By Charu Suri
Contrary to widespread Muppet belief, it’s actually easier than you’d think to be green (Kermit, we love you!). This month, BeautyNewsNYC decided to pay homage to those fabulous and environmentally-conscious entrepreneurial women who allow us to indulge and pamper ourselves without damaging our environment.
Pevonia: Fit for a Goddess
The concept is holistic synergy. The company is Pevonia. Launched in 1991, Pevonia offers a complete line of spa care products containing the finest natural marine and botanical ingredients. Dedicated to protecting and preserving the planet, the company’s philosophy is to maintain an affinity with nature and its precious resources. The packaging is fully post-consumer recyclable and totally biodegradable. And it goes without saying that they’re firmly against any form of animal testing. You’re not going to find a Pevonia spa, per se, but you will find their products at high-end, exclusive spas here in New York City and wherever you travel. But Pevonia is also committed to giving you a stellar spa-at-home experience, so you can be one with nature no matter where you are.
Pevonia products are designed to make you look and feel radiant, rejuvenated and nourished – like a goddess. The Greek mythological legend is that Paion, a physician to the gods, discovered the miraculous Peonia flower (renamed Pevonia). This flower possessed pure essential extracts so powerful that it was capable of curing the skin ailments of every god and goddess in the universe.
But the real goddess behind the company Pevonia is Sylvie Hennessy. A brilliant educator and orator, Hennessy pioneered scientific skin care education by applying science and profound scientific discoveries to ingredients, skincare products and results-oriented treatments and by identifying their true interaction with the skin. She states, “absolutely nothing can compare to the healing effect of the human touch when applied with knowledge and technique or to the results brought forth upon our most visible organ when nature’s finest ingredients seep into the skin with force and purpose.” In addition to the Pevonia Botanica Spa face and body line, she developed Medicalia Skincare, a medical spa line. She founded the Sylvie Hennessy Academy of Esthetics and Spa Therapies, which offers postgraduate skincare education in multiple locations worldwide. She is presently placing her knowledge and expertise towards developing an enriching, insightful educational curriculum to increase global and environmental education as it pertains to the spa industry.
Pevonia is not only a friend to the environment but a friend to us and our health as well. Pevonia Botanica and Luxury SpaFinder magazine have joined forces in the battle against melanoma by creating an innovative Melanoma Awareness Launch Program. Together they are committing resources to the awareness and prevention of this potentially fatal disease.
To experience the natural botanicals of the Pevonia spa and skincare line and to support this environmentally and socially conscious company, visit www.pevonia.com or one of these Manhattan-based spas:
- Feline Day Spa
235 West 75th Street (212-496-7415)
- Spa at Jumeriah Essex House
160 Central Park South (212-484-4583)
- Elizabeth Electrolysis and Skin Care Center
119 W. 57th Street Suite 1411 (212-750-0323)
- BanyanCiti Spa
474 West Broadway (212-388-1288)
Priti Organic Spa
It’s hard not to make a play on words when talking about Kim D’Amato’s Priti Organic Spa. The Sanskrit word means “peace, love and satisfaction,” and you get a sense of all three just entering her spa.
It was the most feminine of experiences that led to the creation of Priti: pregnancy. During hers, D’Amato became increasingly concerned with what she’d be exposing her unborn baby to in normal spa and salon atmospheres – harsh fumes and toxins in nail polish and other treatments. The solution was the conception of an all-organic, non-toxic spa governed by the philosophy that you can make yourself beautiful without harming yourself or the earth.
D’Amato has gone above and beyond to assure that experience. Priti has its own line of formaldehyde, toluene, and dbp free nail polish and a soy-based nail polish remover. D’Amato sought out non-toxic green and brown paint to make her spa the earthy cocoon it is, and used eco-friendly bamboo throughout. Her electricity is wind powered, the slippers are biodegradable, and she made sure even her website operators are solar powered.
D’Amato supports people who are working to create green, non-toxic products by offering them at her spa. She’s currently carrying Buddha Nose (created by eco-friendly aromatherapist and shiatsu practitioner, Amy Galper), whose essential oil sprays can create dramatic mood lifts (the Heart Spray was instantly calming and the Immune Booster’s cinnamon scent worked wonders on my sinuses). Priti also stocks products by Pangea, an assortment of facial masks, cleansers, creams, and lotions with- get this- packaging infused with seeds that you can plant. Dr. Alkaitis products also grace her shelves and are used in Priti’s facials. D’Amato says their motto is “If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your face.”
Priti’s organic services include foot treatments that each combine a different oil and flower or herb (D’Amato’s favorite is the mint and rosemary foot treatment, which she calls “invigorating” and inspired Priti’s logo), organic facials, manicures (I encountered many blissed-out faces on my way past this area) and massage (my therapist, Samantha, gave an awesome and intuitive massage- her fingers immediately discovered tension I didn’t even realize I had).
D’Amato, a tall, gorgeous Australian who has lived and traveled around the world and worked as a model and in photography in the fashion industry told me how lucky she feels to be around the women she encounters every day at her spa. “You meet women who are mothers, women who are striving in their careers, women who are recovering from diseases,” she says. “It’s amazing…women are just amazing creatures.” Well, Kim, we think you’re priti amazing too.
Photos by Jenny Ebert
Priti Organic Spa
35 E 1st St NY NY 10003 (212) 254-3628
Euphoria Spa: Holistic in Tribeca
Kristin Haines, the President and owner of Euphoria Spa, started her practice over two years ago on a quiet, cobblestone street in Tribeca. The location is burgeoning with spas but Euphoria’s intimate experience makes you feel you’re in someone’s home, receiving a treatment. Once a social worker, Kristin decided that her true passion lay in opening a sanctuary where beauty, health and innovation merged.
“Euphoria’s philosophy is very holistic,” says Jennifer Buchina, the spa’s director and esthetician. “Kristen started trying to make a boutique spa that was very relaxing and proactive, nothing too pampering or too medical. She wanted everything without any fragrances or artificial synthetics or anything like that.”
Buchina introduced two organic and holistic lines into the spa: Sundari (Indian based) and Ytsara (Thai). “If you have a microdermasion which is a little bit more on the medical side, the facial that follows the microdermabrasion uses the neem line from Sundari,” she says.
Known for its incredible facials, Euphoria Spa has introduced a new crystal-free hydrofacial, which uses crushed diamond tips to refine and strip away the dead skin cells. Yes. You read correctly. Crushed diamond tips. Talk about innovation! Hats off to Euphoria for coming up with that. The facial also delivers six different vitamins into your skin (you can skip your daily supplement that day).
“Our vision is to keep moving forward and keep up with trends,” says Buchina.
And Euphoria very much values the holistic lines and treatments. I had the opportunity to get a hot poultice massage. A poultice is a sack that contains a crushed mixture of herbs, including lemongrass. “Back in the times of war, they used it on soldiers to soothe their muscles,” says Buchina.
So I prepped for my exciting, hour long massage, eager to unwind with the aromas lingering in the room. After changing into my robe, I went to my treatment room that was fragrant with the smell of herbs (the poultice was set on top of a steamer to release the aromas).
Lori Federman, my masseuse, let me lie face down first while she gently introduced my leg muscles to the comforting heat of the poultice. With increasing amounts of Swedish massage strokes, she eased the tension in my legs and back. After intervals of deep inhalation and exhalation, I felt similar sensations as in a post-yoga session. The tension in my shoulder and arms had disappeared like The Invisible Man and I felt liberated and energized. This massage is highly recommended for lovers of fragrance and Swedish massage techniques.
18 Harrison St., 2nd Floor 212-925-5925
Remember, Spa week is fast approaching (April 16-22) so there’s no better time to start treating both yourself and the environment with the care it truly deserves. Cheryl Reid, co-founder of Spa Week states in her article The Evolution of an Industry, “If we could teach people that massages, facials and other treatments, combined with a healthier diet and regular exercise, can have a profound, long-term affect on a person’s health, then we could start to eliminate the problem, one person at a time. Best of all, unlike a trip to the doctor, the spa lifestyle can be both cost effective and incredibly enjoyable – making it a welcome method of prevention.”
So make a new promise to yourself – to get healthy and treat the environment right! And for $50 for each treatment that typically cost hundreds of dollars, your wallet too, will get treated most benignly.