How to avoid buying extras at the spa

The issue of buying extra products at the end of your spa treatment leaves many with a bad taste in their mouths. You’ve already paid for the service, but now you’re being pressured to fork out more cash. What’s more, the pressure is coming from a trained aesthetician who says your current skincare routine is completely wrong and if you keep on like this you’ll be a wrinkled wreck at 30. You’d like to say no, but…what if they’re right?

The truth is that spa staff earn commission for these sales, and the spa itself often has a deal with the product supplier. If you really liked your facial and you think your aesthetician deserves a bigger reward, a nice bit of commission is a good way to say “thank you” if you can’t tip them. But there’s no reason you should buy just because they said so. It’s your money and your skin.

Skin Care Products

What if your facial wasn’t just a pampering treat, but a treatment? If your skin is a mess and you need expert advice, your aesthetician will ask you questions about your current skincare routine and let you know what you should change. And, how convenient, they have the perfect replacement products right here! Perhaps they’re right, you think to yourself. Maybe my routine of scrubbing my face with a bar of soap every night needs updating! But your action-packed city break and massage in London have left your wallet painfully thin. This is the point at which you should ask your therapist which products are most essential to your skincare. Buy only what you really need, and save the rest for another day when your current products run out. Even better – take some free samples home with you and use them for a week to see if they’re really the magic fix your aesthetician says they are.

They will sometimes give you a handy list with all the products they used at the end of your treatment so you can decide whether you want to buy them. And when you go to pay at the desk, the products they used may be right there waiting for you in case you change your mind. This is all fairly standard practice, and it’s purely to make the buying process easier for you should you decide to go down that route.

What the spa should not be doing is acting pushy. High-pressure sales techniques from your aesthetician are unacceptable while you are trying to enjoy your facial. They are there to provide a service to you, and your time in the treatment room is your time to unwind and feel pampered. If your therapist is making you feel like just another money-making opportunity, speak up! Tell them firmly “I’m happy with the routine I have, thanks. I’d just like to relax”. Any aesthetician too dense to knock off the sales pitch after that is probably in the wrong job and deserves to be formally complained about.

This same advice also applies to spa body treatments in London and around the world. Even in a ritzy hotel or resort spa, it’s important to keep a level head. Do you really need the Moroccan argan oil infused with gold flakes that costs as much as a second-hand car? Probably not. Half the fun is in the special occasion, anyway.

When you’re on holiday, it’s often tempting to spend your money on trinkets, souvenirs and “treats” to remember your vacation by. But if you’ve played your cards right, you should be amassing plenty of memories from your holiday experiences alone. Those trinkets will take up space in your suitcase and undoubtedly inspire a fair whack of buyer’s remorse once you get them home and sit them on the mantelpiece – so skip them. Leave the miniature Big Ben and the fancy moisturiser behind and focus on enjoying yourself – whether out on the town or lying blissfully in a spa.

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