Body skin is all too often overlooked when it comes to the daily beauty regime. Some of us simply don't have time for all that scrubbing, exfoliating, cleansing and moisturising. When we have work to do and families to look after, time can be precious and skin-care often has to take a backseat. Unfortunately, neglected skin often means dry, unhealthy, dull-looking skin, which in turn can lead to premature wrinkles, excess grease, trapped bacteria and spots. Plus - it's pretty hard to feel attractive and confident when you know you're harbouring three months worth of dead skin and excess body hair underneath those opaque tights.
So, the answer to all your body skin woes? Book yourself in for a revitalising body treatment every few weeks or so with a beauty professional who knows what they're doing. Not only do professionals have access to all the best-smelling, most effective products and techniques, but all you have to do is lie there and relax. Perfect! Going to a spa, visiting a salon, or inviting a mobile beauty therapist into your home to administer a body treatment is a great way to keep your skin preened and pampered on a regular basis, at only a fraction of the time and effort.
How to choose a body treatment
It can be hard to settle on a decision when you're presented with a treatment menu the size of a small novel. There are literally hundreds of professional body treatments out there, from the standard mud wraps to rather more exotic treatments, such as body masks made from nightingale droppings and steaming baths filled with beer (it's true, they exist!)
So, with so many options available, how on earth do you choose a body treatment right for you?
First of all, you need to decide exactly what it is you want from the session and how you want to feel when you leave. For example, do you want...
- to have soft skin that feels nice to touch?
- to look and feel younger?
- to moisturise dry, flaky skin?
- to slim down a little for a big occasion?
Or, do you want...
- to relax and unwind?
- to recover after a sporting activity (e.g. marathon, big match, long hike etc.)?
- to balance your energies and leave feeling centred and 'at one' with yourself?
Letting your beauty therapist know what it is you want from the treatment will ensure you're opting for the right one.
Remember - your beauty professional is there to help. If you ask, he or she will be able to explain each treatment to you and also advise you on which one to choose. All treatments are designed to be pleasant, enjoyable and generally good for your skin - so keeping an open mind and choosing randomly shouldn't be too much of a problem either.
Different salons, spas and professionals often give their body treatments a variety of catchy brand names, but don't let that confuse you - these are probably just slightly different spins on some of the more common body treatments, which include:
A body mask, like a facemask, is a paste made from minerals, fruits or plants designed to improve the skin's healthy glow and texture.
Common body mask ingredients include:
- Seaweed - thought to hydrate and cleanse skin to slow ageing and improve skin texture and firmness.
- Salts - thought to reduce inflammation and flush toxins.
- Mud/clay - usually kaolin and bentonite, both of which are thought to draw toxins out of the skin and remove excess grease while it dries.
- Herbs and plants - plants have a huge range of therapeutic uses. Some are used to ease itches, reduce inflammation and cool rashes, and some are used to improve the look of skin.
These pastes are coated all over the body and left to dry or soak in for 20-30 minutes, before being wiped off with a damp cloth, or rinsed off with a soothing shower. The mask is often accompanied with a hand, foot or head massage, and followed by an all-over moisturiser to seal in the active properties of the mask.
The body wrap is a pleasant treatment which involves applying a mask all over the body, before cocooning it from the shoulders to the ankles in some form of warm, insulating material designed to raise the body's temperature. The extra heat is supposed to open up the pores and boost circulation to aid the absorption of the mask's active ingredients into the skin.
Wrap materials include:
- Mylar - similar to aluminium, this flexible, non-porous insulator offers a particularly intense warmth.
- Sheets and blankets - used when a lower temperature is required for the mask to work.
- Ceramic heating blankets and pads - these wraps are used alongside mud and seaweed wraps to draw out fluids and toxins from the pores.
The body wrap is the treatment to choose if you want:
- detoxified skin
- inch loss
- time to relax
- a feeling of revitalisation
- taut, youthful skin
- to soothe tired muscles.
Visit our Body Wrap page to learn all about the different body wraps available.
(Aka body polish, body glow and exfoliation)
The body scrub is the one to choose if you want a good all-over exfoliation. It involves being rubbed all over with a gritty lotion designed to get rid of dead skin cells that could otherwise clog up pores and cause spots and excess grease. Body scrubs can be made of:
- coffee beans
These gritty bits should feel slightly rough against the skin but not painful - if the therapist rubs too hard you just have to say. Not everyone enjoys the same sensations. These gritty ingredients are usually mixed with a soothing lotion with added aroma to make your skin smell nice and feel smooth afterwards.
The body scrub treatment usually takes about 30-50 minutes from start to finish. Please note that this treatment is not recommended if you have any of the following:
- a fever
- contagious skin condition
For full-on relaxation and muscle soothing, opt for a massage. With so many different types, this is one of the most versatile body treatments available. Body massages can be used to treat aches and pains, boost circulation and increase the firmness and suppleness of skin. To find out more about the different types of massages available, please visit our Massage page.
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