Spa Trends: Dessert-Inspired Services

These dessert-inspired services prove that a bit of sugar does a body good!

Those in need of a naughty nibble can look no further than the Cocoa Facial Experience (75 min./$165 to $175) at The Spa At The Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Billed as the country’s first edible chocolate facial, this chock-full-of-delights treatment begins with a warm foot bath, followed by a revitalizing hair brushing ritual and a citrus cleansing and exfoliation sequence. Then comes the best bit: a dark chocolate mask is applied to the lips so that clients get to taste it, before the formula is painted on the rest of the face. Finally, a small baker’s spatula and a warm towel are used to remove the mask—releasing the aroma of baking brownies—before a tinted moisturizer is applied. “The Cocoa Facial Experience is one of our guests’ favorites. Cocoa is rich in antioxidants, so this one-of-a-kind treatment is great for the skin and delicious in taste without adding (hardly) any calories!”, raves Shian Wing, spa director. Talk about a sweet escape!

Another facial treatment based on a nostalgic dessert favorite is the Oatmeal Cookie Facial (75 min./$90) at Kelly Ann’s Day Spa in Pleasant Hill, California. The scent of freshly baked cookies with a hint of cinnamon wafting through the treatment room sets the tone, but it’s not just about the aromas. “Our clients love the Oatmeal Cookie Facial because it not only smells yummy and decadent but it’s also effective for hydrating all skin types,” explains owner and general manager Christine Douglas. Following a skin analysis, the face is cleansed, exfoliated, toned and moisturized, after which a colloidal oatmeal mask is applied. “This rich mask feels amazing; it’s ultra soothing and works well for so many clients, particularly those with sensitized or environmentally damaged skin,” she adds. “And, as an extra bonus, they get the sweet treat of a foot, hand, neck and shoulder massage with a milk and honey body butter. It takes them to a happy place!”

Custard might not sound like the most obvious component of a facial, but it’s one of the key players in the Manchester Tart Facial (60 min./£45) at the Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa in Manchester, about 200 miles northwest of London, in the U.K. The British school lunch classic, first documented in the 1861 cookbook Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, consists of a pie crust filled with custard, raspberry jam and coconut, and topped with a cherry. Iterations of these last four ingredients are found in the facial, but this is no pie-in-the-sky affair: the apple custard and raspberries are high in vitamins A and C, the coconut is moisturizing, and the cherries’ acidity helps dissolve dead skin cells and revamp tired skin. The hotel’s staff came up with the idea of the treatment as a homage to their city. “We’ve worked hard to pack the facial full of ingredients that will leave guests feeling fresh and relaxed—and a little bit more ‘Mancunian’ than when they arrived,” says Anthony Powell, the hotel’s front-of-house manager.