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.
When Mona Borden founded Mona's Dermatherapy in 2003, she assembled a staff with diverse areas of expertise in medical-grade skin treatments and spa and beauty services. Borden learned to treat acne, acne scars, rosacea, and aging-related complaints with frozen skin stem cells at the DNA Institute in Ventura, California for cryostem cell therapy, and addresses similar skin conditions with microdermabrasion and chemical peels. As a professional permanent-makeup artist, Borden highlights natural facial features and saves Gene Simmons impersonators the trouble of reapplying grease paint before every trip to the grocery store. Mona's Dermatherapy’s medical doctors oversee Botox and Juvederm injections and Zerona body-contouring treatments, and aestheticians perform beauty services such as facials and waxes.
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.