20 Aug 2014
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Organic Spa Treatments Mean Fewer Toxins, More Relaxation

Lemont's Eco-Mom dives into the world of organic pedicures.

Organic Spa Treatments Mean Fewer Toxins, More Relaxation Organic Spa Treatments Mean Fewer Toxins, More Relaxation Organic Spa Treatments Mean Fewer Toxins, More Relaxation

I fell asleep while getting a pedicure. Seriously, out like a light.

I wasn’t unusually tired, but the mellow digs at the Korcare Spa and Wellness Center completely relaxed me.

With sandal-wearing season under way, I decided it was time for a pedicure.

For the past several years, I have been slowing wending my way toward a green lifestyle. I’ve given up everything from plastic baggies in my kids’ lunches to zit creams to PopTarts, all in the name of
eco-friendly living and health-consciousness.

Pedicures were my one vice. But the products that are used in nail care are ridiculously toxic. Most nail polish contains numerous carcinogens and irritants such as formaldehyde and toluene, and polish remover is a chemical cocktail that’s just as bad.

Aware of the issues with traditional products, I tried a few organic or low-toxin products at home, but they just didn’t do the job. One nail polish I tried came with a four-page list of instructions, its own special remover and the requirement that I take it off after just a few days.

Are you kidding me? If I can scrape together the time to polish my toes, they’re staying that way for a while!

Last summer when I made the seasonal pedi-pilgrimage, I buried myself in an old People magazine and tried not to think about how I was violating my eco-pledge (I even switch from regular hand lotion to a homemade beeswax and olive oil concoction!). I planned on staying in that state of denial this sandal season, too, until a friend told me about an organic spa in the area.

With the temperatures creeping up and the school year coming to a close, I decided to give it a shot. If the polish peeled right off, I could always redo it myself, right?

The Sounds of Tranquility

With my not-so-great experience with at-home organic nail products, I was a bit skeptical about getting my first organic pedi.

Normally when I get my toes done, I chat with the technician under the bright lights while energetic music plays in the background. In the organic spa, things are much more mellow. It’s the kind of place where the receptionist greets you in a quiet, soothing voice and you feel like you should be wearing a bell-sleeved tunic or at least something tie-dyed.

Once past the lobby filled with herbal remedies and toxin-free beauty products, I was led back into a cozy alcove that featured a small soaking tub below a wooden riser stacked with batik-print cushions and pillows leaning casually against the wall. Peaceful Zen music played in
the background. A smallish tray of SpaRitual brand polishes sat contentedly next to my perch.

While my feet soaked in a bath of milk, lavender and salts, I perused the color choices. Though the selection was limited, I appreciated that the SpaRitual line has no parabens, a toxic preservative found in many beauty products. I happily found a color I liked, and honestly, it was nice not to be overwhelmed with choices.

The technician mentioned that many of her customers like the SpaRitual polishes because they don’t make your nails yellow when you remove them (bonus!).

I chose the pedicure of the month, which featured Eminence organic blueberry products. The technician started with a blueberry exfoliant that contained particles of blueberry and all natural ingredients (she said you could probably eat it, but shouldn’t, of course).

Next, she applied a blueberry firming masque and performed an incredible foot massage. The rest of the pedicure was a bit of a blur.

I’m not sure if it was the lack of celebrity magazines or the tranquil music, but I leaned back on my pile of pillows and closed my eyes, soaking up the peacefulness of the place. The next thing I knew, she was applying a lotion and mentioning that the redness on my feet and legs would go away shortly.

She was right. By the time my color was applied, the redness was gone. I sat by a babbling fountain to let my toes dry, admiring my bright pink color choice but a little skeptical about whether the pedi would last.

The technician had warned me that it takes a little longer to dry than traditional nail polishes (a couple of hours of being very careful, and no socks all day). I followed her instructions and have been very happy that I have no chips or smudges so far.

Was my organic pedi worth the 25-minute drive? The price for the service was about the same as what I have paid at other salons in Lemont and took about the same amount of time. I certainly enjoyed the tranquility of the spa and curiously eyed their brochure of other services (the blueberry facial sounds divine!).

I was glad to avoid toxic chemicals as much as possible while still enjoying my sandal-season indulgence. But I also missed the comraderie of my favorite local nail technician—I’ve been going to her for years and I like to support local merchants. Perhaps I could talk her into offering organic pedis. And a complementary nap.

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