Ten spa beauty trends to look for in 2008
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Beauty & Brains: The Thinking Woman's Guide to Skin Care
By Melisse Gelula
January / February 2008
1 A NATURAL STANDARD
Look for a regulatory standard and seal for natural beauty products, now that organic ones can use the USDA seal to indicate degree of purity. (The organic system is far from perfect; see "Beauty & Brains," September-October 2007.) According to Mike Indursky, chief marketing officer for Burt's Bees, which launched the initiative, the Natural Standard Seal will require at least 95 percent natural ingredients and pure processing methods. "We're starting at a high percentage because most consumers believe if a product says it's natural, it must be so, but that's just not been the case."
2 PDAs FOR SKIN
The Zeno zit zapper and the Clarisonic face-washing brush are about to be joined by a slew of new at-home beauty appliances. Many will mimic the mechanics of spa-grade gadgets, like the Mini-Marvel, which will use LED light to diminish wrinkles, acne, and blotches.
3 TRESS RELIEF
Scalp massages are becoming full-length spa treatments for relaxation. (They may also stimulate hair growth.) And at spas such as Ole Henriksen in Los Angeles, some body treatments include hair conditioning. "Why should spa services stop at the hairline?" asks Henriksen.
4 NEW ANTI-AGING TARGETS
The face is no longer the sole focus. Neck creams, décolleté de-crepers, bust tighteners, and body über-exfoliators are coming to the spa and retail shelves by popular demand (helped along by Nora Ephron's best seller I Feel Bad About My Neck). Sylvie Hennessy, the creator of Pevonia Botanica, which launched Tropicale anti-aging body treatments with exfoliating fruit enzymes late last year, says her spas were nearly unanimous. "Clients want their bodies treated for wrinkling and sun damage, too."
5 OLD WINE, NEW BOTTLE
Look for more products marked firming and lifting. Then look at the label on the back: You'll find the same proven ingredients (retinol, vitamin C, and peptides) you've been using to treat wrinkles and blotches.
6 LASH SUPPER
A slew of products will focus on thickening and lengthening lashes, despite the FDA's crackdown on one manufacturer, Jan Marini, for claiming its product could make lashes grow. Products you'll see include RevitaLash and Osmotics FNS Nutrilash. At minimum, they'll lessen brittleness and breakage—something to bat your eyes at.
7 ANTI-AGING MAKEUP
Correct rather than conceal flaws—that's the new foundation for makeup. It began with Elizabeth Arden's ceramide line. Now Kimiko Beauty's firming eye shadow and Joey NY's under-eye concealer use anti-aging ingredients like peptides. "Mineral makeup was huge because it didn't irritate the skin and it offered UV protection," says Kimiko founder Danielle Vincent. "This concept goes one step farther: Your skin is actually better for having used it."
8 CHEMICAL PEEL RENAISSANCE
Less aggressive formulas are on the rise at spas. They're lower in acids and higher in skin soothers like green tea. Scaling back the potency has also birthed more variations of the at-home peel. "It's wonderful as long as the percentage of acid is low," says New York City facial plastic surgeon Yael Halaas, M.D. "Too high a concentration or too frequent use can lead to damage."
9 THE MIDAS TOUCH
Spas are infatuated with gold as a facial ingredient. But it's bling—a gold facial or an ounce of serum with gold runs about US$500—rather than benefits. Dig as we might, we can't find solid proof that gold's an anti-ager.
10 GOING UP THE AMAZON
Make room, English rose and French lavender. The Amazon basin is the new spa-beauty garden because its indigenous plants, fruits, and nuts are high in antioxidants and skin-nourishing oils. Amazon Secrets contains açai, buriti, and guarana fruit. Inara Organics is based on the babassu nut. And Amazon Beauty Rahua hair-care products contain the oils of that restorative nut. Even mainstream brands like Kiehl's and Borba are using guanabana and yerba maté because of their purity and efficacy, says Borba founder Scott Vincent Borba.