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Spa Etiquette For First Time Spa-Goers

Posted by Avery R. on

If you're like me and you've never been to the spa before, it's completely natural to worry about what the correct approach to spa etiquette might be. There is no need to worry for too long because with these helpful tips on spa etiquette, you will be ready to go and enjoy that massage or facial in no time!

Before Arrival:

"Splish, Splash, I Was Takin' A Bath"

Take a shower and make sure you are squeaky clean before you go to your appointment at the spa. Brush those teeth so that if you happen to be getting a spa facial, you do not kill the Aesthetician with your killer onion breath from that salad you had at lunch.


I can't go to Taco Bell, I'm on an all Carb Diet!”

(Props to those who understood my Mean Girls reference). When going to get a massage, you will be spending anywhere from 30-120 minutes on your stomach so it's best to not eat a huge, heavy meal before your appointment. Make sure you are hydrated but don't drink copious amounts of water or else you will having to interrupt your spa service by going to the bathroom frequently.

Upon Arrival:

Be There (On Time) or Be Square

If you've ever been annoyed with someone for showing up late to a meeting, you will know that the same goes for your spa appointment. First impressions are very important, even for a spa day treatment! A general rule of thumb is to show up at least 15 minutes early (although I personally suggest 30) in order to get checked in and changed if need be. It's nice to have a few minutes before your appointment to relax and get into a calm mindset.

Cancellation, Smancellation

Here's the deal, it's understandable when things come up and emergencies happen. What isn't understandable is not showing up to your appointment and not calling to let them know. Your provider could have came in just for you, so it's always nice to give them the common courtesy and let them know if you cannot come in for some reason. The policy at most spas is to cancel 24 hours in advance and we know that is not always possible, just be aware that you may be charged a cancellation or no-show fee.

Avoid The Three T's: Tweets, Texts, & Talking

There is nothing worse than being in a complete and utter state of relaxation only to be brought back to reality by the ringing or buzzing of a cell phone! Yes, that's right folks, silence your cell phone so that you can have a little time away from work and social life. That is the point of going to the spa, right?


Be Squeaky Clean – Again!

If there are showers available it wouldn't hurt to rinse off one last time before going to get your massage or other service. It's important to remember that not only do you as the customer need to feel comfortable, but the therapist also needs to feel the same way.


During Your Service:

In The Nude

If you are not comfortable with being completely naked while you are having something such as a massage done, that is completely fine! While it is easier to massage the body and receive the full benefits of the massage without clothing in the way, it is absolutely ok to keep some clothes or garments on. Remember, there is always a sheet draped over your body and only the part of the body that is currently being massaged will be exposed. 

“Any Way You Want It, That's The Way You Need It”

Journey knew what they were talking about when they sang that song! Don't forget to be an active participant in your massage or spa service. If you don't like how the therapist is doing something, make sure to voice how you feel, or else they will never know. Things to think about are massage pressure, background music, turning table warmers on or off, getting up to use the bathroom, etc. Your comfort is extremely important to your therapist and it is vital to communicate with them during your time there.

Your Hands Are Not For Helping

It's respectful to keep your hands to yourself and not touch the massage therapist while they are massaging you or in the room with you. Touching the massage therapist can result in feelings of discomfort and can lead to issues such as sexual harassment.


After Your Service:

Take Your Time

Make sure that you take your time getting up and getting dressed after your massage is over. Some people forget that they might be a little light headed and “loopy” after laying down and relaxing that long. It's important to let your body take the time it needs to bounce back and get going after a massage. Once you are dressed it's common to be led to a relaxation area where you can drink some water and recuperate.

Say Yes To Tipping

It is always a good idea to tip, especially if the massage was great. Tipping 15-20% at most day spas is the standard, but you are welcome to tip more if you feel that your massage therapist or Aesthetician provided you with exceptional service. Some spas will have gratuity added into your payment while others will not, so it's always good to check with someone about how tipping works at the spa you will be going to.

“I'll Have My Regular”

In the future, feel free to request a certain person if you liked the service that they provided you with. It's also fine to try out multiple therapists because more often than not, they will all have different mannerisms and techniques and can essentially provide you with drastically different experiences (hopefully in a good way)!