Island Spirit Spa in Kealakekua on the Big Island of Hawaii is whole heartedly dedicated to all natural botanical remedies. In fact, Mandi, the ethstetician, goes so far as to say, "If you can't put it in your mouth, you shouldn't put it on your skin." She points out that your skin absorbs chemicals and sends them straight into the bloodstream just as if we were eating them.
My friend Lisa and I recently enjoyed a very decadent pedicure there. The all herbal experience is starkly different from what you get at the typical nail salon. Where you are accustomed to strong chemical smells, florescent lights and aggressive callous removal with all sorts of medical looking instruments, this was all about gentleness, the subtle scents of real plant products and a calm, soothing atmosphere. Mandi warns that the results are different too, but also points out they are more sustainable because they work with your body, instead of fighting against it. We were willing to give it a go.
The treatment begins with a salt and mustard foot soak. Mandi carefully explained what each of the herbs does and why she's chosen them specifically for you.
Freshly squeezed guava juice doesn't hurt either! We nibbled away the nuts before I could snap a picture.
Beautiful leaves and coffee berries plucked from the jungle just outside the door made us feel like Hawaiian princesses.
A sugar scrub and massage help exfoliate and rejuvenate tired feet.
Another of Mandi's special blends. She also offers workshops where you can learn how to create spa quality treatments with the things you have in your cupboards and garden.
Here we are afterward, thoroughly pampered and relaxed! I am looking forward to my next splurge at this lovely spa, and I've already begun experimenting with making my own beauty concoctions at home.
Do you have a favorite spa splurge?