Facials and skin peels

If you're new to spa services, consider starting with a facial. It's a relatively low-cost service, generally ranging from $35 to $75 for about 30 minutes, depending on the level of service.

Facials typically include skin cleansing, exfoliation, steam, mask and moisturizer. A facial massage may be included for an extra charge.

Skin peels are another common offering and are aimed at people wanting to eliminate or reduce the appearance of scars, acne, age spots, wrinkles or stretch marks. The process involves using herbal and/or chemical agents to remove the outer layer of older, dead skin cells, resulting in a softer and smoother complexion.

Peels typically cost about $75 for a 45-minute treatment, with package plans usually offered for multiple visits.

What's in a full spa package?

Consider a full spa package if you want to indulge your senses and feel refreshed from head to toe. A full visit may cost from $100 to $200 or more and should take four to six hours.

These services are typically offered in a complete day spa package:

Facial: Most packages start with a full facial treatment. This may be followed by cleansing, exfoliation and massaging of the arms, hands and feet.

Full massage: A package generally features a full therapeutic body massage that includes the scalp and face.

Finishing touches: A package often culminates in a chef-inspired meal or a tray of chocolates and glass of fine wine.

How to choose a day spa

Plan to visit a day spa before making an initial appointment. Ask for a tour, and notice the sensory details that comprise the atmosphere.

Does the spa provide pleasant lighting and scents, relaxing music and luxuries such as terry robes? You're paying to be pampered, so atmosphere matters.

But so does safety. So as you examine the spa:

Make sure the entire facility, especially tools and equipment, are cleaned and sterilized between clients.

Check that the business is properly licensed and that staff members who provide specialized treatments, such as skin peels and microdermabrasion, have proper training and licensing.

Be clear about services, products, prices and hours of operations.

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