#SpaVoice
July 2020
WELCOME TO THE JULY EDITION OF SPAVOICE . . . 
 
A new normal, a better normal? New thinking will be required to adapt to life post COVID-19 and with very little clarity at this stage, the spa industry has excelled itself and embraced the fact that we need to look at things differently, think differently and act differently. 

Best summed up by the author and thinker Deepak Chopra: “The measure of your enlightenment is the degree to which you are comfortable with paradox, contradiction, and ambiguity.”

As an industry, we’ve shown fantastic resilience and this is our chance to reinvent and create new ways of working and looking after our clients, who will require our services more than ever before. 

However, we still do not have a reopen date. The UKSA has put out an urgent plea to Boris Johnson to consider a u-turn on the government’s decision to keep spas and wellness facilities closed to the public. According to our research, carried out in May this year, 92% of spa businesses have reported a severe or significant impact on their business since lockdown started in March this year, with 87% having to furlough the majority of their staff.

To raise awareness and the urgent need for a review of the government’s current decision, the UKSA has launched ‘A Date for Wellness: #saveourspas’ campaign. We urge you to support us and write not only to the Prime Minister but to your local MP’s. 

See our downloadable template for you to use.

We’ll continue to campaign and prepare to safely reopen, please see the article on best practice, of effectively laundering towels, without losing any of the soft comfort they bring. Also, we outline the benefits that halotherapy can bring to both our health and bottom line.

Finally, a piece focusing on the subject of inclusivity raised again by the Black Lives Matter movement. As we enter a new normal, lets make it a better new normal. 
 


Juliet Wheater 
SpaVoice Editor
 
 
IT ALL COMES OUT IN THE WASH AND DRY PROCESS
by BC Softwear

There has been much discussion and conflicting views concerning safety and best practice to ensure the linen used in a spa or hotel is disinfected from any potential virus threats, and more specifically the COVID-19 virus. Some people suggest boil washing at 90 degrees and using bleach, which will may help to remove the virus, but as towelling experts, we know that this will also weaken your linen substantially over a period over time, thus reducing its overall lifespan. Ensuring the longevity of your towels and linen is essential to assisting you in reducing long term costs of replacement items and we are also mindful that using bleach and high temperatures is not good for the environment or our efforts to improve our industry’s responsibility to corporate sustainability. 

When put under the microscope, it is possible to see the effect of detergents and optical brightening agents and even bleach, which are often used by operators to attempt to keep towels looking brighter for longer. In actual fact, these brightening agents may contribute to the rapid degeneration of the towel leading to reduced performance, tears, a lifting of the colour and discoloration. The drying process can also be overtly harsh. The length of the loop or pile is extra-long, as it is the pile which is often singed. The towel fibres are literally burnt through excessive heat and over drying. The heat causes the tops of the pile to shrivel and harden which stops the towel from being soft and fluffy anymore. 

Washing Recommendations

Machine Cycle Management: 3 minutes at a temperature of 71 degrees or 10 mins at 65 degrees will provide thermal disinfection, however, for those operators who are conscious of laundry energy savings, experts recommend a detergent called Sparenity, which combines low temperature bug kill and odour elimination with excellent cleaning performance. Halo destroys the H1N1 flu virus, which is an enveloped virus like Covid-19, in 5 minutes contact time at 30˚C. Halo also kills MRSA bacteria and C. difficile spores.

Beware of any products which claim anti-bacterial properties. Covid-19 is not a bacteria, it is a virus and these products will not therefore provide any protection.

Consider the environment: Hotel and Spa operators may consider using one off use linen. This type of product needs to be disposed of safely and given the virus can live for days on some surfaces, this many contribute to the excessive storage of unnecessary biohazard, whilst putting an additional burden on landfill. 

Using the latest SmartSoft Collection by BC Softwear, will provide further energy savings, particulary in reduction of oil absorption and reduction in drying times. BC Softwear is committed to providing energy efficient towelling solutions for Spas, Hotels and Laundries wishing to substantially reduce their energy consumption, with a responsibility to the environment. In the past 12 months the company has reduced all single use plastic from the towels and slippers.  


 


HOW HALOTHERAPY IS THE NEW FACE OF RESPIRATORY HEALTH & HYGIENE


We are all very aware, thanks to the current coronavirus pandemic, of the importance of respiratory wellness and keeping our immune systems healthy.  But how do we do this and how do we keep our customers and clients safe?

Halotherapy, or salt therapy, is a 100% natural therapy that has grown steadily in popularity in recent years and continues to be one of the top 5 growing trends in wellness.  Its attraction is the speed and efficacy of results for customers.  It is proven to aid in relieving respiratory ailments such as asthma, bronchial problems, allergies and cold and flu symptoms and also has a positive effect on many skin conditions including Psoriasis, Eczema, Acne, Dermatitis, Rosacea and dry/ageing skin.

The benefits of Halotherapy can be experienced in many different areas including:
  • Respiratory Conditions / Immunity improvement (with regular use): Asthma, Allergies, COPD, Cystic Fibrosis, Cold & Flu Symptoms, Sinusitus, Bronchitis
Respiratory conditions are improved by the salt drawing out the impurities in the upper and lower airways.   It stimulates the body’s internal processes for cleansing and removing build-up of foreign particles. Halotherapy is also anti-inflammatory, opening bronchial tubes in the lungs and reducing inflammation in the sinuses.  

Salt therapy also strengthens the respiratory functions and breaks up and clears moisture and mucus.
  • Skin Health / Beauty: Psoriasis, Eczema, Acne, Dermatitis, Rosacea, Dry Itchy Skin, Ageing Skin
Halotherapy naturally triggers the skin microcirculation and membrane activity and enhances protective and reparative properties. It is anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, therefore kills any germs on the skin and helps with any inflammation of the skin.
  • Sporting Performance: Increased Strength, Lung Function, Oxygen Saturation

Sporting performance can be enhanced through Halotherapy. Airways are expanded for increased lung function, oxygen saturation and exchange is increased and abdominal wall muscles are strengthened which helps increase lung capacity and oxygenation.  Halotherapy can also help with muscle endurance and recovery.
  • Mental Health: Stress Reduction

Improved breathing technique induces calm and relaxation.

The appeal of this treatment is that, as previously mentioned, it is anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and boosts the immune system, which is vitally important in the current climate. The mental health aspect is incredibly important, especially after so many months in lockdown.  Sitting in peace in a salt room is a great opportunity to focus on your breathing which helps reduce the stress and anxiety of this unprecedented new way of life.

More importantly, it is a completely ‘hands free’ therapy so this can easily be added to your treatment menu without further staffing requirements.  As long as the halotherapy room/area is easy to clean between clients, it offers a significant return on investment with low operating costs, requiring little extra labour, while adding value to customer wellness experience.  Halotherapy can also be incorporated as an automated Spa service so facilities can earn extra revenue without adding extra staffing costs.

It is also very simple to retro fit a salt machine/generator.  The salt generator takes up minimum space and can also be installed into an infrared sauna cabin, or an existing room, for additional wellness benefits.  Not all existing rooms will be suitable, however a short discussion and possibly a few tweaks can resolve and obstacles.

So as more people around the world are now realising how important respiratory health and hygiene is to their wellbeing, Halotherapy offers a simple, yet highly effective, way to feel the benefits of cleaner and stronger lung health, as part of a whole body approach to wellness.

Drom UK are partners with Halotherapy Solutions and are their UK distributors of salt machines and equipment.  They can provide expert advice at all stages of your salt therapy planning and installations.


 
 


DISASTERS LEAD TO CHANGE

By Juliet Wheater 


Although change is undeniable, it generally just evolves, not usually with ferocious pace, unless a crisis occurs. Covid-19 is one such global crisis and we’ve all had to adapt and change. We’ve implemented new ways of coping and of working. 

Seeing as the very basis of spa is physical touch, our wellness industry is one sector that is bound to experience quite a transformation, for example: the introduction of new ways of working, new ways of interacting with clients as well as patterns of consumption. 
Beauty & wellness will thrive again as looking good is intrinsically linked to feeling good. A relaxing massage or a physical makeover, is linked to one’s self-esteem, providing empowerment. 

Whilst home self-care has become something of a necessity over lockdown and it may continue to be fairly popular, nothing can replace the power of the practitioners. Spa operators and suppliers are deeply committed people, bringing with them, great empathy and skill to their clients. 

Spa industry professionals have the talent, knowledge and passion, to make an individual feel good about themselves. Therefore, the beauty & wellness industry will continue to connect passionate practitioners and committed customers. It is the merely the interface between them that will alter. 

Already a health-conscious customer, the spa client may be become even more mindful of health and sanitation and the industry is more than ready that demonstrate, spas semi clinical hygiene. It’s not just about being clean, its being seen to be clean. 

Technology and software will play a greater part within the beauty & wellness industry. Online bookings, self-check-ins, automatic payments, and many such features serve to eliminate unnecessary physical interactions. Future proofing with smart booking algorithms will optimise appointments to ensure minimal group waiting times. 

Technology will allow these new standards to be exhibited not just in the outlet, but outside the visit too. The rapid adoption of technology will not only be powered by customer need, but also by business ability. Spa digitisation will move from being “nice to have” to “must have” in order to meet the new expectations of people and communities, whilst retaining its core of empathy and caring. 

Big disasters lead to fast change, but sometimes that change is for the better.
 

 
 
 
IF DIVERSITY IS BEING INVITED TO THE PARTY; INCLUSION IS BEING ASKED TO DANCE 
By Juliet Wheater 

Over recent years, there has been a significant rise in the attention of inclusivity and the authentic representation of people with disabilities, the LGBTQ community and racial diversity within the beauty and wellness industries. 

During 2017, the largest diversity story was the launch of pop star Rihanna’s beauty brand, Fenty, a cosmetics line that launched its new foundation line, in no less than 40 shades. Vogue magazine at the time, named it a top 2018 beauty trend, exclaiming Fenty Beauty “singlehandedly changed the conversation.”

This conversation continues and more recently, in light of the Black Lives Matter movement, we learn that on these shores, black and minority wellness professionals have united and signed a charter demanding reform for racial equality in the UK wellness industry. ‘The Wellness Industry Charter for Racial Diversity, Inclusion and Access’, aims to tackle three diversity challenges: health inequality, lack of access, and under-representation faced by black and minority groups.

Launched by WellSpoken, an organisation working with wellness brands to ensure they provide consumers with high levels of credible, authentic, evidence-based information on fitness, nutrition and wellbeing. The charter asks that wellness brands commit to tackling these issues by providing a roadmap for businesses to improve. Focusing on five areas of action: education, corporate diversity, representation, access as well as fair pay.

Those that pledge their support, will have access to bespoke guidance on where their business can improve with an ongoing annual review to measure and report on achieved change and outcomes, therefore, working towards racial equality in the wellness industry.
2019 was dubbed the ‘Year of Sustainability', where many industries woke up to their environmental impact and obligation. The beauty industry in particular, put a greater emphasis on recycled packaging, while buzzwords such as ‘green,’ ‘clean’ and ‘vegan’ ingredients became a ‘must’. Just as sustainability is now and integral part of brand’s priorities, 2020 looks to be shining the spotlight on diversity. 

Much work has been achieved within the beauty arena, in that during 2017, Fenty Beauty, really shook up the beauty space when the brand launched 40 different core shades of foundation, opening up its offering within the category, like never before. But Rhianna’s brand didn’t stop at just foundation. Last year, Fenty Beauty went the extra mile by releasing a liquid concealer in no less than 50 shades. As a result of Fenty’s efforts, more beauty brands have realised that consumers are seeking brands that they feel that they can connect with. Surely, spas and wellness spaces, need to pay attention to this fact too. 

Going forward, in terms of spa and wellness spaces, if a spa director or salon owner and their team can set the right cultural and behavioural tone, one of inclusion, honesty and openness to all. This would then be perpetuated throughout the organisation and backed with the appropriate education, with processes that celebrate differences as well as similarities, with each and every individual’s voice heard, then you’ll have the beginnings of an authentic and healthy workplace culture. 

Why not consider forming a workplace council comprising of a dedicated group of individuals that have been carefully selected for their passion and commitment to inclusion. The group could act as a channel of communication, involved in goal setting within hiring, retaining and advancing a diverse workforce. 

The Global Wellness Institute states that, unfortunately, the wellness world has long had a diversity problem. Admitting that a lack of inclusivity in the images it projects and products/solutions it offers is not only unwell by nature, it’s a ridiculous business strategy—as globally we’re fast becoming a much more diverse society. (For example, non-whites are forecast to be the majority in the US and Europe around 2050.)

Thankfully the world is becoming more socially conscious and socially aware, with the recognition that it’s all about education and empowerment, so watch this space………….
 
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY . . .


 


Online Spa Directors Assemblies -  20th July


Online Spa Suppliers Assemblies - 13th July




To participate please contact our General Manager, Helena Grzesk 
manager@spa-uk.org

 
 
Twitter
Facebook
Website