Located in the Gold Coast of Chicago, Exhale Spa leaves you feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle the day.
By: Jada Franklin
Posted on: July 25, 2017
LF Says: 4/5 stars
When I travel downtown, it can be challenging for me to find time to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the city. At least, that’s what I thought before arriving at Exhale Spa. Once I stepped out of the car into the humid, summer air and through the door, I immediately felt at
ease. My stress melted away, and I felt as if I’d found a little oasis that I could escape to, even if just for a little while.
On the surface
Exhale Spa is located on the second floor, away from the loud city streets. I walked up two flights of stairs, and at the top sat a meditating statue, contributing to the calm aura of the spa. A line of chandeliers hung above the brightly lit reception area to make the merchandise, from
shirts and bags, easily seen along the walls and center of the room. The staff was welcoming,
offering a smile as soon as I approached the desk. After filling out a guest form, I was shown
how to lock and unlock the lockers before being led into fully amenitized changing room. I
slipped into a soft tan robe and sandals, and followed the attendant down a hallway full of dim
lights, detailed paintings and quiet music as the faint sound of a fitness class in a nearby room
disappeared behind me.
She led me to the lounge where I would wait to begin my treatment. I sipped on a cup of cold
water while sitting on the comfortable L-shaped couch full of plush red pillows. An intricate
lamp hanging from the ceiling provided soft lighting, just enough to clearly see the stack of
magazines on a nearby table. As I waited, I was overcome by a wave of relaxation due to the
peaceful atmosphere and soothing music. I also couldn’t help but notice the sign on the wall
just outside of the relaxation area, reminding you to keep cell phones out of the area to further
preserve the peace. Apart from water, refreshing tea was available as you prepared to clear
your mind for your treatment.
Heaven on Earth
Sara greeted me and led me to my room where I would spend the next hour getting a True Facial. She asked about my skincare routine and if I had been experiencing breakouts, so that she could customize the facial based upon my skin type. The facial I received focused on cleansing
for a complexion detox. Sara explained the process, urging me to ask questions or to let her know if I were uncomfortable in any way.
I made myself comfortable under the blanket, lying down on the heated bed. She gently wrapped my hair in a towel and began the treatment with steam, making sure it wasn’t too hot. As I closed my eyes, she alternated between massaging my face and wafting Eucalyptus with the steam over my face. I tend to get allergies during the summer, so the Eucalyptus cleared mysinuses throughout the treatment. With music in the background, she covered my eyes with a towel and shined a light on my face. Sara explained that I was a little dehydrated, which was normal. As someone who drinks a fair amount of water daily, I was surprised yet glad that I could get an expert’s opinion.
My mind blank and breathing even, I became even more relaxed as she applied the mocha
lactic acid to aid in exfoliating and hydrating my face. I felt it tingle across my skin, but it was
not painful. She also massaged my arms and hands as well, applying pressure in certain areas
that soothed by muscles. We made small talk, her commitment to making me comfortable and
informed not going unnoticed. The next step was extraction. The bright light returned and she told me to ask if I needed a
break or if it became painful. It was everything but that. She carefully began the process,
concentrating on my forehead, chin and nose. Although I could tell when she had to be more
forceful in specific areas, it was never uncomfortable.
To target the hard-to- reach breakouts on my nose and chin, she used a red high-definition light.
I could feel and hear the machine zapping them away. This was the most intimidating part
when she mentioned it in the beginning of the session but, like the extractions, it was not
painful to me, rather satisfying. As I smiled and told her about my day, she applied vitamin D to assist with sun damage for the
rest of the day. The cream felt cool and welcoming against my skin. After a few minutes of
letting it relax, she skillfully massaged my arms and neck. She used her fingertips to trace gentle
circles along my face, wrapping it in a warm towel for a few seconds. Sara repeated these steps
with a combination of SPF 30 and moisturizer. With only a couple of minutes left, she applied
an eye serum and a lip balm, leaving my body and face completely refreshed and radiant.
After the facial treatment, I went back to the lounge where I drank another cup of water,
reveling in how stress free I had become in just one hour. I then realized that the skin care
advice, attentiveness of the staff and tranquil ambience makes Exhale Spa a place of serenity
and unforgettable experiences. Sure, you can spend hours dedicated to total mind and
relaxation, but if you are looking for something quick in between a lunch break, you can find
that here too.
LF Says: 4/5 stars
Coordinates: 945 N State St, Chicago, IL 60610