Bare Essentials

Infused with the power of plants, these therapeutic body treatments refresh tired, summer skin.

Julie Sinclair Current Digital, Health & Wellness

Tapping into the healing powers of plants, your skin is refreshed from a summer of sun.

After months of exposure in the summer heat, fall is the perfect time to exfoliate, hydrate, and silk-ify your sun-worn, dry skin — and the desert’s spas have you covered. Filled with ingredients good enough to eat, these body scrubs and wraps will bring your skin back to its luscious, natural state.

Aloe Vera Soother

The Summer Soothing Aloe Wrap at The Spa at Desert Springs taps into the healing properties of pure aloe, whose usage can be traced as far back as Egyptian queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra. The treatment begins with a head-to-toe misting of Lavender Body Mist (a 100% organic lavender flower hydrosol), which awakens the senses while calming and moisturizing the skin. Next, a layer of Herbal Recovery Gel, featuring aloe and tea tree, is applied.


Aloe moisturizes the skin without giving it a greasy feel.

The treatment ends with a relaxing full-body application of Rehydration Lotion, which includes aloe and rosehip for lasting luminance and features the aromas of orange, vanilla, and jasmine. All products are from the all-natural Tara Spa Therapy line.

Cost (through Sept. 30): $79, 30 minutes; $99, 60 minutes (Monday-Thursday) and $95, 30 minutes; $150, 60 minutes (Friday-Sunday)

Book it: 800-255-0848;


The amino acids in seaweed smooth out fine lines with its anti-aging properties.

Nutrients From the Sea

In the Epicuren Seaweed Wrap at Whispers Spa at La Serena Villas, a rich, full-body marine mask delivers minerals to the skin while minimizing the appearance of cellulite. The therapist first scrubs down the body with a sponge and water to remove dead skin. Next, the body is wrapped in pieces of seaweed and then cocooned in blankets for 30 minutes. As you relax on a heated massage table while the seaweed dries, drawing out its mineral content, you’ll receive a restorative foot massage. Afterward, the wrap is scrubbed off and the body hydrated with all-natural moisturizer. Super-soft skin, mineral-infused skin will be yours.

Cost: $135, 60 minutes

Book it: 760-832-8044;

Refreshingly Mint

A great treatment for dry skin, the Moroccan Mint Sugar Scrub at El Morocco Inn utilizes organic Moroccan mint combined with a nourishing oil and unprocessed raw sugar to create an exfoliating mixture that is rubbed over the body, removing dead skin while moisturizing at the same time. After rinsing off in a hot mineral springs water, you receive a final application of oil to seal in all that goodness.

Cost: $125, 60 minutes

Book it: 760-288-2527;

Pumpkin Pleaser

Fight free radicals as you calm body, mind, and soul with the Pumpkin Scrub and A La Mode Massage at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa’s Sunstone Spa. A holiday special available during October and November, the treatment features beta-carotene and antioxidants combined with a blend of pure shea, cocoa, and mango butters, leaving you with skin that’s plumped and glowing. A hydrating pumpkin-infused facial is also available.

Cost: $139, 50 minutes

Book it: 760-202-2121;


Pumpkin contains vitamin C,  which helps produce collagen and elastin — proteins that maintain skin’s firmness and elasticity.


Give a massage oil a try and figure out your favorite.

Botanically Inclined

Tapping into the ESPA product line, the Detoxifying Glow treatment at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage washes away skin impurities. Beginning with a deep-cleansing sea-salt scrub of grapefruit, cypress, and eucalyptus mixed with sweet almond oil, the mixture is lusciously rinsed off the body with a waterfall-like Vichy shower. Next, the skin is slathered in an intensely hydrating body cream featuring ylang ylang and jasmine to soothe and condition; yam, olive, and avocado butters to boost the skin’s moisture levels; and mulberry, licorice, and bearberry to brighten and even skin tone. The final result is skin that is smooth, supple, and visibly radiant.

Cost: $230, 70 minutes

Book it: 760-321-8282,

Land of Milk
and Honey

In ancient Egypt, bathing in milk was a luxury practiced to keep skin pure and beautiful, and the Bedouins and other nomadic tribes used milk to protect their skin from the sun as they traveled through the desert. The Milk and Honey Wrap at Riviera Palm Springs’ Azure Spa taps into this ancient wisdom by combining the gentle exfoliating properties naturally present in milk with the antimicrobial effects of honey. The treatment includes a full body exfoliation, honey body masque, and a foot or scalp massage — so not only will you end up with fresh, younger looking skin but you’ll leave feeling more relaxed, as well.

Cost: $125, 50 minutes

Book it: 760-327-8311;


Milk is a wholesome moisturizer with water, fat and proteins.