariott in Orlando, FL.
"Our clientele is looking for all-natural products," said Tanya Olick, spa fitness director, Orlando World Center Mariott. "We cater to them not with volcanic ash or desert-type treatments, but rather with a marine-based line, Thalgo, to simulate the environment here."
|ScenTao, from Babor, features a Chinese herb anti-stress complex.|
As a convention hotel, the client base is rather mixed—60% women and 40% men. The most popular treatments are Swedish massages for both men and women. The center's Oxygen Marine mask treatment, which is popular with men, is a full facial that includes Thalgo's Soin Dèlicat cleansing milk, Soin Dèlicat tonifying lotion and Soin Jeunesse Skin Lustre mask from the O2 marine facial care line.
"People need a sense of relaxation and a few moments to be alone to do something good for themselves," explained Ms. Olick. "Most of the day is focused on others. This relaxing time pampers and increases productivity."
Thalgo also offers Aromatic Essences essential oils (also called Beauty Nectars) with an algae concentrate to reinforce the benefits of the essential oils. The four variations include Detox (wintergreen basil, fucus, carrot, cabrauva), Relax (lavender, magnolia, rose, chamomile and bitter orange), Vitality (pine, peppermint, hyssop and rosemary) and Slender (cedar, spearmint, cardamom and juniper berry). They can be used for the bath or massage.
And on it Goes
Although the current picture may be a bit blurry, the spa industry is in for a period of extended growth in the U.S., due in part, to the growing roster of services as well as a widening clientele base.
"The spa clientele is becoming more diverse," noted TerraNova's Ms. Matthews. "Although female Baby Boomers still lead the pack, more and more men are jumping on the spa band wagon. The industry is also trying to attract younger customers and grow with them as they age."
And though the concept of the spa can be traced back to the Romans, their rituals involved intellectualism and decadence. But the Romans did not have to deal with the stresses of technology. We have different issues to confront, but our basic needs remain the same—to relax and feel safe.
"Spas can be traced back to the Romans," Ms. Matthew said. "But spas have become popular again as our lives become more hectic, as people have more disposable income, as we, as a nation, become more and more health conscious. All of these variables contribute to spa sales."