Letters: Offering advice on nutrition is a business opportunity for spas

Published in Spa Business Magazine, Issue 2, 2013

Introducing nutritional education into the spa setting is a great add-on to existing skin treatments. Take acne-prone clients: they may be aggravating their skin problems with their dietary choices. By exploring this area, and perhaps eliminating certain triggers such as sugar, high-glycemic foods, and maybe even dairy, you can empower them so they make lifestyle choices that complement their skin treatments. While this may seem obvious, most spas and treatment centres don’t employ a certified nutritionist or registered dietician – especially when it comes to skincare. 

Many scientific studies support the role nutrition plays in maintaining healthy skin. For example, a diet rich in vitamin C and linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid, combined with lower intakes of fats and carbohydrates has been associated with better skin-ageing appearance in American women. And a diet rich in green and yellow vegetables has been linked with decreased facial wrinkling in Japanese women. Healthy fats, like those found in Mediterranean-style diets, have also been found to help maintain skin hydration and reduce fluid loss. You can battle skin dryness by eating plenty of wild-caught salmon, flaxseeds, walnuts and evening primrose oil and borage oil supplements. Since UV light exposure depletes antioxidant levels in the skin, including vitamin C and vitamin E, increasing antioxidant defences topically and through the diet are important methods to limit photodamage. You can boost your skin’s natural defences against harmful UV damage by eating plenty of bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, wheatgerm and avocados. 

Although an added expense to the spa, the overall benefits of employing a nutrition professional could deliver even better results and keep customers coming back.