The perfect spa experience leaves you feeling pampered, groomed and relaxed. To help you hang on to that fabulous feeling for even longer, here are a few tips from a serial spa addict to make sure you really get your money’s worth.
If you’re planning on doing any kind of exercise during your experience try to complete these activities first, and book your treatments in for afterwards. Will you have the opportunity to float in the pool, soak in a hot tub or sweat it out in a steam room or sauna? Be sure to fit that in after your workout and before your pampering to get the best effects. Allow plenty of time to enjoy any chill-out areas too – pack a book or a magazine to keep yourself entertained, or just completely switch off for half an hour and feel the luxury.
Some of the most popular treatments, and how to max them out:
If you have longer hairs (such as chest, back, bikini line) that are going to be waxed off, trim them to about 1cm-2cm length before you go to the spa, so there’s less pulling and pain during removal. Remember that waxing can make your skin more sensitive too. Don’t plan to go swimming or into the sauna afterwards, and don’t use any strongly-scented products or any products containing alcohol/ethanol on that area of your skin for the rest of the day.
Give feedback to your therapist during your massage, especially if you have any sore joints or muscles that need more gentle treatment. If you’ve had an aromatherapy massage, try to keep the essential oils on your skin for the rest of the day to get the greatest benefit from them, then wash them off the following morning. Most therapists say it’s best to avoid alcohol and get an early night to get the absolute best from a full-body massage, and it’s also recommended that you drink lots of water afterwards to feel more refreshed and prevent dehydration.
3. Fake tans
The day before you go to the spa, have a good scrub all over to exfoliate your body, and moisturise to prepare your skin. Wear as little as possible while the tan’s being applied (ask the beautician in advance what they recommend you wear to protect your modesty) and sit or stand still for as long as you can afterwards to let it sink in and dry properly. Try not to smudge it for the next hour or two: no waxing or massages, no showering, and no super-tight underwear! Fake tan can sometimes stain, so leave your white clothing at home too. Once the tan has developed, apply body lotion or moisturiser daily to make your new glow last as long as possible.
Whether it’s a deep pore clean or some gentle anti-ageing pampering, this type of treatment can leave your skin feeling slightly sensitive for the rest of the day. If you’re leaving the spa during daylight hours, make sure the beautician puts some suncreen on you for protection. It’s also best not to plan a big night out afterwards as you may be a little blotchy – wherever possible try to avoid applying aftershave or makeup – the following day you should look fantastic once your skin has settled down.
5. Manicures and pedicures
If you’re planning on having nail polish applied, you can bring along your own bottle of colour (so you can extend your manicure if it chips) or get the nail technician to use a fairly pale/natural colour from their selection (so chips are less obvious). The other thing to remember is to completely avoid smudging the polish once it’s on – sit still for as long as you can to let it dry, try not to start rummaging around in bags, wallets or pockets, and pack a pair of flip-flops so your toes don’t have to rub against socks, stockings or shoes.
Do you have any other spa tips to make treatments last longer? Tell us about them please!