Clients expect to leave a spa feeling like a million bucks, which is why the quality of spa amenities used becomes doubly important, writes Vicki Williams.

Spas have always been about luxury, indulgence and pampering. While all of this is still important the demand for results-driven, environmentally responsible products continues to grow

Ming Fai Group, which counts numerous leading five-star hotel groups throughout Asia as clients, says currently it is all about being naturally and organically focused. This includes three of its newest ranges says marketing director, Tracy So, Canvas and Erutan (vegan) both from Australia, and Evviva from Italy. “These brands all feature natural ingredients, such as essential oils, that reflect the trend of wellness consumption nowadays.”

Detoxification and the associated products is another trend identified by So. “While chemical ingredients are more and more unpopular, products with natural detox or purifying function ingredients are increasing in popularity. This includes green tea, certain muds, herbs, sea salt and natural mineral water.”

Kate Crofton-Atkins, founder of luxury product range, Cochine says that hotels are looking more towards brand partners when it comes to the wellness experience. “We are seeing luxury hotels increasingly looking for brand partners who offer a complete experience in terms of product, inspiration and wellbeing. Being able to offer a beautiful range of products with Asian inspiration, and a focus on sustainability and natural ingredients, sets us apart and makes our product offering compelling to spas and their guests.”

ECO-CENTRIC BRANDS

Cochine works with Guest Supply to design, develop and distribute the luxury range. Guest Supply also works with a number of other eco-centric brands, including Aromatherapy Associates.

One Asia-specific trend noted by So is an increase in herbal options. “Herbal treatments, which are also natural and effective are becoming more and more popular, especially for hotel spas in China, Hong Kong, Korea and Thailand. Chinese herbal remedies have a long history for improving people’s health and beauty, and they are now finding their way into cosmetics, body masks and
steam treatments.”

She also notes that organic and eco friendly are still huge trends. “People prefer to use organic products, and we have also noted an increasing demand for eco-friendly products, and alternatives to plastic packaging and dispensers.”

There has also been a real shift towards natural, chemical-free products, says Crofton-Atkins. “Our new amenity range for hotels is both paraben and sulphate free with great natural alternatives available which does not compromise the final product.” Something she said was not the case only five years ago. “We are able to make wonderful, luxurious products that tick all the boxes on the chemical-free front, whilst still offering the best in skin and body care.”

She also points to the results trend. “People are becoming much more aware of what they put on their body, yet they see no need to compromise on effectiveness, and, why should they? Having products that are chemical-free is very important to us, but at the same time, we work very hard on our formulations to make sure that they are packed with natural, active ingredients that achieve really good results.” For example, sweet almond oil, olive oil, grape-seed extract, and aloe vera.

A trend that Fairmont Singapore also agrees with. Fairmont Singapore’s director of spa for Willow Stream Spa, Thea Huang says, “Our award-winning spa has partnered with premium skincare pioneer, Gaylia Kristensen from Australia. A revolutionary range that achieves exceptional results, while providing a natural alternative to cosmetic injections or surgery.” Adding “We deliver the immediate effects of Botox without having to go for an actual treatment.”

The bio-engineered products do not contain petrochemicals, mineral oil, paraben, harsh detergents or toxic ingredients.

GROWING DEMAND

Huang says there is a growing demand and preference for organic products and non animal-tested products as a result of a more discerning guest. “I think this is a global trend.”

For SO Sofitel Hua Hin, its spa has seen success with eco aware quality brand choice, with a mix of French and Thai ranges. Duangrat Kokiattrakul, SO Well manager says, “We chose Pyhtomer from France in part because of its commitment to the sea. Our resort is also right next to the sea and we care deeply about it through a variety
of initiatives.”

The other brand used is Ytsara, which is a Thai brand with international distribution. “The range is also eco friendly on numerous levels, including being organic, plant based, bio available natural actives, with no harmful chemicals and additives. Together, we believe that these products fit well with socially conscious consumers today,” explains Kokiattrakul.

However, it is important to constantly look towards the future. “We believe that consumers are always looking for new things. So we constantly have training updates with our partners to see what new R&D has been made available. We always want to offer consumers the best
products available.”