Tuesday, 20 August 2019 09:54

The Art of Exfoliation: Generating Interest in Exfoliation Services

Written by   Heather Kreider, L.E., R.N.

Exfoliation plays an essential role in skin care, revealing softer, refreshed skin as it loosens and sloughs away dead skin cells from the epidermis. The process also prepares skin to get the best outcomes from wraps, masks, creams, and other topical products because they can penetrate deeply after the top layer of skin no longer acts as a barrier to their absorption.


Is your spa making exfoliation treatments a priority? Do clients understand the value of exfoliation as they choose treatments from the spa menu?


Of course, the key to getting clients excited about exfoliation is presenting a treatment menu that wows them. That may sound simple enough, but it can be challenging to incorporate exfoliation treatments into a menu. This article will offer some tips to help make exfoliation more compelling.



It is critical for skin care professionals to understand exfoliation and other full-body treatments before working on clients. Scope of practice and experience matter, and not all aesthetics schools provide body treatment education and practical training. Other training institutes provide advanced aesthetics training that may include body treatments, such as scrubs and wraps of various types. If unfamiliar with professional body treatments and the step-by-step processes to apply them correctly, do some research and attend additional training to increase knowledge and skills. Things to consider include:

  • Will I be learning both wet treatment and non-wet treatment room body therapies?
  • Is Vichy shower treatment training available?

Professional full-body treatments are a form of art. It takes practice and preparation to provide both a relaxing and optimally beneficial treatment that leaves clients’ minds and bodies relaxed and their skin glowing.


Education and training are the keys to becoming proficient. If currently working in a spa or wellness center or searching for a position within a spa, it may be a possibility that the employer offers in-house, hands-on training for full-body treatments. If not familiar with professional body treatments, when interviewing, always inquire about available training. Also, make sure to follow the state’s licensing laws so that treatments are performed legally.



Not all product lines are created equally, and not all products are to be used in the same way. Marketing tactics can sway thinking, so do not buy into the hype just because a product sounds or looks good online or in a brochure. Carefully review a product’s full ingredient deck to ensure it meets the spa’s standards and will appeal to the target audience. Do not just take marketing buzz words like “natural,” “not tested on animals,” and more at face value. Dig deeper into the details to discover precisely what products contain and how they are made.


Before choosing products to add to the menu, also consider how they must be applied and removed. For example:

  • Does the product require a shower or Vichy shower?
  • Was the product designed to be removed with steam towels?
  • Is it a non-rinse scrub or a gommage?

Ask for samples and test the product before buying it and including it on the menu. And, of course, ensure the staff receives education about the product and has learned how to use it effectively before they use it on guests.


Make Sure Products are the Right Match for the Individual

Guest safety and comfort must always come first. Ask clients to complete an intake form before their treatments to determine if they:

  • have allergies or sensitivity to ingredients or foods
  • suffer from any medical conditions (such as phlebitis) that might become aggravated by a treatment
  • take any medications (like retinoids) that make their skin sensitive

By doing a thorough client consultation before treatment, potential issues can be avoided and the risk of liability claims can be reduced.



It can be exciting to develop seasonal treatment ideas. However, having a staple of treatments that live on the menu year-round is beneficial, too, because it offers consistency and gives clients all-time favorites to look forward to whenever they visit. The following are ideas to help unleash creative energy and conceptualize seasonal and year-round services that will captivate clients.


Year-Round Exfoliation Treatments

Consider using products with traditional scents that offer aromatherapy benefits, such as facilitating relaxation (lavender, chamomile, bergamot, ylang-ylang, and patchouli) or boosting mood (lemon, grapefruit, orange, rosemary, basil, and peppermint). To give treatments local appeal, look for products with scents and ingredients that are indigenous to the area. For example, if the spa is in a mountainous region with forests of birch, pine, or fir trees, incorporate products that contain those essential oils. Having year-round treatments with aromas that guests are familiar with and find comfort in can help increase repeat business.


Spring Treatments

Spring is a time of awakening and renewal, a season of blossoms blooming and fresh scents in the air. Consider using products with floral essential oils like rose, geranium, or chamomile. Also, springtime herbal ingredients like peppermint, clary sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and spearmint often appeal to clients because of their uplifting aromas.


Summer Treatments

In Pennsylvania and other mid-Atlantic and northern states, they celebrate the warmth and carefree vibes of summer. But, warmer days and sunshine can deplete skin, so, during this season, incorporate products with restorative ingredients, such as healing aloe vera, vitamin C and E, and cooling essential oils, such as peppermint. Also, consider products that evoke the happy thoughts of tropical getaways, such as lime, tangerine, grapefruit, and lemon.


Autumn Treatments

To capture the allure of cool, crisp, fall days, consider exfoliation products with warming, comforting scents, such as cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, and palo santo. Treatments inspired by pumpkin patches, mulled apple cider, and other autumn-esque favorites make attractive additions to a fall seasonal menu.


Winter Treatments

Cold winds and harsh weather wreaks havoc on dry and sensitive skin. During this season, pay particular attention to products that will nurture and replenish stressed skin. For example, a cream-based scrub that contains shea butter or coconut oil will soften and nourish depleted skin. Aromas of the season to appease guests’ senses include cypress, cedarwood, frankincense, juniper berry, myrrh, spruce, wintergreen, and yarrow.


Treatments Geared Toward Special Days, Events, and Themes

Holidays and special occasions, like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, back-to-school, and weddings, provide excellent opportunities to get creative when forming a treatment menu. For example, New Year’s treatments might include a product that is champagne inspired, and Valentine’s Day is ideal for scents of roses and chocolate. Also, consider packages to pamper brides-to-be and give hard-working moms a much-needed respite from tirelessly tending to her children. When using the imagination, the sky is the limit for developing treatment ideas that clients will love.



Aim to make clients feel a part of their luxurious treatment even before they are on the treatment table.


Create an enticing product display that aesthetically features the key ingredients and their benefits. This will help pique clients’ interest and build their anticipation. Also, talk with them about the products that will be used and how they will help their skin. Besides instilling confidence in your expertise, doing so will also give them some incentive to buy the product to take home with them after their session.



Who does not love an outstanding treatment that offers great value? Bundling treatments ensures clients have options that keep them coming back for more. Here are just a few ways to combine multiple treatments into packages that will motivate guests to order more services and make return visits. Bundle identical services. For example, provide a discount to clients who pay for 10 treatments. Bundle complementary treatments. For instance, bundle spray tan with an exfoliation treatment.



Take opportunities to make clients think about what spa services will provide them with a more fulfilling experience. For instance, if a body wrap treatment is scheduled for a client, explain how a body exfoliation will make the wrap more effective. Or, if a client has ordered a deluxe facial treatment, ask if they want to feel and look rejuvenated from head-to-toe with exfoliation treatments for their hands and feet.


Clients do not always think of additional treatments on their own. Merely planting the seed can drive the decision to order more services.



When choosing products for exfoliation treatments, consider both the spa’s and clients’ needs, values, and principles.

  • Do you only wish to use products with 100% natural or certified-organic ingredients?
  • Do you only want products from brands (such as certified B corporations) that have implemented sustainable practices?
  • Do you want to use only vegan and certified cruelty-free treatment lines?
  • Are you only interested in products made in a nut-free and gluten-free facility?
  • Do spa treatment products need to be paraben- or sulfate-free?
  • Would you prefer to order products from a minority-owned, woman-owned, or veteran-owned company?

Consumers make purchases with brands that they believe in. They take time to research what companies stand for, the principles upon which they operate their businesses and manufacture their products, and where they source their ingredients. So, every decision made when creating a spa menu is critical in shaping the perception of the brand.



Many spa managers ask themselves, “What can we charge for this service?” An exact dollar and cents amount will not apply universally because pricing depends on several factors that vary from one spa to the next. While developing a price list, consider the following:

  • Cost of the product(s) used in the treatment
  • Wages and salaries of staff
  • Duration of the treatment (a 15-minute treatment will generally have a lower price point than an hour-long treatment)
  • Price sensitivity in the local economy

If unsure if a treatment price will be too excessive, enlist the help of staff to get their insight about what they believe customers will pay. Consider reaching out to clients that the spa has developed close relationships with to ask their thoughts or arrange a survey or focus group to get feedback from the target client base.



Do not make marketing an afterthought. There will be more success with it if the professional plans and prepares marketing campaigns and promotions.


The foundation of marketing efforts should be irresistible copy that drives clients’ interest in the treatments and professional images and graphics that paint a picture of the experience clients can expect. The following are some of the most effective ways to promote exfoliation treatments.


Ads: Place advertisements in local advertising media, or, if in a desirable destination, consider travel publications.


Social Media: Leverage the extended reach of promoted posts and create targeted ads to zero in on people with relevant interests and who are in the geographical region.


E-mail Marketing Blasts: These will keep loyal customers up-to-date on what is being offered.


Website: Prominently present promotions and new services by using banner images, featuring them on the slider of the home page, creating a pop-up window, and more.


In-house Print Promotion Tactics: Provide guests with coupons or flyers that announce upcoming promotions.


Referral Programs: Give guests incentives to tell their friends, family members, and co-workers about their experience.


Successfully incorporating exfoliation treatments into offerings will require some work, but diligent efforts will pay off for the spa and clientele. Although clients might not have full-body exfoliation at the top of their wish lists, with some education from the professional and an appealing treatment menu to choose from, they will be more inclined to make it a part of their visit. That will mean more revenue for the spa and an improved client experience.


Heather Kreider 2019Heather Kreider, L.E., R.N., co-owner (along with her husband, Nathan) of Makes Scents Natural Spa Line, has lived and breathed the spa industry for 19 years. Her credentials include post-graduate certification in advanced skin care at the International Dermal Institute and experience as an aesthetician specializing in European skin care. Kreider is also a licensed registered nurse. Besides its signature line of products, her company also creates custom formulations for spas who wish to offer their own distinctive treatments. All of their products, including natural, vegan, and organic, are certified cruelty-free by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC). 717-824-3094 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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