A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all of the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray-tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Licensed medical aesthetician, certified laser technician, and former model Ruth Ford Elward renews skin with an array of customized facials, peels, and other skincare. Her signature facial works with all skin types—even potato—to detoxify and replenish the face, chest, and neck area, and she rebalances skin by applying protective antioxidants and revitalizing conditioners. Ruth plays soothing music during treatment, and during skin consultations, she discusses beneficial nutrition habits and at-home products that can help clients maintain their results.
The team at Tan the Moon believes that tanning, like anything else, is best done in moderation. The staff members advocate for measured UV exposure, which they assert can both protect skin from the effects of too much tanning and from the dangers of avoiding the sun altogether—sunburns and vitamin-D deficiencies, respectively. At the sun-worshipping salon, patrons can pay by the minute, month, or year to use tanning beds in four different levels. For clients who wish to forgo UV altogether, there are automated VersaSpa spray-tanning booths, or clients can enjoy a hand-applied custom airbrush tan. Pre-tan sessions in the hydration station can extend a tan’s life by two to four days, so Tan the Moon offers packages that add a hydration session to any type of tan. Lotions and extenders from Australian Gold and Booda Organics can also help color last longer than a round of “A Googolplex Bottles of Beer on the Wall.”
Certified laser specialist Pamela Archer is a staunch believer in the manifold power of lasers, employing their beams to rid bodies of hair, spider veins, wrinkles, and fungus at BARELaser clinic. Her arsenal of Quanta lasers covers a wide range of wavelengths to address the needs of patients of all skin types and ham-radio-station preferences. The center's resident aesthetician conquers issues unreachable by lasers through skin-smoothing injections of Botox or dermal fillers.
Luxe de Vil Salon owner Jenny is a quadruple threat: entrepreneur, Aveda Institute alumna, massage therapist, and rock 'n' roller. When Jenny set out to open a studio, she wanted it to reflect her personality, which resulted in Luxe de Vil Salon: a space that celebrates the glam of pinup curls, the edginess of tattooed skin, and an appreciation for individual style. Here, Jenny and her staff of Savants specialize in hair treatments, performing customized haircuts and coloring and highlighting services using products from brands such as Moroccan Oil, Enjoy, and Schwarzkopf. Dermalogica and Aveda lotions and unguents lather skin during facials, scrubs, and body polishes, and waxing and massages keep corpora as slick as a buttered bowling ball.
Vida Salon, an Aveda concept salon, decks out clients with a multitude of flower- and plant-based professional products crafted to high environmental standards. Experienced stylists can advise style seekers on the coiffure cleansers and body buffers that best fit their hair types and shower-curtain color. Shampure shampoo and conditioner ($10.50 each)—suited to all hair types—each harness coriander, eucalyptus oil, and lavender oil to miniature chariots to chase grime off every strand. The styling formula Be Curly Curl Enhancer shapes frizz-free curls out of damp hair using aloe and marshmallow root ($19). Or soothe skin with unguents such as the vitamin-rich Hand Relief ($20), which renders the paws as smooth as a freshly waxed pickup artist.
Laser Beauty Works' certified laser specialists and licensed aestheticians boost each client's natural beauty with technologically enhanced skin therapies and cosmetic medical treatments. Patients relax in the comfort of a private treatment room as experienced techs use a Cutera laser system to zap hair follicles all over the body, and a built-in cooling tip keeps skin safe from the heat. The spa's aestheticians revive dull or mature faces with the infrared-light energy of a radiance-restoring Titan laser, which delivers infrared heat deep into skin to even tone and renew skin's natural glow. During dermaplaning sessions, a highly experienced aesthetician deeply exfoliates skin with a sterile surgical blade, sloughing off dry, dull skin to leave complexions sleeker than a naked mole rat zipping down a slip 'n' slide greased with canola oil.