Forest bathing and botanical beauty top health and wellbeing trends for 2017
Forest bathing and botanical beauty are among the health and wellbeing trends set to shake up the market this year.
Leading experts from spa group Aqua Sana shared their predictions on what to expect from the year ahead in the Aqua Sana 2017 Wellness Trends Report, as well as giving advice on how you can incorporate the trends into your business’s offering.
The top six trends that emerged in the report are:
1. Forest bathing
Translated from the Japanese “shinrin-yoku”, which means taking in the forest atmosphere, forest bathing is set to take the UK by storm. The idea is to enjoy the natural environment, focusing all your attention on what your senses are telling you about the forest’s sounds, smell and colours.
Research has found that the experience can reduce blood pressure, heart rate and cortisol levels, aiding relaxation and promoting mindfulness. As a result, Aqua Sana are building a new Forest Bathing area at its Sherwood forest spa which will include open air walkways, outdoor relaxation areas submerged in the forest and a treetop sauna.
2. Botanical beauty
There will be a big focus on natural and organic ingredients this year with consumers limiting the number of chemicals they are putting into or onto their bodies. This “stripped back approach” will see many products inspired by Mother Nature, from floral and fruit-based treatments that will improve clients mental state to naturally appealing fragrances.
3. Express relaxation
Many are predicting a surge in express beauty treatments that fit in around clients busy and hectic lifestyles – the time short generation who want to relax fast. “Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean that you should have to sacrifice treating yourself,” says Noella Gabriel, co-founder and creator of British skincare brand Elemis.
Aqua Sana is jumping on the trend by teaming up with Elemis to deliver Speed Spa menus at its five forest spas around the UK. The menu offers 20-minute express treatments designed to target a variety of skin concerns, from anti-ageing to deep cleansing.
4. Digital detoxing
This year will see an increased desire for “digital detox” retreats – places where clients can go to switch off from technology in order to de-stress. Encouraging spa-goers to park their technology when visiting is one way you can embrace the trend. For example, Aqua Sana have robes that are pocket free so mobile phones can’t be taken into the spa area.
“Technology is an acute cause of stress as we’re never able to unplug ourselves from the constant demands of our work and online social lives,” says Kay Pennington, Aqua Sana group spa manager. “What we need to truly relax and be at peace with ourselves is time away from notifications and invites, to reflect on how we feel and form closer bonds with those around us – without the need for emails or texts.”
5. Cool cryotherapy
Cryotherapy is an emerging health trend that uses extreme cold to increase metabolism, release endorphins, relieve sore muscles, calm inflammation and improve sleep. However, experts say that for spas who want a less extreme approach, ice experiences in different forms allows guests to benefit from the use of ice to help circulation, recovery and anxiety.
“Cooling the body temperature can have various positive effects on health and provides an alternative to warming rooms. Although many UK spas only offer heated rooms, we feel the contrasting temperatures increase the impact of both experiences, which is why our spas have ice areas. The new Snow and Ice Room at Woburn Forest allows our guests to mirror the experiences of cryotherapy,” explains Pennington.
6. Skincare from the sea
Experts are predicting that the healing properties of seaweed, spirulina and phytoplankton will be making a splash this year. Seaweed has been proven to aid a wide range of ailments including stimulating the lymphatic system, improving circulation, relieving arthritis and muscle pain, and soothing skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Reacting to the trend, Aqua Sana Woburn Forest are hosting a pop-up spa with seaweed skincare brand Voya from January 27 to February 23 to introduce its clients to the natural goodness of seaweed.
Image: ©Aqua Sana