These days, many mainstream retailers are pumping out all sorts of spa products in attempt to capture the ever-increasing population of stressed-out moms, which especially came into focus with books such as, “The Mommy Myth” and “Perfect Madness.” You can always pick up a copy of either book for your mom for Mother’s Day, but better yet consider one of this season’s hot spa products.
Food for the skin
Health conscious types have known for years about the value of including “anti-oxidant” rich foods in their diet, from blueberries to pomegranates. With that in mind, Susie Wang of Napa Valley, Calif. put together a collection of spa-type products with a high concentration of anti-oxidants called Aqua Dessa Spa Therapy. The all-natural, organic products not only contain premium ingredients but also have “no fillers, no water, no thickeners, no synthetic chemicals or no animal by-products.”
Products range from a honey pomegranate facial cleanser, described as “food for the skin” that costs $25 for 5 ounces to a hot fudge anti-oxidant mask in a 4-ounce jar for $32.
“AD's products are something unique,” says Kristina Fitzhugh, editor of spaindex.com, who says she inundated with “spa swag,” and it’s really hard to impress her. “Our criterion has become, ‘Would we buy them ourselves if we didn't get them for free?’ We all said, ‘Yes,’ when it came to Aqua Dessa.”
Fitzhugh favors the wine scrub, which uses ground grape seeds as an abrasive. “It's balanced so perfectly that you don't feel oily after the scrub, nor does the bathtub have an oil slick to clean up,” she says. On the downside, it has “an earthy aroma that takes getting used to, but isn't unpleasant” and it also can be quite a challenge to clean up the grape seeds that stick to the tub walls. The wine scrub costs $33 for a 16-ounce container, and a 750 ml-bottle of the wine bath retails for $36.
Aqua Dessa products are sold at the company’s Web site and at Sephora.com.
From mud to fine things
Fitzhugh also recommends the mud mask from Deluvia Mud. But it took a hand treatment at a spa trade show to convince her that this mud mask was any different from all the Dead Sea products on the market. After a “dove test” or a trade show representative put the mud on one of Fitzhugh’s hands, she could see the difference between the treated and untreated hand clearly. “As I placed my hands side-by-side, I actually said ‘Oh my gosh...’ because I had one smooth, nearly line-free and considerably lighter hand, while the other had much more detail in the fine lines, wrinkles and un-exfoliated skin,” says Fitzhugh. She bought some on the spot.
What makes Deluvia products different from other Dead Sea products is the formulas are spa quality at “affordable retail prices,” says Ron Chacon, Deluvia’s general manager.
The Dead Sea mud masks, however, are still pricey at $50 for 8 ounces and $80 for 17 ounces. The products are sold online at the company’s Web site, at trade shows and more than 100 spas across the country.
The introductory facial kit makes a nice gift. For $40, mom can try the mineral cleanser (2 ounces), mineral toner (2 ounces), the mud mask (1 ounce) and the revitalizing cream (.5 ounce).
A good name for a relatively new line of bath and body products is CoseFini, which means "Fine Things" in Italian. Founded by the mother-son team of Cathleen Chiappone Finan and Patrick Finan, the all-natural, cruelty-free collection includes a lemon, poppy-seed body wash, $20 for 8 ounces, and a white ginger bubble bath, $18 for 16 ounces. My personal favorite is the extra thick grapefruit-scented body lotion, which comes in an 8-ounce bottle for $16.
Fuzz is the buzz
This year, why not splurge on a spa robe for mom? Traditional spa-type robes can be purchased online from Ty Robes and San Francisco-based Telegraph Hill. The classic, white, terry-cloth robe at tyrobes.com, made of 100 percentTurkish Denizli cotton, retails for $125. Sold at high-end spas, resorts and inns, Telegraph Hill spa robes are made from 100 percent, combed-cotton knit or micro-fiber, and range in price from $69 to $119.
Fuzz is the buzz about spa robes from Barefoot Dreams, made popular when featured in Oprah’s favorite things list in 2003. Made of light, fluffy chenille, the robes are sold at the company Web site, Nordstrom and Hinsdale, Ill.–based lifestyle café and boutique Kafe Kokopelli. Robes retail for $135. Throws cost $130.
At the opposite end of the spa-robe spectrum are lightweight spa kimonos from Jiggy-Jig. The batik kimonos, made in Bali, come in two styles. Happi coats, short kimonos with a narrow sleeve, cost $45 and Yukata Kimonos, made of 100 percent rayon, sell for $60.
Many of the patterns have symbolic meanings, says Donna Murphy, who started the business after she feel in love with the kimonos on a trip to Bali 12 years ago. Jiggy-Jig kimonos are sold online, at the Japan Pavillion in Orlando, Fla. and specialty stores nationwide.
A treat for mom’s feet
And last but not least is a treat for mom’s feet. Mom could take a trip down the runway in this season’s hot flip flips designed by Judi Flowers for Bonjour Fleurette. Fun and practical at the same time, the “dotty” collection sport black soles with white polka-dots and bright faux flowers mounted on the front. Available in orange, yellow and pink, the slides sell for $26. The flip flops are currently on sale for $18, reduced from $26. Buy more than one pair and mom can mix and match — wear a pink flower on her left foot and a yellow bloom on her right. Spa Dottys also come in kids sizes, and make a nice mother-daughter gift set.