Yesterday, I had the opportunity to experience Burke Williams’ new waterless steam pedicure at the spa’s Torrance location. For a notorious germ freak, the notion of a pedicure minus the footbath is perfection. Every time I plunge my feet into one of those little tubs, I try really hard not to imagine millions of tiny foot germs dashing towards my innocent toes. Yes, I realize this is mostly irrational as I am well aware of the thorough sanitation process most spas employ – but the fear is real, nonetheless. For this reason, the steam pedicure intrigued and beguiled me; I had to try it!
Before I lose the majority of women (and men) out there who actually do enjoy the mini-foot-Jacuzzi aspect of their pedicure experience, let me be so bold as to suggest you might equally enjoy and, dare I say it, prefer the steam pedicure. The relaxing, stress-relieving properties of swishing your feet around in warm, bubbly water are equally duplicated, even enhanced, by the steam process. It goes something like this: your feet and legs (up to your knees) are slathered with a soothing lotion/oil combo, then enveloped in hot towel wraps and placed in the “Steam Chamber”. (I do not know the technical term so I am calling it the Steam Chamber – a hollow, wooden ottoman filled with steam, with an opening on the side through which your legs extend. Steam Chamber.) After about six minutes in the Chamber, you pull your legs out (getting in and out is slightly awkward, but nothing terribly gymnastic), and are treated to an incredible foot and calf massage. It was amazing. The steam process occurred in the middle of the service, but the whole pedicure really was exceptional.
To backpedal a bit, before my pedicure had begun, I was already attacking my nail tech with excited questions. Cece was very informative.
Why use steam? It both disinfects and moisturizes, two steps in one. For those of you familiar with the traditional Burke Williams pedicure, the steam process also eliminates the need for the paraffin wax treatment. The steam provides all of the moisturizing benefits previously achieved with the wax. For many, the omission of this painful step will be quite welcome.
Where did the idea for a steam pedicure come from? It started with the concept of a facial for the feet (how enticing!) and the process was developed with that goal in mind. The steam pedicure is a fairly new treatment in the world of nail care and is not offered on a wide scale yet.
From a business standpoint, why offer the steam pedicure in lieu of the water pedicure? The overhead is much lower – no costly spa chairs which can be difficult, if not impossible, to repair once the motor fails (big, comfy armchairs, a la your dad’s favorite recliner, are used instead). The steam also requires much less water than a footbath. *Eco alert: each steam pedicure only uses about two cups of water– much less than the traditional pedicure.*
Questions out of the way, it was time to relax and observe. Cece was phenomenal. Her massage was HEAVEN, she was scrupulous with the trimming of nails, clipping of cuticles, and applying of polish (for these tasks, she wore special spy goggles -really cool, techy-looking magnifying glasses). Another pleasant surprise was the Clarisonic foot brush used to buff my soles. Slightly ticklish, very massaging, the device was definitely a happy addition. (As a side note, this feature is not exclusive to the steam pedicure, and is now offered with most Burke Williams pedicures.) And for the cherry on top: at the end of my service, Cece presented me with a dish of candy. Why, yes, I would like a piece, thank you. Sugar, after all, is the one true way to my heart. Perfect pedicure experience complete.
This service is brand new (just introduced on February 7th) and currently only available at the Burke Williams spa in Torrance, though if all goes well, it will eventually be offered at all nine spa locations. The Torrance spa has switched entirely to steam pedicures, no longer offering the traditional version. For pricing and booking information, please visit the spa website at www.burkewilliamsspa.com or call Guest Services at 1-866-BEYOND-5 (1-866-239-6635).