Here at The Good Spa Guide, we're not in the business of making teenagers feel bad about their bodies or their looks; they're just too busy trying to get through the day without too much anxiety already. What we do like to encourage is taking teens suffering from exam stress for a massage so they can relax, or taking teens who are the proud owners of classic teenage skin for a deep-cleanse facial so that their skin is clearer and they learn some useful cleansing habits. Teen skin doesn't need any more invasive procedures.
Facials for young skin
As long as the treatment doesn't use any harsh products or techniques, facials can be very beneficial for typical teenage skin. It’s best to stick to facials specifically designed with teenagers in mind; these are less likely to involve deep exfoliation or peels which can unbalance your skin and cause more issues rather than solving existing ones.
Anything branded as anti-ageing will be a waste of money. Although you may think it’s better to start thinking about anti-ageing treatments when you're young, there are no spa treatments that will carry on working for two decades afterwards. Don’t worry about these treatments until you actually start ageing.
Our resident Teen Spy's favourite facials are by Thalgo: "Their facials are thorough and -- although they involve extraction -- they do a good job at cleansing, toning and moisturising." Some spas also offer teens lessons on how to care for their own skin, which can be combined with a facial or a make-up lesson.
Don't rely on facials to combat severe acne, if you suffer from that. Nowadays, there is a lot that can be done for problem skin, so don't suffer in silence. See your GP, who can prescribe treatment, or can refer you to a dermatologist.
Massages for teenagers
Massages are a great introduction to spa-ing. Teen Spy says: "Massages are by far my favourite kind of treatment, relaxing you to the point where you forget you even have exams to worry about at all -- though this may not be a good thing, depending on how much revision you have to do."
Most aromatherapy oils are gentle enough to use on young skin, and therapists should know which ones to choose for younger spa goers. Whatever age you are, there will be at least one scent to soothe you.
Deep tissue massage may be too strong for young limbs and you may feel as if you’re being pulverised rather than massaged. Definitely not what you want! Relaxation is the way to go. To beat exam stress, a scalp massage, which will include the neck and shoulders, can be very helpful: it soothes tight shoulders and brings some release to pent-up tension.
"I think every teenager should have one of these treatments on the day their exam results come out!" says Teen Spy. (Or just afterwards, perhaps!)
Manicures and pedicures
Manicures and pedicures are perfect for teenagers. They are a relatively simple treatment, unlikely to involve any anti-ageing creams or chemical peels that could be harmful to young skin, they leave you feeling pampered, and you can show off your new nail colour / art.
Spa treatments not suitable for teenagers
Wraps: while not exactly harmful, these are mainly used to detox or firm skin. As this is not something a teenager needs to worry about, it could just be a waste of money.
The same goes for detox treatments, if you’re under 25, your body works fine on its own, so for now just revel in the knowledge that you can eat whatever you like without worrying about the consequences for a few more years.