It’s hard to believe that the medi-spa industry we know today was in its infancy when the FDA approved Botox in 2002. Since then, Sarasota has become the Gulf coast’s epicenter of new products and trends. Customers range from vacationers who’ve come for state-of-the-art procedures and treatments more affordable than in big cities to locals who indulge in staycations at downtown spas and beach resorts or follow at-home regimens. Products and services on these pages are simultaneously appearing in New York and Paris, often in our spas before they’re reviewed in national magazines, and seriously worth investigating for a more relaxed, healthier and more beautiful you.
Spa Goodness At the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, the new menu of treatments includes an MD facial that incorporates the same Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare products newly available at The Spa boutique: a two-step anti-aging Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel (from $83) and All in One Facial Cleanser with Toner ($35). Day passes are available to local residents for membership consideration. The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, 1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Sarasota. (941) 309-2090.
European Elixir PINO Natural Spa Therapy products found at the most exclusive European spas are now at Spa Hollywood, with all-organic formulations of plant extracts and essential oils. Aromatherapy and oils for wraps, scrubs and even candle massage are customized to your desired mood with energizing, stabilizing or relaxing ingredients. Spa Hollywood, 5780 Swift Road, Sarasota (941) 927-2635.
Healthy Potions L. Spa offers physician-supervised Botox and Juvederm injections and medical-grade products like VIVITÉ, a new line that exfoliates, hydrates and protects with a high amount of glycolic acid in a four-in-one core system: cleanser, day, night and eye creams ($249, value of $316). L. Spa, 556 Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, (941) 906-1358.
Dirty Secret The eco-friendly, all-natural body scrubs from Chicago-based Dirt Beaute come in delectable scents, with ingredients from kiwi seeds to Epsom salts that soothe, relax and awaken the senses ($48). Lotus, 1451 Main St., Sarasota (941) 906-7080.
What’s Brewing? Inspired by the aromatic teas created for the VIP Tea Room of Hollywood nightclub h.wood, new tea-infused Melt T Glow candles from h.wood.beauty come in six relaxing scents in travel ($16) or 11.5-oz. size ($48). Burn the candle and use the ultra-moisturizing liquid as a massage or body lotion. Simply Spoiled, 1471 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 364-3337.
Power Worship Bloggers and editors sing the praises of La Prairie’s most amazing scientific achievement yet: the new Cellular Power Infusion ($475 for four bottles, to be used one per week). Use the cell-energizing treatment one month out of three to propel skin of all types toward agelessness. Saks Fifth Avenue, 100 Southgate Plaza, Sarasota (941) 634-5311.
Doctor in the House? Dr. David Holcomb, Sarasota-based board-certified facial plastic surgeon, will perform procedures from chemical peels to injectables on Mondays at The Met, including breakthrough Sculptra Aesthetic injections with PLLA beads that help the body produce collagen while smoothing wrinkles. The Met Fashion House Day Spa & Salon, 35 S. Boulevard of Presidents, Sarasota (941) 388-3991.
Sarasota’s appetite for perfect skin is fed by local companies that sell their exceptional products nationwide. Cherylyn Van Kirk, founder of Starflower Essentials (one of the leading holistic skincare products manufacturers in the U.S.), recently moved headquarters to Sarasota from Austin, Texas. Her mantra, “feed your face with raw skin foods” is exemplified by best-selling SkinDance moisturizer ($42 at starflower.com). Another local producer is SanRe Organic Skinfood, a company whose 100 percent natural products are sold everywhere from Good Earth to Whole Foods. Try the award-winning Shaded Rose Sunscreen, a daily moisturizer with SPF 30 ($32), sanreorganic.com