Valentines Day guide to spas

  • Crystal Schwanke
  • Beauty
  • Feb 1, 2016
You won't regret your decision to take the afternoon off.

You won’t regret your decision to take the afternoon off.

Whether you’ve got a special date planned for Valentine’s Day or you’re looking to redeem the gift certificate you received from your valentine, choosing a spa service could feel overwhelming. Give yourself an extra dose of confidence and wow your date with services that will result in a radiant complexion despite temperatures that can leave your skin looking dull and flaky, or choose something that will help you relax regardless of your relationship status or the day of the month.

If you’re planning a visit to the spa for a facial, microdermabrasion, or a peel, you’ll want to schedule your appointment well in advance. Michelle Hix of Cosmetic Laser and Skin Care Center says, “A really good facial [will] cleanse, rejuvenate, and give women that glow they’re looking for before a date. Or we can do microdermabrasion,” she adds. “You don’t peel with either one of those and you’ll get the healthy-looking, hydrated skin, but we usually recommend doing it about a week before the date.” For a chemical peel, make your appointment closer to two weeks in advance.

When you’re trying to decide which facial or other treatment is best for your skin type, it’s generally best to consult with the esthetician before getting started in order to address any concerns you may have and choose the perfect service for your skin type and needs. However, if you like to plan ahead while consulting a spa services menu, “Think about how the skin feels to the touch—dry, oily, tight, and whether there any breakouts or redness,” says Sarah Hames of the Merle Norman boutique in Peachtree City. Hames also adds that special occasion makeup is an option at their location, another way for women to pamper themselves before a Valentine’s Day date.

How do you know if you need a facial, microdermabrasion, or a peel? “That’s what we help with,” says Hix. “We feel the patients out to see what they’re trying to achieve. Even if they’re sensitive or dry, they can handle the microdermabrasion or facial. If there are a lot of clogged pores, the facial will be the better option because that includes extractions.” If you have rosacea or eczema, ask your esthetician not to steam your skin during the facial. If you have acne, look for clay masks, lactic acid peels, and cleansers with salicylic acid. Stick with the classic services first and branch out from there if you’re new to spas.

Even if you’ve received a gift certificate you’d like to redeem and don’t need to worry about peeling, you can still stick with the basics and treat it as a time to just relax and pamper yourself. “Women like the signature facials a lot and the facial waxing,” says Hames, regarding some of the most common uses for those gift cards.

Once you’ve chosen your licensed esthetician and booked your appointment, make sure you arrive on time or even a few minutes early if you’d like a tour of the spa. Be sure to turn your cell phone off (you want to relax, after all!). Also make sure to mention any skin or health concerns you have to the esthetician so you get the experience you’re hoping for.

Spa Speak:

Vitamin C: A common antioxidant and skin brightener used to counteract environmental damage caused by sun exposure and smoke, and to help the skin look more supple and radiant.

Microdermabrasion: Tiny crystals are used to slough off dead skin cells to improve texture and minimize the appearance of fine lines, acne, and uneven pigmentation.

Facial: Ingredients may vary based on location and skin type, but a facial tends to include cleansing, extractions, exfoliation, facial massage, moisturizing mask, and sunscreen.

Peels: A variety of peels are available, including glycolic, lactic, and enzyme. They tend to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and make pores appear smaller.

Massage: The most common choice for beginners is the Swedish. Other options may include the deep tissue massage, which is more intense than the Swedish, and the hot stone massage, which involves rubbing the body with stones that have been heated in 120-150 degree water. The stones are sometimes rested along the back, belly, between the toes, or in the hands.

Manicure and pedicure: Even if you’ve had a mani/pedi at a nail salon, you can enjoy a few extra steps at a spa. You may benefit from a more relaxing atmosphere, a paraffin treatment, moisturizing mask, or a hand massage.

Crystal Schwanke

Crystal has been a freelance writer and editor since 2005. Her work has appeared on multiple channels at, as well as Mia, M Magazine, Moultrie Magazine, and others. Her interests include fashion, beauty, history, hiking, reading, and spending time with her husband and daughter. You can find her blog at

February 1, 2016