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The essential spa guide: everything you need to know before getting a treatment
November 27th 2014
Spinning yourself into a pre-treatment panic? Don't worry - we've got all your questions covered here
Going for your first spa treatment can be a rather daunting and unknown process. With rumours of paper pants, potential nudity and searing hot wax on the cards, it’s enough to send us squamish Brits into total meltdown before we've even stepped through the salon door.
So, to help calm your nerves and make you feel a little more prepared pre-treatment, we reached out to professional beauty therapists and owners of mobile salon service Perfect 10, Charlie McCorry and Claire Aggarwal, to get their expert answers to our most common and truly terrifying questions. The good news is the responses aren’t nearly as nerve wracking as you’d think...
Can I shave my legs before getting a fake tan?
Of course you can. BUT you need to remember it needs to be at least 24 hours before your treatment.
Is someone definitely going to see me naked?
Only as naked as you want. To get the best tan when you're naked you need to get naked. All good salons and spas will provide you with paper underwear and you would normally not wear a bra. However, if you would like to of course you can. Just make sure it’s black, and it can go in the wash.
How can I tell what colour I will go? How much tan should I ask for?
All tanning brands are different. At Perfect 10 we use Sienna X and our therapists are expertly trained to make sure you go the correct colour for you. We do a thorough consultation to see how dark you normally go in the sun, how dark you would ideally like to be, and what type of event or holiday you are going on. Using this information we will then make sure you have the perfect shade.
What’s the deal with paper pants?
We know they are gross, but we are not asking you to wear them in front of your new lover. However, they play an important part in your tanning procedure if you want to be able to cover your modesty. A tip from us - pop the big bit at the front and the small bit at the back. No one wants a white bum!
What If I come out orange - what can I do?
The best thing to do for hands is to use any normal toothpaste to remove the tan - this works wonders. Lemon juice also helps, but please be careful in sensitive areas. A long soak in the bath is also a miracle worker!
Will the tan stain my clothes?
We would always recommend dark loose clothing, just in case. However, we both have tans regularly, and we both sleep on White Company white sheets and they are still as white as the day we bought them!
Should I exfoliate before I tan?
1000 percent. Please pay special attention to your knees, elbows and underarms and make sure to do it 24 hours before.
How long should I let my hair grow beforehand?
Is there a length of hair that’s too long?
Yes, but don't worry we trim it before.
Do I wear pants? before, during or after my wax?
During your wax it’s easier to not wear knickers. However, your therapist should always have disposable underwear in case you want to protect your modesty. But honestly there is nothing that would shock us, so please don’t worry. For afterwards wear loose cotton knickers, especially if you are sensitive down there.
Am I going to have to be completely naked and in x-rated positions?
You should always feel really comfortable with your therapist, and they shouldn't get you into positions you do not want. If you want a Hollywood (everything off) you will need to move around a little, but no we are not shooting the next big porn movie and you should never feel like that.
Do I have to talk during the process?
You can be silent or talk. Don't feel like you need to do either. The most important thing is you are comfortable.
Is it going to be excruciatingly painful?
Not at all. But if you are feeling a little sensitive make sure you request Hot Wax, it really is the best.
Is there anything I can do beforehand to make it less painful?
A therapist can't legally pop on a numbing cream in the UK, even though you can in the US. If you would like to buy one, of course you can. However, we would whole heartedly not recommend this. If your skin is numb and the wax is too hot you will end up in a lot more pain in the long run - so don't do it! You will be fine, and every time you wax it does get less painful, we promise.
What exactly is a Brazilian/Hollywood wax?
A Brazilian is all off apart from a landing strip on the front. A Hollywood is everything off. (Think pre-pubescent.)
Can I wear makeup to a facial?
Of course you can, we'll take it off for you.
Can I wear makeup after a facial?
We would always recommend letting your skin breath. However, it does depend on the facial you’ve just had. Some facials leave your skin so radiant you will definitely want to go out that evening. If this is the case opt for lighter coverage makeup, such as mineral foundation.
Is there any chance a facial might give me spots?
A facial may draw out the dirt that is already under the skin, but it won't actually give you spots.
If I have spots already can I get a facial?
Of course you can as it will help them to go. There is nothing better than getting a facial to help soothe and aid the skin.
Can I have a facial before a big event?
This depends on your facial. The right facial will give you that added glow which will make you look fabulous in the evening. We work with Natura Bisse and look after A-listers looking to be red carpet ready for the Oscars. So we do lots of facials on the day of a big event.
Will there be extraction involved?
In some facials yes - It’s your choice, if you don't want them, you do not have to have them. Extractions are great for blackheads around the nose area. However, beware of a facialist who wants to squeeze you whole face to a pulp.
What does an oxygen facial actually do?
Oxygen is what makes every cell in our body tick. By delivering oxygen directly into the layers of the skin, it helps cells that normally don't have as much oxygen to receive an added boost. The oxygen works through a machine which strips out impurities through the air and pumps out pure oxygen, infusing hydrating serums deep into the dermal layer of the skin, where they are most effective. Delivering instant effects this treatment is always a must-have amongst our celeb clients.
Is there a chance I might get a male masseuse?
Yes. However, you may find they are your favourite. If you like a strong massage a male masseuse is amazing. Perfect 10's male masseuse is always requested, mind you he is always requested for manicures as well.
Are there parts of the body that are ‘out of bound’ during the massage?
Ahem!! I think we all know what they are.... During a normal massage you shouldn't be massaged on any area you wouldn't have exposed on a beach on a family holiday. That being said - sometimes due to sports injuries and water retention we may get very close to these areas.
Do I need to shave before a massage?
No shaving necessary.
Will I be naked during a massage?
This is personal preference. Different cultures like different things. As always the British are prudish and like to keep on as many clothes as possible. Our therapists at Perfect 10 are trained to make you feel comfortable no matter how you like your massage.