Insider's Guide to Spas
Photography by Svetlkd


Feel-Good Fall Beauty

Mary Bemis

Fall into autumn with these six soothers for face and body.

Gentle Face Wash

Glycelene’s Luxury Facial Cleanser is simply one of the best I’ve tried in some time. I love the touch and feel of the rich, creamy formula and am addicted to the scent—the cleanser is infused with refreshing cucumber and rosemary. It’s a pleasure to massage into the skin, and it cleanses the face nicely while removing makeup. Follow with Cucumber Cleansing Water. I’m hooked.

Soothing Facial Oil

I can’t pinpoint the exact essential oil that grabs me when I take my first whiff of Kerstin Florian’s Rejuvenating Anti-Stress Facial Oil—but it instantly transports me. A truly soothing blend of organic oils of geranium, melissa, and lavender, this nourishing facial oil absorbs quickly and leaves my complexion looking and feeling better.

Luscious Lip Balm 

One of the most intriguing new beauty brands I’ve come across this year, Nairian is a beautiful family-owned, plant-based brand from Armenia that sources indigenous ingredients from the country’s highlands. This little pot of Lip Balm protects and nourishes lips with ingredients like olive and castor oils and peppermint and clove bud essential oils. A bonus: the lovely botanical illustrations that adorn the packaging.

Buttery Body Balm

Perhaps my favorite of Osea’s natural products, this Anti-Aging Body Balm goes on like a dream. It’s super-silky and hydrating, thanks to ingredients like acai, babassu, and coconut oils and has just a hint of scent—think geranium, jasmine, and lavender. I like to apply after a nice long nightly bath, as well as pre-flight for a hydrating boost.

A Beautiful Blend

There’s something about this fragrant oil blend that is utterly captivating. Tranquillity Blend is Comfort Zone’s signature fragrance, created to instill harmony and relaxation. It’s a magical combination of essential oils of cedarwood and sweet orange, among others like rose and sandalwood. A nice alternative to traditional perfumes, I like to dab a few drops on pressure points while deeply breathing in.

A Soothing Soak

Those who know me know that I’m a serious soaker. So I was pleased to sample the new Lemongrass Ocean Mineral Bath Soak from Farmhouse Fresh. It’s loaded with mineral-rich salts—Atlantic ceara, pink Himalayan, and Epsom—and USDA certified organic teas and flowers like green tea and rosehips. I soaked for a good half hour and stepped out of the tub feeling fresh and renewed.


Mary Bemis

Mary Bemis

Mary Bemis is editorial director of She is an award-winning spa journalist, honored with Folio's Top Women in Media Award, and the distinguished ISPA Dedicated Contributor Award. In 1997, she launched American Spa magazine, and in 2007, Mary co-founded Organic Spa magazine. A pioneer in the sustainable spa and beauty worlds, Mary is co-curator of Cosmoprof North America's Discover Green Pavilion. She sits on the board of Wellness Warrior, is a Global Wellness Day Advisor and a co-founder of the Washington Spa Alliance.