Spa-mazing Eco Indulgence

This is a writing sample from Scripted writer Genie Davis

Spa treatments are good for body and soul, relaxing and nourishing tired muscles, improving skin tone, helping spa guests to feel healthy and refreshed. Throughout Los Angeles, spas offer wide ranging menus of facials, massages, scrubs, and mani-pedis. But the best spas serve not just the spa guest, but Mother Earth as well, offering eco-friendly, sustainable treatments. Here are some of the greenest spots for pampering in town. At Dtox Day Spa in Los Feliz, the Asian-minimalist design of the spa feels wholesome and earth-friendly the moment guests arrive. Entering a towering yet peaceful 2000-square-foot atrium filled with the soothing sounds of waterfalls, spa guests enjoy a Zen-style with Indonesian flare. Featuring treatments that use natural products, and built with eco-friendly materials, Dtox offers options like a Eucalyptus steam room and hot stone massages. Spa director Karen Lee points out that the spa is committed to helping conserve the Earth's natural resources. "We use bio-degradable cups and napkins, and train our providers to conserve supplies and water. And we offer a recycling program for our guests, so that if they return product bottles purchased here, they'll get 10% off the next product they buy." Lee notes that the spa features a wide variety of organic products. "We want our guests to feel well, be health conscious, and know that we care about their health, and that of the environment." Dtox uses organic facial products by Eminence, Soothing Touch and Lotus Touch all-natural massage oil or lotion, and Erbaviva Organic Back Rub Oil for prenatal massages.. "Our overall mentality is that we want to take care of one another, we want to take care of the earth," Lee notes. "We believe if we give, the giving will come back." Just over the hill from Dtox in Universal City, Purity spa lives up to its name. This peaceful, green oasis relies solely on natural products including plant-based collagen masks for clients. The spa also offers nutritional counseling to assist clients with healthy, organic food options. Owner and aesthetician Carol Zubrin notes "I was one of the first people who started doing organic facials in Los Angeles. It wasn't 'in' to be all natural when I first started. I don't use electric modalities, just Chinese pressure point therapy and lympathic drainage massage." Zubrin also uses Chinese face mapping. "It accurately correlates what is going on with your face, and what is going on inside your body. It's pretty amazing how you can help your skin with dietary changes and supplements in an all natural fashion." Zubrin strongly believes that the body heals naturally, and there is no reason to traumatize skin with chemical peels or dermabrasion. Using only green and eco-friendly products that are good for pampering the planet and the body, Zubrin works with products such as a "chaotic cleanser that relies on activated charcoal to kill bacteria" and a "phyto-collagen facial that tightens your skin." But her most sought-after technique is pressure point lymphatic drainage. "It clears puffiness that causes wrinkles and detoxifies the skin, preventing breakouts from old, stagnant lymphage. When you exercise you are flushing out toxins. But you don't exercise your face, so the old lymphage stays." Overall, Zubrin notes, "I use natural, preventative treatments that everyone can benefit from - including the earth itself." At Green Bliss Spa, owner Randi Ragan brings organic goodness right to clients' front doors or offices. This mobile spa is devoted to using all natural ingredients, and to supporting sustainability. Ragan places an emphasis on "what it means to be a conscious consumer of self-care and wellness. I want to educate people about the supply chain of their beauty and self-care consumption. All too often we see the high cost of cheap goods and services that exploit workers and expose workers and customers to toxic chemicals. Any eco-business worth their salt will have figured out that it's not just providing ingredients that are organic or 'cleaner.' It's about people, planet, and profits co-existing." Ragan and her mobile team carefully researches the products they use. "Is a product ethnically produced, does it leave as small a footprint as possible on the environment, and is it packaged in an earth-friendly way - those are my considerations," Ragan attests. Green Bliss offers vegan nail products from Zoya, non-acetone nail polish remover from Tates, and a variety of products that can be used for multiple healing purposes. "We want to be a part of transforming the way people think about self-care, to help them engage in eco-friendly decision making. It's so crucial to be a conscious consumer of self-care and wellness products," she says. In Santa Monica, Alchemie spa also focuses on vegan and cruelty-free products from skin care to nails and make-up. "Our decor and philosophy attest to our earth-friendly approach," owner Mary Lee explains. "We chose recycled, renewable, and sustainable resources such as cork, bamboo, and 100% post-industrial recycled hardwood for our walls and flooring. To paint our space, we used non-toxic VOC-free interior paint. And, we believe beauty products should contribute to your health, not compromise it. Delivering a personalized, organic experience for our guests is our passion," Lee says. "We use organic handcrafted products made from pure, raw, fair-trade ingredients that are not animal tested, such Bodi Deli, a Superfood Skincare Line, and our own Alchemie Line, formulated by Isun Organics Skincare." The spa also provides a healing infrared sauna for detoxification. Alchemie uses green-friendly practices in its daily operations as well, emailing instead of printing receipts, providing reusable drinking receptacles, and participating in a recycling program. Carrying the spa's organic philosophy beyond its doors, Lee donates to Tree People, planting a monthly tree with the non-profit. For all four of these spa-mazing spots, sustainable green living is more than a lifestyle, it's a way of life. Sustaining the earth and your body was never easier or better than this.

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Genie Davis
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