The Do’s and Don’ts of SPA-laxation

Written by Lauren F. // Lifestyle Blogger & Enthusiast July 2020   

Have you ever tried something new and had so many questions, but didn’t even know what to ask?

Have you ever wondered if you should take off your makeup before a facial, whether you should strip down for a massage, or how much to tip a spa service provider? We’re here to answer all your pressing questions.

The very moment you enter Poppi’s, the ultimate goal is for you, the client, to have all the tools to navigate your experience seamlessly and create a deeply personal, relaxing experience. To ensure maximum comfort, customization of experience is a primary element through every step of Poppi’s experience. For instance, clients may select one of the Four Element based treatment rooms; Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. Does one element speak to you more or less than another? Do you have a favorite music artist or genre that you’d prefer to listen to during your service instead of ‘traditional’ spa music? You can choose!

To achieve Poppi’s ‘client centric’ mission, mutual communication is essential.  So to provide you with the information you need to maximize your comfort while you’re in the space, we’ve gathered random tips and recommendations from experts, staff, client market research, and the classic ‘trial-and error’ method.

These etiquette tips are not exclusive to Poppi’s, these are universally accepted norms that will help you enhance all of your spa-going experiences.

DO: Arrive on Time

In the spa world, there are fewer more frustrating things than arriving to your appointment late or within minutes because it sets the tone for the rest of your experience. By the time you’ve decompressed from your outside thoughts, your treatment could be halfway over. To prevent stress, since we all know there’s enough of that in daily life (and probably the exact thing you’re trying to escape by going to the spa), it’s best to arrive at least 10 to 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Early arrival allows you to get your robe, slippers, sip some tea, and spend some time unwinding in the life lounge. Also, if you’re a first time guest, it’s best to show up even earlier so you can get the full tour of the space, fill out your client profile forms prior to your service.

DO: Practice Hygiene  

Universally, personal hygiene is an absolute factor in spa-going etiquette. 

Most spas, Poppi’s included, have on-site showers for you to use prior to a service, especially the intimate waxing services (a la Brazillian, you know what we’re talking about ladies). If you’re speeding over to the spa from your 90 minute hot yoga class, be courteous for your service provider and do a little rinse, and hey! That’ll save you from being self-conscious during your appointment and allow you to be as comfortable as possible. 

DON’T: Worry about removing Makeup

Guests often worry about whether they need to remove their makeup before a facial or if it’s okay to wear makeup during a massage. Truth is it’s completely optional. If you’re opting for a facial, your esthetician’s first step will always be an oil cleanse, which breaks down and removes all makeup residue. If you’re getting a massage and don’t want the hassle of fixing it after your face has been mushed in the face donut for an hour, there are several makeup removing products in our locker, including the luxurious Lauren Napier Facial Cleansing Towelettes available for your pleasure! 

DO: Voice Preferences 

Speak up about massage pressure, choice of music, room temperature, bed temperature. Also mention if you have physical conditions, allergies, or injuries. Also, even if you have a gender preference of your licensed massage therapist, be comfortable and vocal about it so you can be properly accommodated. Your time at Poppi’s is just that, it’s YOUR time, have it the way you want it. 

DO: Use your inside voice 

It never hurts to be reminded to be courteous of others. When you walk into a spa, you’re walking into an escape from the stress and chaos of the outside world. The reason spas are so serene and quiet is not because they’re empty or each wall is a concrete fortress; it’s because everyone in the building speaks with a soft, quiet tone. If you’re a bold personality with a vivacious talking volume, you’re not loved any less! Just consider other guest’s relaxation and experience while you’re conversing in the lobby and halls. 

DO: “Too” Nude or not to Nude? 

Those three minutes before your massage when you’re standing there deciding how many garments to leave on can be anxiety ridden. I’ve had many massages and from personal experience, stripping down to the nude is always the best option to get the most out of your massage experience. Going nude allows the therapist to manipulate the body properly without having to stop your massage to maneuver around those pesky bra straps or undies.  Of course, if going completely nude is something you’re personally uncomfortable with then absolutely communicate with your therapist before they leave the treatment room.  Also, remember that a glute massage is a vital part of the massage process. We hold SO much tension in our glutes from daily sitting, walking, standing, and exercising, so a glute massage is something you should be expecting from every skilled Licensed Massage Therapist.  Your therapist will always use a sheet to cover your private bits and typically they will massage the glutes over a sheet, but if this is something you’re uncomfortable with, discuss this with your therapist.  Are you catching a trend? Communication is key! 

DO: Control the Conversation

Once you walk into the treatment room, your experience is under your control. You can dictate your own terms and know what you’re after.  If your purpose of coming to the spa is intrapersonal connection, then make that known and engage in small talk with your treatment provider. If you’re there for pure relaxation to unwind and clear the mind, then stay silent, close your eyes and drift away. Your treatment provider will mostly match your energy and volume. If ever you’re not wanting to talk and your provider is talking a lot, feel free to let them know kindly “I feel what I need right now is silence to focus on myself within”, they will understand and act accordingly. 

DO: Be Graciously Gratuitous 

Tipping etiquette can be confusing across different service industries, but the typical standard for spa services is 20% of the overall treatment.  Remember that your treatment provider’s income, whether they are a Licensed Massage Therapist or an Esthetician, are heavily dependent on gratuity.  If you feel that your service was lacking or you’re unsatisfied, be sure to communicate that with management.  It can be uncomfortable speaking up, but that is ultimately the only way that the spa and treatment professionals can make improvements.  If you are satisfied, consider the time that has been dedicated to accomodate you and give you an amazing service.  Tipping is the absolute biggest form of gratitude and validation for your treatment provider.  Especially if you plan on returning to a spa, tipping becomes inherent to the mutual relationship. 

DON’T: Be Afraid to Ask Questions

You know that saying, “there are no stupid questions”? Well, it’s true! Ask, ask, ask! Communicate! Hopefully this guide has cleared up those pressing questions, but never be afraid to talk to those in the spa. They are there to accomodate you and give you the best experience possible.  

DO: Wear a Mask

    With the state of our world right now, it’s important to be cautious, aware, and wear a mask. Here at Poppi’s, it’s important to us that all our clients can feel safe, respected, and pampered without any distractions. Wearing a face covering will not only help you be sure of your safety, but will communicate to others that you value their health and the time they took to come and relax.

DON’T: Accept the call

When our clients enter our spa, we want everyone to experience the most distraction-free environment possible. To do this, it is important to remember to not accept the phone call, record the podcast, or do anything else that would add any unnecessary noise. Especially in our lounge area, we encourage you to be present and maybe even say goodbye to the cell phone for a couple of hours. We could all benefit from a little time away from our devices to look within and relax.

Now that you’re all informed, it’s time. Clear your schedule, book your appointments, and go get ZEN at Poppi’s. We’ll see you soon!