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.
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.
An arsenal of UV beds and new Mystic HD spray-tan booths helps clients lock in beach-worthy glows at Tan Spa. Helpful staffers meet clients upon arrival, first showing them a selection of tanning products that line the spa?s entryway before leading them to a tanning room. Machinery takes over from there, swathing clients in tanning-bed rays or spritzing bodies with a Mystic spray solution. Through a combination of heat, constant airflow, and tanning serum, the spray-tan booth infuses skin with an instant, healthy-looking tan, customized to each patron?s desired level of color.
Though the spa is known for its tanning services, it also provides a host of other treatments, including red-light therapy and teeth whitening. Its FIT body wraps encase bodies in specialized torso, leg, and arm covers that can help clients burn calories and reduce the appearance of cellulite. The wraps can also help increase blood flow, recover skin elasticity, and detoxify the body.
In September 2001, Eric Fishman was far from the sunny skies of his Tampa home but nearing his light-bulb moment. Eric was checking in on one of his investments, a tanning salon in Los Angeles, when 9/11 put a halt on all flights and caused him to spend some extra time in the storefront. As days passed, he watched celebrity after celebrity stroll into the brilliant blue box that was Mystic Tan's trademark and emerge looking as though they'd spent a day on the beach.
Within months, Eric and his partner established one of the few Mystic Tan boutiques in Florida. The advanced airbrush technology stirred up demand and delivered 9,000 tans in the first year, with clients driving in from other towns to test the UV-free mists. Soleil Tanning Boutique now spills over into two locations, each trimmed in modern beach d?cor and stacked with one Mystic Tan booth and six powerful UV beds so that clients can achieve their ideal bronze.
Low lighting glints off a wall covered in glitter as toes curl on a zebra-striped rug, with feet bare from kicking off flip-flops to climb into one of Tan Lounge's tanning booths. The cocktail-lounge d?cor helps transforms what could be considered a chore?routine maintenance in a UV bed or a quick spray-tan session?into a glamorous self-indulgence. With the eagerness of the town gossip's town crier, staff members lavish tips on patrons that are informed by an understanding of skin chemistry. Staffers will helpfully direct those concerned about claustrophobia to airy, standup UV booths and wryly describe the collection of color-enhancing lotions in terms of "tingle factor," which tells you how intensely they stimulate blood and melanin flow in the skin. Cleaners sterilize beds and booths after each guest, and bulbs are replaced once they burn below 80% capacity to avoid weak sessions.
For aesthetician Marianna Gonzalez, natural is always best. That's why Your Beauty Evolution?more of a total-body wellness center than a spa?strives to offer treatments bolstered with natural ingredients. Facials are performed with 100% certified organic ingredients that clarify but not irritate fragile skin, which the staff will help clients learn to take care of in everyday life. During waxing services, the technicians will choose a wax based on the customer's individual skin type for the best looking results. And spray tans use organic ingredients to bronze bodies without an artificial aroma?instead, coconut or caramel essence improves the experience.
South Beach is known for its signature art-deco designs, pristine beaches, and energetic nightlife. Taking a cue from that dynamic locale, the staff members of South Beach Tanning Company have decorated their various locations in the spirit of South Beach and pride themselves on their upbeat, lounge-like vibe. Inside each salon, cheery lighting and bright purple, blue, and red walls augment the high-quality equipment and shelves of handpicked lotions, and high ceilings stop newly acquired tans from floating off just-bronzed bodies.