By Kristen Arnett, Green Beauty Team

In hectic cities like New York, spa go-ers are looking for a relief from the stresses of urban life.  In just about every place, not only big cities, people want to feel transported from their daily discomforts to somewhere tranquil.

Many spas are constantly searching for unique and exotic treatments from all over the world such as Bali, Hawaii, Thailand, Iceland, etc. to include in their menus.   The sensory experience of having treatments with birch branches, flowers, honey, mud, stones and other natural elements has become an incredibly popular way of creating the feeling of leaving city, if not the country, for a brief but precious time.

As spas continue to look to Mother Nature and older traditions of various cultures for healing treatments (two trends that are very popular this fall), they inevitably become more “green” in their approach. What’s interesting is to hear each spa’s reason(s) for choosing  to walk the eco path.  Some began as described above, others purely wanted to save on utilities such as water and energy, and some want to separate from the pack by offering holistic services, and others because they had an automatic desire to practice conscious methods.

As a spa-enthusiast, I am a complete pushover for pampering treatments, pools of thermal and fresh waters, and just about every type of massage available.  Since I’ve started paying more attention to the importance of incorporating natural, holistic ingredients in beauty products both personally and professionally, finding spas that share my values has become a priority.

I have this reoccurring fantasy that in some remote place an attentive farmer is carrying a straw basket in a pristine field harvesting herbs, flowers and plants that will be mixed together in a unique batch of an organic skin potion and sent to the very spa I am attending. A dreamy feeling takes over as I imagine that these fresh botanicals will renew me with the purity of air and soil in which they were grown.

Thankfully that fantasy is actually a reality in green spas all around the world. Take for instance the often-ignored state of Wisconsin, mostly known for its dairy products. It’s the home of two beautifully green facilities, the Aspira Spa and Kohler Waters Spa (participating in Spa Week this Fall!).

From the edges of a lake, on what is said to be sacred Native American land, staff from the Aspira Spa collect flowers and tree branches used in their chakra balancing treatments. Over at Kohler, the spa invested a $12,000 to create an underground piping system that would utilize the hot water from their production facility (where they make the kitchen accoutrements we are so used to seeing at Home Depot) to heat the water in their spa facility in order to save over 3.2 million gallons of water annually.

As part of the experience of feeling well-cared for and relaxed, a growing number of consumers want to know the spa they visit incorporates complete well-being from the products they use, to how the therapists approach their practice, to how eco-conscious the facility is.

A few years ago, it was difficult to locate “green” spas, but thankfully with sites like Spa Week, this rapidly growing class of spas is now much easier to find and enjoy.

International makeup artist Kristen Arnett has been immersed in the world of beauty for over 14 years, with roles ranging from product development to high-profile fashion work. As a beauty educator, she appears on television, writes articles, speaks and trains people around the globe. Now Kristen is focusing her talents and personal ethics to educating people everywhere about “Green Beauty,” and how they can choose products that are not only effective as cosmetics, but also beneficial to the skin. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of GreenBeautyTeam.com, Kristen is respected in fashion circles worldwide for her skill at enhancing beauty without the need for harmful chemicals and has been featured in Whole Living Magazine, Kiwi Magazine and on Style.com, to name a few.From the runway to real life, Kristen is looking to make a positive difference in how people of all ages consider their own self-care.