Let me start by declaring a shocking truth about myself. I am NOT a spa girl. I don’t have the time, the money, or the patience to succumb to a day of lazy luxurious pampering. Over the years I’ve been given gift certificates for spa days offering everything from deep massage to mud baths and I’ve either given them away or utilized them for pedicures and even those only recently. I’ve always done my own manicures and pedicures and to this day I’ve yet to find an esthetician who can do it better than me. As for massages and mud baths,,,,,I just don’t like the idea of them. (OK, maybe I don’t really understand them) Unlike most people, I do not find massage relaxing. In fact, I find it hugely irritating. I think it’s because I’m uncomfortably ticklish and all the rubbing and prodding just makes me squirm, but given the increase in the number of new spas opening it would appear I am the exception, not the norm.
Clearly women love to be pampered and since I am a woman I decided to give it one more shot, if only to help me bond with my female friends. (surely I’m missing something?) I scouted out 3 local spas that are in close proximity to my home and reviewed their menu of services, (which was surprisingly diverse) and I was really shocked to see the kinds of treatments available. A basic facial seemed the safest route for me, a ‘spa novice’, but I would soon find out a ‘basic’ facial was hard to find.
Choices included a HydraFacial; this boasts “a ‘vacuum’ technology that creates a vortex effect to remove impurities while simultaneously introducing solutions that exfoliate, hydrate and infuse your skin with antioxidants” (what?) That sounds like a lot of big words for a facial and it is recommended that one would need a minimum of 6 such sessions for best results. Each session costs $250.00. That’s a lot of money to vacuum my face. Next.
Then there’s Microdermabrasion. This procedure uses an abrasive surface to gently ‘sand’ away the thick outer layer of the skin to rejuvenate it. (you’re going to ‘sand’ my face, mmmm, I don’t think so) On the upside this procedure costs less than vacuuming your face, but not much, and it sounds like it would hurt. Next.
A chemical peel is a skin ‘resurfacing’ (sounds like they’re paving a road) procedure in which a chemical solution, usually Glycolic Acid, is applied to the skin to remove the top layers. (mother Jesus, are you kidding me, acid, on my face?) The skin that grows back after a chemical peel is smoother and younger looking. (nothing like a little acid to the face to give you that glow) Chemical peels are used to treat wrinkles, skin discoloration and scars. Now I do have some experience with this procedure. My mother in law was very self-conscious about some age spots on her face and had this procedure done a number of years ago. I remember her face was beet red and looked really sore. In fact, she looked like a burn victim. It took weeks for her ‘new skin’ to surface and when it did I can’t say I noticed much improvement. Needless to say this procedure held little appeal for me and since I’m not interested in vacuuming, sanding or peeling an portion of my face I decided the facial route was not for me, so I moved down the menu.
A ‘Full-body’ massage typically includes your arms, legs, hands and feet, your neck and back, your stomach and buttocks and, they go on to stress, ‘it doesn’t have to include your sensitive areas’ and, they say ‘area around the breasts is usually massaged but not the breasts themselves’. (They call this massage? I call it foreplay) Maybe we’ll just skip the massage section.
A Mud bath is a skin treatment performed by covering an individual’s skin with a thin layer of rich, dark mud, or by immersing them in a pool of liquid mud. This mud typically consists of seaweed, volcanic ash, clay and other mineral rich substances that are mixed with natural or spring water. (Ok, you can fancy that up any way you want but mud is mud and the thought of having to clean it out of your body crevices conjures up an image most unappealing – where’s that ‘vacuum’ technology’ now?)
Interestingly though, this procedure is considered sanitary despite the fact that the mud is ‘reused’. (how gross is that?) It has to do with the amount of natural salts found in the mineral mixture. (ok, I’m not convinced) Salt or no salt, I’m not comfortable with the thought that the mud on my face could’ve been ‘elsewhere’ on another stranger. Besides, my only benchmark for the benefits of a mud bath is the common pig. They live in mud and look at their skin. Nooooo thanks! (OK, I’m running out of services here)
I suppose I could look at waxing but even that service has expanded its’ parameters….just read the description of the ‘Brazilian Bikini Wax’, it’s guaranteed to make you bellow like Tarzan.
Now I love the thought of being pampered but I struggle with the definition of the word ‘pampered’. I just don’t see the appeal of rolling in mud, succumbing to a near sexual body rub, or having any portion of my body, least of all my face, vacuumed, scraped or peeled. Am I weird? In the absence of any like-minded women, I’m afraid I have to acknowledge that maybe I am.
At the end of the day I decided not to book anything at a spa. There’s too many choices there and none of them hold any appeal to me. So much for bonding with my female friends! Maybe I’ll just find a nice pottery class instead.