With research revealing that 73% of UK workers feel very stressed during working hours, it’s evident that relaxation is increasingly sought after, yet ever harder to achieve. The ESPA Calm Study, published in August 2017, revealed that only 8% of respondents felt calm before going to sleep, while 64% wake in the night and struggle to regain their calm. Work woes were cited as a key cause of this stress, while family life, money problems and health issues can all add to a daily sense of unease and make finding time to unwind crucial.
“Taking time out to focus on giving yourself a treatment promotes calmness and a sense of wellbeing,” says Nichola Joss, Sanctuary Spa skin care expert. Many would also list cost as an issue when it comes to taking a spa break, so creating a spa at home is a good solution. “While women may not have the time to dedicate to visting a spa, some time alone in the bathroom to create your own spa at home – a term we have called the ‘spathroom’ – is something every woman should be able to fit in,” says Joss. “Having that time alone to unwind helps to de-stress the mind and body, promoting a healthy sense of wellbeing.”
Read on for advice to help your customers create a home spa to rival a luxury break.
Creating a tranquil environment is an important first step. “Start by lighting some candles in the bathroom. Candles can instantly help to relax the mind,” advises Joss.
Scent is also crucial when creating a sense of calm, according to Sue Harmsworth, Founder of ESPA: “The deep, comforting aromas that hit you as soon as you walk into a spa are what really bring the experience to life, so choose reed diffusers with fragrant essential oils, and co-ordinate with your candles and body oils for the ultimate experience.” Meanwhile, Sheridan Newman,
UK training and business development manager at Bliss, recommends advising your customers to incorporate the senses of touch and sounds in order to relax even further: “Make sure mobile phones are switched off, put on your favourite chill-out tunes and get your fluffiest towels ready.”
While current trends influencing the spa market include wild swimming, a survey by Faith in Nature has revealed that we are not spending much time immersed in water; only 4% of Britons take long, relaxing baths, while 74% prefer functional and efficient showers.
Two trends that may encourage customers to take a soak are those of mindfulness and marine products. “Mindfulness is something that customers can easily incorporate into an at-home spa routine. I breathe in through the nose for four seconds and out through the mouth for eight seconds, then repeat until the breath becomes slow and steady,” Harmsworth explains. Marine ingredients are also having a moment, so recommend luxurious body care treatments that incorporate these. Harmsworth recommends: “The ESPA Detoxifying Seaweed Bath deeply cleanses the skin and stimulates circulation. Before you bathe, dry brush your body with long sweeping movements towards the heart then exfoliate with an ESPA Salt Scrub, which removes dulling dry skin cells to leave skin soft, while the sea salts help restore balance.”
Encourage customers to treat their locks to an intensive conditioning treatment that can be left on while soaking in the bath. Anabel Kingsley, Trichologist at Philip Kingsley, shares her knowledge on getting the most out of hair masks:
“There are two types of masks – hair masks and scalp masks. Hair masks contain hydrating ingredients to improve the suppleness and elasticity of the hair and close the cuticle. Masks are beneficial for those with dry, damaged, dull or processed hair. For maximum benefit, masks should be left on for 20 minutes to an hour prior to shampooing. When using at home, you should wear a shower cap or head wrap over the mask.” This will help the product penetrate more deeply into the hair for the best results.
Meanwhile, scalp masks are recommended for those wanting to promote hair growth. “Stimulating treatments are best for those with fine hair, volume worries or excessive hair fall, while exfoliating treatments are excellent for individuals with a flaky, itchy or irritated scalp. Hair and scalp masks can be used alone or together. Section locks into oneinch partings from ear to ear and apply the scalp mask. Then, work the hair mask into mid-lengths and ends. Wash out after 20 minutes using a shampoo designed to suit the individual’s hair texture,” explains Kingsley.
“Taking the time to carry out an at-home facial incorporating the additional steps you might not have time for on a daily basis can help address any specific skin concerns, helping you see better results,” says Harmsworth. “Advise customers to begin with a deep cleanse to remove impurities, and exfoliate away dead skin cells to ensure any products you apply afterwards are fully absorbed. Try ESPA Optimal Skin ProCleanser, which contains pumpkin enzymes to dissolve dead skin cells and moringa seed oil to purify and reveal more radiant skin.” Dull or dehydrated complexions can also benefit from incorporating facial massage with a treatment oil, says Harmsworth: “This will improve circulation and encourage products to penetrate deeper into the skin for better results.” Follow with a face mask designed to target your customer’s specific skin concerns. “If you apply the mask over the oil, this helps the skin absorb the oil for an improved result, whether that’s hydration, radiance or deep cleansing,” Harmsworth adds.
Listen to individual concerns before making recommendations. For dull skin, a polishing mask will be beneficial. “Dehydrated, tight or dull-looking skin cells need to be eased away to allow the fresh, plumper skin to emerge, so remember to exfoliate to remove dry, dead skin cells to allow better penetration of products into the skin – try ESPA Refining Skin Polish,” suggests Harmsworth. “For rejuvenated skin, I advise massaging in ESPA Tri-Active Advanced Instant Facial, pinching along the jawline to stimulate circulation.” It’s vital that you recommend a suitable moisturiser based on the customer’s skin texture for use after a facial treatment.
End the experience with a focus on hands and feet. “Hand and foot creams and treatments should be a key feature of everyone’s pampering routine,” says Taryn Keaton, salon owner and beauty therapist at Portabella Hair and Beauty Bar, Plymouth. “A good pamper should always include a deep exfoliation to rid your skin of dead cells on the surface and regenerate new ones.” After applying a foot or hand mask, follow with an intensive cream. “A foot cream that hydrates, soothes and softens is a real treat that everyone deserves. If used regularly it can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of the feet,” Keaton says. Finish with nail colour for a touch of glamour. “Luxury manicure or pedicure products that can be used at home should be easy to apply without any compromise on results, and the superior ingredients will also add to the feeling of being pampered,” says Sally French, OPI Educator. “Staff should know the benefits of each product, explaining at least two key ingredients, and be able to deliver the information to customers in a friendly way.”
For ultimate relaxation, customers should finish their home spa treatments with some breathing exercises, and follow with a glass of room-temperature water to hydrate the skin and body.