Eastern Indulgence at Silk Day Spa
47 West 13th Street (212-255-6457)
Ambience: Zen escape.
Comfort: The room is balmy as a sauna, so there’s no chill factor.
Smoothness: After an enthusiastic loofah scrub, fresh apples are grated over your body and you’re doused with milk (the acids tenderize the skin). The hour-long deep massage should ease any weird feelings about being a food fetishist.
Salt Scrub at Oasis Day Spa
108 East 16th Street (212-254-7722)
Ambience: Country-lodge-cozy, with scented candles.
Comfort: The overhead Vichy shower is meant to save you the interruption of getting up to rinse off the abrasive—a lemon-scented sea-salt oil. But there are no heat lamps and no electric blanket—brrr. And hair gets soaked.
Smoothness: Coarse salt is a great slougher; you’ll be instantly tank-top-ready.
Carrot & Sesame Body Buff at Bliss
19 East 57th Street (212-219-8970) Price: $165
Ambience: Lablike and sterile.
Comfort: Milk and honey are applied, followed by freshly grated carrots and crushed sesame seeds. Then you’re wrapped in silver Mylar, like leftover carrot cake. The cocoon is toasty, if you don’t mind confinement. But there’s no massage.
Smoothness: You’ll feel like a baby and smell like a bakery—but sesame seeds keep popping up hours after the treatment is over.
Coffee Blossom at The Four Seasons Spa
57 East 57th Street (212-350-6420)
Ambience: Tiny but high-tech.
Comfort: Pass on the electronic head gizmo they give you for additional relaxation. Rapid-fire light pulses and ominous music are potentially panic-inducing.
Smoothness: Mint mixed in with the salt makes it sting, but the scrub is not coarse enough to be very effective.
Mosaic Body Polish at Avon Salon & Spa
725 Fifth Avenue (212-755-2866)
Ambience: Luxe—this is Trump Tower, after all.
Comfort: Heat lamps weren’t turned on, and it was cold. The massage at the end is superficial.
Smoothness: Avon uses an herbal powder made from apricot kernels, thyme, pepper, oat powder, white clay, and rice starch. Your skin will be silkier, but not baby-smooth.
Shea Butter Body Emulsion at Ajune
1294 Third Avenue (212-628-0044)
Ambience: Minimalistic décor, flowing curtains, candlelight.
Comfort: The bed has a heating blanket for warmth, and the treatment ends with a strong twenty-minute shea-butter massage.
Smoothness: Calming lavender essential oil balances the harshness of Dead Sea salts. Shea butter makes the skin even more velvety.
Competitors are rated on a scale of one to five.
Scrub Tips from Dorit Baxter of Dorit Baxter Day Spa.
1. Don’t shave or wax on the day of the treatment—it will make your skin too sensitive.
2. Don’t have a body scrub on a full stomach. It’s likely to cause indigestion.
3. Ask for heat—overhead lamps or a blanket—during the scrub. It aids relaxation.
4. Show your therapist any cuts or problem veins you may have, so she will be gentle with those areas.
5. If your skin is sensitive and peeling from exposure to the sun, wait until there’s no discomfort before getting a body scrub.