Head for a spa to beat summer heat

New Delhi: As the mercury continues its unrelenting upward climb this summer along with haunting problems of dry and sunburnt skin and increased lethargy as well as dullness, people are heading to the nearest spa to beat the heat and gain rejuvenation.

Industry reports indicate a growth in the spa industry in India. Currently valued at Rs 137 billion the industry with a compound annual growth rate of 30 per cent is estimated to grow to Rs 510 billion by the year 2014, according to a 2010 report by Frost and Sullivan.

Seeing the rising demand, spa centres coming up now even in smaller towns and cities are offering a wide range of summer special and beauty special treatments to customers.

"Facials are now a passe and more people are trying out new spa therapies this season to beat the heat and to get flawless, glowing de-tanned skin," says Siddharth Shankar, Director, Mystic salon and spa based in the capital.

"As people are getting more cautious and aware of their body care, they are demanding more than just routine beauty treatments" adds Shankar.

VLCC spa centre`s Beauty Head Shobha Sehgal feels that Cleopatra bath is a must try for those who are tying the nuptial knot this summer.

"It is a wonder bath which treats the skin exposed to the rigorous environmental hazards,"says Sehgal.

Sunburns being the usual problem with the onset of summer, an anti-tanning massage is seen to be the hot favourite pick among the office goers and students.

"For anti tanning the best spa treatment is the vedic ritual, which is a combination of scrub and massage and lasts for about two hours. The process of scrubbing helps in removing the tanned dead skin thereby enhancing the blood circulation. Later, the use of Jasmine, Milk and Butter lightens the skin tone producing a glowing effect," says Shankar, who has spread his spa centre`s branches in both Delhi and Gurgaon.

With spa centres introducing therapies at affordable rates, the number of spa facilities has spurred the facility seems no more a luxury to the common man, say experts.

A 2010 study by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) suggests that the wellness industry in the country is growing at close to 20 per cent annually and stands at Rs 1,500 crore.

"Our spa treatments range from Rs 2000 to Rs 5000 depending upon the need of the customer," says VLCC`s Sehgal.

"We have a wide variety of spas and scrubs for Rs 900 onwards. We feel that it is a requirement of the body and not a luxury treatment….so the prices are less here," points out Shankar.

Dermatologists however say people should exercise caution while visiting spas and undergoing treatments like anti-tanning.

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Senior dermatologist with Kaya Skin clinic opines that spas are more about easing body pain and mental pressure.

"Skin issues like sun burns and tanning need to be dealt with medicines and not spas. The scrub used in a spa therapy might provide an immediate relief but healing can only be done scientifically," says Chaturvedi.

Supporting Chaturvedi`s view , Dr Ramji Gupta of Apollo Hospital terms spa therapies as a temporary measures.

"Spas are just like facials which act as glow enhancing catalyst. Tanning is more of an ailment and needs to be treated through ointments," adds Dr Gupta.

Launching a summer special therapies, Park Hotel`s spa centre has introduced an exclusive treatment for a `tanned back`.

"The back therapy we have introduced, includes twin benefits. First being the relaxation of the body and the other being the tan removing procedure," says Megha Dinesh, Director, Spa operations, The Park.

"The process involves 25-minute back massage to release stress followed by a seat salt scrub. Post scrub session, we give a body wrap which is a mixture of cucumber, fuller earth and papaya to bring in the shine element," adds Dinesh.

Working on the same lines, Leela Kempinski`s spa centre in Gurgaon has also introduced a summer special `Fruit therapy` for a shiny and wrinkle free body.

"The idea of the fruit therapy is to bring the dull skin to life, make it shiny and attractive. In the therapy we prepare a body wrap mixing papaya (which works on mending wrinkles)and mango (which brings shine) for the body," explains Pooja Bhasin, Spa Manager, Leela Kempinski.