Finally the word is out, bathroom amenities face a new challenge; guests with an opinion and increased knowledge about skincare. Recently I was discussing food with a number of people in the organic
skincare industry, and one example struck me, a normal apple bought from the supermarket in 1930, had mare than 80% less toxics in there asthe regular apple you buy today, and had double the nutritional value.The reason the discussion came up was because we wanted to understand the bigger picture of the health and wellness of our body. So what can hotels contribute directly to our skin.
What is skin?
Skin exists of three layers, and is considered the biggest organ of the body, which is about 15% of the total body weight. With regards to composition the skin exists of 70% water, 25% protein and 2% lipids. Each one of the layers consist of different types of cells, the outer layer called the epidermis, renews itself every 3-5 weeks. We can help the renewal with scrubs, soaps and popular are mild peels, done by professionals in the Spa or Treatment industry.
To keep the skin looking young and fresh, is determined by the type of product that we apply. The objective is to keep away toxics. The second layer of skin called the dermis, plays a key role in that too. The dermis is important for the body to be able to breathe, and nourish the skin. Only products that actually remain there and are natural enough to penetrate the first layer can improve this layer of skin. The third layer called subcutaneous tissue, is the main protector of our body, and serves as absorber, and heat insulator.
The bathroom amenity a benefit or decision?
In research by MSNBC the question was asked to guests, whether they would choose a hotel by the type of amenity. Many of the comments and answers were related to the brand of the product, and own label products. The brand impresses and leaves memory, the own labeled brand does not leave a mark.
Besides the brand, the smell gets very high marks. The choice of hotel reflects the wish for attention detail and really exceptional toiletries. So a luxury 5 star hotel should be carrying a product that impresses. But is it a decision maker? Do we change choice of hotel because one has a product that suits better? The answer remains to be seen, and is not clear so far, because it is very individual, depends on expectations that come with the hotel brand and size (small luxury or boutique for example).
One element came out very clearly, which is that for frequent travelers the toiletries can sway the decision on where to stay.
Organic right up there amongst the requirements like smell and brand?
Organic products are finding their way into the society, and becoming a significant alternative to what we see around us. Probably we are becoming more aware through all the media, of the implications to our body of normal products. The reasons for choosing real organic products, for which every ingredient has been checked, are many.
The ingredients in many amenities to avoid are:
• Sodium Lauryl Sulfates
• Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
• Myreth Sulfate
• Derivatives of Lauryl Alcohol
• Propylene Glycol (Antifreeze)
• Olefin Sulfonate (Deodorized Kerosene)
Finally some more facts from an article in Bodystream that point towards the use of organic products:
— 33% of personal care products have been linked to cancer
— 48% are reported to be potentially harmful to the reproductive systems
— 60% of ingredients that can act like estrogens or disrupt hormones
— Most chemicals have not undergone any safety testing
— The skin absorbs things easily, and in general is exposed to over 168 hazardous chemicals each day.
Hotel guests do not choose the products, hoteliers do, unless the demand changes instantly. Luckily they are taking sustainability and waste like bottles and very serious. There is cost of using certified and clean organic products, but surely in 5 years the guest does not want anything else.
A product a hotel or spa is proud of, is the only way forward. And even though not in top ten reasons for choosing a hotel, I believe the guest…. has already chosen.
Article also on Ehotelier
By Jeroen Gulickx
Jeroen Gulickx is Managing Director and founder of Mocinno International, a hospitality consulting company that started in 2005, focused on delivering incremental revenues for hotels, spa’s
and also hotel suppliers. Jeroen is well traveled and has extensive experience in the luxury travel segment.