By Nicole Cornella
Amidst the winter month’s gloom, the days are beginning to get longer and summer is on the horizon with swim suits and summer apparel hitting retail stores earlier and earlier every year. But, who is in the right mindset to start perusing the bathing suit aisle when we are still trying to lose the extra layer of our winter “coat” that we put on from the holidays? Last thing we need is to try on summer clothes when we haven’t seen or felt the summer sun in months!
It is so easy for us to defeat the winter blues by heading to the nearest tanning salon, which conveniently in New York City, happens to be on every street corner these days. We are all looking to start building our “base” for those spring weather days that we can almost touch and by this time, we all know the damaging effects that the sun can have on our bodies.
And yet, why do we still ignore the messages and jump into the tanning bed to bronze ourselves in a pinch? The harmful UV-rays are not getting any better in time, which makes it our job to protect ourselves and find alternate ways to be bronzed and beautiful. Fortunately, there are spas across the city that are offering UV-free tanning treatments. These tanning alternatives cater to a health-conscious generation that is seeking well-being, relaxation and beauty all tied into one.
Acqua Beauty Bar offers extensive spa body treatments including spray tanning and a spa tanning treatment called Bronze Leafing. This 60-minute treatment is the perfect way to relax, unwind and achieve a healthy-looking glow as if you had just hit South Beach. Prepping the skin with Fake Bake Green Tea and Ginger Spa Scrub and moving into a gentle massage of blended botanical creams leaves the body perfectly sun-kissed from head to toe.
Whether you are going for a spray tan or getting a spa tanning treatment, exfoliating prior to the treatment is essential. The treatment at Acqua Beauty Bar incorporates the exfoliation, which allows you to simply walk-in to your treatment with no prior preparations necessary. It was quite a treat to leave the office at the end of a long day and just head to the spa! The Green Tea and Ginger Spa Scrub, with high quality stable green tea promotes anti-inflammatory benefits while the ginger provides energy and refreshes with added detoxification and exfoliation. The entire exfoliation process allows for the tanning product to absorb into the skin more effectively and will not leave any soap residue on the skin.
Following the full-body exfoliation, the Xen-Tan dark lotion formula is massaged and applied thoroughly. Most spray tans require you to stand while being sprayed with a tanning mist, however, this treatment allows you to unwind while lying down in a private massage-room with aromatherapy and enjoying this slow, relaxing and pampering treatment. The streak-free tanning formula gives a smooth deep tan with a natural olive undertone, to prevent that orange look, which so many tanners fear. A light mist of Xen-Tan Face Tanner is sprayed onto the facial area and then gently massaged to create an even blend. The antioxidant-packed self-tanner uses a sugar-based chemical to react with the top layer of the skin to change its color gently without causing breakouts.
As with any tanning treatment that is applied, the longevity depends on the aftercare and skin type. As this was my first spa tanning treatment aside from harmful tanning beds, I was curious to know how long it would last. I was pleasantly surprised that my golden skin remained for about a week and typically is known to last for 5-10 days depending on the upkeep. The 60-minute treatment will run you about $110, but compared to the number of times you have to hit a tanning bed to achieve the same results, it is worth it!
A few key pointers for maintaining a longer, healthy-looking glow:
1. Refrain from showering for a minimum of 6 hours following your treatment; the longer you wait, the more time the creams will have to absorb into the skin.
2. Be sure to wear loose, dark clothing.
3. Avoid taking long, hot showers. Keep the water warm with no steam and refrain from having the water hit your body in the same spot.
4. Use gentle cleansing soap and avoid any face washes that exfoliate as this will rub the tan off.
5. Use a moisturizing tan extender to help your tan last longer. Try Moisturizing Lotion from Fake Bake or Xen-Tan Tan Extender, which has an added tint, once a week.
Acqua Beauty Bar
7 East 14th Street (between Fifth Avenue and University Place)
New York, NY 10003