Facials Not Just for the Face

By Sandra Ramani / June 21, 2012

Despite the name, “facials” are not just for the face. “Any part of the body can receive a facial-style skin treatment to remove dead skin cells, clarify pores, rejuvenate skin vitality, and improve appearance,” says Stacey Parks, Director of Spa Operations for The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa. In fact, it’s sometimes more important to professionally treat areas that can suffer from some of the same issues as the face—acne, hyper-pigmentation, or sun damage—but may get neglected as part of our daily skin care routine. Here, a spotlight on treatments that soothe, heal and revitalize four often over-looked parts of the body.


“The back is a large surface area that is difficult to reach to care for properly,” explains Parks. To help, The Claremont’s award-winning spa, located just outside San Francisco, created the targeted Back Facial. Estheticians apply warm compresses to open the pores. Following a thorough cleansing, steam, enzyme exfoliation and, if needed, extractions to clear blemishes and blackheads, the back is treated to a massage and the application of a purifying mask. Toning and moisturizing round out the 50-minute treatment, which leaves back and shoulders smooth and glowing. Parks notes the Back Facial is particularly popular over the summer months, and is also great before a tropical vacation or a strapless-dress event. claremontresort.com


Though their listing on spa menus often elicits giggles, “Fanny Facials” are a serious—and seriously therapeutic—service. At the Poets Cove Resort & Spa in beautiful Pender Island, British Columbia, the treatment uses heat to target cellulite, breakouts, pre- or post-waxing irritation and more. The 45-minute service (which sometimes is not shown on the menu, but is always offered upon request) starts with an exfoliation with a poppyseed/pear or blueberry sugar scrub followed by a mask. The area is then wrapped in plastic to lock in heat, great for breaking down cellulite. During the wrap, therapists perform a foot or head massage. Post-wrap, the derriere and legs enjoy a relaxing massage with creams that also have heat-generating ingredients, like paprika to help boost circulation. poetscove.com


If your normal skin care starts with the neck and ends with the forehead, take note—the chest needs some love, too. Sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles, acne, and age spots can all affect the often-exposed décolleté. At the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country’s Lantana Spa, the Advance Repair Facial focuses equally on face and décolleté, with deep cleansing and toning, an exfoliating chest peel, PH-balancing neutralizer and relaxing massage with lavender or neroli oil. Excellent for slowing the signs of aging and clearing up congestion, the treatment also results in a reduced visibility of sun spots and fine lines—leaving guests ready for even the most plunging necklines. jwsanantonio.com


Though typically scrubbed and smoothed during a pedicure, the feet can always use extra attention. At the serene Oriental Spa at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore, the 30-minute Enrich Foot Treatment starts with a dry brushing of the feet and lower legs to slough off dead skin and help increase circulation. A soak in warm water infused with geranium and sandalwood essential oils helps open pores, then feet are exfoliated with a combination of salt and coffee scrubs, calmed and purified with a calendula mask, then hydrated with rich sweet almond and Vitamin E oil—leaving guests ready to float back to the street. mandarinoriental.com

Spotlight on the Neck Down


Moroccan rosemary, orange lemon peel and purifying clay, make Tammy Fender’s Epi-Peel an all-in-one exfoliant-maskpeel that leaves skin polished all over the body. $80, tammyfender.com


This invigorating new Dr. Hauschka Lemon Lemongrass Body Moisturizer refreshes with citrus, hydrates with quince seed, and tones with sage. $39.95, drhauschka.com


With anti-inflammatory calendula, chamomile and pansy extract, Weleda Skin Food smooths rough skin on elbows, knees and feet; and prevents chafing. $18.50, usa.weleda.com


Black soap, indigenous to Africa is your best bet for oily, blemish-prone skin. Nubian Heritage Black Soap Body Wash will keep your back and decollete smooth and clear. $11.49, vitaminshoppe.com

Sandra Ramani

Sandra Ramani

Senior Contributing Editor at Organic Spa Magazine
In addition to serving as OSM’s Senior Contributing Editor, writer/editor Sandra Ramani covers travel, wellness, and lifestyle topics for such publications as Travel + Leisure, Robb Report, Premier Traveler, AFAR, Bridal Guide, Elite Traveler, and Every Day with Rachael Ray. She is also the author of “Day Trips from Dallas / Fort Worth,” now in its second edition. Recent assignments have found her sleeping in the Sahara, hopping helicopters in New Zealand, and making this new friend in Bali.
Sandra Ramani

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