To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
Under the expertise of owner and board-certified aesthetician Nancy Young, skincare professionals at dbts Skin Bar-Corporate use zone-by-zone facial mapping to create custom skin therapy. With high-end Dermalogica products in tow, staffers fight a variety of dermal foes, including acne blemishes, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and scars in the shape of ATM PINs. Using a blend of antioxidants, glycolic acids, and fruit acids, treatments such as advanced rejuvenating chemical peels strip away the exterior layer of skin to promote collagen production and unearth healthier new skin. Other skin-therapy treatments diminish hyperpigmentation or slow the process of aging. Not only do the specialty treatments leave skin smoother, but the light-based hair-removal services contribute to a sleeker façade.
When the Douglas J Aveda Institute opened in Knoxville in 2011, it joined a family of institutes and salons that Douglas Weaver started in the 1960s. Here, Aveda students pursue certification in cosmetology and esthiology while practicing their craft on real clients under the supervision of licensed educators. And because students perform the services, the rates are lower than at traditional salons. The Knoxville treatment menu includes hair design—cuts, color, retexturizing—as well as Aveda’s Elemental Nature facials, pedicures, and manicures.
The Institute is inside the historic S&W Grand building, a handsome art-deco landmark that, like a compassionate fairy-tale prince, is equally handsome on the inside. The spa rooms have a rustic balance of exposed brick and wood paneling, and the salon’s geometric light fixtures gleam upon checkerboard tile floors and industrial shelving lined with Aveda’s signature products.
The board-certified colorists at Pura Vida Color Studio strive to live up to their name?which intends to capture the essence of good vibes and relaxation?by using sustainable, earth-friendly Davines products. The Davines concept salon also specializes in flamboyage highlights, a spin on balayage that uses gently gripping mech strips to separate small sections of hair instead of using traditional foils. The technique produces natural-looking waves of color.
The salon's subdued decor turns eyes' focus toward vibrant tresses. Stylists can judge and calibrate colors in the abundant natural light from wide windows. The salon's neutral-colored walls echo the burble of the storefront fountain and the footfalls of the well-coiffed elves who live inside the potted plants.
Jessica Elkins's eponymous spa is a tribute to her love of plants, nature, and beauty. During her aesthetics training, Jessica worked in the bodycare department of a natural-foods market, assisting clients as they selected lotions, rinses, or cucumbers. She then turned her attention to biochemistry, a field of study that explores the chemical processes in living organisms. By learning how cellular components interact, Jessica broadened her ability to resolve or diminish skin conditions with specific products. At the spa, Jessica works alongside aestheticians who perform custom facials with natural ingredients from Europe or minerals from the mines of Moria. Wax technicians specialize in Brazilian and eyebrow services, and cosmetologists perform makeup applications with mineral pigments.
Beneath a lofted zenith of upward-sloping walls that converge overhead to give the space a quaint yet roomy feel, stylists work diligently at their chairs, expertly snipping locks and coloring coifs. A lineup of waxing services—or a magnet for clients whose hair is literally cobalt—de-fuzzes physiques from eyebrows to bikini line to legs. Cream-colored walls, punctuated by light that drifts in from a trio of windows, lend an air of serenity to the full-service salon and spa. Aestheticians tucked away in private rooms cleanse and exfoliate complexions with six different types of customized facials. Massage services focus on hands, feet, and backs during reflexology treatments and dorsal kneading sessions that, like explaining to a child how one knows what one knows, lasts up to 90 minutes.