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.
Exhale Spa seeks to transform its clientele inside and out. The founding team of fitness professionals and aestheticians sought to create an environment where they could empower visitors with pampering spa treatments, invigorating fitness classes, and lifestyle education, helping clients attain a sense of control and holistic balance. Now with 19 locations across 11 cities, Exhale Spa and its signature services have earned mentions in numerous national publications, including People magazine, the New York Times, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
Exhale's signature Core Fusion classes incorporate dance-inspired stretches, yoga poses, and Pilates exercises into total-body workouts that build long, lean limbs and sturdy abdominal muscles over time. For an even more varied workout, the instructors introduce boot-camp techniques, cardio exercises, or multiplication tables to select sessions. Yoga classes present a similar amount of breadth and variety, drawing inspiration from a number of introspective and physically oriented styles. To help hasten physical transformations, nutrition and wellness coaches teach attendees about the impacts of diet. These sessions build an awareness of healthy eating habits through custom meal plans and by teaching clients how to identify the edible parts of a fruit basket.
Many of the center's traditional spa services seek to inspire confidence. Facials pamper and refine skin using everything from green tea and fruit extracts to microcurrent technology, and mani-pedis revitalize digits before glazing nails with a vibrant new coat of color. Bodywork treatments look beyond physical relaxation and focus on holistic concerns. Massage therapists can use Eastern or Western modalities to soothe overstressed musculature, and acupuncture treatments and reiki sessions jump-start natural healing processes by encouraging the free flow of inner energies.
Keeping client satisfaction at the forefront of its mission, the Avalon Med Spa and Laser Center recently underwent a complete overhaul that included acquiring the award-winning G.M. Collin product line, as well as a new therapist, physician, and staff. A medical director and board certified-internist leads a team of professionals, including one member with certification in aesthetic medicine, and special training in medical informatics. The wide-reaching expertise of its staff enables Avalon Med Spa to deliver a varied menu of aesthetic services that includes everything from laser hair removal to teeth whitening, Botox, and body wraps.
Devoted to bettering the patient experience, the center also nestles clients into a relaxing environment replete with plush couches and a waiting lounge done up in warm, neutral tones. Hardwood floors lead clients back to a private treatment room, where the elegant décor relaxes with furnishings such as draped, olive-green curtains, frosted sconces, and a wall waterfall that trickles out droplets harvested from the fountain of youth.:m]]
In a profile for Plastic Surgery Practice's 2011 Top Docs feature, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christian Drehsen described how a person's entire facial expression, rather than just sagging cheeks or crow's-feet, is the object of his practice at Venus Clinique Spa by Clinique of Plastic Surgery. This comprehensive approach reflects his mastery of artistic composition, as well as his extensive experience, which is capped by more than two decades of sculpting the denizens of the Tampa Bay area, including mermaids built in sand. After thorough immersion in all fields of plastic surgery at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, he sought out specialized studies in hand surgery and microsurgery and developed a deft touch with children and burn victims during his residency at Morton Children's Hospital in Louisville. His steady hand is constantly innovating ways to harmonize features. He reimagined the face-lift to replicate the firm cheeks and stifling ennui of someone in their mid-twenties and repurposed clients' fat cells as catalysts for their own rejuvenation. Computer imaging helps his patients to see and evaluate what he envisions and then collaborate in the creative process. His practice has grown to three locations, two of which offer non-surgical aging solutions. There, medical aestheticians lavish complexions in carefully engineered Obagi and SkinMedica products while a nurse practitioner injects wrinkles and sagging cheeks with seven kinds of FDA approved dermal fillers and volumizers. Lasers work overtime at the spa, smoothing cellulite, routing unwanted hair and veins, and promoting even skin all over the body.
Martisa and Stan had a problem with sinus pressure and congestion. When they discovered how much salt therapy helped that, they started dropping by regularly. They're joined by clients seeking treatment for respiratory and skin conditions that range from asthma to ear infections.
While at The Salt Room, visitors lounge in a tranquil chamber whose walls, like Liberace's favorite kitchen apron, are entirely covered with sparkling salt crystals. To multiply the therapeutic effects, state-of-the-art halogenerators emit a breathable saline dust made from pharmaceutical-grade salt and fresh, filtered air. As guests inhale deeply, NASA-inspired, zero-gravity recliners lift their feet slightly above heart level, reducing the strain on their spines as they nap or read. A children’s room entertains little ones with art and toys as they absorb the beneficial effects, and a third chamber hosts yoga classes. Deep-tissue and Thai massages enable clients to take in the rooms’ healing properties as the tension in their backs ebbs away.
Outside of its therapy rooms, The Salt Room continues to guide guests on their path to wellness with acupuncture sessions and skincare treatments. These rely on exfoliation, extractions, and vitamin-C peels to cleanse skin without relying on licks from salt-hungry deer.
Board-certified cardiologist Dr. Ariel Soffer, a graduate of the prestigious Cedars Sinai/UCLA residency program, former chief of medicine of the Hollywood Medical Center, former doctor for the Florida Panthers, clinical assistant professor at Nova Southeastern University, and chief medical expert for WPLG ABC Local 10 News leads Soffer Health, which offers multiple practices and specialized departments. One such department is the Soffer Vein Institute, where a diverse menu of vein treatments helps female and male patients to achieve comely legs. Dr. Soffer is so proficient in laser treatments for varicose veins that he has trained dozens of physicians to use his endovenous laser-ablation techniques to heat varicose veins directly and cause them to seal and disappear more quickly than rabbits at a magicians? convention. Complimented by Dr. Oz as a world expert in veins, click here to watch his interview with Dr. Oz. He also uses traditional, ultrasound-guided, and foam-sclerotherapy treatments to eliminate unwanted varicose and spider veins.