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Spa Trends

Happy Feet
With all the abuse your feet get, why not treat them to a vegan pedicure?

san diego day spa pedicure la jolla
vegan pedicure south park san diego

Seems everyone is seeing green these days. From switching to reusable shopping bags, to riding bikes to work, to learning what it means to have a carbon footprint – conscious consumers everyday are scrutinizing products and infusing their lifestyles with earthly responsibility. Spas and salons have also caught on to the trend and are doing their part to reuse, reduce and recycle. So now when you’re feeling a bit indulgent, you can feel even better knowing that the time you spend getting pampered isn’t just good for you, but for mother earth too…even if all you’re doing is getting a pedicure.

More and more nail salons are making a conscious effort to provide luxurious manicures and pedicures that are also organic and/or vegan – meaning the amount of chemicals used during the process is reduced. After all, your very porous nail bed shouldn’t have to absorb acetone. Nor should your skin be exposed to the preservatives in massage lotion. And your toes certainly don’t need the tuolene—an octane booster in gasoline—that’s used in many polishes today.

For over a year now, Lulu’s by Travis Parker, a South Park salon specializing in nail treatments, has offered a vegan service that reduces the chemical exposure to you and the planet. You still receive a spa-level mani/pedi—including a luxurious scrub, mask and moisturizer combo—but the difference is that the entire treatment is done with SpaRitual products, a vegan line of chemical-free nail lacquers and products.

While doing a pedicure on a pregnant customer, Keri Parker, owner of Lulu’s, was inspired to seek out a more natural approach. "After doing extensive research, I realized the importance of having [chemical free products] as an option for customers who are pregnant or nursing," she says.

While there are other organic lines out there, Parker chose SpaRitual because it is the first and leading vegan spa line with nail lacquers that are free of formaldehyde, toluene and DBP (the chemical dibutyl phthalate that acts as a binder to improve the longevity of nail lacquer). SpaRitual uses vegan ingredients from around the world, including many specially sourced and selected plant essences that are wildcrafted or organic, and its formulations are naturally colored and free of synthetic dyes. This means no chemicals, no odor, and no run-off. Essie, another brand of nail polish, has also launched a new line that is DBP-free.

Lulu's takes their eco-consciousness further by using copper basins to soak your feet instead of jet tubs that use recycled water, as copper has antibacterial properties and is much easier to fully sanitize. In addition, they use less electricity as they don't have to be powered, and require less water.

The trick to getting a vegan mani or pedi, however, is asking for it. At Lulu’s, the vegan treatment isn’t even on their menu – only those in the know are lucky enough to experience it. Any of the services on their current menu can be requested as vegan, which includes SpaRitual’s Soak Tonic, Instinctual Moisturizing Lotion with Wildcrafted Indonesian Ginger, Eloquent Toner Firming Mist with Australian Tea Tree Oil, Infinitely Loving Oil Massage Therapy with Chinese Jasmine, Visionary Cleanser-a sanitizer with French Juniper Berry, Open Minded Certified Organic Sugar Scrub, Affirming Scrub Masque, Cuti-Clean Cuticle and Stain Remover, Let It Go Callus Remover, Cuti-Cocktail Nail and Cuticle Oil, Multi-Tasker Top and Basecoat In One, and chemical-free color. The only part of the treatment that isn’t vegan is the removal of your old polish, which still uses acetone.

While a vegan mani/pedi offers less chemical exposure to you and the environment, one disadvantage is that the color simply doesn’t last as long. And for spa owners, vegan products have a short shelf life. Additionally, vegan and organic products are more expensive than other options, so the cost to provide them trickles down to the customer, making a vegan mani/pedi more costly than a traditional one.

Bergamot Spa + Boutique in Encinitas also carries SpaRitual nail lacquers, and they take pride in offering fresh, all natural treatments in a serene, earthy, hippy-chic setting that feels like a little getaway. For more than three years the spa has focused on using natural natural ingredients like coconut milk, lavender, rosemary, Pure Fiji fresh cane sugar scrub and butter, Candlenut and Kukui nut. Bergamot does not offer gels or acrylics so there is no dust in the air, and it is open and well-ventilated so there is no overwhelming "salon" smell. But clients have to request the vegan service to receive it. Manicures range from $15 to $30 and pedicures from $15 to $65.

Other spas and salons offering vegan nail treatments include the Spa at The Grand Del Mar (which has the widest range of SpaRitual colors in town) and Armonia Skin Care in Bird Rock. And this list is sure to grow. So if trying to figure out the ideal carbon footprint has got you exhausted, just reserve your vegan pedicure now and you’ll be well on your way to being a little more relaxed… and a little more green. -- By Randi Reyes

Bergamot Spa + Boutique
466 N. Coast Hwy 101, Suite 11
Encinitas, CA 92024

Lulu's by Travis Parker
2348 30th Street
San Diego, CA 92014

Armonia Skin Care
5636 La Jolla Blvd.
La Jolla, CA 92037











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