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7 Spa Rip-Offs to Know About Before Booking Your Next Treatment

Read this before your next day of pampering
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A blissful rubdown, a steam-room sesh, that delicious cucumber-infused water... There's no denying that a day at the spa is oh-so-relaxing. Still, that relaxation often comes with a pretty hefty price tag, which means you obviously want to make sure that you're getting the most bang for your buck. Avoid getting taken for a ride by those spa deal scams by considering the below seven scenarios that may be unnecessarily draining your wallet.

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Keep in Mind That Not All Facials Are Created Equal
If it's a pricey facial, it's important to consider -- and inquire -- both about the protocol and the products being used. If a treatment relies on a relatively inexpensive product line and there are no extra bells and whistles, it's worth wondering whether it's really worth the steep price tag. Heather Mikesell, Executive Editor of American Spa magazine, says to ask the following questions: Does it incorporate an expensive device or piece of equipment? Does it require some special knowledge to perform it? Does it feature a pricey or rare ingredient? (FYI, there's a caveat to this, but more on that in a minute.) If not, it may just be more like a facial that you could DIY without spending so much cash.

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Be Wary of Facial Add-Ons, Too
To the same point, all of those extra masks and eye and lip treatments they'll ask if you want to add to the base price of the facial aren't always worth it. "If it's simply an application of a product, you might be better off just purchasing the product and applying it yourself," advises Mikesell.

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Think Twice About Certain Ingredients
"Some ingredients are definitely more fad than fab," says Mikesell, who points out that it's all about what can actually penetrate the skin to deliver real benefits. "While being slathered in chocolate certainly smells good, the skin benefits may be nominal. It might feel decadent to experience a 24-karat gold facial, but unless the ingredients are able to penetrate the skin, you're not going to see the results you want," she adds. More specifically, if a treatment calls out precious metals (gold, silver, platinum) or gems, it's absolutely worth inquiring as to what kind of delivery system is used to get them into the skin; otherwise, they can be a total waste of money.

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Remember That You're Not Just Paying for the Service
As a general rule, expect higher -- usually much higher -- prices at luxury resorts, which cater to high-end travelers who often don't think twice about splurging on expensive services, notes Mikesell. "You're paying not only for the treatment, but also for all the amenities that accompany it," she says. If you're OK with missing out on some of those admittedly fun extras (think: that cucumber-infused water and a plush robe), you can often find similarly good treatments at more basic spas for less money.

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