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History of the world’s leading spa skincare brands

A huge part of the experience on a spa day or break are the treatments you enjoy and the products therapists use to deliver them. Here are some of the world’s leading brands and the characteristics that make them unique…



Perhaps one of the best known names in the spa industry, and one of the most recognised brands, Decleor was founded more than 40 years ago in 1974 in Paris. It is known as a leader in the field of aromatherapy, using natural and exclusively manual techniques. Solange Dessimoulie and Caroline Colliard are the women behind the magic, who summed up the three pillars of life’s wisdom in the adage:“you are what you think, what you breathe and what you eat.”


Babor began in 1956 with a little help from a black rose - the symbol of infinite beauty.  Made in Germany, it is driven by a pioneering spirit that’s passionate about beauty and perfection. Precision formulas are based on innovative active ingredients, hinging everything on science and results driven processes, and since 2010 they have also been committed to a carbon neutral approach with respect for animals and nature.

[comfort zone]

Launched in 1996 in Parma in Italy by the Bollati family, [comfort zone] started as a research lab for high quality, highly effective products, and has gone on to become an internationally acclaimed spa brand. It is founded on the basis of Dr. Davide Bollati’s scientific background, along with the utilisation of nature’s most efficacious ingredients in the development of our proprietary formulations.


Now in over 450 spas in more than 50 countries around the world, ESPA is something of a spa giant, they have even helped to create some of the spas themselves for the ultimate spa journey.  Harnessing the power of natural ingredients, they prioritise the training processes as well as the products themselves, resulting in more than 3,500 therapists delivering more than three million of their treatments each year, each designed to calm, refresh and renew, mind, body and soul.

elemental herbology


From County Sligo in Ireland, VOYA was created when Neil Walton started experimenting with the effects of seaweed therapy on himself in an area known for the potent product on the Irish coast at Strandhill. He noted the baths’ ability to remove toxins from his body and accelerate the healing process, and looking into the history he noticed that at the beginning of the 20th century there were an estimated 300 seaweed bath houses in Ireland and nine in the small town of Strandhill alone, the last of which was destroyed by Hurricane Debbie, the worst hurricane to hit Ireland in 1961.His challenge was to revive the Irish tradition of Seaweed Baths in his home town of Strandhill - a challenge which was achieved by Neil and his Family in 1996.Now they welcome more than 40,000 visitors every year to the seaweed baths, and from there has grown a beautiful product line, all based on the healing powers of seaweed.


Born of a passion for bringing nature, science and aromatics together, ELEMIS harnesses thehighest-grade actives to achieve a beautiful experience but with an uncompromising attitude towards results. Having been founded 25 years ago by Sean Harrington, Noella Gabriel and Oriele Frank, the internationally recognized brand from the UK now estimates that over 6.5 million customers every year benefit from their award-winning range of face and body treatments.

Aromatherapy Associates

The brainchild of the late Geraldine Howard and her associate Sue Beechey, Aromatherapy Associates skincare focuses on mindful beauty that allows you to stop and find balance in life.  The duo are known as leaders in aromatherapy, addressing specific concerns through a sensory journey that hinges on the power of essential oils.  Harnessing knowledge garnered over more than 30 years, the team have worked to change the way we view the spa industry, and it proves to be a remarkable legacy to the life, work and passion of Geraldine.


Trailblazers in the field of plant-based beauty, Clarins was founded in 1954 by the medical studentJacques Courtin-Clarins.  It heralded a new approach to face and body treatments combining plant science and technology.  ‘Aroma-phyto’ body care is the term invented by Clarins to convey the combination of aromatherapy and phytotherapy (fragrance and the power of plants).


Based on the finest natural marine and botanical ingredients, Pevonia combines them with technologically advanced formulas and treatments that deliver highly visible results.  An award-winning brand, they have a celebrity following that includes Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey, Cameron Diaz, Rachel Weisz, Eva Mendes and Jodie Kidd.

Temple Spa

From laboratories by Lake Geneva, Temple Spa is a skincare brand born of a love of the Mediterranean.  It is all about natural ingredients and botanicals whilst also working with one of the leading herbalists in the UK.  Liz and Mark Warom are the brains behind the brand, inspired by the life, ethos and philosophies of the warm and utterly romantic Italian culture in particular.  Their products are invariably good enough to eat, and as a result they are a joy to use in spa or at home.


Meaning ‘Earth’ in Sanskrit, ‘ila’ reflects the brand’s faith in the power of nature as the source of real wellness. Only using the finest natural plant and mineral ingredients, wild-harvested in remote, untainted regions by artisan producers who value traditional, sustainable practices, Ila skincare products are all about the purity of the processes and the products. To achieve this, they go beyond organic, because it is only by embracing the utmost ethical integrity that we can harness the earth’s highest natural vibrations: vibrations with the power to reach beyond the physical to nourish emotional and spiritual well-being too.

Kerstin Florian

A family business based in Southern California and was founded in 1978 by Swedish-born Kerstin Florian. Since then it has been passed down the generations, inspired by nature, its energy and its intrinsic connection to wellness. Kerstin’s gift for blending nature into innovative skincare products and experiential treatments for unparalleled results led her to craft her namesake line of products and protocols built around the four cornerstones embraced in her holistic approach to skincare: proper nutrition, regular exercise, peace of mind and care of the face and body.

Elemental Herbology

A newbie to the spa scene, Elemental Herbology was founded in 2008, with the purpose of helping skin to achieve a state of optimum health and vitality. Using therapeutic levels of plant compounds, herbal extracts, essential fatty acids, botanical oils, vitamins, minerals, pure essential oils and antioxidants, we are proud to create natural skincare and body care that brings advanced nutrition to your skin, with everything based around a five element ethos taken from Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Sultane de Saba

Unleashing the secrets of precious rituals and recipes that date back to the time of the Queen of Sheba and Cleopatra, the Sultane de Saba skincare line is the creation of a Moroccan family who moved to Paris to set up this phenomenal spa brand which they still own and manage today. Many of the beauty secrets are those passed down through their direct ancestry, from mother to daughter for generations. Today they have three flagship spas in Paris and over 2,000 stockists worldwide.

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