Ask for a Consultation and Tour
You know that keeping your skin clean is important, but dealing with a spa where cleanliness and professionalism are priorities is important, too. Before you sign up for a spa's services, ask for a consultation and tour first. You'll be able to ask important questions about the available services and also do a quick check of the facilities while you're there.
Your first impression will give you valuable clues. When you enter a spa, it should smell fresh and look clean and well cared for. The presence of dust and clutter are signs of neglect that might extend to their services. Some indications that a facility is lazy about cleanliness are dirty mirrors, burned out light bulbs, hair or liquid on the floor, dirty towels in corners or therapists in stained uniforms.
Ask your tour guide about hygiene. A professional facility will be prepared to explain its procedures to you. Topics like the methods they use to sterilize equipment after each use should be explained in a specific and easy to understand way. If they start getting edgy when the subject comes up, you'll know you're in the wrong place. Scares resulting from the presence of harmful bacteria in salons, spas and health clubs have led to a greater awareness and concern about safety in these industries so don't be afraid to ask.
You should also ask if any of the aestheticians have a CIDESCO diploma. CIDESCO certification guarantees that a skincare specialist has completed 1,200 hours of training and passed a rigorous two-day examination. Publicly displayed certificates, current licenses and awards for merit or community service are good signs that a spa is responsible and has strong ties to the community, too [source: NCA].
If you have any special needs, this is a good time to mention them. Allergies, disabilities and other issues should be brought out into the open early so you can make an enlightened choice about a spa's ability to provide you with effective individualized service. From finding out how long a treatment will take so you can do some creative scheduling to informing management that you have an allergy to cotton, be upfront about everything and pay attention to the responses you get.
On the next, page we'll take a look at the cost of your facial.