Whether you have a standing appointment at the spa or prefer to book sessions on an as-needed basis, you want to arrive ready to make the most of your experience and prolong the positive effects of your treatment. To help those who might have an appointment on the horizon arrive fully prepped, we asked Liza Smith Hall, owner of Epicure Day Spa in Oxford, Mississippi, to share what you can do before and after to maximize the experience. Here is her expert advice.
For spray tans
Plan two days out. For example, if you’re attending a wedding on a Saturday, Hall recommends getting your spray tan on the Thursday before the event, as this will give you the best and most natural color on the big day.
Remember to exfoliate. This step is crucial, according to Hall. Even if exfoliating on a regular is not a part of your routine, Hall encourages doing so 24 hours before your tan. Likewise, shaving is a form of exfoliation, and should be done before your tan. Hall recommends that her clients use Vita Liberata Super Fine Skin Polish, an exfoliating product that is applied prior to the shower and then rinsed off, before their appointments.
Avoid deodorant and moisturizer the day of. Moisturizer and deodorant can act as barriers, and prevent you from getting the true color of the tan. Plus, the chemicals in deodorant can sometimes react with the spray tan solution and turn your under arms green, Hall says.
Be sure to moisturize post-appointment. “Moisturizing is so important to extend the life of your tan,” Hall says. “It also prevents it from coming off as splotchy and leaving you with lizard-looking skin.” She recommends moisturizing every morning and evening, and holding off on reaching for the razor as long as possible post-tan, as shaving will essentially remove layers of your tan, leading to a streaky look on your legs.
For waxing and sugaring
Remember to exfoliate. Before either of these services, it’s important to exfoliate to prep the areas for hair removal, Hall says.
Arrive with clean and dry skin. On the day of your appointment, it’s important to come in with clean skin that’s free of moisturizers, oils, sunscreen, or sweat. Hall suggests that you skip working out prior to your appointment, since anything that will cause you to sweat (even a hot, steamy shower) will make your skin extra-sensitive.
Avoid ingrown hairs. In addition to exfoliating prior to your appointment, you can also utilize a product specifically for treatment of ingrown hairs (which some people are just naturally more prone to getting). The experts at Epicure Day Spa are big fans of the Fur product line, which has a stubble cream as well as an ingrown hair concentrate.
For a massage
Hydrate the day before. According to Hall, it’s important to drink plenty of water leading up to your massage, starting 24 hours before. She notes that the rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. If you’re drinking caffeine and alcohol, which are dehydrating, she advises drinking more than that amount.
Stop drinking fluids 45 minutes before your massage. Nothing ruins a massage like feeling like you need to use the restroom during your session. For that reason, Hall advises holding off on drinking anything at least 45 minutes prior to getting on the table.
Be present. During the massage, allow yourself to be fully in the moment by bringing your awareness to every body part that’s being manipulated. This practice will let you get the most benefits out of the session. “If you feel yourself tensing up, take a deep breath and try to release the area holding tension,” Hall says. She also advises that there’s no need to help the therapist—your job is to relax and let them do the work. “This time was scheduled for a reason, so try not to think of other stressors, and focus on the different senses to help bring awareness back to the present.”
Remember to rehydrate afterwards. During a massage, your therapist is releasing toxins that are stored in your tissues. To help flush them out of your muscles so they don’t stay trapped and leave you feeling tired and sluggish, drink more water than you normally would post-massage. Chances are you will be thirsty after your treatment, so this will come easily.
Follow your therapist’s advice. Your therapist will likely give you some parting words of advice as you leave. To prolong the benefits of the massage, heed her recommendations. Some of those might include stretching, resting, applying ice and/or heat, and taking a nice long soak in a tub with epsom salts.
For lash treatments, microblading, and facials
Wear light makeup. You don’t have to completely forego makeup, Hall says, but skip waterproof mascara, and go easy so your service provider doesn’t have to scrub your face to remove heavy makeup. This will ensure a more relaxing—and efficient—experience.
Follow your provider’s recommendations. Every technician will give their clients after-care instructions. It’s key that you listen to them and call if you have any questions, Hall says.