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Trend Alert: Locavore Spa Treatments

Urban spas turn to seasonally inspired, farm-fresh ingredients for massages and skin treatments.

By Kristine Hansen

August 26, 2011

woman at a spa

Photo courtesy BananaStock/Getty Images/Jupiterimages/Thinkstock

Many people are looking forward to spending some relaxing, healthy time at spas now using locally grown ingredients in their oils and lotions.

Farm-to-table movements — when locally grown fruits and vegetables appear on restaurant menus — have had a ripple effect at spas, inspiring therapists to develop their own interpretations. Many spas now have massage therapists applying pureed, local, juniper-oil-infused or warm, honey-infused strawberries to skin.

Locavore treatments aren’t just available in the countryside, where many ingredients are grown. Spas in urban pockets deftly turn local ingredients into salt scrubs and body lotions used for signature massages, body wraps, facials and exfoliating treatments.

From rosemary to blueberries and dairy products, some ingredients are grown in spa gardens while others are purchased from local farmers. The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Vail, in Vail, Colo., uses locally snipped juniper and evergreen leaves, while another new spa, Corbu Spa & Salon at The Charles Hotel, in Cambridge, Mass., vows to forge partnerships with local farmers in pursuit of seasonally inspired treatments.

Some spas source ingredients from just a few miles away. Montage Laguna Beach, in Laguna Beach, Calif., uses rosemary that is grown in the spa’s garden as a calming ingredient. The spa in Grand Hyatt Dubai, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, ditches conventional spa techniques by turning the strawberries in its signature De-Stressing & Rebalancing Body Wrap into essential oils for aroma and healing.

With the farm-to-spa movement going strong, FarmHouse Fresh offers a line of products that echoes this mantra. Based in Texas, FarmHouse Fresh makes deliciously fragrant, paraben- and sulfate-free moisturizers, face masks, cleansers/scrubs and bath soaks derived from fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables, packaged in recyclable glass bottles that sport a vintage vibe.

A similar company, Farm Fresh Living, takes full advantage of Stargazer Perennials, the company’s farm and nursery in eastern Oregon. Much of the organic food grown on-site is folded into a body-products line that you can order through its website. Certified-organic cucumbers, blueberries, cranberries, lavender, juniper, rosemary, orange peels and cloves, among other produce, are sourced for shampoos and conditioners, soap, facial cleansers, lotions and serums. Visit Farm Fresh Living for more information.

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