I heard Lyndall speak at our Australian Spa conference a couple of years ago and was really impressed with her journey and commitment to natural products and day spa treatments. Aurora Spa is now one of the leading spa’s in Australia that has amazing unique treatments. You can read my review here.
She also makes her own spa products ASPAR, which are beautiful, high quality and well thought out. Read about her remarkable journey below.
Thank you for speaking to us about your beautiful spa and products.
Can you tell about how you started on this journey into creating Aurora Spa and ASPAR products?
My passion for healthy living was infused at a young age. I grew up on a tropical fruit farm in QLD and healthy living was a normal way of life.
When I was 14, I had the opportunity to do work experience at an iconic health retreat that was located around the corner from our farm. It was then I saw a world I never knew existed. These healthy, happy and radiant staff were all devoted to their own health and the guest’s wellness. The results were amazing and ingrained the passion for health and wellness that I have carried through my life. It was a truly eye opening experience and planted a seed for my career.
When I completed school I went back to the health retreat and this was the beginning of my now 22+ years in the spa and wellness industry. Working at the retreat was an incredible learning experience. Every week I encountered people from all walks of life, coming to overcome various self-destructive behaviors and lifestyle goals. Working day-in day-out with these people highlighted to me the value of wellness and no matter how extreme the change was, wellness provided the platform.
From the experience I gained in a retreat environment, I decided that I would like to create an urban retreat for clients to continue on their path of optimum living. After a full day of meditation one day, I came up with the vision for what would be Aurora Spa – to help clients achieve their wellness goals and live their best lives.
Aurora Spa opened in Melbourne 18 years ago. When we opened it was just me, and now we have over 100 staff, 4 spa locations, a product range that is stocked in Sephora, on board with Qantas and in the 42 Qantas lounges nationally and internationally as well as various training college partnerships. Our vision remains the same today – we help our clients to live their best life.
Have you always been involved in wellness and day spa tourism?
Yes, my life has been retreats, spas and products. What an honor to do what you love.
What is your biggest passion in your work?
Helping inspire clients to have regular self-care. We see so many clients that are feeling overwhelmed, overworked and overscheduled. By having self-care, whether that is a spa treatment or using a product or another form of self-care, it gives such a strong foundation for high performance and overall happiness.
What was the inspiration behind the beautiful design of the spa and signature treatments? (Especially steam room treatments)
The spa design was all about the client’s journey and ensuring that we created the space and the environment to help clients switch off, relax and unwind. All of the Aurora treatments and products are centered on a pillar of maximum result in the minimum amount of time. We understand people are busy and make sure that we are savvy with how we get results.
In the spa I designed and built the steam rooms for treatments only. We’re living in a cool climate so it is about embracing where you live and seasonal rhythms. In a cool climate a steam is always a pleasure to be in. The steam allows the muscles to relax and the pores of the skin to open to receive maximum benefit from the applications. Our signature steam treatments are totally unique to us and my favorite treatment on the menu.
Do you feel that having a beautiful treatment is a luxury or for anyone who needs time out?
For me I have never seen having a treatment as a luxury I see it as an essential part to self-care that allows me to be more creative, focused and ultimately happier. These are all vital elements to me being my best – personally and professionally.
For our clients we see how they flourish and thrive when they have self-care as a regular part of their non-negotiable foundations. You don’t go the gym once and think you are going to be fit forever, similarly you don’t have one massage and think you will be relaxed forever. It is a practice of self-care that is regular and cumulative which you keep building on.
What does luxury mean to you?
I have to be honest luxury is not a word we use at Aurora, as I don’t see what we do as a luxury. Our pedicures for example may be seen as a luxury; however I see them as a maintenance treatment that maximizes your “time out”. Whilst you lay back in your horizontal comfy recliner, the therapist can concentrate and focus on delivering an impeccable treatment, whilst you have your eye pillow and iPad on with your chosen genre of music, audio book or guided meditation. Some may see this as luxury, I see this as an efficient and effective way to take time-out and have a maintenance treatment all in one.
What do you do for a luxurious treat every day?
For me my rituals of self-care are focused around the book ends of my day. At the start of my day I create an intention to lead my day, an intention that shapes my words, behaviors and actions. I also like to use my ASPAR Grapefruit & Seaweed Body Cleanser daily in the shower and take 3 deep breaths to inhale the invigorating aromas and to kick start my day with a little mindfulness.
Then at the end of the day I have my lights out ritual, where I read a few pages of my non-fiction book (currently The Social Animal) then apply my ASPAR Vanilla & Orange Lip Moisturiser and Rosemary & Clove Thermal Balm on my chest. This helps to clear my thoughts and get me ready for a good night’s sleep. Then lastly I write in my gratitude journal. The act of gratitude is the fastest way to build your own bank of happiness.
How did the signature ASPAR products begin and what’s the philosophy behind them?
When I started Aurora my aim was to create maximum results in the minimum amount of time. There were two main elements to every treatment experience:
1. The treatment
2. The products
I was hand mixing the products from day 1 in order to create the most therapeutic formulation. This would then maximize the benefit and experience for the client. Over the years we have tried and tested the formulations on willing clients and our team have had the opportunity to share their feedback as well. The entire product range has been one of constant evolution to create therapeutic formulations to achieve maximum results and inspire self-care.
We have 3 guiding pillars that create the foundation of our products:
1. Spa strength – these are formations that have been developed in spa with an intent of creating highly effective and therapeutic formulations. Over the 18 years of Aurora Spa, we have seen many skin conditions and understand what our clients want to achieve and experience.
2. Botanically active – our formulations are botanically active, meaning there is a high level of botanicals in the product that creates a therapeutic effect on the skin.
3. Skin Friendly – it’s what we don’t put in the products that we are proud of.
Can you tell me why they were created, as in, did you feel like you were filling a gap in the market?
The products were hand mixed from our first day of operation in 1997 to give clients the most effective spa treatment we could provide. We could maximize the essential oils and the botanical ingredients by making them ourselves. We don’t simply make products to fill gaps in the market. We create products that are incredibly effective in the spa treatment room and allow our clients to experience these at home as a maintenance of self-care. If clients cannot make it into one of our spas they can still have an effective spa treatment by using the products at home.
What’s your favourite product and why?
That’s a hard question as it changes with seasons and how I am feeling. At the moment my Rosemary & Clove Thermal Balm is essential as I use it every night. The intense aroma and beautiful natural butters are amazing. It’s a part of my family medical kit too as it’s great for sore muscles, mosquito bites and colds. I also love our Wattleseed & Walnut Exfoliating Body Scrub as it’s a dual exfoliant and is suitable for all skin types. It is gentle and incredibly effective as the granular walnut and wattle seeds work on the surface of the skin and the papaya and pineapple natural fruit enzymes help to dissolve dead skin cells. My skin always feels amazing after my weekly body exfoliation.
Where can our readers purchase ASPAR?
Online at www.aspar.com.au, and in store at Aurora Spas, Sephora in Sydney and selected retailers.
Are there any special ASPAR deals in July?
When you sign up to Aurora Spas quarterly newsletter at http://aspar.com.au/ you’ll instantly receive a 20% discount on your first purchase of ASPAR product.
Thank you for your time Lyndall your spa and products are truly amazing.