Thursday, September 9, 2010

DiVine Intervention

An excerpt by: Heather Mikesell from the September 2010 edition of American Spa Magazine.

While it’s common knowledge that drinking a glass of red wine a day can do the heart good, applying grapeseed oil or various other grape-infused products to the skin can also prove advantageous to the complexion. Grapeseeds contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that fight free radicals known for damaging the skin and increasing the signs of aging. Grapeseed extract has also shown promise in helping wounds heal faster with less scarring. In a study at the St. Helena Institute for Plastic Surgery, Steven C.

Herber, M.D., F.A.C.S., found that a majority of subjects who applied grapeseed extract topically to their face reported improved skin texture.
These are just some of the reasons grapes figure so prominently in many of today’s skincare lines. Grapes are nutrient-rich wonders that supply the skin with vitamin C, fruit sugars, pectin, bioflavonoids, and fruit acids.

Veronique Paré, owner of Espace Urbain Orthospa (Gatineau, Canada) is also impressed by the benefits, noting the fact that resveratrol, a potent antioxidant, can be found in high concentrations in grapeseeds, stems, and skins. According to her, it’s ideal for reducing inflammation and slowing the oxidation process that often causes skin to age prematurely.

Make it a Destination Experience
Not surprisingly, grape-inspired treatments are especially popular in spas located in wine regions, such as Napa Valley, CA, and the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. “Many of our guests come to Meadowood and the Napa Valley looking for anything and everything to do with grapes,” says Kerry Brackett, manager at The Health Spa at Meadowood. According to her, grapeseed-based treatments such as the Cabernet Crush ($135, 60 minutes) and Vineyard Polish ($135, 60 minutes), both body exfoliations, have long been a part of the menu. The spa recently introduced the Grape Seed Rejuvenation ($250, 2 hours) package in response to guests’ interest in regional grape treatments. It includes a choice of body exfoliation and a massage with grapeseed oil from NV Organics.

In the Finger Lakes region, grape-infused treatments are practically a given. In fact, Spa Mirbeau (Skaneateles, NY) offers an entire menu of treatments. From the Wine Salt Glow ($135, 50 minutes) to the Pinot Noir Body Mask & Wrap ($135, 50 minutes), there is no shortage of antioxidant-rich services. At the Finger Lakes Wellness Center and Health Spa (Bath, NY), the evidence supporting the benefits grapes have to offer was too convincing to ignore. “Studies indicate that topical treatment reduces eye puffiness and inflammation, evens out the complexion, and adds to ultraviolet ray protection,” says owner Janet Opild-Lehman. There, guests can enjoy a variety of grapeseed signature sessions, such as Grape Seed Hand and Foot Reflexology ($70, 60 minutes) or Grape Seed Oil Aromatherapy Detox Massage ($75, 60 minutes). “Being in wine country, we also wanted to enhance our clients’ experience by incorporating grapeseeds in some of our treatments,” says Opild-Lehman. “Grapes are not just for drinking and eating.”
That was also the thinking at Brentwood Bay Lodge and Spa (Victoria, BC). “Here on the Saanich Peninsula, we have an incredible variety of local wineries, which are often a draw for our visiting guests,” says spa director Alicia Bradshaw. At Spa – Essence of Life, a host of Vino Therapy treatments are available, such as the Couple’s Vino Lover’s Retreat ($242 per person, 2 hours) and the Vino Stomp Pedicure ($82, 75 minutes). According to Bradshaw, the grape-themed services serve as an example of the property’s efforts to rely on local elements and offer multiple skin-saving advantages. “When you rub and scrub the body with grape skins and vines containing resveratrol, a natural antibiotic, you help to increase cellular immunity and detoxification,” says Bradshaw.

Fresh Fruit
As spa-goers continue to clamor for increasingly natural products, grapes can be easily integrated into many treatments. Available at Caudalíe Spas in New York City; Elciego, Spain; and Martillac and Ville d’Avray, France is the Vinotherapie Spa Manicure ($85, 60 minutes) and Pedicure ($95, 80 minutes) both involve the use of freshly cut grapes to gently exfoliate and hydrate the nail beds. The Fresh Grape Massage ($185, 50 minutes) relies on fresh grapes to soothe the skin, and the Crushed Cabernet Scrub ($145, 35 minutes) combines grapeseeds, grapeseed oil, brown sugar, and honey to exfoliate the skin. Launching this month, the Vinosource Quenching Facial ($185, 50 minutes) relies on fresh grapes to massage the face and neck.

Wine-d Up
Wine tastings are a great way to extol the virtues of grape-themed treatments and products. “We hold wine tasting events called Divine Wine Spa Events at the spa showcasing the Mondavi family wines and offer mini spa treatments and tours to educate clients on the health benefits of red wine and the potent power of antioxidants found in the polyphenols of red grapes,” says Heidi Carney, spa director of 29 Spa at The Mansion on Peachtree, A Rosewood Hotel & Residence (Atlanta). The spa cross-promotes with Neiman Marcus, and co-hosts events, such as makeup classes and wine and spa parties. Packing a mighty powerful antioxidant punch, grape-themed products and treatments certainly give spa-goers plenty of reasons to raise a glass.
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