These days, it seems food and drink are meant not just to be eaten but also to be massaged into our skin, soaked into our hair and rubbed into our nails. (Perhaps this is also why spas offer "menus" of services.) And forget the old cucumbers-over-your-eyelids deal; these treatments are far more complex, enjoyable and, often, pricier. Here are five to try in Houston:
5. Tropical Mango & Passion Fruit Body Cocoon (Etheria Salon & Day Spa). nThe word cocoon usually makes me think of those scary pods from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This treatment, however, seems decidedly less stressful, if only because it does not involve shrieking doppelgangers. After the full-body mask is applied, one is swaddled from head to toe in warm wraps and left to bask in the fruity mixture, which the website proclaims, "smells so yummy, you might be tempted to taste!" (Restrain yourselves. There's probably a Smoothie King just around the corner.)
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4. Grande Mocha Java Meltdown (Spa Nordstrom). Despite its misleading name ("meltdown" really should not be a component of any spa service title), the GMJM is a welcome and aromatic pick-me-up for a fatigued epidermis. A mixture of coffee, sugar cane, and avocado oil is used to exfoliate the skin and slowly washed off as you lie down under multiple shower heads. Definitely more relaxing than waiting in line at Starbucks.
3. Yam and Pumpkin Enzyme Peel (Fiori Spa). Technically an "upgrade" from regular manicures and pedicures, the yam and pumpkin peel sloughs off dead skin and moisturizes what remains. The soothing flavors of starch and squash will remind you of all the good things about Thanksgiving (mindless, federally sanctioned feasting) and help you forget all the bad (seemingly interminable visits with the in-laws.)
2. Blueberry Smoothie Scrub (Urban Retreat Day Spa & Salon). I have nicknamed this treatment the "Violet Beauregarde Scrub," though apparently even after an hour of being rubbed with a mixture of blueberry extracts, you will not turn blue. Your newly exfoliated skin will glow from the natural antioxidants, and as July is National Blueberry Month, you can rest assured the berries are in season.
1. Golden Caviar Facial (Bergamos Spa Retreat). Don't scoff at the power of fish eggs. Packed with protein as well as Vitamins A, D, and B, caviar (specifically, caviar extract) moisturizes parched skin and protects against the elements. And considering two ounces of Russian caviar can cost around $200, this 80-minute facial ($165) is quite a bargain. Sort of.