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.
Sarah Hicks, owner of The Owl Massage & Spa LLC, helms a staff of skilled therapists who uncoil tense sinews with massages that incorporate techniques from around the world. When they aren’t alleviating stress or mending injuries with Swedish, hot-stone, and deep-tissue massages, Sarah and her fellow specialists tend to bodies with the ashiatsu method, a Japanese technique remarkable for its reliance on bare feet rather than hands. When employing this technique—which feels somewhat like a much deeper Swedish massage—the therapists balance themselves on clients' backs by grasping an overhead ceiling bar before carefully walking across sore muscles. Aside from these private massage sessions, The Owl's therapists teach massage techniques to couples and host game-day parties for University of Oregon football fans tense from watching third-down conversions or hoisting sports-drink coolers to pour on the fans seated in front of them.
It’s 2008 and Tobie Theis is thinking about her next move. For 15 years she’s been sharpening her hair- and nail-styling skills while working in a number of different salons. But, she wants the autonomy to fulfill her potential and make her vision for a salon real. Together with her husband Joe, the two set off to finally achieve a mutual lifelong dream: owning their own salon.
Since that bold step, Tobie has overseen the blossoming of Eden's Apple Salon & Day Spa into a full-service beauty oasis that offers everything from haircuts and extensions to massages and tanning. Within three months, Tobie and Joe had completely renovated the interior of the salon, filling it out with arched thresholds, shelves full of salon products, and a wall-sized mural of a beautiful woman. In time, her team also grew, now including eight hairstylists, two aestheticians, a licensed massage therapist, a nail technician, and the woman in the mural—whose large eyes can spot any aesthetic imperfections.
Since 1977, Cascade Athletic Clubs have distinguished themselves from typical gyms with their vast array of amenities, which range from big-screen TVs to a seasonal waterpark. In their fitness studios, instructors boost students’ flexibility during Pilates workouts, lead seniors through age-appropriate workout techniques during Silver Sneakers classes, or teach students how to dance to fast-paced music during Zumba. The dedicated team of personal trainers, meanwhile, help athletes stay motivated on a one-on-one basis, and tailor their regimens to individual goals that range from weight loss to preparing for an upcoming marathon. For independent workouts, athletes can play pick up games on the gyms’ basketball, tennis, and racquetball courts or swim laps in the indoor salt-water pools. They can also bulk up with Life Fitness machines, free weights, and Stair Masters designed to build strong enough leg muscles to conquer even the most daunting out-of-order escalator.
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 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 in order 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. Helpful assistants are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
The doctors and staff of MediPro Direct Slim use a truly holistic approach to weight loss—that is, they target fat from both the inside and out. Their arsenal of noninvasive fat-reduction technology handles the job from the outside, calling on lasers, sound waves, and mechanical massage to flush fat from the body in treatments that can be performed in as little as a lunch break. The Cavi-Lipo system, meanwhile, uses ultrasound energy to painlessly perforate fat cells in a treatment that has been demonstrated in real-time at trade shows and featured on Dr. Oz.
To spur weight loss from within, the team offers a number of effective weight-loss programs. According to the client's body type and weight loss goals, the experts can devise a regimen that incorporates specialized protein or low-calorie nutrition plans to help bodies shed pounds and gain energy.