Good Escapes

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Green spas with great treatments, New York City’s top of the crop

organic spa facial in new york cityNew Yorkers are inherently green. We live in apartments, not high carbon footprint houses, and take public transportation. So come Earth Day we can feel a little smugger than most Americans (though that’s no excuse not to bring your compost to Union Square).

It even feels like natural and organic beauty products are available everywhere now. But the reality is most spas still use results-oriented products loaded with chemicals to get you looking poreless and radiant. A number of spas in New York City have tried their best to go green, with some changing their practices to reduce waste and water and being super-picky about the products they use. But the scene is still very much in its indie phase.

So we’ve vetted a handful of New York City spas using eco-friendly products that don’t put parabens on your face or pesticides on the planet—and, incidentally, they feel just as luxe as the ones that don’t. (So we don’t want to hear it.)

GREEN SPAS WITH GREAT TREATMENTS

Sweet Lily: The shabby chic-style interiors alone make this a desirable mani-pedi spot ($24 mani; $46 pedi). But what we really love are the hygienic white tin buckets they use for footbaths, plus the killer selection of Zoya nail polish, which is entirely free and clear of formaldehyde, toluene, and phthalates. www.sweetlilyspa.com

Monica Watters Sacred Touch: Monica Watter’s one-woman spa is run out of her apartment (does it get any greener?) and she’s devoted to eco-friendly products, too. Her luxurious adaptation of the Dr. Alkaitis facial (2 hours, $280) makes this green-as-grass product line reach aesthetic magnificence; it’s the Pure Food & Wine of facials. 212-838-3717

NYC_sandals_painted_toes_pedicure

Living eco-luxe: Laid-back Birks with chic toes, spotted in Central Park

Great Jones Spa: The Great Jones Spa Water Lounge is not the greenest thing going, true. But they make up for having the water usage of a golf course by choosing the greenest products possible, including Spa Ritual nail color, Jurlique skin care, and Red Flower. The Red Flower Hammam and Onsen spa rituals (about $230) use a plethora of paraben-free products that rely on certified organic ingredients. www.greatjonesspa.com

Go Green Organic Spa: Go Green uses only Eminence Organics skin-care products, which are heavy on the fruit, and null on the toxins. The only thing you compromise for the affordable rates here (facials top out at $128) is silence. The treatment rooms are private, but a bit sonically impaired. www.gogreenorganicspa.com

She Essential Beauty: Beth Hooper and Laura Kauffmann, two NYC-based acupuncturists, use principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and their own organic product line called She Essential Beauty, in the AcuGlow and AcuLift facial treatments ($125). AcuGlow uses acupressure (first gear) and AcuLift uses acupuncture needles (fifth gear) to get anti-aging results. www.sheessentialbeauty.com, 866-502-3736

And a total splurge, Nature’s Radiant Facial at the Mandarin Oriental ($305 weekdays), which uses the gorgeous eco-luxe line, Amala.

Need to know more about NYC eco-friendly beauty products and treatments, check our Indie Beauty section.

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