Industry • Best Practice
Keeping It Real: Why Modern Spas Are Moving From Indulgence to Wellness
Mar.09.2022By Boulevard Staff
A new focus on community and emotional health has spas pivoting toward the mantra that self-care is not an indulgence, but an essential part of life.
Spas used to be halls of opulence — elaborate water features, marble floors, and nonstop pampering. Then came COVID. Social distancing and quarantines left people feeling untethered and anxious, leading them to pursue spa-like serenity from home. Wellness is no longer an indulgence, but a necessary aspect of everyday life, and spas are pivoting to keep pace.
Instead of offering what used to be “splurges”, spas have turned their focus to wellness services to keep up with the changing market. As more people do facials, meditate, and indulge in relaxing baths at home, spas are moving to recreate that holistic aesthetic. Self-care is no longer an amorphous term. It’s a tangible, quantifiable, and increasingly requisite aspect of a spa experience.
Maybe we should save the planet, too
The term “self-care” used to be a lighthearted recognition reminder to be kind to yourself, but the mental stress of the pandemic has made it clear that it’s a vital part of staying healthy. Spa appointments are not something you do anymore to prepare for an "event" like a wedding. Instead, people come to realize that self-care should be a part of their regular routine to help them look and feel healthy.
As the public’s interest in self-care has increased, so too has their realization of the ecological impact wellness-related products can have. More and more are looking for plastic-free packaging and natural ingredients for their hair products, soaps, brushes, and more. Spas have followed suit as a reflection of the trend, but also out of necessity.
Maintaining a feeling of groundedness right down to the materials used in your accessories bridges the gap between indulgences and self-care. By using sustainable materials, you’re indicating to your clients that you share their goals. Emotional wellness is just as important as social and physical wellness — an aspect that indulgences often omit that self-care must include.
Exclusivity isn’t as desirable as it used to be
Laptop, phone, or TV — we’re spending too much time in front of a screen. It was bad enough before the pandemic, but now, as we use screens both for work and to keep in touch with loved ones, we’re in front of that black mirror more than seven hours a day. People are looking for a digital detox, a quiet space away from Zoom meetings and blue light. Spas have always provided that, but in a way that was designed to feel exclusive. But exclusivity doesn’t have the draw it once did, as the isolation of the pandemic has shrunk our social bubbles.
Now, spas are positioning their services as reinvigorating and rejuvenating — a way to recharge emotional batteries drained dry from years of incomparable stress. Clients aren’t looking for luxe, they’re looking for something that’s easy and safe, and spas are stripping down to give them exactly that. The services they offer are as high-quality as they’ve ever been, it’s just the tone of the experience has changed. Whereas before it was “You deserve this because you’re more special than other people,” now it’s “You deserve this because you’ve survived another day and that’s so much harder than it used to be.”
If the pandemic had any silver lining, it’s that it helped us refocus our priorities. Wellness is something everyone should make part of their routine, and spas are doing what they can to make that happen.
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