This may very well sound crazy to you: in my twenty-three years, I have never experienced any sort of spa treatment. This might sound even crazier: I actually worked at a spa a few years back, had an incredible discount, and still never had anything done aside from eyebrow waxing! Why have I not treated myself to something so pampering, you might ask? Well, I hadn’t found the right place, that’s for sure. There are plenty of spas in RVA, and some of them are large chain spas you’ve probably heard of, but after so many things went south with my health, I didn’t want to risk my body being in an environment that was even slightly risky – which meant, I wanted to steer clear of chemicals. So, a couple months back, I started doing my research, and when I heard about Scents of Serenity Organic Spa, I knew I wanted to learn more. I set up a “consultation appointment” which really just turned into me interviewing the owner, and I was certainly not disappointed with what I learned.
The owner, Melanie, started in the spa biz as a message therapist, but after a year of just going it alone, she decided to bring in organic skincare. This was easier said than done when so many brands just slap “organic” on the label, but the ingredients themselves aren’t actually what they preach to be. When she had finally discovered a line of products she felt comfortable using on herself and her clients, she brought on an awesome team. Let me tell you, I only spoke with a few of these ladies, but they are fantastic! I loved the family environment – a rarity in the beauty industry! Melanie now has two locations in the RVA area, and while the Grove Avenue spot just opened up last year, it’s just as beautiful, following the same stunning, earthy vibe as the original spot.
I went ahead and planned two treatments at Scents of Serenity Organic Spa – an organic spray tan and a clear skin facial. Let me give you a little info about both services, you’re most likely going to want to know how much the spray tan costs and how much the facial costs, read on to find out!
Organic Spray Tan
You’ll want to exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate the day prior to your tan. Make sure to focus around those rougher places like your kneecaps, elbows, ankles, and wrists. If you don’t mind a little peach fuzz, shave two days before – I shaved the day before, and I could still see the tan cling to the hair follicles on my legs. Do not wear lotions (including facial moisturizer), deodorant, or makeup to your spray tan. You want the tan to cling to your skin, not to anything that is laying on top of your skin. Wear loose, dark clothing to the appointment – and go without undergarments if you can. Some people prefer to wear a thong and pasties, but you’ll get the most even tan if you’re willing to just rock your birthday suit. Don’t make plans for the rest of the day. You’ll be looking a little Snooki-esque from the bronzing makeup that’s sitting on your skin, and you’re gonna smell something fierce. I was thankful that my boyfriend happened to have a cold the day I got my tan because he never had to experience my bizarre odor. It’s just the reaction between the DHA and the PH in your skin, but it’s definitely weird if you’re not used to it. Make sure your bedsheets are either old or dark so they don’t turn orange when you sleep. If you can be patient enough to wait a full 24 hours between the tan and a shower, do it! I hadn’t showered the morning of, so by the 12th hour, I was ready to get clean, but your tan will last longer if you can wait longer, so it’s totally worth it. Be prepared to glow. I felt like I’d been at the beach for two weeks straight when I woke up the next morning. Wearing white was the best ever, and my teeth looked like they belonged in a toothpaste commercial. If you already have relatively even skin, you can probably get away with not wearing makeup, because the tan evens out your skin the rest of the way. You’re gonna feel like a goddess – and for me, that feeling lasted about five days, before the color began to fade. I was sad to see it go, but it was fun while it lasted. Sadly, I got sick right after my tan, and the only photo proof I got of my bronze skin was a Boomerang on #NationalDonutDay. You can see it here.
Clear Skin Facial
I was told that I chose the least “pampering” facial, but I beg to differ! The clear skin facial may be considered more of a maintenance facial, but I definitely walked out feeling more relaxed than I had in weeks. I struggle with the most obnoxious adult acne – partly due to hormones, partly due to my gut – along with some seriously frustrating hyperpigmentation. This is definitely not a fun combo. I constantly hear “but your skin is so pretty!” and while that’s super sweet, I learned how to wear a full face of makeup when I was 13, and I’ve been perfecting it for the past ten years, so there’s a reason my skin might appear “flawless.” I can assure you it’s not, but having this facial seriously helped. Okay, it may not have gotten rid of all my acne overnight, but 1) the esthetician let me know that I was actually taking really good care of my skin, she could tell, and 2) the products she used and sent home samples of with me really made a difference. Let’s just say, it’s a rarity that during “that time of the month” I’ll have any less than 20 nasty breakouts, but I looked in the mirror this morning and was shocked at how good my skin appeared! I’ll definitely be scheduling another facial in the near future, because at this point, after years of trying countless products, medications, diet changes, etc., I’m ready for something to help my skin!
I may not have gotten any footage of myself during these treatments, but I made sure to photograph as much as I could of the locations. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram, and watching my stories, because that’s where I post all my updates during these beauty experiences! Oh, and also make sure you’ve liked my page on Facebook, because I’m gearing up for a seriously exciting summer beauty giveaway soon, in partnership with Scents of Serenity Organic Spa!
(the rest of these photos are from the Grove Avenue location)
thank you so much to Christina for my spray tan, Tracy for my facial, and Melanie – the owner at Scents of Serenity Organic Spa – for making me feel like a whole new person for the summer!