Boston Globe


‘Organic’ sounds good, best tactics feel better

For now, there is no organic spa certification. For the spa-goer who wants treatments using organic ingredients without perfumes, parabens, and chemical preservatives, there are exquisite facialsmassages, scrubs, and wraps to be experienced in New York City. For those who want only products with the USDA Organic seal touching their skin, they should make prior arrangements and bring their own.

Of the following spas with organic leanings several believe in their treatments as part of a larger no-chemical, ecological philosophy, while others see their nontoxic treatments as part of many offerings and could be injecting Botox or spraying on tans in the next room.

One of the most unusual treatments using organic ingredients offered in the city is theGeisha facial at Shizuka New York Day Spa. Spa owner Shizuka Bernstein reveals the main ingredient: nightingale droppings. Bernstein, a native of Japan, tells how in 18th-century Japan, kabuki actors and geishas used heavy, lead-laden white face paint. “They would get sick and sometimes even die,” Bernstein says. “They tried various treatments to counteract the lead’s effect and discovered nightingale droppings.”

After months of research and experimentation, Bernstein came up with a creamy concoction using organic, pulverized Japanese nightingale droppings mixed with Japanese rice bran, an exfoliant. After the one-hour, $180 facial of steams, toners, masks, including one of camellia oil and green tea, the face radiates.

January 11, 2009
by Nina Roberts, Globe Correspondent



More 2009 Press at 2009 Press Coverage.