Unwind at Anjou Spa in Bend, Oregon
One of Central Oregon’s best-known havens for rest and relaxation (and its renowned hot sand sauna), Anjou Spa has served Bend for nearly 15 years. Though long recognized for its tranquil atmosphere and therapeutic, soothing massages and facials, the spa plans to branch out to be ”medi-light” in 2024. This comes with the addition of new weight-loss products and medical-grade anti-aging services to create a results-oriented, turnkey haven for wellness and beauty, inside and out.
“Anjou’s focus will always be on providing therapeutic services for the body and skin,” said Anjou Spa president Jenna Walden. “But we also see an opportunity to meet our clients’ and members’ needs by pivoting to a broader focus on longevity and effective anti-aging treatments for our harsh Central Oregon climate. People live here to enjoy the lifestyle this place offers and enjoy our beautiful surroundings, but all that outside time can accelerate the appearance of aging.”
To help achieve this, Anjou Spa has brought on a medical director to oversee new treatments, including the newest weight-loss tools and advanced esthetician services. By combining traditional day spa treatments with therapies more often associated with medi-spas, Anjou hopes to provide clients with a one-stop experience that will address multiple wellness and beauty goals that meet diverse needs for both women and men.
Weight Loss, Skin Care and Well-Being Go Hand-in-Hand
Anjou Spa has always worked to support clients in achieving their skincare objectives through holistic and non-invasive means. However, with advances in aesthetic treatments, it makes sense to add newer, more effective tools to the menu. The spa hopes to assist clients aiming to meet multiple goals, such as losing weight while elevating their skin appearance. Not only looking great but feeling great.
Anjou Spa introduced its Face Studio in late 2020. The Face Studio focuses on relaxing but effective skin care services that stave off the effects of our dry, high desert climate.
“Central Oregon’s climate is extreme in the sense that there are a lot of environmental factors that age you, such as high elevation, UV exposure, dry wind, and low humidity,” Jenna said. “And when you lose weight, especially quickly, like with semaglutide, your skin needs more help than just promoting elasticity. The loss of nutrients, combined with this climate, can exacerbate dull, dry skin and age your appearance. Weight loss is exciting, but the skin issues you were concerned about before maybe even more noticeable after. By taking care of your skin while losing weight, you’ll not only look skinnier, but your skin will also be plump, smooth, and radiant.”
To that end, Anjou Spa will offer semaglutide compounds to clients in early 2024 and is allowing people to sign up now. Recently, semaglutide compounds have gained considerable attention for their efficacy in weight management. The weekly-injected medication operates by boosting insulin secretion, curbing glucagon release, slowing digestion and suppressing appetite. Research indicates that approximately half of individuals with obesity (BMI 30+) shed 15% or more of their body weight within a year while on a semaglutide, although individual outcomes may differ.
The compound can be used in lower doses for ongoing maintenance as well. The medical community is excited about the upsides of healthier hearts, organs and stronger bodies. Side effects, such as nausea, are typically mild, though people with a history of thyroid problems should avoid it. Clients will be evaluated to make sure semaglutide is suitable for them. However, a doctor’s referral is not required to start.
“We started hearing about these so-called ‘miracle drugs’ a while back,” said Anjou Spa co-president Noah Walden. “They sounded too good to be true. But the more we read up on it, the more we looked at the scientific studies on semaglutide compounds, we came to see this as a real solution for people. I’ve seen what it’s done for friends. We started to wonder if it was something we should offer to our clients, especially if we can create a high-value membership.”
Anjou Spa is known for its popular Spa Membership program, which offers a monthly massage or facial in addition to discounts on products. “Medical doesn’t have to feel clinical,” said Noah. “We have a Body Studio and a Face Studio that are dedicated to getting results, and we can pair those services with a weight-loss program. We want to make this easy and relaxing and, most importantly, effective for clients.”
“A lot of medi-spas are offering semaglutide,” adds Jenna. “What sets us apart is that we can package highly effective weight loss compounds with our other complementary services, such as bodywork, cellulite smoothing treatments, full-body pressotherapy, and non-invasive anti-aging treatments using mesotherapy, microneedling, and chemical peels. We think our clients will appreciate having access to all of this under one roof.”
Anjou Spa is also dipping into the world of medi-spas with the integration of micro-doses of botulinum toxin (known as Botox). Traditional Botox treatments are injected into the muscle, temporarily limiting movement, which can create the “frozen” effect many people associate with it. But when botulinum toxin is injected into the dermis, or “middle layer” (mesotherapy), the underlying muscle is able to move naturally. Meanwhile, the dermis receives the benefits at a molecular level.
“On a recent trip to Japan I saw these treatments marketed as micro-Botox,” said Jenna. “It’s quick and non-invasive, with no downtime, and keeps you looking like you. It greatly enhances your skin quality – you look like you just had the most amazing facial… every day! You see a more subtle, natural reduction in facial lines and wrinkles without losing expressiveness or facial movement. I wondered why we weren’t seeing these services offered here.”
Benefits of these treatments include improvement in tone, texture and pores, softened wrinkles, collagen healing, and a rested-looking, radiant appearance. Glo-tox can also help manage active acne and excessive sweating. And the results aren’t temporary – treatments can build on each other for a lasting effect and can help with causative skin problems. Unlike traditional injections, micro applications can be applied to areas with thin skin, such as the neck, decolletage, and hands, which are often areas of concern for aging skin.
“The problem with long-term neuromodulator use like Botox is your face eventually gets out of balance,” said Jenna. “Smooth, frozen parts of your face no longer match the lower face, neck and chest, and it looks unnatural. Younger people who use neuromodulators will see this as they age, and they really don’t need to be doing injections at a young age. They want to be enhanced, but don’t need the heavy lifting of Botox, since their collagen levels are still at their peak. Glo-tox is perfect for slowing the aging process, especially for long-term use.”
Anjou recommends getting a Glo-tox treatment every 3-4 months. If your budget is tight, even every 6 months allows effects to build over time. Active ingredients for their special Glo-tox serum include vitamins that stimulate cellular renewal, nanopeptides that promote collagen and elastin production and antioxidants to help prevent cell damage.
“Medi-spas tend to have the same menu and clients with similar goals,” Noah said. “Anjou wants to offer solutions for problems that affect everyday people. Especially men, who can be very self-conscious talking about their appearance. We want them to know we’re approachable and won’t require lasers to help treat them.”
While there are certainly several medi-spas around town that can offer every laser and new technology to fight aging, Anjou’s goal is to be a one-stop shop for those looking for more well-rounded solutions. And once you walk out of a medi-spa, skincare maintenance is a responsibility usually left to you and your esthetician to help with day-to-day solutions.
Since the pandemic, Central Oregon has gotten a lot of new residents. Jenna and the spa’s trainers have worked continuously on the spa’s menu to address living in a high desert climate while enjoying an active lifestyle. They’ve introduced therapeutic equipment and anti-aging treatments for their clients’ benefit while maintaining spa touches and standards to emphasize the relaxing atmosphere.
“Daily skincare in Central Oregon is so important,” said Jenna. “Our Face Studio has incredible products and highly trained staff to help make that expensive medi-treatments last. We’ve been using an amazing Australian product called Ultraceuticals, because who knows a hot, dry climate better than the Aussies?”
Post-Surgery Skincare Solutions
After a knee surgery last year, Jenna realized that there was not much attention paid to post-surgery skin cleanup and decided to seek her own solutions. “My lower leg ballooned from swelling after surgery and my skin expanded, then contracted. I was left with layers of skin that were constantly flaking and looking rough and scaly. No amount of manual scrubbing could get my skin looking how I wanted it to look.” The doctor and staff had no recommendations on how to return her skin’s luster.
That’s when Jenna turned to Anjou’s microdermabrasion machine and had her leg exfoliated with a larger wand. “Finally, I could wear shorts and skirts again,” she said. This new service is called “Body-derm,” and, when combined with a chemical peel, surgery scars, including those with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), can be addressed so that you don’t have to look like Edward Scissorhands post-op.
Medical-grade chemical peels can also help address sun damage, wrinkles, tone, and age spots. Since clients need to avoid the sun for a few days after medium-to-deep removal of skin layers, the winter and spring are a great time to get this done.
Along with the expanded services, the Anjou Spa team aims to make its new Sanctuary Suite a hit with wedding groups. They’re putting together packages focused on providing those important pre/post-wedding services. The Suite gives parties an exclusive space to stretch out and be social. Offerings include foot soaks, bespoke snacks, access to the hot sand sauna and steam room, and side-by-side couple treatments. It’s a unique space in the heart of Bend.
“We don’t need to be a full-service medi-spa,” said Jenna. “We’re cherry-picking the treatments that are the least invasive but the most effective for aging concerns, the safest out there for all skin types, and the greatest value for our clients. Our objective is to extend natural longevity for beauty and wellness. Where else can you get bodywork, a Glo-tox facial, hit the hot sand sauna and steam, lose weight, and look and feel great?”