Mountain Chic: Keeping your skin healthy and fresh |

Mountain Chic: Keeping your skin healthy and fresh

Soak up the sun - sans the sun

Sadie Johnston of Bear River Therapists Day Spa applies a sunless tanning cream to Wendy Cook's back and arms.
John F. Russell

An out-of-body experience

Exfoliation is a popular service at Steamboat Springs health spas. There's just something appealing about removing your dead skin cells and any impurities trapped underneath them. And it's arguable that exfoliation is even more important when living in Steamboat, where the air is dry as a desert and it's seemingly impossible to keep skin moisturized.

Spa owners recommend an exfoliation at the end of winter to prepare for the summer and again after the summer because legs, feet, arms and your face have been exposed to the elements throughout the warm months.

Specific treatments used during a typical exfoliation include salts for more oily skin and sugar for more acidic skin. The sugar treatments at Life Essentials include a variety of oils or organic herbal extracts such as ginger and nutmeg or tangerine and orange.

A citrus body polish is offered for extremely sensitive skin, and you can also get an espresso mud body scrub at Life Essentials.

"Ginger and nutmeg is extremely warming," Life Essentials owner Allyse Eggleston said. "Lemon and lavender is very good for the skin. Tangerine and orange is a great scent and helps with the degradation of fat."

Detoxification and exfoliation services vary in price depending on length of service and the products used, but clients generally can expect to pay between $65 and $100 for each. Locals receive a 15 percent discount at Life Essentials.

Recommended product

Young Living essential oils

The dangers of tanning beds are well documented but widely disputed, which is why many women are choosing to steer clear of the argument by using sunless tanners.

The absence of sun – or, more specifically, its ultraviolet rays – in the over-the-counter and professionally applied products means users can get the golden skin color they’re looking for without any of the dangers of actual UV ray exposure.

Sadie Johnston of Bear River Therapists Day Spa swears by the product Sothys of Paris, which is more expensive than over-the-counter varieties.

“It goes on just like lotion,” Johnston said. “It’s not tinted, and it doesn’t have that horrible smell. It’s not obvious that it’s a tanner, so it makes it easy on us to apply.”

The Sothys product doesn’t streak or leave the skin with an orange-ish glow – two other good reasons for using the product.

Johnston disputes the notion that sunless tanners don’t penetrate skin and will wash off in the shower.

“Sothys does penetrate,” Johnston said. “We get a lot of people coming in who are going on vacation or people who use it all summer long; so after a month, they would have a tan that would rival anyone who has been sunning all summer long.”

At Bear River Spa, the application process begins with an exfoliation to remove dead skin cells. A spa therapist will then apply Sothys all over the body, including the face. It’s a time-release product, so the client will begin to notice a change in skin tone several hours after the lotion is applied.

At Bear River Spa, the first session, which includes an exfoliation, costs $90. Each subsequent session is $40.

The spa runs a special for locals. After purchasing $250 worth of products or services, locals qualify for a VIP discount of 20 percent off all products and services.

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